HELLLOOO FROM THE ROAD! Ok so I’m less than a month on the road now and I can tell that I have 2 major expenses. Fuel and Park Fees. So I thought I’d share a few things I have picked up on. One most everybody can use, the other is for the ones that journey by road.
A. is for most everybody, since we all drive cars that use fuel. Shell’s FUEL REWARDS NETWORK. Here’s how and why.
- It’s Free, just sign up or snag a card at a shell station
- You rack up points just shopping online through the same stores you do anyways.(Best Buy, Apple, Home Depot, Banana Republic, Travelocity) Christmas is coming, ! Some stores you even get double and triple the points!
- Save Money on Fuel!
For me it’s major. If you can save 50+ cents off per gallon then that beats any other station hands down. Same deals you get online at the stores you shop at already. STRATEGY BONUS, (are you ready?!) use your credit cards that already have rewards, ex. am ex American Airlines, to pay for them and you are now scoring miles and gas money! BOOM! Mind Blown. Nothing wrong with being smart with shopping!
B. Is more for the rv trailer crowd. 2 networks of parks and awesome places to stay!
Passport America. I was skeptical but for 44$ a year its not THAT big of a risk. The savings is about 50% off park rates! after 2 or 3 days it pays for itself. For full timers that is huge, even if you don’t stay at their park 100% thats a good amount of savings. I’ve now saved way more than what the membership costs me, and its not 2nd rate campsites. Great investment for sure!
Harvest Hosts. I cannot wait to use this one! It’s for self sufficient RV’s and trailers only….NO sewage dumping! BUT WHYYYYYY BRAUN?? Because you are invited to stay at awesome places FOR FREE (other than your 40$ a year membership) like vineyards, farms, Breweries, and Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (probably). What a special experience to add to your journey. It’s a great way for small businesses like these to let people in to their daily life, so you gotta respect their openness to their world.
I hope this helped and if you are new to life on the road like I am, or even considering it, perhaps this even excites you.
Be Well, Go Far, Dream BIG!
We drove and drove and drove. Traveling up and down and up and down through the beautiful mountains of Tennessee into Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We were on a mission to get north as possible before the leaves left and the cold arrived. Making sacrifices to not see more landmarks…like more bourbon distilleries. We stopped for diesel and rested in Wal Mart parking lots (who thankfully are RV Friendly) only for a few hours and then off again! Patton slept on and off in the back in his throne hammock. Always getting up for when I stopped to fuel up. We strayed away from the big cities of NYC and Boston for fear of traffic. And then there it was. Signs. We had reached the Atlantic Coast line and managed to pull to a beach front somewhere on the line of New Hampshire and Maine just before dawn.
I pulled Patton out of the truck and laid him on sand, knowing he had never really experienced it. He delighted in its softness on his old joints and we walked out over the sand dune and there it was. Illuminated by the just breaching sun that was merely as thick as a knife blade. We both stood in something I cannot begin to describe. Not only was this validation of why we had driven for days and nights, sleep deprived and junk food filled, but what I had worked non stop dawn to dusk every day this summer in the Texas heat to finish the airstream. We both smiled and dare I say laugh as we played in the surf and slowly strolled the beach finally relaxing. We had made it.
It was a few hours more to drive through the small cozy coastal towns of Maine until we reached Camden. The town of Camden is simply one word, CHARMING. It is hands down the iconic Maine town you think of. White wooden buildings with trim. Nice Harbor. Lobster rolls flow in every restaurant or roadside stand and hotels are called “Inns”. Hills roll through the town with shops offering everything a visitor could hope for with people as pleasant as I have met anywhere. I even picked up a mountain bike there (Trek) which some how I didn’t have when I left Dallas.
One of my favorite things here is that almost business has these signs of carved painted wood with gold letters. Makes you feel like you’re in a Harry Potter movie. again….charming craftsmanship & detail.
Camden’s state park had some great reviews so we stopped there. Pleasantly tucked up into the forrest, the spots for trailers and RV’s are each given their own space to breath with their own fire pit and tables. Weekenders, adventurers and retirees came and went and I made some new friends there. Nothing like being able to say “Come on over to my spot tonight and I’ll make a fire.” Great conversation with the quiet everyone is exactly there for balances everything it seems.
While hiking through the state park I came upon a small clearing in the woods with hundreds of stacks of rocks. It was surreal for sure since I had no idea what they were at the time but I made my own. “When in Rome”. Later I was told they are some symbol or procedure revolving around prayer. interesting.
I love these hammocks from Grand Trunk Goods. Small, compact, and a ton of accessories.
Every Sunday the Camden Snow Bowl is open (WITH PANCAKE BREAKFAST!!!) They run the ski lifts so you can go up and hike around the hills if you want. Pretty neat.
MAINE IS SPOOKY
Now I had heard the champion of horror literature, Stephen King lived in Maine. Just like I had read in an article the he himself said that “MAINE IS SPOOKY”. I have to agree with him. For all its beauty and mystery it keeps secrets a little too quiet. I don’t mean that to deter anybody from visiting. you should. But you can’t know what I am poorly attempting to describe until you have been here. It’s quiet. A little too quiet. Like when you know somebody is watching you. The roads twist and turn through the dense trees on either side and before you know it you pass the building you were looking for, usually nestled away. The 2 days before I left it rained off and on, leaving a spooky fog. And just like the idiots in every horror movie I had to venture forth into the scene that frightened me. Some how I survived the monsters, ghouls, and serial killers.
NEXT BLOG: ACADIA NATIONAL PARK! Where I wrestle bears and chase leprechauns.. until then….
Be Well, GO Far
Hello From Maine! Yes you read that right but will save my experience in Maine for the next post! After a great send off party and several tearful “see ya laters” we’re off Patton and I! We left our beloved Dallas for the open road and it has been interesting for sure.
First Stop NASHVILLE for my great friend’s wedding. I had never been to Nashville and it was quite a treat. Driving from Dallas overnight to make the rehearsal was a bit of a whip but we made it with a few hours to unhook and drive to the place. After the rehearsal we all went out on the town and to be honest it’s not entirely unlike Austin. EVERY place had some size of a stage, with all the laid back and southern proud attitude. But I only spent 2 days there for the wedding.
The wedding was held at the LOVELESS Cafe. Now with a name like that I had reservations but it ended up being the quintessential place of southern charm. Flowers, great BBQ, a giant barn, ranch style separate buildings…it was lovely. They did the catering for the wedding and the most impressive part was they got the sweet tea right! (Besides needing a few lemons for my personal preference)
After the wedding I headed an hour south to check one off the old bucket list…to tour the famous Jack Daniels Distillery! It did not disappoint for sure! The distillery, the same one Jack Daniels himself founded, is nestled in the Tennessee hills in the small town of Lynchburg Tennessee. Now I’ve been overseas quite a bit and no matter how far I get, every bar has Jack Daniels. So what blew my mind is that ever drop of it is made at the this little spot! The tour is wonderful, especially if you appreciate great craftsmanship! You get to see the fully intricate process and see the amazing history the company has gone through. The same dedication goes on today.
Jack Daniels was 5’2″ tall. I always thought of him as this booming burley figure. This statue stands in front of the limestone cave that the spring’s water from it feeds the entire distillery. That is entirely why Jack Daniels chose this place, the limestone purifies the water! It’s all in the ingredients. Specific wood for charcoaling, different wood for barreling. What an amazing process to fine tune.
This is Patton’s throne. I invested in one of these Kurgo Wander Hammock Dog Car Seat Cover
which attaches to the back of the head rests. Having dogs since college I’m kicking myself I just now found one of these! It is awesome! Keeps the dog hair to a minimum and I don’t have to worry about him falling in the floor board. With his bed in there his head hits right about my shoulder height and lets him see out the windows. Patton naps on and off the entire drive and surprisingly loves it all.
Driving through the mountains of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia was so beautiful! The steep climbs and descends are a lot pulling this size of trailer but my Ram 2500 diesel handled it all like a champ. I only had one real “Sway” experience while coming down a steep mountain. Holy Moly, I may have lost a few years off my life from white knuckling the wheel so hard. It stopped after a few heart pounding minutes and I was able to cruise at 70 mph for the rest of the trip.
NEXT POST MAINE! Here’s a sneak preview.
An amazing poetic short about life and a new way to see it. What Choices do you have right now that would change your life? Do they scare you? What’s keeping you from making it? Would you be thinking it if it wasn’t buried in you?!. Rarely will you regret trying for something but to not attempt will rob you of life’s fullness. What is your life choice right now?
BE WELL, GO FAR!
It’s so close to being on the journey with the airstream. The questions have been catapulted from friends and strangers lately “Are You Scared?” Are you worried!?” Of course I brush it off like “Absolutely not” and 95% of the time I’m good. Yes I’m ready to start an adventure but as it began to get closer it becomes extremely real. I’m leaving the house I’ve been in longer than I’ve lived at since I left my mother’s house when I was young. HELL Yes, there is your answer. The unknown is scary for sure. more thoughts…
Personally I’m at an age where 90% of my friend my age are married and a good solid 60% of them have kids. Another 20-30% will join that crowd in less than 5 years. And here I am giving away most of my belongings for most would consider a “Gypsy” lifestyle. It can feel like I’m going backwards. I’m 31 and going the opposite way of a secure lifestyle. But “typical” has never been a theme of my life I’d say. Not for better or for worse. Just unusual.
Professionally it is about 50-50% whether this is brilliant and positive or a death sentence for my career. The advertising world is a tough tough one. You get to a level where everybody is legit so it helps to stand out. This COULD be an angle to do just that. Lord knows my dancing skills haven’t. Adventure pulls at everybody’s hearts. I’m doing my research into ad agencies in the cities on my route and scheduling “portfolio & margaritas with the airstream” fun for them. Get them out of the office. This WILL be no doubt a way to get some amazing footage while devoting a serious amount of time at each location. Surprisingly I’ve picked up a few clients with things they need shot that I can prioritize my route around. These projects might not justify a special big budget shoot that includes airfare and the days, but if I can roll in and shoot them along the way it saves the client money. Of course I will continue to fly out for projects just like I do here in Dallas.
The WORRY. Art Directors like to work with people they like and are close to them. Yes I’ve built a name in Dallas but with me leaving “out of sight out of mind.” This is scary but like Mad Men said, “The day you start signing clients is the when you start losing clients” It’s a business and I get that and Loyalty is rare in this industry. They come and they go. Part of it.
At the end of it, When the fear is gripping me and I’m saying to myself in the mirror WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!? I look back at all the moments where I really grew and changed me. It wasn’t the little steps in my comfort zone. It was the big big out of the nest “you better fly” moves that made me. That gives me peace or at least the willingness to try. So much grace and wisdom from amazing people have made this project possible. I spent a lot of time with the people that have been on this earth much longer than I have and they tell me the same things. It’s not the comfortable years in the same house and job they think about, it was the unknown parts when nothing was guaranteed. I’m scared, absolutely. But I’m more excited. Fear is not Faith. Fear can paralyze you or make you sharper. It will work out.
My biggest regrets are the things that I did not try for. That I assumed wouldn’t work. If you never try one thing is absolutely certain…NOTHING.
Does anybody else relate? What do you think.
Be Well, Go Far, Dream Big.