A Thing I Have Learned…

Have you ever spent a long time, I mean several weeks or months, living away from town? Maybe it was working at a summer camp, or a military assignment. If you have, what was it like? Did you get more comfortable being in the wild? Many people do. What you are experiencing is a reconnection with the real Creation.

Over the centuries, we have effectively created an Artificial Reality. We live in concrete structures, and occupy ourselves with things that only Humans do. Our goals are strictly temporal, and we no longer participate in the flow of Life on this planet. In fact, we strive to separate ourselves from it, more and more. This seems normal, because it’s happened so slowly, but it isnt. When we get away from that artificiality, and begin to fit back into the natural world, we experience something almost revelatory. What’s really surprising, is  when we start to understand the intricate and fragile systems that exist to keep things functioning correctly. We know why there are different kinds of trees, and why Kudzu has taken over so much of the South. These things, and more, etch themselves into our awareness, and we know that we’ll never see things the same way again.

Then you hear lifestyle critic in a tie say, “You just dont understand how the Real World works”, and you realize that he’s the one who doesnt get it…and you used to be like that.

Here’s a Heads-up: The real world doesnt use money. It doesnt run on petroleum, and it measures success in contentment, not position and possessions. The really hard part is trying to fit into this Artificial Reality, after you’ve experienced the real thing.

That’s my bit for today. Get out of town. Get into Creation, and most of all, Keep your Go on.

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The Stew Wagon

After the last post, you may have wondered how the Stew Wagon is set up for travel. Here’s an inside view. Interior Rear View of the Stew Wagon

You can see that there’s ample room for one person to sleep, with lots of storage on the other side, for my sleeping bag, a blanket, and paper towels. Behind the plastic crate, is another one that holds several books and notebooks, some TP, and a couple of smaller items. Underneath the bed is more storage for a big, Peruvian blanket, cooking utensils, and some dry foods. You can see that the rear, side windows are covered with Reflectix. The roll in the center, and the bits that you see above my pillow, are used to cover the other windows when I bed down.

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Here’s the view from the other direction.

I usually enter from the front passenger side. That way, I’m not dragging my dirty shoes across my bed.

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When I wake up, I just fold the mattress over, slip the platform extension underneath, and fold the seat up. To anyone looking in, it’s just a passenger car, with some jackets hanging on a hook.

 

Another time, I’ll show you how I cook while I’m on the road. In the meantime, enjoy Life and keep your Go on.

Sleeping on the Road

As I travel in the Stew Wagon, people sometimes notice that it’s outfitted for camping, both urban and rural. One of the questions that comes up is, “Where do you sleep?” They arent referring to whether I sleep in the vehicle. That’s a given. It’s about places where I stop for the night, and how it works out. You might be surprised to learn that there really are a lot of options.

National forests and BLM land are fabulous options. They can be awfully rugged, though. For some, you’ll need 4WD or AWD. The more popular ones, like Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone, have easy roads and well developed campsites. Most even have toilet arrangements and fire pits or grills. Some are free, but none are expensive.

Many rest stops, along interstate highways, allow overnight stays. They have restrooms, and some have WiFi. If you have a van or RV, you can easily cook, but I wouldnt set up a grill.

Truck stops can be an easy solution. Once again, full amenities, and if you want to spend the money, waitstaff for your meals. The main thing here, is to ask. Some truck stops dont like RVs, campers, or vans hanging around the parking lot. It’s better to know, up front, than to have somebody bang on your door in the middle of the night.

Some large retail chains, like Walmart and Cabella’s, are also traveler friendly. Once again, Ask.

Most of the time, I do either of two things; I pull into the parking lot of a hotel, or I drive down a country road. Both have their advantages, but I prefer the country road, for reasons I’ll explain later.

If I’m staying in the city, hotel parking is excellent. They’re accustomed to seeing vehicles that look like they’ve been on the road. Also, the good lighting helps keep burglars from getting curious.

My basic motto here is, “In late. Out early.”  Getting in just before bedtime is excellent. There are plenty of places to spend the evening, until then. (I’ll post about that some other time.) I’ll usually park somewhere in the middle of the lot, where I wont attract attention. Then I cover the windows, set up the bed, and settle in.

The morning routine is basically the opposite, with a couple of additions. I dress, comb my hair, make the bed and take down the window coverings. After that, I lock up and go inside for a bathroom break. Depending on the situation, I might grab a cup of coffee on the way through, but I’ve learned to ask for this, as well.

Once down the road a few miles, I can find a wide spot and pull off. Then I’ll set up my little Coleman stove and cook up a quick breakfast. If I have them on hand, that can include eggs and sausage, or bacon. Otherwise, it’s usually oatmeal with mix-ins like raisins, nuts, or whatever else I have. Fruit is usually on the menu, and always coffee.

I dig waking up in the country, though. It’s usually quiet, and smells are marvelous, depending on the season. No matter what, they’re different from the city. Most times, I can light the little stove and rustle something up, while the sun rises.The morning routine for boondocking down a country road is similar, except there’s no indoor plumbing, so the bathroom break can be a little breezy. Days when the weather is contrary, I’ll drive until I find a truck stop or convenience store, where I can use the facilities, and maybe a microwave. If I have a few extra bucks, I might find little coffee shop and buy breakfast. Maybe it’s chauvinistic, but a pretty smile and a good old cup-o-joe can set the tone for the whole day.

Some people think I’m crazy, but if you’re a bona-fide Vagabond at heart…you get it.

God bless you all. Live in the Present, and keep your Go on.

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Re-connection

The past few weeks have been a time of re-connection, as people from my past life begin to emerge from the ether. It’s a strange thing, to speak to them again, after so much struggle and change. I’ve heard it said that you pick up where you left off. That has not been the case. None of us are the same. We each have faced our own flames, and been transformed by the process.

Today, we all are on the doorstep of new futures. Our paths may run together, for a while, but they will be parallel, not the same.

Personally, I’m just opening up. There is no agenda, apart from places that I want to go. Of course, I will meet interesting people. We’ll share stories, laughter and tears. There will be enough helping to go around. My heart is longing for those days.

Some people cling to the past. They’re keen to pass down the traditions of the elders, carrying the torch from those generations to the next. I am not one of them. Let the past be the past, is what I say. Look to the future and enjoy every day that comes. You can never go back.

Oh, there’s nothing wrong with a little reminiscing. Stories about “The Old Days” are entertaining, and educational. I just dont care to drag those things along as I continue this journey. They can be wind in my sails, but never an anchor.

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Dont be misled by my view to the future. I am, by no means, excited about the direction of Humanity. I’m talking about my personal path. As a species, I continue to be perplexed by our unending desire to separate ourselves from the Creation that surrounds us. We live in a majestic and mind blowing world. Rather than embrace it, though, we look at it as a planet sized repository of things that we can use, without forethought or reflection. While I love people, individually, I tend to dislike Humanity as a whole.