Sunday, October 25, 2015


The rig
We made our way out of michigan and into Indiana. Specifically, to James lake. Aptly chosen based on it's inclusion of the word "James". Oh, and also excellent park ratings, waterfall, lake, etc. Driving through Grand Rapids served as a reminder that we hate cities and never want to go back to them again.

We've already run into a number of issues, pretty much all of them revolving around the stupid tow dolly! Who's idea was it to tow a car again? I won't get into detail, I'll just say that I am >this close< to trading the whole thing in for a Jeep Wrangler..

So far it's been gorgeous during the day and coldd at night, but that comes with the territory when you're camping in November. Yes. It's almost. November.  On the plus-side the campgrounds are almost vacant, aside from a few full-timers like ourselves. More to come to come on our Indiana stay.

Lake James, just steps from our camp site in the woods.

Sticker shock! That's  not even a full tank.....

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Moving into our new "house"

The RV was FINALLY delivered and we can now move what's left of our belongings into it.  Now we just have to find a tow dolly for the car, and figure out how this thing works! I personally have absolutely no experience with motorhomes, campers, or trailers so this learning curve should be a delight. :)

Friday, October 9, 2015

James reflects on the start of our journey

"I live in a a very small house, but my window looks out on a very large world."
~ Henry David Thoreau

   For a year before Hana and I spontaneously decided to travel the country in an RV I had this longing for whatever is left of true americana. After living on a busy street for three years where the air always smelled like exhaust I just wanted to get away. We looked at rural properties, but none of it was working out. Not only had I the longing for fresh air and peace, but a complete lifestyle change. I didn't want to just get away and plant a garden. I wanted to break away from my own habits that were either out of boredom, or just making the best I could out of what I had available. I had this persistent longing that went beyond owning a piece of property. I wanted live bluegrass music and the traditional portrait of rolling hills, mountains, and rivers. The desire for freedom and openness is what drives a lot of people on the road, but I have been longing to embrace the ghost of the simplicity and culture this country has to offer before it slips away and gradually becomes something different while most of us were asleep. 

Even though I am in disagreement with the corporate corruption and side show politics laced with Orwellian eyes watching at all times, I still think America has the most beautiful countryside that you will see in the world. I have traveled all over Italy and Sicily by train and car. I visited the cities big and small, and spent months living in a small village in the Abruzzo, but I never felt the true love for the land that I have felt traveling down highway 90 going west with a friend and having our car break down or fishing as a kid from small ponds near my home to clear lakes in Yellowstone park. I would even goes as far as to say I would take scrambled eggs and coffee in a small diner followed by a day of fishing than sitting along a canal in Venice in an overpriced fancy restaurants where the waiters will upturn their noses at you if you mispronounce something.

   At a family event with the Murrays I had mentioned to Bob and Pete about wanting to talk Hana into getting an RV and traveling the country. I didn't think she would go for it because she hates driving more than a half hour, and I was torn about drifting too far away from my parents, even though my visions were also inspired by the sentimentality of my family vacations out west. A day later Hana shared a vivid dream she had about us driving cross country with the dogs seeing the rich beauty and colors this country has to offer. That is when I said to her "I'm ready for a change" without even thinking about it. 

  And so here we are a few weeks after the sale of the house in Northern Michigan and the fresh air has already changed me in ways that I never thought it would. For all of you that know me well as the self confirmed night owl who never went to bed before 4 am, I have to inform you now that I am finding myself out of bed hours before the sun comes up, if not to go fishing to get a head start on the day. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful opportunity. I prayed for change and the prayer was answered. I have seen some beautiful sunsets and sunrises up here on the water while fishing alone, or with the new friends I have made on the shores lined up on dams and piers chasing after the Salmon and Trout, even though the fishing has been slow all over. Half the fun has been following a map to every lake and river in the area and seeking out the good fishing spots by stopping and asking people because there are still some parts of this life that can't just be instantly found out or purchased by typing a few words into a search engine.

  After hearing that a local orchard needed help for the apple season I showed up to ask for a job. I really didn't expect to cover much more than what I spent in gas and lost lures and sinkers on my fishing expeditions, I also wanted to further enhance my american dream adventure with the sweat of my own brow and aching of my own joints. After one minute of talking to a large man on a tractor I was given a job, even though I wouldn't be available for more than a week. I am not going to lie. The first day of sorting apples and moving around 50 to 60 pound bags and 30 pound half bushel baskets I was truly exhausted. The second day went easier because I found you could keep your energy up by eating the apples as you go. If we return to Michigan next fall I may even show up to work at the orchard again, although I did hear that there were no good barbers up here, and am semi-contemplating how to be the one good barber in town.

Picked fresh from the farm

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The RV and our first stop: Northern Michigan

 We bought it! After much deliberation and searching we finally decided on this 31ft class C RV.  James was a champ negotiator and ended up saving us $10,000 off the sticker price!

Here she is!
Before setting off, we stop for fishing in Bellaire.

Frankie can't handle it!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Selling the house and packing up

Hello world and welcome to our adventure story. In the fall of 2015 we decided to sell everything, pack our bags and hit the road in an RV to travel the USA!

First things first, we had to sell that monster of a project house we'd lived in for the last 3 years. Luckily it didn't take long to sell and we were RELIEVED to finally be away from life in the city. Goodbye traffic, college kids, parties, stray dogs..  I can't believe I'm saying it, but yeah, I'm too old for this.

Then we had to sell everything we had accumulated over the last 10 years. Let's just say we met many an interesting person through Craigslist. As a minimalist by nature it felt amazing to get rid of all that stuff but it did hurt a little to get rid of some of our recently purchased items; the king bed, the oriental rugs, the new couch, the giant TV.. 

Cleaning out the attic = dust, books, more books. 
Did I mention we had to get rid of an entire ATTIC full of books?
Maya was ready to hit the road.  Seeya Ypsilanti!
So begins the hunt for our new home..