It’s been an exciting progression. The rollercoaster of emotions would be pretty cliche, but not far off.
It all started with my first big road trip, well, first road trip hauling 5k lbs of a hunk of a trailer.
Steve Blast has been a gem of a camper. Sure, some of his fake wood paneling is already falling down, and he may have blown a few fuses (who needs a fridge anyway?), but he’s hanging in there after the 1800 mile trek to New England. Steve is merely throwing me into the fire to learn camper life as quickly as humanly possible. Thanks Steve! Also thankful for no actual fires as of right now.
It was a long, white knuckle trek from Florida to New Hampshire. As someone that enjoys getting to places in a timely, affordable manner, 10 miles to the gallon was hard to swallow. However, my spirits were lifted on our first night at a campground in South Carolina. As I dripped copious amounts of sweat wailing my rubber mallet against the tension of a stubborn sway bar, those beautiful RVers, missing teeth, and shirts swarmed me to lend a hand. Well, they tried to help, but stubborn me shoed them away convinced I had to figure it out myself. Good news is that I did figure it out, I figured out I need to let people who know what they’re doing help me.
After that was onward and upward North; Northwest to be exact, attempting to avoiding all cities that could pose hazardous driving conditions for a newb such as myself.
That landed me around Carlisle, PA (where you ask? In essence, nowhere) where I got a hotel room for the night. A WHAT? HOTEL AND YOU HAVE A CAMPER? Yup, sure did, and it was fabulous. Moving on.
To New Hampshire we go! Through so many other states I began to lose count. My eyes felt heavy; my knuckles stopped turning white as they had become accustomed to my vice grip on the steering wheel. I was so anxious to arrive, to at long last attempt to live in this bougie box.1
I arrived with the clips of rain on my heels. A swarm of mosquitos lovingly embraced me as I struggled to get the camper in an impossibly tight spot. Two hours, six extension cords, and one IPA later, it was plugged in and parked. Mostly level (as is how I seem to park it forever and always), mostly working (no fridge), and mostly undamaged (sawdust everywhere?), my home was finally set up as I had dreamed. Well, more or less. This dream did not include hoards of mosquitos or lack of coworkers, but dreams are pliable I suppose. I went with it. A week went by; it felt like a month.
I was panicked. This was nothing like I had thought. Why was it so different from last summer? Was it me? I could do nothing but surmise it indeed was my inability to adapt to the new situation.
To fill in any gaps, my plan for the summer was to return to work at a hiker hostel on the Appalachian Trail. I had done it the previous summer and loved meeting so many compelling people with fantastic stories and backgrounds. My camper buying decision was in part due to this. I couldn’t muster another summer in the truck, but a camper seemed to be just what I needed to continue working fun jobs until I could play in the woods again. Not to mention it worked perfectly into my pre-planned gig schedule.
But my brain couldn’t seem to comprehend, what was happening around me. Never did I imagine it would fall apart so fast. After more time, I realized it wasn’t me, and this was not going to work. It was time to find something else.
I suppose the considerable benefit of the camper is you take it wherever you want to go, kind of like how living in a truck was. The big difference, however, was the truck could fit anywhere, and get farther distances in a shorter period of time. A camper does not just fit anywhere. So where could I possibly drag this thing to next?
A big lesson I learned here is that when you take care of yourself, things fall into place. Your head is clearer, you are projecting positive vibes, and you do your best to rise above any situation that may come your way. Good intentions, good results.
After all that, I was offered an incredible opportunity in Maine, the kind of opportunity you have to pinch yourself every day because it just doesn’t seem real. Indy has new dog friends and remains by my side every day. I still get to help hikers, who love this place and have smiles ear to ear. After all this time, could the tribe I had been searching for been this close all along?
Another pinch needed, please.
- I have been using the word bougie a lot lately to describe this camper. I originally thought it meant ‘fancy, high class’, but upon further investigation I discovered the word bougie is shortened from Bourgeoisie that translates to mean middle class. I love that I have been unknowingly declaring myself as middle class. ↩