It may sound paradoxical, but the strangest part of being on the road is probably how utterly normal it feels much of the time. I think that most people who see us driving around, and there have been plenty of blank stares, think that we are RV’ers in some crazy rig. While we are covering a lot of miles and hitting quite a few popular destinations along the way, our approach is a bit different. Probably the biggest difference being that this is our home. For better or worse, we are carrying almost everything we own. Even though the scene is changing constantly, our house remains our home. We still try and make our meals from scratch and from the freshest most locally sourced ingredients possible. Finding good local food on the road is as challenging as the rewards it brings. This morning was one of our better excursions on that front. We parked at a Library in Sequim WA and took the Vespa out to find some local farms and markets. We were able to source pastured meat, raw milk (legally sold on store shelves here in Washington), produce and cheese in an incredible five-mile radius. This has not always been the case. In fact we have been eating a nearly vegetarian diet for about a week due to scarcity of responsibly raised animal products. Farmer’s markets are always great, but they almost always happen on weekends making them a bit tricky to encounter in our travels.
Another difference between what we are doing and most RV folks are doing is that we are completely used to living off grid and are prepared to do so for long periods of time. The benefits of this are huge. For one, we can be as comfortable in the middle of nowhere as we would be in a cramped RV park, parking lot or city street. We usually go for the first option, generally being beautiful, private and free! I am in-fact writing this post from one of those very places parked next to a babbling brook in the dense forests of the Olympic Mountains, 12 miles from the nearest highway.
Its nice to think that we could go on living this way forever, moving from town to town and farm to farm back and forth across the continent ad infinitum. Unfortunately this is purely a romantic notion. Of course we are burning a disturbing amount of diesel on this adventure, which is not only unsustainable in the grand scheme, but also costs a small fortune. Money requires working and working is significantly easier while standing still. Furthermore, although we are “at home” our truly desired homesteading lifestyle poses some significant challenges. We can still make our bread, preserve foods and even get our hands dirty on a farm here and there. On the other hand I can’t even brew a batch of beer on a constantly rocking bus let alone grow a garden or keep a flock of chickens. Believe me, I have thought about the logistics; while they are quite entertaining they’re nowhere near practical.
So, for now we are living, learning and having more fun then one should be allotted for an entire lifetime. One of these days we will find some good firm soil to hold our roots in one place for a while, but in the mean time, we will keep on rolling and keep you posted along the way.
Now for a bunch random pics not really related to this post :) You can see full size images by clicking on them.
I still have about a year to go on my skoolie, but can't wait to see america. Save some for me when I get out there.
I haven't see you on skoolie.net since the gmail purge. I had to sign up with a different e-mail address.
Great pics! Love the mountain scenery! Let me know if you travel through northern Illinois :)
I really enjoy your thoughtful expressions of and reflections on your journey, Colin. Well done. Thanks for sharing a part of it with us. Looks like I also missed you in SP again ... damn! Cheers to you, Heather Mc
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