When I get to a place
for the first time and know it like home, this is when I know my journey
will be over
There are always two
people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
I was born lost, and take no
pleasure in being found
Pat's Summer 2008 Blog
If this is your first time here, you might want to start from the beginning of our fulltime RV Journey with our 2007 Blog's
Camper Check List - A list of things we do before leaving camp. Again, this isn't gospel, but its a good start for those who might not already have a list made up.
I need to apologize for not updating this sooner and maintaining it more often. The last few months have been a whirlwind of work for Cindy and I.
When we decided to head home to help with some family matters that needed our attention, we hadn't planned on being this busy. We figured it would be more like last summer was.
Getting together with friends, taking a few trips around the state of Michigan and having friends visit from out of town. That is at least what we had talked about on the long drive home from the West Coast.
I guess the old saying of "If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans" rang true for both of us.
Once we got home, we found out the problem we had rushed home to take care of wasn't nearly as bad as we had been told, it was more or less just the typical family over reacting at something they werent used to and thought having Cindy and I here to help would make everything easier.
Well that was the case, because as soon as we got home, the problem solved itself and we were stuck scratching our heads wondering why we had raced across the country.
Since we were here, and planned on being here for a few months, we thought we might as well try and earn some money since we've now gone 19 months with no income to speak of.
When we had saved for this adventure, fuel prices were around ¢.99 per gallon. Just before we left was when the diesel prices started to climb and reached an all time high of $2 per gallon.
At that time we thought "What are we going to do, that just doubled our fuel costs and probably took a year off our travel time?" Well everyone knows the rest of the story on this one. Fuel costs kept rising and by the time we were on the West Coast, diesel prices were averaging $5.79 per gallon. That $2 we were crying about a few years ago now looks great.
So Cindy and I said to one another while we're home, lets work our tails off and try to earn some money to recover for the last few months of being on the West Coast.
This is why the Every Miles A Memory website has been suffering from new updates and the usual onslaught of pictures being added daily. Not that we haven't thought about it every single day. It's actually been a major fight amongst the two of us.
For anyone who has followed along from the beginning, you know how much the two of us love this lifestyle. I've questioned from our first month on the road, "How will we ever go back to a normal lifestyle?"
Well I'll tell you right now, the transition isn't easy. To go from seeing new things and traveling through new places daily to sitting still is agonizing. From living a photographers dream of being able to take photos of what ever you want and not have a time schedule to worry about, to having photo shoots lined up for weeks ahead of time is a nightmare.
I'm used to having Cindy and I spend the day snapping photos of some beautiful location, coming back to our little camper which is usually parked in some scenic location and leisurely working on the images till we decide to hit the sack. I was in a comfortable routine there.
Now I'm shooting events all day long for our entertainment magazine, racing back to the office to download them so we can have them uploaded to our website to drive traffic to our advertisers and the event promoters. 180° from what I'm used to and quite honestly it takes away from the enjoyment factor of what I love most about photography.
Cindy who was getting to the point where she was more gung-ho to be out taking pictures probably has only picked up her camera a handful of times since we've been home.
So like I said, the adventure is by no means over, we're just taking a short break to recoup a stock pile of money so we can hit the road once the weather turns nasty here in Michigan. This is much easier when we have no bills as long as we're not moving non-stop.
Amazing how much money you save when you only have to drive the motorcycle at 50mpg compared to pulling your house at 10mpg. I just bought a small trunk that attached to the rear of the motorcycle so I can carry more gear with us while we ride and keep it dry and off our backs. This makes using the motorcycle more easy when running to the store or needing to carry camera gear.
I had talked about trying to find a way to convert my diesel motor over to vegetable oil but have yet to find a company that will do it for our 6.0L motor. I've kept my eyes peeled for a truck with the 7.3L motor, but that too is resulting in more of a battle than I thought it would be.
I'd like to say a huge "Thank You" to all the loyal readers who have contacted us over the past few months to just talk or make comments on what is going on with the website.
Believe me, it's not fun going back to the reality of work and those 14 hour work days. Hopefully these next few months will result in us being able to earn enough of a nest-egg to hit the road for the next leg of our adventure.
We still have the North Eastern section of the United States to visit and the journey wont be over till we can say we've visited Alaska. That alone will probably be a year away, but something we're already making plans for.
Talking with some relatives of mine who live in Canada, they joked when they heard me talk about the high fuel prices on the West Coast. They told me "If you thought those prices were bad, just wait till you head up to Alaska. Going through Canada will empty your wallet faster than a year on the West Coast."
Apparently us Americans are spoiled when it comes to fuel prices, even if we are experiencing record prices. Canada is almost double what our prices are!
So if we want to make it all the way to Alaska, it means we have to save even more money than we had thought possible.
Stay tuned, there will be plenty more to come, it's just gonna take a little longer than expected.
I've also been working on the Galleries and found a new site where people can purchase images they like. This is something I had been looking for all along, but just recently was able to work out all the kinks.
Now if you like any of the images you see on the site, you can purchase them right from our galleries page for next to nothing. In the galleries the images are watermarked, but if you buy one of them, the watermark isn't on the photo.
Meeting up With Lost Travelers
Talk about a great surprise. I got an email from Greg & Joy a few days ago who said they were in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and wanted to know where we lived as they were going to be passing through our area.
If you remember a few months back, this is the couple we met back in Yosemite and shared a campsite with them for a few days when we found out the sites were booked solid.
The couple that is traveling around North America on their Harley Davidson towing a teardrop trailer behind them that their dog rides in! How's that for serious Iron Butt Miles!
We met up one afternoon at the Red Dog Saloon as we knew they could hang out on the patio with the dog with no problems. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get them to stay at our place, but we understand about all that. When you're used to your routine, the last thing you want to do is get thrown off kilter.
The next morning we met again at another restaurant in Milford; one where we knew the owner and knew he would allow us to bring the dog up on their outdoor seating area. Chris Baker who owns Bakers Restaurant, was so impressed with their story, he went inside and got them a few t-shirts asking them to wear them along the way and think back of our little town.
How cool is that to meet up with them again, and this time be able to not have to worry about being rushed out of a campsite. We sat for most of the morning listening to each others traveling stories from the past few months.
Greg & Joy had left Yosemite and headed North up to Glacier National Park and were one of the first people to ride the Going to the Sun Highway after they opened it for the season.
They told us how wild it was to be riding down a road with 10' banks of snow on each side!
We wished them a farewell as they headed North towards Maine for the fall colors before heading back down towards Florida. They told us they've decided to get rid of their house and buy a Toy Hauler and want to hit the road with a few more conveniences at their reach. I'm telling you, this gypsy bug will grab ahold of you like nothing I've ever felt before!
Here is a link to their travel journal they keep for all their miles they log on that Harley.
More Events to Cover
Last week, Cindy and I got to go to a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Cage Fight in our area to cover it for a story we were working on. Funny thing was, I was supposed to be going to take pictures by myself, and when Cindy found out what I was going to, she called the event organizers to make sure she had tickets for herself.
Cindy aint like the typical girl and loves to watch this type of fighting. There used to be nights I'd come home from work and she'd be sitting up watching some UFC bout all by herself.
The night ended up turning into a great time and I was able to sit cage side, I guess that's what you'd call it, to get some awesome pictures!
Amazing what these guys will do to each other in the ring, then be in the locker room laughing and talking about it like it was an arm wrestling match or something that simple.
The highlight of the night for me was two ladies that went at it with more might than most of the guys put together. I joked with Cindy on the ride home saying "How often do you get to see tow girls going at it and not have one of them be your wife who just found out about your girlfriend!"...LOL
Gallery for the Fight can be seen here
Labor Day Weekend
Most of the Holiday weekend was spent just staying close to home. Last thing we wanted to do was be out on the road with all the traffic.
Some friends called us to see if we wanted to go out on the lake with them to a Mardi Gras Festival. Now what do you think our answer to a question like that was?
What better way to say goodbye to summer than to sit waist deep in the water with a few hundred people partying and dancing on floating stages.
They had a pontoon boat that had a live band on it. Another floating stage that had a pole set up for who ever was brave enough to climb up there, and floating Beer Pong tables all around the sand bar! This was some serious partying going on!
I know this little event was one of those parties that took me a few days to recover from...LOL
Monday September 8th 2008
Last week Cindy and I were supposed to fly down to Louisiana to visit our daughter Donielle. She is doing great dealing cards at Harrah's Casino in New Orleans, and was in the process of moving from one area of town to a new nicer apartment.
Cindy and I hadn't seen her since she visited us in Arizona last January. We were going to go spend a week with her and Cindy's sister and take a little break. That was till Hurricane season changed our plans.
We were supposed to fly out Tuesday morning, but that's the day the Hurricane made landfall. We pushed our flights back a few days, but on Thursday when we had rescheduled them for, the New Orleans airport was still without power.
Our plans were to be home by the beginning of this week for business meetings we had scheduled, so when Cindy said she was going to fly out on Sunday, I guess she knew she was going by herself on this little vacation.
I dropped her off at the airport on Sunday morning and thought, "Man, this is going to be so weird being without her!"
It's one thing to be apart for a few hours while she goes grocery shopping, but to go for a week without her at all, that's like going through withdrawal for me.
Sunday the Red Dog Saloon was planning their annual Canoe Trip down the Huron River here in our little town. This is something Cindy and I had started 5 years ago and they've kept it up all this time. It was cool to be back home and paddling down the river with so many good friends.
There was probably 35 of us and it made for a wild day on the water. Something tells me when you get a bunch of bartenders, cooks, restaurant employees and home town regulars together on the water, there is going to be trouble.
Luckily no one drowned, but there were numerous canoes that got tipped, some wild antics with a few girls losing their tops and a call from the local police who were waiting for us at the pick-up location....LOL I'm not kidding!
We'll just say that a few of the guys in the group got a little carried away while paddling by a local golf course. Ahh good ol' times back in Milford.
When I got home and called Cindy to say goodnight, she laughed saying she was almost glad she missed all the action after I told her all about it.
Oh, one other thing I wanted to mention. If you've been listening to all the news about our glorious Mayor here in Detroit, then you know that he just got sentenced to jail for a host of various Felonies. Well my Brother and I thought it would be funny to make up some bumper stickers to show our love for ol' Kwame Kilpatrick.
That is the Bumper Sticker we made which is a huge hit with everyone in our neck of the woods.