2013 was a different type of year for The Airstream Chronicles Continued, the sister site to Living In Tin. The blog was barely active for almost the whole year, as I was paying attention to other things.
After living in Prescott from March of 2007 through December of 2012, operating a studio and gallery in town, I found myself bankrupt and in need of a cash infusion. So the Airstream was hooked up and towed cross country to Marietta Ohio where I took on the task of designing a data management system for a national right of way company operating in the area. I have to say, it was good to see income once again.
The Airstream remained idle for the bulk of the year. Working 7 days a week and averaging 12+ hours a day left me with little time for travel, and little time to even explore where I was. But over the course of the year the debt was settled, and saving some money for the next venture proved easier than I thought. By the Fall of 2013 I set my sights on getting back to the Desert Southwest, as the area had become home.
November 1st – Back in the Airstream
The stay in Ohio and West Virginia found me out of the Airstream for almost the entire year. Instead of full timing in the Airstream, it was used as a mobile office and not as my home. A one bedroom apartment in Mineral Wells, WV was where I found myself each evening. The full timing streak had been broken. But on the first of November the Airstream became home once more.
With the contract wrapped up the Airstream could be pointed west once more. A new business plan had been devised over the course of 2013, and it was time to put the plan into action. A few clients were lined up prior to departure and the work along the way would pay for the trip back across the country.
Getting out of West Virginia
A few hours of driving and the Airstream crossed state lines. From West Virginia to Kentucky in the blink of an eye. I have to say, I breathed a sigh of relief leaving WV. Nothing against the state, but it never felt like home. Apparently my time in Arizona had turned me into some type of desert person, and the East Coast really lost its appeal. Especially all of the gray and rainy days….they just got me down.
The first night on the road I had the following to say on the blog:
Day One is in the books
Fall colors this far south? Wow, winter is almost here.
Landing in my spot tonight I had a whole post written in my head. And then I went to do laundry and my post went out the window. See, I met a nice RV couple a few spots down from me, we got talking, and the post went right out the window.
That’s part of the fun of RV travel. Meeting new people, sharing stories, being social and outdoors.
As we got talking and sharing stories they asked me how I landed in Prescott oh so many years ago. And I told them it all started with getting sick after a root canal…… And Chris (the wife) lit up, and couldn’t believe it. Her husband had gone through the same thing in 2004. He went from being an active runner and college professor in mathematics to completely falling apart weeks after his root canal.
In their case it took months to get things resolved. Like me, no doctor believed the issues started right after the root canal. They got dismissed. But fortunately Chris bull dogged the physicians and kept redirecting them to the starting point of all of her husband’s issues. In my case I didn’t have anyone like that who could cite the changes in me physically, mentally, and emotionally. And me being a shaking wreck at the doctor’s offices didn’t help. But I was a wreck because I was sick. Ah well, it’s all okay now.
What’s so interesting about their story is that we randomly met while traveling the country. They’re off to Florida to be snow birds for the winter. I’m heading back out west to start a new chapter in my own business growth (and it will grow). And we got to talking after a friendly wave an hello between temporary neighbors.
How about that? Personally I think it’s pretty cool. And I always enjoy meeting new people in my travels. 🙂
So, what I thought I was going to post? Yeah, driving….out of WV…..traffic…..wind…..tractor trailers…..audio books. Then I meet a very cool couple, find a common story, and we’re off and talking for hours. Yeah. Travel. 🙂
Now, as far as covering just the drive? I’ll post a little video to cover it soon. I’m still learning FinalCut Pro X, so be patient with me.
With the first day under my belt I knew crossing the country would be an easy and fun drive. Full time on the road means you’re always home, and in my case, always at the office as well. There was no great rush to get anywhere.
Prior to heading West we took a quick trip back to New England. If I was leaving the East Coast again for a bit then it was time to see family and say our farewells.
Returning to Massachusetts I found that Fall was almost in full swing. The colors weren’t popping perfectly yet, but they didn’t need to be perfect. New England has it’s own unique landscapes, not like the Southwest, but still very pretty in it’s own way. Of course, I’ve been spoiled by the big sky in the Southwest, so New England holds it’s own photographic mysteries for me.
Once we departed West Virginia we decided to take a different approach to the travel. “Blue Highways” would be followed through KY, TN, AR, MS, TX, NM, CO, and finally AZ.
On Blue Highways
The decision to follow the blue highways was one of my best travel plans I’ve made in a long time. From Tennessee we followed the Natchez Trace Parkway. And wouldn’t you know, we hit it at peak foliage time. The scenes were beautiful, many videos were taken with the GoPro (the latest addition to the photographic arsenal), and it was a sweet ride through 3 states.
After leaving the Parkway we continued on the blue highway tour right up to the Mississippi River. While I’ve crossed it many times I had never camped on it. That is until this trip. And our campsite was amazing, complete with tug boats and river barges.
A little foul weather came our way as we passed out of MS and into TX. Almost a full day of rain, heavy winds, and gray skies. But as luck would have it, once we reached a small park in Paris, TX the sky cleared and gave us a fantastic night in Texas.
From Paris we moved through the Lone Star state at a quick pace. And given how good the mileage rolled under the Airstream tires the decision for a shorter day was made. So, not far from the New Mexico border the Airstream parked for a night at a KOA. See, it was pretty clear the next day we’d roll into New Mexico and be back in the Southwest that we’ve grown to love.
Getting into New Mexico meant the Airstream was home. Whatever pace got selected after that state line crossing just didn’t matter too much. Incredible what a state line will do for you.
One night was spent in the Santa Fe area. Colorado was next, and the La Mesa RV Park. That park was the first web re-design for RLC Design Services. And with that re-design the new business was officially off and running.
In total a week was spent in Cortez Colorado. Enjoying sites I hadn’t seen since 2007. Photographing a park that I very much enjoyed, the surrounding area, and catching up with the park owners.
Landing in Cortez the Airstream was “home”, and the big crossing was completed.