Welcome to the Mobile Hermitage, which, uh, will be truly starting up next week. NEXT WEEK! It is hard to believe. The About Page, which has yet to be written, will soon have an explanation of what this is all about and a chronology up to this point, but here’s a quick recap in case it doesn’t get written all that soon.
Two months ago, I decided to go ahead and fulfill a dream of many years standing: to travel around the US by myself, taking pictures and writing and seeing, finally, this country. This dream has gone through a lot of permutations and changes and honestly I didn’t think it was ever really going to happen until. . . it did! It is! It will! I’m almost there now.
One month ago I quit my bookstore job and started working full time on creating a Mobile Hermitage.* This involved figuring out what I wanted: a camper van and figuring out what I could afford: not a camper van. So I discovered truck campers and soon I decided to buy a truck and a camper. The search was launched and I learned more about trucks and truck campers and RVs than I ever would have thought I could know. I spent hours online. I read books. I watched videos. I narrowed my search down and down and down. I have, by the way, never driven a truck and never even been in an RV.
Last week, I went up to Johnson City, Tennessee and bought a truck off Craigslist. I’ve been driving it around ever since and, whoa, it’s big. It is so much bigger than the 1998 Saturn station wagon I’ve been driving since I bought it brand new. Parking is an issue. Turning around, even more so. But I am completely convinced I will learn to drive this behemoth and honestly, I’m already more than a little in love with it. It’s so smooth! And big! And I feel so macho driving it around! And I haven’t blown the speakers yet!
Two days ago, I bought a truck camper in Maryland off Ebay. I’m going to pick it up next Thursday.
Today, I made arrangements for my truck to go to the local RV dealership tomorrow and get all modified to hold a truck camper. It’s a good damn thing I decided to watch a video on how to load a camper on a truck because otherwise, I would have blithely driven up North without a clue that special mods** were needed.
And so, here I go. There will be lots of pictures, digital and film and whatever else I can think of. There will be words. There will be laughter and probably some tears. There will be Roadside Attractions and Gift Shoppes. There will be tourist traps, campgrounds, wildlife and cities. There will be wine, one solo woman and maybe even, if you’re terribly unlucky, some song. I’m terrified and elated and dizzy with possibilities. I’m traveling. I’m heading out to see what I have never seen. I hope you’re coming with me.
And to start, here are some pictures from my brief trip to Baltimore at the end of April.
*May was busy: I also opened a photography exhibit at the DeSoto Lounge, one of my very favorite watering holes in all the world and made a quick trip up to Baltimore to say goodbye to an old and dear friend who is in hospice care.
**Special mods mean a tie down package, which is quite expensive. I mean, quite expensive. I mean, holy shit, it’s a good thing that I came in a little under budget for the truck and camper. But you cannot do without one. There are also other mods I may need to make but for now, I’m just doing this and we’ll see, on our shakedown beach cruise, what else we might need.