Category Archives: why

Morning Launch

The Dude and I did not wait for the fog to clear this morning, it was time to go.  After a quick errand, and goodbyes to the fantastic Beaver Ave Ground Crew, I tucked a few loose items into a remaining nook, and cranked up to drive North West.

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My original intent was to drive north to Minnesota, only as I have never been, and heard it was beautiful.  I missed a turn.  Now I am in Jonesboro Ark.  I simply pointed on the phone-map, and clicked GO.  Now I am sitting in a WalMarx parking lot staring at a McDonalds.  Make no mistake – I am totally STOKED!!.

20150824_193731Tomorrow I might be heading north to Mark Twain Natl Forest?

The adventure begins

Well, the adventure starts in 10 days (August 17th I will close on the house) and it may take me 2-3 days to get all my shit together.  I will have to dispose of a vehicle of two, gather the remaining belongings (most will be ON the bus) and strap everything down until I can figure out what is going to ride, and what is going to bounce, shake loose, fall, and slide forward when I stop.  So, it might actually take me a few days to LEAVE Alabama.  Working on the final “comfort” projects for the next week, then I am moving in.    I am excited and terrified.

Updates are posted here:   http://dredman.com/3years/daily-grind/

Thought experiment about time

Watching a Bill Nye the Science Guy interview, the second time this morning (man I had no idea how brilliant this guy was when he was on TV) and he does a thought experiment about the average human having only 70,000 days on earth.  “It sux”. he said.  It struck me how few days I had left.  I calculate, with my family history of men, that I have ten years left, if I am lucky – 3,650 days, to do something big.  I am currently compiling a list of “BIG THINGS” to do, in my last three thousand days.  The obvious “BIG THING” would be travel, exploring, and seeing the new things I have never seen.  The not so obvious is conveyance – for lack of a better word.  Conveyance will be my thing, learning and sharing – moving big ideas (or small) from one place to another, from my mind to yours, much like Bill Nye and other heros of mine.  I would like to think I could do it on a scale of my heros, but I am realistic.  I simply hope to make it interesting, and motivate me to continue to learn, share, and travel…much of the 3650 days I have left – IF i get them.

My new home is in the driveway

20150328_075205600 miles to Ohio, and 600 miles back – a great ride back. but rolling in at 2:30 in the morning was pretty suck.  The preview to my new adventure got off to a good start, with no catastrophic failure.  Not sure I could have even recovered from a bad tire, after spending almost all reserves on the bus  and travel expense.  Cutting it close, but I need to get started now while I have a base.

20150328_155131Ripped out the seats, and cleaned the rubber puke mat, after the fail of attempted removal of flooring.  I estimate it has 700 bolts that must be CUT out from UNDER the bus, and I doubt that I can even get to them all.  So the puke mat stays for now, I will build on top of it.

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20150402_091149My next challenge is to refit the wheelchair lift to allow me to lift a motorcycle, and load it into the rear of the bus   Right, it looks as simple as extending the ramp about 18 inches to get the bike UP to the bus.

Why?

The most common question I am asked is  – WHY?  “Why do you have to sell everything?”   Many are trying to “help” me by finding alternatives to my new alternative.  “If you sell your house, where will you live?” TRANSLATION:  Where will you put your stuff?  What most folks do not understand is this new life is exactly the life I have wanted to live most of my adult hood.  In fact, the reason I went back to school in my 20’s, was to get a trade/skill I could use in any state I travelled to, and realistically roll into any state and most large cities and get a job quickly and easily.  An RT certificate would allow me to do that.

The only trouble was, life became very comfortable as I began my pursuit of the American Dream.  Buy a house, accumulate stuff, start a family, then die young with a bunch of toys and debt.  Never much interested in the family thang, but I did enjoy collecting toys.  I realized pretty quickly the dangers of debt, and decided that my new dream was to own  my house before I died – my new idea of freedom.

Fast forward 20 years – four houses, and a divorce, and my ideas about happiness started to take a radical turn.  With the absence of dependents, new doors suddenly opened up, and I started exploring some of my alternatives.  The ideas of travel/working I had in my 20’s started to flood back in.  So now I only needed to figure out how to LIVE while travelling.

For many people, making a living on the road would be quite an overwhelming task.  Or one that would require them to take a large cut in pay, while performing menial tasks, or at least jobs that focus more on general labor, than skill.  For me, that is not a problem, as I have been making my living from the web for the last 10 years.  In theory, I can do that anywhere that I have web-access, I hope.

So then the issue became – where and how will I live?  This has been a long journey.  I started with the idea of reducing the expenditures to ease the requirements of flexible living.  I looked into how I could live in the west, midwest, and Appalachians.  In the process I found the Tiny House Movement, and started to realize that you could reduce your yearly living expenditures by reducing your footprint on the earth (square footage)  The idea of living in a tiny house quickly overwhelmed me.  I started to feel guilty about the way I was living.  Why do we need all this SPACE?  I live by myself, in a 2,000 sq.ft. house, which is easily 5x as much space as I really need.  Much of the space is used to store CRAP that I never use, but most of the space is COMPLETELY unused.  WTF?  Not only am I paying for this HUGE house every month, I am also paying to heat and cool it, and CLEAN it.  Don’t get me started with all the yard work.

So I was sold.  Tiny space, yep, I can do that.  So I started looking into sail boats as an option.  Then I realized how hard it would be to get a motorcycle on board, and I put that idea on hold.  Another idea evolved from the fact that building tiny houses is ILLEGAL in almost every community in America.  Many builders skirt local building ordinances(min. size) by building onto a trailer platform.  Once you put wheels on it, ALL codes and requirements go out the window.  I like that.  I also liked the mobility aspect.  Crank it up, hitch it up, move on.

tiny-homeSo I played with the Tiny Home on Wheels idea for several months.  Mostly because they looked SO COOL, and they had many of the assets I was looking for.  Then I began to realize how heavy, bulky and expensive they were to build.  The idea that the real design of a more permanent structure on wheels (mobile home) became less appealing.  So the RV idea came into the picture.  Class A, Class C, all pre-built, ready for the road, and living inside.  For about the same cost or less of building a 400 sq.ft. home on wheels, I could purchase a used RV, built for rolling down the road for 100,000 miles or so.  So I went shopping.

After looking at several hundred traditional RV’s, I decided what I wanted was a solidly-built chassis, with quality construction on the inside as well.  This does not exist in the real world, outside names like Prevost, and Wanderlodge.  So a typical RV, I discovered, was cheaply built trailer, driven by a pickup truck.   The problem is, a typical used RV is well withing my price range.  A used Prevost is not.  Even a 10 year old Prevost is a quarter million dollars.  I started looking for more alternatives.

I knew that some people turned used school buses into RV’s.  In fact, Wanderlodge uses Blue Bird frames and engines to construct their luxury version of an RV.  Additionally, sometimes it is very hard to distinguish a converted school bus from a $1.5 million dollar Wanderlodge.  The call them Skoolies.  The projects range from basic, redneck-engineered “campers”, to really nice luxury coaches.  My plan is to fall somewhere in the middle.  I plan to document THAT journey here also.

 

I am the high bidder on 2 used buses currently.

 

 

 

In the beginning….

Friends and family have asked repeatedly – WHY?  After trying to explain a few of the reasons in a short period, many, many times.  I finally decided I should come up with a thorough long-form explanation, so I can point everyone to “the place”.  I will try to explain it all here – why this radical change in my life, and why I am embarking on this foolish adventure.  This will also serve as a place to store and document my adventures – you know, the whole sharing thing.