After the breakdown in Florida, we really thought this bus venture of ours would be over. Finances are tight on the road and podcasting is not exactly a gold mine. As I ran the diagnostics on Adie at that gas station just outside of Sopchoppy, Florida, I had the sinking feeling that we had reached the end of the trip and the only thing left to do was figure out a way to limp Adie home, where I would find a conventional job and tell my coworkers about the time I tried to do something different. I imagined standing in the nondescript break room while the microwave hummed along and the smells of everyone’s reheated lunches—frozen Healthy Choice meals, leftover Chinese food, stale coffee—all wafted together. Between talking about TPS reports or some bullshit I might mention that once I had to clandestinely enter a campground in Quebec via a dirt road because we had our dog and the attendant hadn’t mentioned the park was no dogs—or at least not that I know of; I don’t speak French.
When I say it was a depressing situation, I mean that in the realest of senses. Both Miracle and I were fairly depressed. Not because of what we lost. Neither of us particularly cared for the last set of jobs we had. Money is of course a concern, but never a thing we cherish. We were depressed for the things we would miss out on. If the past six months have demonstrated anything it is that we have a lot left to see—and we don’t have the slightest clue as to what it will be. We knew we would visit Vermont. We did not know we would meet Eric or climb a fire tower. We knew we would drive around Maine. Take four or five days to soak it in. Never did I imagine we would spend two weeks getting lost and lost again, kicking up our heels for three nights in a fishing village where we drank coffee and beer with the locals and walked the most amazing trails I have seen. We didn’t know we would be visiting Minnesota so many times and how much we would come to adore Shawn and Emma and what they are doing.
As it turns out, we would spend the week tooling around in Florida, courtesy of Blacky and his family. And that was a treasure trove in itself. Blacky taught us about bird hunting and wakeboarding—two subjects I knew zero about and would have never learned otherwise. We visited his church and ate the local barbecue. We took our time editing season four of the podcast. At one point, Blacky asked us to swing by his taxidermist’s property to pick up a bag he’d left behind. Well, we ended up talking with the taxidermist for about 45 minutes and it was utterly fascinating.
Then we get back to Minnesota and it was beyond cold. Biting, blistering cold. Bone chilling. So we hung out in the studio. I got to be on the radio for the week and run the morning program.
The point is, whatever route this journey takes, Miracle and I are okay with it, so long as we continue. There’s a lot more to see in the next eight months, a lot more stories to tell and share, a lot more to learn. But first we need to ride out this ice storm in the safety of the indoors….