It feels like a lifetime now since we have been on the road doing the thing we love to do. To recap: we broke down in Florida, stayed with Blacky (the patron saint of broke down bus folks), trailered to Minnesota where the engine was rebuilt. I played DJ at Happy Productions and have begun to re-examine what I want to do after I get off the road. We trucked back toward Ohio, so our trusted hometown mechanic, Norm, could do the final break-in process and bless the bus (Norm is patron saint of bus break-ins apparently). Then we had a major (for Ohio anyway) ice storm that shut us in for a few days. All in all, we’ve been not-in-the-bus for three weeks and we feel a bit homesick. Today, we fix that.
It’s been a lot of ups and downs and we experienced and learned things in the past three weeks that we could have never imagined. We are grateful to everyone who made this leg of the journey possible because in reality they have made the rest of the journey possible. Without Sam, Blacky, Neil, Shawn, Emma, and Norm, we would have called it quits. Our new friends in Florida, Ian and Collin, lent their guidance and support and expertise from afar. My mom put up with me for a whole week.
There were some silver linings too. The time in town allowed us to spruce up the bus and leave behind some of our newly-collected tokens from the road. We had the time (and warm space) to re-route ourselves through warmer climates. (Had we been on the road during the past week, we would have frozen somewhere. Like last year, Texas was quite cold.)
The western leg of the our adventure will have us gone for seven months and swinging through Ohio gave Miracle the chance to see her daughter and let me have a few ciders with my buddy, Dustin. Easily the hardest part of this journey is not the breakdowns or the unpredictable weather; it is missing the people we care about, being able to call them up and go out for a coffee or a hike.
Being in Ohio also gave me chance to take care of financial matters—first by looking over my retirements and investments with my financial advisor (really important, given that is our bread and butter for the next six months) and then filing my taxes with Taylor Herrick of Tax Retriever Inc. fame, which will provide us with a healthy return.
Plus, we were able to pick up some really good wines. (Because, folks, the south is not known for their vino.)