Tag Archives: transient

Notes From Nowhere

Yesterday on my way back from Tierra Amarilla, I picked up a hitchhiker on one of the pueblos. It was the middle of the day and he was wearing a tucked in, button-up shirt with a clearly visible ID badge clipped to the pocket. On his way to work, I figured. I was really flying down the highway and so came to a stop a considerable distance away. He seemed to take forever to catch up to the van. It took me back to my days as a younger man when I hitchhiked through northern New Mexico to Silver City… Continue Reading

The Benefits of Using a Uniquely Human Trait: Foresight

Commerce City, CO – When hashing out the logistics of big projects I can always count on one thing: forgetting something important. Halfway to Denver I realized I’d forgotten several important things. First was a jar full of silver change that I save to pay meters, tolls and other small expenses. Next it occurred to me that I’d forgotten the folding table, which necessitated us having to purchase one in Colorado. I also left behind our drink cups and shot glasses as well as our extra cooler. In all, my forgetfulness set us back $100. D’oh! These were small things… Continue Reading

Down and Out in Denver

Denver, CO – One of my favorite state crossings is from Nebraska into Colorado. The landscape changes almost instantly from endless acres of corn-covered farmland to a craggy-soiled moonscape dotted with tufts of sage and desert brush. Barbed-wire fences meander into the horizon, disappearing into a wide open sky. I love Denver, t00. As far as cities go it is clean, easy to navigate and the people are notably polite and helpful. I was called ‘hon’ more times here than in Hon Town, Baltimore and the bums say ‘thank you’ whether you give them change or not. No one in… Continue Reading

Alcohol Saves the Day

Chicago, Il – The second episode of my food vending enterprise took me to Chicago, where the jam band Phish played three nights earlier this week at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion, just ahead of a three-night run in Denver that will cap the band’s 2011 summer tour. Following a lukewarm debut of Daisy Dick’s Donut Ballz at the Grateful Garcia Gathering earlier this month, I expanded the menu to include a few hardier food items. My sidekick and I also brought along a cooler full of dank Wisconsin beer and another full of bottled water. And, for good measure,… Continue Reading

Daisy Dick’s Draggy Debut

The band plays to a nascent audience. Black River Falls, WI – Ya gotta love salient coincidences, those ones that punctuate life in ways that might tempt you to ascribe to them some deeper more transcendent meaning. On Thursday morning, as we rolled into Black River Falls, we saw hanging above the highway a banner announcing that weekend’s Jackson County Fair, which last year I worked as a carnie for Wenzel Amazements, an experience that in part inspired this current endeavor. Like the Wenzels I was back in Black River Falls to work a festival, a different one being held… Continue Reading

Why I Live in a Van While Traveling

An abandoned, apparently lived-in van somewhere in Kentucky. When people learn that I live in my van while traveling America, I hear one of two replies: Seriously! and Seriously? I’m always shocked that anyone could think this way of traveling is anything less than awesome. Generally, people seem intrigued that I spend a good part of my year tooling around this vast and magnificent land, but it’s the “living in a van” part that many seem aghast at. Sure my van, Purple Thunder, doesn’t have a couch or a television. It does not have a refrigerator or an oven or… Continue Reading

7 Ways to Save Money on Road Trips

The Wisconsin River at Spring Green. Memorial Day weekend may bring with it record gas prices, which doesn’t bode well for those like me who’ve planned an entire summer of traveling by motor vehicle, in my case a gigantic gas-guzzling Ford E-150 Conversion Van. Luckily, there are numerous ways to get more mileage from your dollars. Here are some money saving tips for every road tripper. City Pass City Pass offers an affordable way of taking in museums, zoos and other points of interest. Available in nine major American cities and one in Canada, City Pass shaves 50 percent off… Continue Reading

Tea Leaf Green 2-5-11, Phila, Pa

Jam bands are a dime a dozen and, to be honest, most aren’t great by any stretch. For example, The Bridge, who opened last night’s show, is composed of apt musicians, but they sound like prog rockers masquerading as hillbillies, their performance inert and unsatisfying. Honestly, I was surprised by how many turned out to see them. But the main act, San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green, is that rare gem of a jam band that plays true blue rock n’ roll without relying on gimmicks or revisiting the genre’s tired, tried and tested tropes. They don’t reinvent the wheel, but… Continue Reading

The Home Stretch

Winter wreaks havoc on the regional rail lines, causing frequent delays, which usually means long waits in the cold. For me, a late trolley equals a missed train equals a missed bus to the office, resulting in tardiness and smaller paychecks. Sometimes the train ride becomes a debacle. Earlier this month, on my way home, the train lost power between stops. For 45 minutes we sat in the dark, cold vessel until it coupled with another train that pushed us to the next station. There, we unloaded and waited 30 minutes for yet another train. I could air grievances all… Continue Reading

Thumbs Up for an American Past Time

You’re sitting on the shoulder of a highway, on your backpack, at the edge of some town. Maybe you’ve been there several hours, thumbing each passing vehicle. You know someone will stop eventually. When they do, a rush surges through you as the brake lights flash and you hear tires hit the gravel. You run up to the car. The driver asks where you’re headed and informs how far they can take you. You scope them out. If all seems cool, you hop in and hope for the best. You’ll repeat this process as many times as it takes to… Continue Reading
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