A Travellerspoint blog

October 2020

Had to get to South Dakota to warm up

View Nomad life 2020 on Oceansview's travel map.

I know its been a minute since an update and there will be plenty in this post. One thing I think some forget, is I'm not on an extended vacation. I'm working M-F 8 hours a day. I happen to be in cool places, but it does limit my time for other things and honestly at the end of some work days, there is no way I want to look at a screen anymore, thus the blog suffers.

After leaving Michigan, I went through the UP to get to Wisconsin. Mainly to see things along the way and to say I'd been in the UP. One thing I have been struck by is the hope I feel driving through these areas. There are less nasty political signs and more hopeful ones. In southern Wisconsin, I even saw bails of hay in a line with the tarp over them proudly displaying BIDEN HARRIS 2020. It truly felt good. Makes me think there are many in this country who see the dangerous path before us and are choosing to pull over and turn around.

In Wisconsin, I driveway camped again at a dear friend's house. Found out you can buy a "dogbone" to convert 30AMP to 15AMP house hold plug. It works really well for all normal activities like charging devices and running my 12 V cooler. I'm sure if I were trying to run the A/C, we would have different results. Considering it didn't get above 40 the entire time I was there, no AC was needed.

Only good thing about cold weather is the excuse for a fire. Yes, that's a BYEDON flag in the background.

The week was fairly uneventful with working everyday. That weekend we got to adventure out to a pick your own apple place and went for a social distance hike at the state park.

I still have a few apples and have been enjoying them!

Last Sunday, I hit the road again. After looking to find some place to hang out for a week before hitting my goal of Mt. Rushmore, I decided to just have 2 days of driving. There's not a whole lot that looked interesting to me (sorry Iowa and Minnesota). I did make one great stop on day one of driving.

I loved the movie Field of Dreams as a kid, so it was great to see that its been maintained and stand on the field. Milo didn't know what all the fuss was about, but he appreciated me interrupting his multi-hour nap.

Hit a little bit of snow on the drive, but nothing too intense and roads were kept pretty clear.

Stopped over night in Sioux Falls before hitting the road again on Monday. Second day of driving was a little more stressful. Several icy areas that hadn't been cleared completely. I decided to just go slow in the clearest lane. I'm sure I irritated the locals, but after passing 3 accidents on the opposite side from sliding off the road, I really didn't care what they thought. Decided to take a couple of breaks even with a shorter day of driving and saw the epic Corn Palace. I spent approximately 5 minutes inside before fleeing from the non-mask folks.

My second break was in Wall Drug. Again the level of non-mask folks made me uncomfortable, so just stayed outside. Spent most of the time parked in my car while taking some work calls before continuing on to Rapid City.

Car issues seem to have settled down. No more electrical issues and only had a minor adjustment to the bracket for the sway bars. It kept angling forward, preventing the bar from moving and causing me to be off center. Nice folks at an RV center changed the position and its been smooth sailing ever since.

I'm in an AirBnB this week because apparently up north campgrounds close. Its been a nice change of pace to not have to go outside to use the bathroom. And the weather has been very nice. Other than the first day getting down to 8! Its been sunny and "warm" in the 50s.

Hope you enjoyed the view,

Posted by Oceansview 11:38 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Into the Mitt and upgrades

I made several upgrades to the camper before leaving home and have since added a few. The first would be my electric cooler with wheels. Got the idea from Slim Potatohead's videos. He's an Aliner owner (well he was) and has a ton of videos for ideas of what to do simply. Some of his advice--
Always carry velcro and epoxy.

Using appliance rollers I velcro'd them to the bottom of the cooler to roll it in and out from the cabinet.

"Upgraded" flooring I was able to get from free from a local Buy Nothing group--adds some cushion and warmth. Milo also likes not slipping on the floor.
Also, this door, I got a friend to help me move the hinges since they are stupid. Seriously, I would have to be on the floor to look into this space.

The first part has certainly come in handy. I've velcro'd (I know that isn't a word) several things including a power strip to keep things nicely off the floor and off countertops. I also rigged a little system to help hold up the lids to the storage bins under my bed.
Bungies just hook together for when not in use.

And cannot forget the excellent slide out shelf my friend Jesse built for me. It has been a dream!! Including the little tab to keep it locked in place (although Jesse--I've found that it stays in place when the camper is level!)

Week 2 has been pretty good. Started off by leaving NY and heading to MI. Stopped to camp in a friend's driveway and got to test out the solar panels for the first time. Even with one day being overcast, they were able to keep my battery charged more than 50% and kept the cooler going.

After a few days, left the lower part of MI and headed north to Burt Lake. Really making some progress on the cross country trek.

The area is really pretty with all the changes in the leaves. Unfortunately every day it has rained at least partially and the air temps are dropping into my uncomfortable mode, but still enjoying the trip overall.

Milo and I ventured out to Mackinac Island to see what all the fuss over fudge was. He enjoyed his first boat ride and tried to take on a few horses for a duel. Sadly couldn't get any pictures of the horses while trying to hold him back. We did happily find a little spot for a drink and some food before heading back to the mainland. I was also able to purchase a nice warm pullover. I'm not exactly sure how I managed it, but I only packed 2 sweatshirts. Don't ask, I honestly don't know. I just view it as a way to collect souvenirs along the way.


Overall, Milo gives this place 4 paws of approval. We've had to bust out the electric blanket to stay warm during the days while I work, but it seems like a good system.

For an update on my weird car things. Haven't had any major scares like the first time, but did have a ghost roll down the back window and wouldn't roll it back up for a while. It was fine after sitting with the car off for a few minutes, but will probably make an appt when I'm stable next week.

As always, hope you've enjoyed the view!

Posted by Oceansview 14:36 Comments (2)

Adventure Began

Its been 1 day since an incident with a red sauce has happened

View Nomad life 2020 on Oceansview's travel map.

I am off!


Today is officially day 3 of my adventure. Started off fairly unexciting. Made it to my first stop in Black Moshannon State Park to drop off the trailer before heading to Penn State Creamery. Because let's be honest, this trip is as much about ice cream as anything else. Picked up a little classic chocolate and some cheese for grilled cheese later (how often can you eat grilled cheese before its looked down on? Asking for a friend).


First off, hats off to that excellent sharp cheddar. Since I had to buy a big block this will be a daily food item until I finish it. I decided to pair it with tomato bisque. This is where the first red sauce incident occurs. As I was pouring the soup from the container to the pot, some of it dribbled. No big deal, I'm outside on a picnic table. Except, my faithful companion always stands at my feet when I cook. That habit apparently transfers to outdoor cooking. Now my cute little pup has 2 red globs on his back and he is completely unaware. Unfortunately there is not a picture since I was more concerned about getting it off of him before he spread it around. He ended up with 2 orangish spots on his coat until I cleaned them with a baby wipe later in the night. Once we finished our respective dinners we just enjoyed reading and sitting quietly in the park with next to no service (sorry to all my friends checking on me that couldn't get through!!)


The next day, off we head to NY.

The drive was a little stressful since my car kept giving me warning indicators. They were all related to electric problems, so I pulled off and checked my connection to the trailer. It was a little wobbly and I tightened it which seemed to do the trick after restarting. This happened a little farther down the road again (2 lane highway not conducive to pulling off) and I just kept going. Eventually the indicators went off--pretty sure there is a loose wire somewhere and I need to investigate.

After getting to the park, I quickly unhooked and headed up to Niagara Falls. I've never been and it was my 40th birthday. I decided to do something amazing for my day that can't really be celebrated with other people right now (thanks Covid). Pictures hardly do it justice, but here's one anyway!


And a rainbow!!


To make the day even better, I learned that the boat I was on was brand new. Oct 6th was its first day in the water...and it was ALL electric. A Tesla boat actually. How amazing is that?!


I know the question on several of your minds---where is the dog? Clearly he couldn't go on the boat ride with me. He was happily asleep in my car parked in the shade with a cup of water. I'm a responsible dog owner and if the temperatures are hot, I would never dream of leaving him there but as it was in the mid-50s, I knew he would be fine.

I met another single lady traveler on the boat and we took pictures of each other. It was great to see that there are more out there with the same concept of fuck it, I'm traveling the country during a pandemic attitude. And one who is equally concerned with health protocols (we were very upset when we went into the elevator to leave with only one other family and then they added 3 more people!! We basically jumped out of the elevator as soon as the doors were open).

By this point the day was already pretty long, but I thought I'd treat myself to a dinner and then head back to the campsite. After searching for a dog friendly place and driving to it, found out that NY is not even doing outside eating right now. Pizza it is for pickup. Not the fanciest dinner for a birthday celebration, but it was fast and tasty.

We headed back to the park to set up the camper right at sunset. I figured it would be an easy night, quick setup and then reading before bed. As soon as I opened up the camper, there was a very strong odor. My brain jumped to things like, "Did I truly close the burner on the propane tank--no, no that's not the right smell." to "Can bananas go rotten in 2 days??" But it had a more vinegar quality. I couldn't figure it out and started opening cabinets. That's when I found my great solution for protecting my Crystal hot sauce (best one on the planet and I will fight you) by placing it in a plastic container to keep it from breaking worked really well to keep the bottle intact. However, all the bumps along the way clearly knocked it over and unscrewed the lid. The entire bottle had poured out into my bottom cabinet. I went to work immediately cleaning it up and think I did an ok job.

My solution for keeping it from breaking.

Had to seal up the smelly paper towels from cleaning.

Clearly will have hot sauce stains on this baby forever.

And that was the second red sauce incident. Today has been less exciting as it was a full work day for me. Catching up on emails and getting requests back to colleagues may not sound fun, but there has been no red sauce incidents. And I'm having chicken soup for dinner.

Hope you've enjoyed the view,

Posted by Oceansview 12:32 Comments (0)

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