A Travellerspoint blog

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.

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

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"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.
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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.
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Bungies just hook together for when not in use.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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!
Ocean

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!

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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).

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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!!)

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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!

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And a rainbow!!

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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?!

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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.

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My solution for keeping it from breaking.

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Had to seal up the smelly paper towels from cleaning.

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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,
Ocean

Posted by Oceansview 12:32 Comments (0)

Test Run

Decided to do an overnight test run to see if I had everything I needed for the long term. Drove out to Patapsco Park for the night. Milo was very excited to be back in a car!

Getting to the campsite was super easy. I did have some reservations of backing in the trailer, but managed it with only hopping out of the car twice to double check my wheel placement. I do feel a little badass at backing up a trailer by myself. The campground was quiet and was so nice to quietly set up camp. Knowing I was only going to spend one night, I decided against building a fire--that and it was a little (by my standards--others would say VERY) humid.

Decided to go ahead and cook dinner. It was a little after 5, but I didn't have a real lunch and was pretty hungry and tired. I spent the morning helping out a local group cleanup a watershed area. Getting out the camp stove (my mom's and its probably older than me), I followed all the directions to pump it up and light it. It lit quickly, but then went out. I checked everything and tried again. Again lit fine for about 5 seconds. Then the back end (near the entrance to the fuel line) caught on fire. I quickly pulled out the fuel source and the end of that was on fire. I won't lie, I thought I would possibly die right there if the fire backed into the tank. Thankfully was able to extinguish the fire quickly and opted to not use the stove. I had a backup single propane burner and used it for my simple fair of soup and grilled cheese. Well upscale simple..tomato basil bisque and habanero cheddar.

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The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. I spent a lot of the time organizing things to make sure I could access things easily. Meandered around the campsite some to stretch my legs and settled in for an early night. Milo does enjoy have a window at eye level again to look out (something he hasn't had in a few years).

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By morning, I decided I needed to add a level of squish to the bed. I love a good firm mattress, but brand new thick foam mattress was a little to firm for me. Milo who has taken to sleeping in as he's gotten older, was awake bright and early.

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I made coffee and relaxed outside until the family next to me decided 9am was the appropriate time to start loudly playing music. I'm a serene morning person. I don't want to talk or hear anyone else talk. I like to sip my coffee and watch the news or just stare into nothingness. But I know folks with kids live different lives, so I decided it was time to pack it up. Only made one small slip up and forgot to plug in my power cord for my brake lights. Realized it at the first traffic light and did a quick run out to fix it. Looking forward to the full trip soon!

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Hope you enjoyed the view,
Ocean

Posted by Oceansview 13:06 Comments (0)

What am I doing

Decisions on starting this adventure

How did I get here?

In a little over a week, I will sell my condo that as been my home for over 3 years. The idea came in a moment of frustration during the pandemic. I was working from home, when the toddler next door screamed and set off the yippy dog downstairs. Milo, my 12 year old Jack Russell, picked up his head from the couch as if to ask what I was going to do about the noise. I simply picked up my noise canceling headphones and put them on.

This had become the new norm. My once warm, happy little home more and more was becoming a place where I was trapped day in and day out. And there was no escape. I don't have any outdoor space at my condo. So my only escape is headphones. I had already decided to buy a house in the next year with a yard for both of our sanities. But didn't have the money just yet to be able to buy something. How could I save money faster? Definitely not getting a second job, been there, done that and not going back.

And then I asked the question... What if I didn't have to live here? Could I live in my car? Instantly started searching for "How to live in a CRV?" Got back some good tips. Started seriously considering that yes, I can do this. Talked over the idea with a few trusted friends. One asked if I had looked at roof top tents (I had not). So of course, I did. Those are so cool! And more importantly, they come with a mattress. Reality is I love my sleep. I don't sleep on the ground (call me a princess). More research... Need a roof rack step one....

As I was progressing in my research I had a family call with my mom and brother. They were concerned with my plan. That's fair..single lady taking off without a clear end point. They brought up campers. I dismissed it out of hand. Campers were expensive and one of my goals was to save money. And I drive a CRV with a towing capacity of 1500lbs (yep, had already looked that up as well... Did I mention I love research?). No camper for me!! After a couple of days I talked to my mom and she knows my weakness... "You know, you don't like the cold and a camper with walls would be warmer than a tent." Cut me to my core... I DO NOT like the cold is an understatement. So back to researching...

Teardrop or Aliner? That is what my research brought me to. After speaking with a female colleague who has had both types, I ultimately decided on the Aliner. You can stand up inside, have move ability without just sitting on a bed. And you can cook inside of the weather is really bad. Sold. OK so where to get one.. Apparently I'm not the only one in the country who thought travel by camper was a good idea. Thankfully during a visit to my mom's there was a nearby (3 hours one way) dealership with 2 left.

So now I own an Aliner and planning a trip across country to enjoy the beauty while I can. I'll try to share knowledge of things I learn along the way as well as stories.
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You'll be able so see my view,
Ocean

Posted by Oceansview 10:13 Comments (1)

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