If you are not growing, you’re dead

Maybe this is a bit extreme, but this is how I feel. Well, maybe it is a bit extreme. I guess I should say…

I feel most alive when I am growing.

And by growing, I mean learning… evolving… living.

It has been over six weeks since I hit the pause button on living in my van to return to Atlanta. Unlike My Scotty Adventure, I am not ready for this journey to end. I am soooo ready to be back in the van… back to living, exploring, growing.

A few years ago, I made a conscience effort to live more and work less. With this declaration came minimalism. After all, if I have fewer wants then I would spend less money. This simplification of life has led me to focus on the things I enjoy… the things that matter to me.

It looks like I will be in the city until the end of July to do work stuff (ugh!). To help me get through this period, I will ask myself every morning…

What can I do to grow today? What can I learn?

Yes, true… happiness is not a place, but I feel most alive when I am traveling. I feel most alive when I am learning.

Quartzsite Reflections

Top of the Hi Jolly Tomb in Quartzsite, Arizona

Happiness is not a place.

Sunset on BLM land in Quartzsite, Arizona

Material possessions do not bring true happiness.

Dome Rock in Quartzsite, Arizona

Life is a journey, not a destination.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Before the paperwork had even been signed on the cabin, I had already started to consider a new adventure. Say hello to the Carado Banff.

Nothing is set in stone at this point, but I am itching to get out on the road again, and the Banff is a worthy contender.

With my Mom and aunt in tow, I checked out and drove a 2018 Banff, and I was thoroughly impressed. Check out the interior pics…

This would be the perfect size for Patrick and I. It even has a toilet and shower. You can see it peeking out in the second and third pics above. Still, what I am most excited about is the 200 watts of solar power on the roof and lithium batteries installed in this little guy. If you add in VoltStart, I am practically in boondocking heaven. (VoltStart allows the engine to automatically start up to power up the batteries.)

This little nugget has practically everything I need… stove, refrigerator, microwave, solar, shower, toilet, gas heat, hot water, and air conditioning. The only thing missing is a backup camera, which I can easily install… or just buy a 2019 model with backup camera and GPS installed. Plus… VoltStart is available on some 2019 models. *swoon*

So… what happens next? Well, I need to make sure my impulsive little self isn’t jumping the gun here. I am going to make a final decision after the sale of the cabin has occurred. I signed the listing agreement yesterday, so the ball is just now starting to roll. The only issue I am finding is a covered garage in Downtown or Midtown (Atlanta) that can accommodate a vehicle 9’5″ tall.

What do you think of the Carado Banff?

Coachella and the introvert

I have adopted the introvert moniker, but I don’t know if that is the correct label. I guess it sounds much better than “guy that is content in his own world and doesn’t give a fuck about what other people think”. 😛

Now that is not meant to be hostile. I actually do love people. I just have a low bullshit tolerance.

Having said that, I also love music, so Coachella would seem to be a great festival to explore new music. And… it did not disappoint.

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Today I will kayak to California

Today I will kayak to California.

That is a statement that never entered my mind, but it is exactly what I did yesterday. I crossed the Colorado River from Arizona to California in my inflatable, yes inflatable, kayak.

Now, before you begin to conjure up images of an all-day, strenuous haul… miles and hours of endless, back-breaking paddling… you should grab your handy Rand McNally. [If you’re scratching your head or under the age of 30, click here.]

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Kayaking Near Lake Havasu

Yesterday I had my second solo kayaking adventure. The destination… Lake Havasu, well… an area near Lake Havasu.

I started my “yak” at Castle Rock Bay. When I first arrived at the rock, I didn’t see the bay, but I was greeted by a lovely sign reminded me to be mindful of rattlesnakes. 😛

The bay is located about 800 or so feet away from the parking area. Did I see rattlesnakes? No. A more appropriate sign should probably read, “Be Alert! Watch Out For Donkey Shit!”

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Next stop… 150 miles… and Florida

Anxious to get out of Georgia and to Florida, I pushed my 150 mile limit. And… I made it, well… sort of. I traveled 147 miles to Lake Seminole RV Park, a mere two-ish miles from the Georgia-Florida line.

This is a small park I discovered through Passport America with discounted rates of $15 per night. So, I am proud to say that my annual membership fee of $44 paid for itself in my first two stays (two nights at Lake Seminole and two nights at Southern Trails Resort).

After getting checked in with the owner, Greg, I ventured to the state line and stopped at the Jim Woodruff Dam.

jim-woodruff-dam

Next up… Chattahoochee, Florida, and well… not much to see here. Chattahoochee is a small town, but it did not let me down. They had my latest obsession, Dollar General. The little old lady in me was tempted to pick up an adult coloring book, but I resisted.

dollar-general-coloring-books

The next day, January 14, I ventured over to Snead, Florida and Three Rivers State Park. I had hoped to get a hike in for the day, so I fueled up on a ghost with big boobs fried eggs and turkey bologna. I don’t know why, but I only crave fried bologna when I’m camping.

fried-eggs-bologna

Alas, no hiking to be found at Three Rivers State Park, so I pulled out the trusty Kindle. (I’m currently reading Out of My Mind, a lovely piece of young adult literature. 😜) I also did a little reflection and writing while enjoying the beautiful day.

three-lakes-shoes

three-lakes-water

All of that relaxation had made me hungry, so I ended my day with a plate of fried shrimp from a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant back in Chattahoochee called Northside Seafood. Nom! Nom! 😀

fried-shrimp

Next up… Port Saint Joe, Florida. 😀

Catching up… day one

Patrick and I are now eight days in to My Scotty Adventure, and we’re having a great time. But… I’m enjoying myself so much that I am slacking on my updates. So… time to play catch-up.

After leaving Atlanta on January 11, we stopped at Southern Trails Resort in Unadilla, Georgia. Why Unadilla? Well, one of the few parameters I have set for the trip adventure is to limit my driving to no more than 150 miles each travel day. I’m sure there will be exceptions, but it is “about the journey and not the destination”.

So, back to Southern Trails Resort. I find it amusing that many campgrounds feel the need to put the word resort in their name. Yes… Southern Trails Resort was a fine campground, but erase the image you may have of heated pools with swim-up cocktail bars and daily massages from a hunky, muscled stud. (Is it getting hot in here? 😅) STR is a RV park… and one that is located by the interstate.

We stayed at STR through Friday the 13th 😱. There were only a handful of other RVs on site, and we had our pick of spots… so we chose one near the bath house.

scotty-setup-str

It was my first time backing Mork into a RV spot. Luckily, the sites were wide and he is not, so… I didn’t need to get it straight (as you can see). 😛

str-moon
The wolf moon set the tone on the 12th. STR slaughter on the 13th? 😛

The bathhouse was nice and clean. Although, I did not use it to shower… more on that later. (I see you shiver with anticipation.)

str-bath1

Would I go back to STR? Yes.

My stay at STR allowed me to try out my Passport America membership. My daily rate was cut in half to $18. SOLD! Plus… I was able to find my next stop through Passport America… but… you will have to wait for my next post. 😛

Seven cruises in 12 months

On Wednesday I will be boarding a Holland America cruise ship headed toward the Panama Canal. This will be my seventh cruise in 12 months. Here is the rundown…

  1. November 29 to December 6, 2015: Caribbean
  2. April 2 to 16: Intercontinental (Fort Lauderdale to Southampton)
  3. May 19 to May 23: Caribbean
  4. June 26 to July 3: Caribbean
  5. August 13 to August 20: Alaska
  6. September 22 to October 2: Pacific Coast
  7. November 30 to December 11, 2016: Panama Canal

me-rob-alaska-edit
cruising in Alaska

2016 was an eventful year. I also spent time in Ocala (Florida), Orlando, Louisville, Cleveland, Daytona Beach, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Diego, London and Puerto Vallarta.

me-flower-dog
near the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

I was also able to work in a few camping trips to Lake Lanier, Amicalola Falls, and Ooltewah (Tennessee). I hope to make 2017 the year of camping now that Scotty is in the mix.