My workbench

My workbench

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dreams for the future...

Rubber Tramps.  That's what they call folks whom live out of a vehicle.  Currently, I'm a Leather tramp, as I move by foot (and usually thumb).  Hobos ride the rails, but that's just not my thing long-term.  I've tried out a few different methods of travel, from long-distance hiking to busses, hoboing the rails a few times and as I am mostly known for, hitch-hiking.  I certainly don't want to give up my hitch-hiking ways, but it seems that, for my greater purpose of travel, I may desire a car.

That's right, I'm thinking about buying a car.  A nice Toyota wagon, I think.  Something inexpensive, reliable, smallish, discrete, and yet big enough to be home. 

The possibilities flood my mind like a tidal wave:
I would be able to carry a cooler, which means fresh food and cool drinks
BOOKS.  Like I've never been able to carry before.
TOYS.  Electronics, my laptop, camera, hammock, soldering iron, RISC programmer...the possibilities are nearly endless.
The freedom to go where *I* want, up into the hills, the mountains, exploring and adventuring far and wide.
The ability to, in some ways, repay the karma I've accrued, picking up and helping out hitch-hikers that I see.
And the ability to truly go off the beaten track.

In some ways, I'm afraid of losing track of what I love, the freedom of not having all of the gear, all the toys, all of everything which complicates life.  At the same time, I think this is a good idea, if only for a year.  I've got the means, the method, and the mind.  Who knows what might happen...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Binghamton

"Life is like a box of chocolates..." Well, I didn't get chocolates, but I just finished an amazing chocolate chip cookie, compliments of the awesome woman at Midtown Cafe in Binghamton, NY. Just a day after my misterable re-introduction to New York State, I have met some good folks while awaiting my bus up to Utica. Honestly, if I had not already called and said that I would be arriving today, I would have stayed and chatted for another hour (the Cafe closes early afternoon).
The first guy I met as I walked in saw my pack and immediately tagged me as a hitch-hiker. He shared his own ambitions for hitching around Mexico, as well as a pasty story bisecting Mexico last summer (I think). Afellow couchsurfer, I hope he is listed in the Binghamton CS, so that I can contact him. I chatted with numerous patrons on their lunch breaks, relating some of the ups and down which I have faced along the way. Don, I hope I see you on the road in the future, just to know that you're enjoying your dream of living in an RV, if just for a short time.
This experience truly reinforces my belief in the basic Good inside people, one of the driving forces behind my travels. Also, the Balance, between positive and negative experiences, which cannot be explained has once again presented itself. True, one negative event may cause the next good one to be seen as more positive than not, but either way, I am greatful for the experience. While waiting for my bus, the woman acted as my advocate, actually telling one (rather attractive) young woman "you have arrived just in time! [...] You should begin talking to this young man immediately." I was more than flatterred, though managed (I think) not to blush. So, a truly heartfelt Thank You, for reminding me that great people are everywhere, you just might not know it. I did not mention your name because I didn't have permission; thanks to recieving your business card, I will call tomorrow and check if it's ok.
Here's to a three hour bus ride, to old friends, and those I've not yet met. I share company with a cookie and some excellent cranberry juice, soft music playing in the background. Another day on the journey of life.

New York State

New York blows
Ah, I feel better. Stuck for hours in some backwoods town 90 miles from Binghamton, memories of the various tales of hitching through NYS come to mind. One gent, when he got a flat tire on aa state highway, was cited by state police for not having the proper tools to change the tire. I have had encounters with multiple officers both times I have hitched beyond NYC, as well as having riddiculous waiting times. Friends have spent nights, weekends, or longer in cells waiting to be given a ride out of town and a kick in the rear.
After waiting four plus hurs with hundreds of cars slowly passing, and with adverse weather approaching, I ate a bland flavorless breakfast at a local diner and walked to the bus depot. An incredible fourty dollars will get me 160 miles to my destination. I supremely dislike this place, and don't think I will be returning anytime soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dancing!

I've only got a few minutes on the library computer here in Springfield, MA, but I wanted to drop a quick note about last night. I was in Northampton, MA at Hampshire College, and had a BLAST at a contra dance with Elise and a bunch of random folks/students from the area.  A really nice gentleman gave me a lift all the way from Burlington to downtown Northampton earlier yesterday morning.

Well that's about all the time I've got.  I'm heading back to Greenwich to relax, shower, and change out some gear.  Hopefully make it tonight, if not tomorrow!