June 5th, 2009

We made it! Finally. That’s right, it wasn’t all just talk. We really did drive from Florida to Alaska. Here are some pictures of our first day there. We stopped in Cicely:

An Oasis
Dr. Joel Fleischman's Office - Downtown Cicely, AK
KBHR - Downtown Cicely, AK
The Brick - Downtown Cicely, AK
Downtown Cicely, AK
Downtown Cicely, AK

OK, OK its not really Alaska. Its Roslyn, WA. That’s where Northern Exposure was actually filmed (not Alaska). I saw it on a map as we were passing by and being a big fan, just had to stop in for a couple of minutes.

We are on our way to Alaska, though. I promise. Even if the Canadian customs officials didn’t seem to want to let us pass. They separated us, questioned us, and searched the camper. I thought for sure they were going to deny us entry because we didn’t have a detailed itinerary. However, after the guard emerged after searching the camper, his whole demeanor changed. He was all nice and smiles. One has to wonder what he found in the camper that lighted his spirits so.

Anyway, we are in BC, Canada and are blazing through it as quickly as we can. Internet connectivity is very sparse, so we probably will not post again until we are there.

That Old Mississippi Mud!

February 3rd, 2009

Mississippi Mud - Stuck

Internet connectivity has been spotty, but not as spotty as the sides of the truck. About a week ago, we stopped overnight at a horse trail in the national forest just off the Natchez Trace. On pulling in, we saw a rather deep looking mud puddle and in our infinite wisdom, decided to try and keep the truck clean. A few words of advice: in Mississippi, if the road looks bad, the ground around it is awful. Fifteen feet off the road, the ground sunk in bad enough that we needed to put the truck in 4WD and lock the hubs to get out.

Now this is the point where everybody tells you that 4WD allows you to get stuck deeper in. The smart course of action, would have been to back out. However, I looked at the ruts we’d already made and looked ahead. No big deal, just a little 10″ deep ditch. Nothing the truck can’t handle, right? At this point, the ditch, with water running through it, somehow, looked better than the foot deep mud behind us. I guess everybody that’s spent much time in the mud is giggling about now. I hadn’t taken into account that a ditch, WITH WATER IN IT, is likely to be at least as gooey as the ground around it.

So, long story short, another fifteen feet of driving put us in quite a bit of nasty crud and the poor, overloaded truck refused to budge any direction but down. I got out and started digging in some hope of flattening the area out. Jenn decided it was a great time to snap a picture. Women! I can’t fault her too much though, by the time the night was over, she did her share of digging.

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Dear Brent,

November 7th, 2008

On 2008/10/25 at 12:11 PM, Brent wrote:

Hey guys,

Currently working my way through your all your postings. My wife and I are in the “can we really do this” stage of making the same change that you two have. Very much enjoying reading through your process.

Much like you two, we both work in technology and are somewhat dependent on the Internet. Add to that, the need for research / blogging / and potentially some work while traveling and connectivity gets to be one of our important decisions. So I’m curious, how are you feeling about the cell network decision versus satellite? Working out as you had planned?


Well, Brent, I’d have to say I don’t like any of the choices available. I’m pretty happy with the performance of EVDO, but I’m extremely upset with Sprint changing the contract midstream so that it no longer remotely resembles the class of service that we originally purchased. I have already ranted about this particular event once, so I’ll try and stay on subject…

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May 31st, 2008

For about six months now, we’ve been very happy with our EVDO service from Sprint. We invested in extras such as an external antenna and a Wilson trucker amplifier. We have had some sketchy service as we traveled around, but we have very rarely been in a complete dead zone in our, admittedly, limited travels.

Verizon has a slightly better coverage footprint than Sprint, at least the way most people seem to figure it, but Sprint had one major benefit: unlimited connectivity and downloads. Verizon claims to have ‘unlimited connectivity’, but after 5GB in a month, they start charging you $0.49 per MEG!

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Are we there yet?

July 20th, 2007

Today, I’ve been looking into some of the tech I expect to use on the road. Now, I’m a bit of a UNIX geek – earned a living on the command line for the past decade. However, in my old age, I’ve adapted somewhat and I can actually use windows machines for simple things like video games and web browsing. In fact, I picked up a Fujitsu Lifebook 1510 a year or so back and actually left Windows XP tablet edition installed. At home, I run a windows machine side by side with a FreeBSD machine, using synergy to share the mouse and keyboard between them.

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