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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Life in the back of a truck (part 1)

November 20th, 2008

This is part of an ongoing series on what it’s like to live in a truck camper fulltime. You may read other articles here:

  1. Part One – The fulltime lifestyle
  2. Part Two – Why a truck camper?
  3. Part Three – Weights & Dealing with them
  4. Part Four – Boondocking resource conservation

So, you want to live in the back of a truck… First off, you should probably face the fact that you’re a bit of an odd duck. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about some of the things that you’ll encounter along the way to making this grandiose fantasy a reality.

Where are you from?
You’re going to hear this question a lot as you travel around. It’s simply a polite thing to ask strangers that “aren’t from around here”. There are a few schools of thought as to how one should answer this question. You can tell people where you left “real life” from if you are in a hurry and don’t want to explain how you come to be living in that truck over yonder. If you’re dealing with a business or government agency, it’s usually simplest to give the address of your mail forwarding service or the address on your driver’s license.

The next two options are a pretty good way to strike up a conversation, so use them carefully as you may end up trying to explain yourself to a posse in the wrong town. You can simply tell the truth and explain that you’re traveling. This can lead to all sorts of interesting questions such as “are ya’ll circus folk/gypsies/carnies/hippies/destitute?”. I wouldn’t recommend telling the cashier at a local business this, but it goes over well at campgrounds. Events that bring a lot diverse folks together are also a good bet. You’ll have to explain yourself a lot more, but as you’re there to meet people anyway, it gives you an interesting topic to talk about. A lot of people are curious about the fulltime RV lifestyle and have lots of questions. The final answer to “where are you from?” is to say “I grew up in…”. This is a polite way of making smalltalk without committing yourself to answering a lot of personal questions from complete strangers.

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They only have one bar of internet!

June 13th, 2008

As we’ve mentioned, we spent the last week in a beautiful campsite in the middle of nowhere. The only downfall to this Utopian site was the complete and utter lack of cell coverage in the area.

After working over a decade in the industry, we’re officially internet junkies. We use it for everything: Researching campsites, routes, fuel stops and sightseeing trips. Entertainment, banking, paying bills, investments. And today’s favorite topic: the life and times of the garden variety yellow jacket.

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Two People, Two Cats, Two Hundred Square Feet

April 11th, 2008

So how do you fit two people and two cats in a truck camper long term? The classic answer is to stack the people on top of each other in a corner and strap them down, then let the cats fight over the remaining 194 square feet. Since we’re not having any of that, the cats are having to learn to deal with it. Somehow, they’ve convinced me to let them use one of my drawers as a ‘princess seat’ in between the times I actively need to get clothes from them.

For those of you that haven’t met our local anarchic overlords, the gray tabby is simply ‘The Cat’ as she was here first and hasn’t bothered to tell us what she prefers to be called, although she has no such compunctions against telling us when its time to be fed. The Siamese is Hunter. I was all for calling her ‘The Other Cat’, but Jenn overruled me and now we have a Siamese cat that thinks she is people because she has a name.

What you can’t see in these oh-so -cute pictures of napping cats is the constant turf war that goes on. Sure, it’s peaceful now, but there’s nothing more entertaining than watching these kids both jump in the drawer, get on their hind legs, lay their ears back and bat each other about the head and neck. OK, maybe we’re just lacking for entertainment, but it’s still pretty interesting.

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