La Dolce Vita

November 22nd, 2008

As we make our way south and west to avoid the bitter cold, Johnny and I are stopping at places we wont be seeing for a long time. We have stopped at GSP, at Winchester, VA, and now we are sitting at my parent’s place. Its our familiar last stop before we hit the great unknown again.

While we are here, we have been doing some caving. Our good friend David visited us and we headed over to Camp’s Gulf Cave. We had a great adventure. Either Johnny or myself will post about it as soon as we get the pictures . Hopefully he, Pam and Chaos will join us for some more caving fun before we head off once again. We are surely going to miss them when we leave this side of the country. Its not often that you find good people who are great company and are willing to meet up in various places to do the things you like to do. We really lucked out when we met them. We would have probably left the east coast sooner if our paths had never crossed.

For some reason, when I get to my parent’s place, I turn even more domestic than usual. Tonight, for instance, I decided to make a batch of pasta. It was my first time, and I would have to say it turned out well. While it smelled just like the stuff in the box, it wasn’t quite like it. The best way to describe it would be to say that it was much more hearty – not so much thicker, but more… wholesome. I have to say that I prefer it to the boxed stuff. Not only is it more hearty, it is better tasting and I know exactly what is in it. Which is a major plus for me. I hate turning over a container and seeing 3425437 ingredients in an item that I know should only have 5. Not only that, but now I know that I can make it, too. Continue Reading »

Back at GSP

November 5th, 2008

Yah, I know we’ve been slacking on the blog updates lately, but as soon as we were done with the carnie gigs, we hit the boonies again without pausing to look for cellular service. I don’t think we’ll be doing any concession work anytime soon; so whatever jobs come next should be fairly new to us.

We left South Carolina in a hurry and made a beeline for the Great Saltpetre Cave Preserve in Mt. Vernon Kentucky again. We were hoping to get some caving in and see some friends once more before it gets too cold to be in Kentucky and we head out west for the winter.

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Building a bat gate

September 24th, 2008

Well, we’ve got more than a bar of Internet tonight, so I figure it’s time we got caught up on some blogging.

Horn Hollow Cave

After we spent a couple of weekends at the Great Saltpetre Preserve caving with some great people from the area, we headed towards Boone, NC to start our next stint as carnies. However, we got sidetracked leaving Kentucky as Jenn noticed Carter Caves State Park was just a few miles out of the way. As this is where Crawl-a-thon is held in January, we decided it would be worth a quick stop over and looksee.

We got up bright and early and explored Laurel and Horn Hollow caves. Both are rather short trips, that have been ‘prepared’ for tourists, but they are still unlit, self-led trips. Horn Hollow has a beautiful entrance, but is otherwise not much to look at from inside. Laurel was quite a pretty little cave and we were able to get off-trail and explore the upper passage as well as climb a small waterfall that most non-cavers would have never seen.

Roy and Jerry. The gate is now complete.

Once we got to the camper, covered in cave mud, and I got stripped down to my high performance underwear, a couple of guys walked up, and rather than running away, they wanted to chat, which marked them as cavers and not afraid of dirty, half-dressed hippies in a parking lot. This was our introduction to Roy and Jerry. They were in the area building a bat gate, which is designed to let bats in, but keep people out during bat hibernation season. Since we were the only muddy folks around with a bat sticker on our vehicle, they assumed we’d be good suckers, err… candidates, to volunteer to help out.

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Dear Claire,

September 5th, 2008

Thanks for posting. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. We have been very busy working and enjoying ourselves. Thankfully, we have been able to do both at the same time.

Claire @ http://escapethe9to5.blogspot.com

Hi Jen

How long do you think your trip will last?

Is it a trip or a change of lifestyle? If it is a trip how do you plan to make the transition back to the 9-5 grind if ever? Do you worry about the future? Do you worry about being homless

How do you manage for money? Do you live off savings or do you work along the way?

I am really intersted in your blog and your plans for the future. I am having another life crisis and I need to do something to change my life.

Cheers

Claire

As for how long the trip will last: forever, I hope. It is definitely a change of lifestyle. From the shedding of all of our accumulated baggage and absurd “needs” to opening up to new people and opportunities, we have changed. Even if the trip was tragically cut short, I have learned new values that I will always keep with me.

At this time, I do not foresee myself returning to the 9-5. I find it very stifling. My career, while profitable, was a drain on my physical and mental health. I cannot imagine returning to a cubicle, ever. I cannot imagine sitting in an office working at least 9hrs a day, sometimes 16, for someone else’s dream. Life is way too short to live that way.

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Karst-O-Rama 2008

July 23rd, 2008

korsrs6

We made it back from Karst-O-Rama alive! We met some really amazing folks that were happy to bring along complete novices, loan equipment to complete strangers and give lots of advice. Jenn’s parents and her nephew came along in her parents’ Class A. The road getting in and out of the Great Saltpetre Preserve was… interesting… for the 35′ motor home, but we made it without any mishaps.

The general format of Karst-O-Rama is caving all day and partying all night. The electric sites are smack in the middle of the party camp, where there are no quiet hours as there are in the family camping area. It was awfully hot, hitting the 90’s every day and we were glad to be underground during the heat of the day.

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