Monday, September 7, 2009

Our Maiden Voyage

Well, we did it, folks. We launched our rig and ourselves on our maiden voyage last Friday, and although the start was rough, we did have fun!

Before we were out of the starting gate, the toilet backed up (yuck!), the engine battery was dead as a doornail (we did something wrong, of course), and the front brakes were grinding like the molars of a narcoleptic.

So, what did we do, you ask?

First, we cleaned up the toilet overflow, jump-started the dead battery, and high-tailed it to the Amherst Sewage Treatment Plant and emptied our "black water" tank. What a relief!

Next, we found trusty local truck mechanics who told us to simply "baby" those recalcitrant brakes, downshift on the hills, and head out of town without a care in the world. We took their advice, crossed our fingers, and lumbered down the road in Scottie La Blanca!

First stop was Shelburne, MA, where we visited our good friend Meike who is living on the land with her cat, goats, llama, ducks, rabbit---an entire lovely menagerie of creatures.

Trusting in our solar power to get us through, we were able to run lights, cook on the propane stove, and even take a hot shower, completely unconnected to any source of power or water.

In the morning, we had a leisurely walk on the beautiful Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, visited some tag sales (shopping judiciously only for things we need, of course, like books on CD and Tupperware), we also had a swim in the river just north of Shelburne, one of favorite swimming places.
Saturday night saw us in Warwick, MA, camped out on a dirt road and attending a party with old and new friends at a luxurious and rural home on a rushing stream. We participated in a wonderful Qigong lesson in the yard, did a Laughter Yoga session for some of the partygoers, and then shmoozed and ate and drank and shmoozed some more with a very interesting and wild group of diverse people. Mary talked gibberish, danced, hula-hooped, and was generally the life of the party, while I was more of a quiet but content observer of the fray. Between the pot brownies, the joints, the beer and the 60's music, it felt like I was a Gen X'er paying a visit to Baby Boomer Heaven.

After a good sleep (despite our less-than-level site on the side of the dirt road, with the rig lurching to starboard something fierce), we were treated by our friends Dona and Jedd to an incredible outdoor brunch at The Copper Angel in Warwick, MA. The cook and owner is actually a puppeteer, and our table was lucky enough to be visited by her newest creation, The Queen of StinkyLand, who will preside over the North Quabbin Garlic Festival in early October.

Further testing our rig's capabilities, we successfully located our dear friend Shen and her compatriots from the Insight Meditation Society at a state forest campsite in Petersham, MA. We were very impressed with our rig's ability to negotiate a steep gravel road into the woods, failing brakes be damned! We talked into the night about philosophy, Enneagrams, travel, the Dharma, and we all slept the sleep of the blissfully content.

Rolling home to Belchertown, we looked back over our maiden voyage, happy that the brakes did not fail us, and ready to have them repaired forthwith on Tuesday after the long holiday weekend. We are emboldened now to think that our rig can do just about anything, that diesel engine ready to tackle most any challenge, and it seems that only our 29-foot length and 11-foot height will stand in our way now.

At any rate, Scottie La Blanca is now broken in, and we are finding our sea legs as we careen with certain momentum towards our departure at the end of October.

Stay tuned!



  1. Groovy and far out trip brother and sis. You two traveling hipsters should see Taking Woodstock. Methinks it would warm your travelin' hearts. Looks like things are braking your way!!! Looking forward to the party!

  2. Me too, Kenny!

    Keith, this is a LOL piece. Thanks for writing it as I so soundly slept!

  3. Far out. I'm so happy for the both of you. Can't wait to see you this weekend at your party!!

  4. Enjoyed! Can't wait to journey with you further.

    Much blessings, Sherri