Lost in Denali
The night before Seth and I disappear into the Denali Wilderness for three days of adventure, I can’t sleep. My restlessness comes not from fear about living in grizzly country where the rangers warn, “You will be the only people you see. You must be ready to save yourself if you get in trouble,” or from fear of the hike’s difficulty. In fact, the difficulty is precisely the...
Bracing myself on the edge of the passenger seat with my left hand, I tightly grip the door bar with my right. “Let’s take it slow”, I say to Bob as his foot quickly jerks from the gas pedal to the brake. The past hundred miles or so that we have been approaching the imaginary line separating the Yukon Territory from the noncontiguous state of Alaska, the road has been a myriad of dips,...
We dared Walter to get us to Alaska and instead of revealing some silly crush he has on a german made Sprinter, he took the dare. I think it was the best dare I’ve ever been a part of. Better than daring my cousin to run naked through my grandmother’s yard. He took that dare as well because, as we would find out much later in life, he secretly liked boys and liked them looking at...
Our first stint on the Alaskan Highway went well. Seth drove about 280 miles from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, sometimes down grades as severe as 10%. At the tops of those hills, the roadway dipped so low it disappeared like rollercoaster tracks, and the rivers, lakes and massive rock faces spread out over the valleys. The Alcan draws the extreme to it, whether they prefer traveling by force of...
The Eagle has Landed!
At approximately 6:30pm, Sunday the 26th of July, the Transit Antenna lunar module landed in Regent, North Dakota. It was a momentous occasion for all of those involved. Spectators looked on as astronauts Bob Snead and Jamie Self reenacted man’s first walk on the moon. Original NASA recordings of the correspondance between Houston and the Eagle were transmitted by radio waves from the bus...
7/11/2009: Wierdest Road-side Attractions You...
Part I We landed in Sparta, Wisconsin yesterday. There wasn’t much, except for the only intersection in America with a historic building on each corner. We went to one corner, the one with the Deke Slayton Space And Bike museum. Only me and Seth entered to save the money of everyone going in. The first thing we saw was a cool piece of moon rock, a scale telling you how much you weigh on other...
Central Time Zone
We’ve put a few miles under our tires and a few states behind our bumper in the past couple of weeks. Our last pit stop story came from Lexington, KY and the next will take you across the highways and biways of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconson. After getting a little tipsy at the Woodford Bourbon distillary in Lexington, we got our ducks in a row and headed for Cincinnati, OH....
Where are we?
Over the past two days, we’ve been in three different states and cities, so I’ve had to remind myself continuously where the heck I am. Asheville packed a lot of fun into a few days. Right down the tracks from where we were parked, the Wedge gallery and micro-brewery served up $10 pitchers of a beer that Seth will actually drink (that means it’s really good). We also made some...
Hasta La Vista, South Carolina!
We left Spartanburg after being there for over a week and enduring the stifling heat. We know it’s time to move to cooler climates when the vegetables rot in a day, the bread is gooey warm and not in a good way, every time we open the fridge a stream of defrosted water flows around our toes, and even the Governor flees South Carolina to blow off steam in the mountains of a state with way...
Friday was a busy day. We had some routine bus business to attend to. We drove to Camping World to dump our sewage, made a stop at Home Depot and Northern Tools for supplies for Bob’s do-it-yourself air conditioning system, and cooled off with a delicious ice cream treat from Baskin Robins. We also filled our water tanks to take lots of cold showers. These sorts of activities usually fill...
This week at Hub Bub
We arrived at Hub Bub, in Spartanburg, S.C., last Saturday evening. Before parking for the night we stopped at a local popular greasy spoon, the Beacon, for a bite to eat. The rain was pouring down as thunder pounded in the atmosphere and bright flashes of lightning cracked all around. As we turned into the parking lot a giant explosion of light and sparks “beaconed” from the...
On the move again? Not so fast.
Clover calling. We welcomed our morning full of social activities pulling us away from working on the porch. In the morning Lisa brought over her class of bright-eyed, inquisitive fourth graders from Kinard Elementary. They were impressed with the bus, thought our beds were cushiony and our pedal power system first-rate. They asked us why we painted our hubs hot pink and we asked them,...
Finally on the Move Again
We lost nearly three months in Charleston, and that’s not unusual. Our hometown is a vacation destination. As a result (nearly) everyone has the southern hospitality set on high, and the general feeling of the city is very laid back. We fell victim to it’s comforts- food, beaches, and friends - taking our time with the not-so-fun tasks of a bus brake job, seal repairs, water...
Walter made it back to the Skinners’ house with no obvious problems. We have a couple of test drives coming up this week before we take off toward upstate and then on toward Middle America and then who knows where, maybe the great tundras of Canada and Alaska?
Greetings from Jamie in Summerville: (Hayden is the precocious, three-year old next-door neighbor of my parents in Summerville. He visits us almost everyday (sigh) but mostly he’s a lot of fun. He likes to fish, or pretend fish, especially in the “big boat.” He took this fish for a walk around the yard before giving it to us to clean.) While Bob and Seth work on getting...
Walter crippled again
When our wheels fell off, we had to have a shop in Odessa, TX put them back on. Luckily they let us stay in their lot while they ordered parts and did the repairs. But as soon as we left the lot, the hub started leaking again and every couple hundred miles we had to add gear oil until we got back to our homebase in Charleston. Today we finally were able to get the wheels off and figure out the...
We gave Walter a new paint job to celebrate the start of our second year! The grid pattern was made by my dad and now we have a newly painted bus!
T-Rex discovered on the moon
Silence in Venus
We’ve been silent for a few days, busy with the real world. With various levels of sickness amongst all of us, we’ve been preparing for our next year on the road and dreaming about what could be in store for us thereafter. During our pit stop at Redux we had a visit with our old friend Alex from Orlando. He told us about this property for sale in Venus, Florida. Our interest was lackluster...
We are currently in Orlando visiting the great Forest preparing for our trip to Venus. Unfortunately Taylor could not come along with us on the trip, so Forest wanted to send him this special message.
I made this animation for the 365 exhibition at Redux. It depicts Taylor thowing a bucket of paint at a half buried cadillac found on the Cadillac Ranch just outside of Amarillo, Texas.
We spent saturday and sunday replacing a roof in between the rains.
After a day of recovering from a great show at Redux, Taylor, Bob, Kentridge and I headed to Ruffin on Monday to visit with Bob’s mother. This is our first visit to Ruffin since arriving in Charleston at the beginning of the month. Grandma Gara was excited for us all to meet her new companion, Buddy, a mixed-breed rescued puppy, with short, stubby legs, and a beautiful golden coat. He...
In between the rain, Josef and I took a bike ride to the main road, Highway 17. The sidewalks and parking lots and ditches are covered with a yellow dust the color of hardboiled egg yolk, pollen from the trees. In puddles, the pollen creates intricate marble patterns that we stopped to look at. A happy surprise came when Brian, the pasta maker, gave us a pizza-sized box of mushroom ravioli, as...
3.6.09: Clover's First Bathtub
Seth has been working on a mural proposal for his home town, Clover, SC. He remembered seeing a picture of a bathtub in a library book a long time ago. We’ve been in Clover for only a few days, but he’s tracked down the book, the bathtub, and a lot more interesting history about Clover. Here’s our bathtub findings, first the excerpt from the library book, and then the picture I...
2.27.09 Back in Charleston
So we’re back in Charleston. Seth and I have been visiting his family downtown. We’re staying with his brother who lives in a neighborhood that has an arsonist setting homes on fire just blocks from his house. We’ve been in some potentially dangerous neighborhoods, but this definitely competes with, say, the gunman in Houston. But we’re not worried. We visited with...
2.26.2009 Home Sweet Home
It was a long troublesome haul, but the Transit Antenna crew has arrived in Charleston. The motivation behind the visit is to take care of some business at the DMV, however Walter is in need of some TLC, and we could all use some time to visit friends and family. Bob decided to sport a new look to renew his CDL that I am still trying to get used to.
This is a video from the archives. It depicts our first radio broadcast using our own transmitter in November in San Francisco. Seth
I-10. Oil. Whiskey River. Walmart. Wheat
2.20.09 How many trantennas does it take...
to fill Walter’s belly? The answer is eight trantennas and one trantenna dog. (Sorry for the messy job I did brightening up Seth and Wheat at the front of the bus.) We spent Friday eating many meals with Amy’s folks, getting the bus cleaned out, doing laundry, and getting Joe and Amy moved back in. I took this photo when we were about to pull out of Amy’s neighborhood to head...
2.19.09 Locked in Odessa
I was cleaning out some folders on my computer and...
Today I dropped off the finished paintings for the childrens hospital here in San Antonio. It’s nice to be done with this project. Amy and I are packing and getting ready to hit the road again. -Joe
One of the brake drums in the back of the bus snapped tonight and we almost lost two tires. We’re on the side of I-10 now, somewhere in the middle of west Texas. A couple of the sheriff’s men stopped to see what we were up to. They marveled at our situation and said it would be fine for us to stay the night here. We’ll call for a tow truck in the morning… Wheat
2.13.09 Estrella War and Rug Beating
2.12.2009 Back in the Swing of Things
We are back in the swing of things and ready to put some miles on our tires. And that means we’re on the hunt for black gold, a.k.a waste veggie oil. Waking up this morning in the Walmart parking lot in Goodyear, Arizona, I find that we’ve stratigically positioned ourselves right across the street from a Wing Street. Thinking that we could get a jump on the staff and an early start,...
2.10.09 Slab City
2.9.2009 HIGLT RAWD
A voice from npr woke me up at 10:00am, as programmed. I noticed Josef was already out of bed, and wondered why so early when to bed so late.. then I remembered his meeting with the art agent. I got up to make him some coffee and heat up some leftover migas. He asked for the GPS, ate the microwaved breakfast, and hit the road before the coffee had come to a boil. I finished preparing the coffee,...
We’re about done with our work here in Bombay Beach. With any luck, we’ll be back on the road by tomorrow night or early Tuesday. There’s talk of a renaissance fair somewhere in Arizona and a giant flea market paradise… I’m ready for them both. Wheat