Not much to report this week. Planning continues but none of it is interesting or share-worthy. Mostly we are staring at a spreadsheet trying to figure out how to pay for all of this and still have enough money to pay rent and deposit on a place when we get back. So, important stuff, albeit boring stuff.
Crunching numbers helps avoid surprises, but the numbers are all guesstimates. I set forth 5.5 months for the trip but the spreadsheet says we’ll only need 4.5 months to see what we are seeing. That includes time for staying with friends or spending a week exploring some of the more intriguing places like Yellowstone, Asheville, and the sheer vastness of Texas.
Hopefully we will be able to sell some stickers and other swag to fans, but that can’t be counted on. Fans are something that will show up after there is fun stuff to read and great photos to look at. That might not happen until the trip itself is over. This isn’t something I want to turn into a business so I have no plans to pay for wire services and the brand-building stuff that goes into launching something new.
This isn’t supposed to be a job, though we have built a Patreon for people who want exclusive content. I’m a writer and photographer after all so we will have quite a few stories and images to share. Tailoring that to someone’s request isn’t hard at all. Then they’ll have some great stories to share with their customers and followers.
For the most part though this is just a game of saving up money, living cheap, seeing as much as we can, and exploring a theme while broadening our perspective of the world. Noble enough, and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Now I can share it with the woman I love and also with anyone who wants to follow along here. Great stuff.
In the coming weeks we can share more about the gear we are looking for to fill out our camping kit. We love to talk about gear and it seems like everyone else does too. Since we have a lot of space we can carry a lot of stuff, but we have to watch the total weight since the Goldwing is already pulling a massive sidecar.
The current task is downsizing: selling some of my vehicles and projects, old equipment from when I was an active musician, and donating a lot of old clothes and such. The smaller the storage unit, the more we can spend on gas money.
So stay tuned, we won’t be doing spreadsheets forever and eventually we can start showing some of our equipment loadout and plans. When this silliness over COVID-19 finally subsides I can also get out to Utah and start doing some work on the bike. It needs rear suspension and a new rear tire among other things, so you can imagine the amount of plastic that needs removed just to get at that stuff.
Plenty of pictures to come when that happens.
Until then we’ll try to keep the Instagram going when we can get out of the house together, and I may share some random photos while I’m out doing food delivery on my motorcycle (we have to save up money any way we can before heading out). Fortunately the Oakland area is full of gorgeous spots as well as all the urban decay and crowds and homeless encampments. It’s a great place to photograph because of the juxtaposition of it all, and the Oakland Hills are just above us with gently winding roads through the trees.
I’ll leave you with some random shots of the Oakland Hills and neighboring Grass Valley just to give you an idea of how quickly you can find a (relatively) quiet corner of Earth above the din of Oakland.