We Are Going to Road Trip!

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We Are Going to Road Trip, Again (yes, all of us)

Ron picked up Karen hitchhiking in the summer of 1975 when they were both nineteen. He was on an errand to buy groceries and she was on a camping expedition to the Delaware Water Gap, complete with backpack, dog, and ex-boyfriend in tow. There is a scene in the SF movie Minority Report where Agatha, a gifted precognitive, guides the Tom Cruise character through a crowded mall. It’s about timing and knowing when to move. (If you own the movie you can find the scene at 1:36:36 or, as long as Fox doesn’t ban it, check it out below.)

We like to think of our first meeting in this way, as a carefully synchronized event, one that wouldn’t have happened, if either party had doubted and waited a moment too late, or jumped the gun and left a moment too soon. All fate and possibility exists in finding the precise time and place.

And yet because we each trusted that tiny voice inside that said, “it’s time”, even if we had no idea why we were putting one foot in front of the other, because we listened and responded when we heard the instructions, “Go now!” we have been able to carve a life and relationship that will have lasted for 40 years this November. Road Trips have punctuated our marriage since that first sunny day. You could say that our successful lifelong relationship was built on the insights and worldview gained by trusting the myriad possibilities found on the road.

There have been at least fourteen cross country road trips, with and without children; sometimes with dogs, cats and a few with horses. Early on, Ron was in a band named Frostwater that toured around New England in a big Dodge van. When our son Justin was nine days old we were on the road. Touring with a band is really just one big road trip punctuated by tiny flashes of stage light, floating in a river of burned all night service station coffee. During this phase Frostwater played with luminaries like Pete Seeger and Alan Ginsburg.

Haul Away is a Frostwater cut on the Clearwater II album

More from Frostwater

The richness that these experiences afforded is greater that the wealth in any retirement account. We forgave ourselves the cost of drinking all that bad coffee. Eventually we learned to better prepare for our trips and have even cooked up a few meals in a wok on a hotplate when we couldn’t build a fire.

We have driven most sizes of moving truck, with and without tow dollies. We have done it via low cost all-nighters, and we have stayed in cushy hotels. We’ve car camped, wilderness camped (one wedding present was a North Face mountaineering tent that we used until we lost the poles on a road trip from Tucson down to San Blas Mexico). It’s as if we were born with a strange nomadic gene that erupts without warning.

All Ways Near, from Out of my Love by Ron Heacock

More from Ron Heacock

It’s not wanderlust exactly. It’s more like a call to find connection. It starts quiet and soft, but t grows louder, electrifying the air with the fury and drama of lighting finding ground.

Road Trips provides a special vitamin that helps you see. It’s true, travel cures complacency. Choosing a different road from the crowd is worth more than the cost of the disruption to your normal life. Stretching out and meeting new people in new places, for no other reason than to do it, is the best way to widen your world view. And it will teach you right away that the world is bigger than you thought. That’s not only fun, it is exhilarating. It is also liberating. The time has come; we are going to road trip! Can you hear the whisper; did you know that you can come along?

A proper road trip has to begin with a reason. That’s so the planning and preparation can be justified. You see, without the proper justification we would never let ourselves dream. We have too much work to do (NOTE: we work at what we want to, but it doesn’t mean we don’t work.) This time, we are beginning new degree programs. Karen is beginning her fourth, a low residence PhD program in Sustainability Education at Prescott College. And I am embarking on my third, also in Sustainability, at Goddard’s Vermont campus. Both happen in August.

Our basic route will take us across the North through Montana, cutting down through Michigan, East past Buffalo and Albany and Brattleboro, stopping in Plainfield Vermont for a week. Then we will be over to the coast – Provincetown and Martha’s Vineyard, down through Morristown, NJ, stopping off at our farm in Pulaski Tennessee before finding our way to Prescott Arizona. We have a conference in San Francisco in September – after that we will head home. Whew!

Because it marks the beginning of a new chapter, this road trip will also be a vision quest. Several of our past road trips have been also. Which brings me to the purpose for these crowd funding campaigns, there are two. You can follow along with us as we go. There are several ways you can help. Here’s how:

  1. Tell everyone you know (in person, email or through social media) who might be interested in Road Trips, Writing, Decolonization, Self Determination, Freedom and Resistance.
    1. Hook them up with the Blog, or our FaceBook Page. Like us!
    2. Share links to our crowd sourcing sites
  2. Help us determine our route
    1. We have some places we have to be at certain times, but the rest is unformed and in the ethers
    2. We want to read, speak and sing at impromptu events, house concerts, writer’s groups and book events See the blog for updates, songs, videos, pictures and articles.
    3. We would love to visit with you (Ron is a kick ass cook – we ran HillHouse Writers for close to a decade – we fed our guests meals to die for!)
    4. We want to include interesting places in our journey – we are out to make stories.
  3. We will be writing, photographing and filming as we go. We are seeking opportunities to co-publish, reblog and promote. You can…
    1. Introduce us to outlets
    2. Publish our serialized journey on your platform
    3. Help us find sponsors, we are open to using and promoting products and services that are sustainable and ecofriendly. For example, we purchase a lot of equipment from REI
    4. You can suggest new products and services

We will be compiling this trip and future trips into a printed publications. It is possible that we will create a series. The perks that we are offering on our Indiegogo campaign include these books as well as organized ways that supporters can influence and become part of our story. You will be able to subscribe to our writings as well.

This is not the first road trip and it will not be the last.

Additionally, we are running a crowd funding campaign Wishlist on GoFundMe. Most of these items are going to become necessary before we are done (some, like flushing the fluids in the car are necessary now) and there are a few luxuries on there – check them out. We would love it if you just want to donate the item if you have it or can provide it. Contact us via social media or email.


Updates for our preparations (we are leaving August 1) can be found here as they develop – so please follow our blog as well. As said, after we depart, we expect to publish updates, which will include articles by Karen and Ron, photos and videos (if we get a Go Pro, we will publish Finn Cam – the record of Finn’s adventures from a dog’s eye view) every couple of days. I hope you will join us for the ride and do let us know if we are in your neighborhood. We’d love to connect.


One thought on “We Are Going to Road Trip!

  1. Pingback: We Are Going to Road Trip! | Under the Influence of Words

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