Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On road, off grid

I woke up to a friendly gesture on the hood of my rig.

       Well, I've now named the motorhome "Pittsburgh Nelly."  Never mind where I picked that one up, just thought it sounded right.  At this point, I've moved almost everything I own into this 19.5 ft. long area (thanks to craigslist for lightening my load).

     My most recent project was planting a small garden just above the couch.  This should serve as a means of veggies and herbs to counter my meat-eatin' habits, which will (after this summer) primarily come from salmon, caribou, moose, and ptarmigan (considering I have successful catches & hunts this summer & fall).  I suppose that's about as off grid as it gets for food options on the road.  I'm pretty psyched to have romaine & green leaf lettuce, onion chives, rosemary, basil, and dill within a few weeks.  No, I'm not going to eat the flowers, just thought the rig needed a bit more lively color.

What you see when you open the door

      With 19.5 ft of length to work with, I don't have a lot of roof space to stash everything I own... BUT I've somehow managed to squeeze it up there.  2 cargo boxes, 3 kayaks, 1 bike, 4 racks, 2 solar panels, a chimney for the wood stove, and an air conditioner that came with.  I'm half-way expecting all of this gear to fall on me when I'm kicking back on the couch one night.  Gulp.  You would think it would be overly top-heavy, but shockingly enough it's actually not too tippy (I have to tell myself that to justify keeping all my crap up there).

     I just accepted a job with the USGS (United States Geological Survey) as a hydrologist for the spring/summer/fall, so I'm pretty excited to be working outside on the rivers again!  Pretty cool have 2 kayaking buddies as a co-worker & boss too!  More soon enough...


Monday, May 14, 2012

Going crazy on a 4,000 mile drive by myself

I recently drove 4,000+ miles solo from Los Angeles to Alaska.  Since I was by myself,  I began talking to myself.  Here we go...


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Doing things the right way... the FIRST time!

      So, I had this zany thought... when you build something, why not build it the CORRECT way, the FIRST time around... so I did!  I want my new home to be as "off-grid" or "self-sufficient" as possible, where I can create my own heat, electricity, hot water, and cook without power from "the man."  Here is my new & improved home:

and another one:

and my prized interior possession:

      I'm on my way back towards Alaska at the moment, currently in Vancouver, BC.  The last 2 weeks have been consumed with pouring all of my energy into my new home, and I think it is turning out to be pretty rad!  Once I have a little more time, I'm going to be posting a "How-To" guide for all of the modifications I have made to this little Toyota motorhome.  Here's a list of modifications I've performed:

* Install a Kimberly wood burning stove!  A MOST EXCELLENT decision! If you are interested in this highly efficient and beautiful wood stove, I am a dealer... contact me directly or go to the Kimberly stove website and tell them that TIMMY SENT YOU!!!

* Install solar panels and a power inverter... my electricity comes from the sun!

* Install a custom made roof rack to carry whitewater kayaks and all of my gear for living "small, but big."

* Install a Badlands Basher front bumper and a good set of lights (in a potential, unfortunate scenario where my home might hit a moose, this will be a very good thing)

* Install a roof ladder, so I can actually access everything 10 ft. over my head.

     There you have it, that's all the eye-candy for now.  I'm currently in Whistler, British Columbia, where I plan on paddling a few steep creeks with the pack raft (or kayaking if I can find a hard-shell kayak).  Stay tuned for more adventure and a "How-To" section...

Timmy J.