Better, much better.

I think I know what the problem is. Now, I’m not sure if I just figured it out or it’s just come to me to say it out loud. Yet, for me at least, saying things out loud generally helps an idea along.  Either the sound of a thought or idea in my mind or on paper is so ridiculous once said, that the thought poofs out of existence like a water droplet into thin air. Other thoughts once said, are more intriguing and they seem to stick around. Hopefully those are the words that I’ll turn into actions.

Now, the problem. I have no deadlines. Not to move, not to finish any projects, not to do anything other than the basics (get food, water) and the travel plan to move on by tomorrow. No assignments due, no appointments on the calendar (short-term I meant, AK middle of May.) I had a telephone appointment earlier this week with my caseworker in Michigan. I have now been expat’d from the state, or at least from one of their benefit programs. Apparently, I have failed the residency requirements.

At this point, my healthcare is still active, yet I’m not sure how/if that will work going forward. From this point on I will be receiving no food benefits from the state, yet still have the amount already accrued, about sixteen hundred dollars worth of food. My EBT card is one of my post valuable possessions and should be enough to feed me for maybe three or four months? Hmm, actually, I have no precise idea, I should figure that out. In any case, cost is not issue in my diet.

The excess, in case you’re curious, is that when I began to receive them last year, I couldn’t use them. In order to buy food with an EBT card you have to physically go to the store and I couldn’t. Well not easily enough to do grocery shopping every week. And with Kroger food delivery I didn’t need to- I just needed to login to the website and pay with a credit card (yet not EBT.) The first time I physically went grocery shopping myself and used the card was once I arrived in Mathis, Texas, just before the new year.

Hmm actually, that is easy enough, that is enough for about three more months.. surely more once I start to stretch it. Long enough to find gold? Of course I do have some other assets for sale as I still have to fully finance the trip to Alaska. I might need to start looking for gold before I get to Alaska.

So back on topic, the issue with no deadlines.  I have a list (somewhat mental) of things I want to do, photography hikes, metal detecting and prospecting, car projects and I’ve carrying around (and acquiring) the tools I’ll need. Yet, what am I waiting for? I could be doing a big photography hike everyday – likely by now I should be considering I was walking the same amount of miles per day as I was two months ago. Yes, much stronger and stable, yet no faster.

The car projects? I flipped to that list this morning after I didn’t like what I saw on the list on the first pad (pack & leave.) Looking at the car projects, I noticed I still hadn’t installed the DC-to-DC charger for the car. I bought that nearly two months ago, before leaving Texas, and was in a rush to get it installed before I did leave and take the next five hour drive in the journey. At the time, I was running low on juice as the winter Texas weather was a bit dim and cloudy the last week or two I was there. However, there I had a deadline. And when it came the charger did not get installed.

By time I got to Jal, NM, I found they had free electricity at their free RV park and didn’t “need” to have it installed, and it dropped back to the list. (Well, for those following along, these lists have come and go..) Really, it dropped to a different list- things I could do if I needed to. I still wanted it, yet unless I hit clouds or really start upping my usage, I’m good on juice. Yet, I still wanted it done- it’s still on the list. Yet, on a list with no deadline.

As I looked at the item on my list, I really hoped I would get it installed at the next spot, if nothing else just so I could cross it off.  How many days have I sat here in Brantley Lake and not done it? Kind of ridiculous. Also, though I’m not the biggest fan of driving, yet having all my electronics working while I do sure makes it lot more fun- yet, where am I with installing a navigation system on the pi computer? Where is my hidden door unlock switch?

I need to push harder everyday, I have to or I’m forever going to limit my ability to push forward. This really has been a great site for working on the car (other than the torrential winds.) For a moment, I hoped my next site had a similar setup- just like this, with my car parked and empty and all my tools laid out on the ground. If I could get my next site setup just like this, I could get it done there.  Well, WTF. Why couldn’t I just get it done here?

The first week I was at Brantley the rangers would drive though each morning- I remember wondering if they would count my days. The last two weeks? I haven’t even seen the ranger trunk around. I effective have no time limit here. (I’m also, therefor, effectively squatting here.. annual camping pass or not, I am supposed to move every fourteen days.) Anyhow.. everything is set and ready for me to do projects…

Then I sat down and bitched about the wind for two more weeks.  Yet, when I was hungry, I fought the wind to eat. When the wind took down my tent, I fought it to resurrect my structure. Yet, with the things I did not “need”, only “wanted”, those I sacrificed to the wind. Yet losing my fun activities day by day, made the day easier on my body, yet long term I think it’s had, or could have, the opposite effect- eventually it will just keep getting harder to do the things I do have to do.

I see this now. I also see the DC-to-DC charger almost completely installed. It’s a mess in there. This is the last time I’m doing it, yet all the custom wiring was removed, it’s time to do this right. On the next leg of the roadtrip, the electronics will just work.  They are supposed to help me along on the trip, not what I do on the trip. Also, thinking of the car. I love not having a passenger seat, so much space. Enough, I think to be able to sleep comfortably.

They I thought about another hesitation to leave- I might not be able to set up a new camp my first night out.. back to sleeping in the car. Those segments of this journey have not been fun- especially when they’ve stretched for a week.  After I finish the wiring tomorrow, I’m going to measure everything up, yet, I think the height of the batteries almost perfectly matches the base height of the backseat. If so, or even if it’s close, I could remove the rear seats and across them and the passenger seat void place a sheet of plywood. It would have to be cut to a perfect ‘L’ shape and could easily have room for storage under it.

Yet, that almost makes the idea of packing up and leaving sound fun. To go get in my home away from home and go for a drive. Have a place to sit in the car if it rains and to have a place to lay down and sleep. Yet otherwise, force myself to be outside, standing, walking, hiking, whatever. Until I find a nice spot to spread out again, and setup a new camp. It would give me more options.

I’m not sure if I’m going to go that far with it- yet, for another day delay to design it, go to Lowes, get them to cut it (two free cuts, then two dollars each, per sheet of plywood.) Of course, after seeing if it will even feasibly work (I think it will.) And this is my new idea today.. there is no takeoff this time, there is no deadline. I want to finish these things, so I can focus on doing other things.

The last thought before I put down the list and went to work on installing the charger was I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.. yet I do have to do something.

Today was a good day.  I sleep more comfortable last night than I have in months. Same pads under me, yet also sleeping on top of the mummy bag (it was forty eight degrees) with just my ordinary blanket over me. The extra inches of padding were almost too much, almost.

Once I got going on the car (which tangented into a dozen other things) the hours of the day flew by, eventually making me miss lunch. It was four already so I settle for an early dinner at six. Steak with potato salad and pasta salad. Hmm..

Tomorrow, more stuff- ohh.. my legs, good day for the legs. My left ankle is trying to stand up now (I can’t remember what the doctors called it.) For me, on my left leg, I stand on my heel. However, you’re supposed to stand on the ball of your foot. Yes, your heel touches the ground, it with just an ankle flex the weight is on your toes.  However, my ankles doesn’t flex well and there isn’t the strength in my leg to stand up on my toes. Yet, today, I could feel my calf engaging in a new way with almost every step.

For most the morning it was lightly entertaining, a new spring in my step with my left side really ‘pushing off’ on the toe. By evening all the affected muscles were trobbing. Yet, in a good way.

Okay, a much better day today.. I can do anything I want, even if I want to rest.

Time to rest.

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