|So, what have I included for three weeks on the
road? Let me give you some idea. Maybe 200 hours of
music. My ten-year old stereo: Denon tape deck (velcroed
to the dash) and 50 watt Denon amp (stowed under my
seat), first-generation Sony car disc player, and two
very sweet home-made speakers. The whole thing
disconnects in seconds to be stashed in one of two
security boxes which are locked and bolted to the floor.
The bookshelf is full. The rod holders hold four fishing
poles. There are two tackle boxes, a fly case, a pair of
hip waders, a landing net, a fishing vest, its pockets
bulging with stuff. There is a tool box, (with just the
basics including a couple of the ever-versatile
vice-grips, a current tester, a socket set, and a BFH).
Of course, there is a full roll of duct tape. Pots and
pans, (three cast iron pans, a wok, two copper-bottomed
sauce pans. Two Coleman unleaded-gas stoves (a combined
three burners, which allows me a dinner of: hashbrowns,
steamed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, chicken on the
grill, a bottle of chilled sauvignon blanc, fresh-brewed
coffee, and for dessert, Reeses peanut butter
Ive got a hammock, two cameras, a gas can, a water can, an electric air pump, a tv tray, a suit case-size collapsible four-seat picnic table, two coolers, a food box, a shovel, jumper cables, (like every good Minnesotan), a Coleman lantern, a folding chair, a collapsible stool, lots of rope, a 10x10 tarp (for protection from the rain as well as the blazing summer prairie sun.) One end of the plastic tarp attaches to the van, the other to three adjustable steel tent poles. I have a single-sized fouton which, along with a mosquito coil burning in the front and all the doors and windows open, allows me to sleep in the van. Depending on the toxicity of the mosquito coils, (to myself as well as the insects) I have included a three-man Eureka tent. Taking a travel tip from Steinbeck, as he puts forth in Travels With Charley, my dirty clothes are put in a sealed pail with soapy water and allowed to jostle all day, then taken out, rinsed, and hung to dry.
|As far as equipment allowing me to do business
far from the madding crowd, my main arsenal is a monster
Gateway laptop computer, along with a scanner, a digital
camera, and a voice-activated tape recorder. The van has
an installed 140 watt 12 volt converter which boosts the
voltage from the car battery to 110 volts, so I can use
the scanner, hook up lights, re-charge batteries, grind
my coffee, or use my cusinart. I would love to be able to
include a satellite communication system, but
couldnt find such a sponsor. As it is, I am forced
to beg for a phone outlet and use Compuserve. (Magellan
Navigation Systems, are you listening?) And, finally,
atop the van is my Mongoose Rockadile mountain bike and
my 17 foot Alumicraft canoe.
Im sure Ive forgotten a number of things, the feeling always haunts me. But this is America- what you need, (and dont need) is never far.
you are here