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By Jon Danner, 2012-05-04
Well guys, I am about worn out. My girlfriend and I have been getting ready for the epic trekking to begin again and a LOT of work went into it this time. For those of you who don't know, we spent 8 months out of the last year tramping across the country, riding on our thumbs (hitchin'). We covered almost the whole country and made it almost 20k miles before we stopped in March to work on a van that we bought.
Jesus, that van. We bought a 1979 Chevy Trans Van for $1000 in St. Petersburg, FL, drove it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and then to Oklahoma to fix it up. It's a piece of work. Needed a TON of interior TLC. Stripped it down to the bare floors and beyond. Been working on it non-stop ever since. Today I just got the new paneling up for the walls, so next week I can start the install on the futon and table, plus storage space. It's been causing a lot of stress, to say the least. Freakin' bureaucracy is just crazy in this country. Titles, fees, registration, insurance...have this paperwork, that form, fill out this paper, stand in that line, go over here. And we wonder why people go crazy. I'm not there yet, but my patience is being tested.
On top of that, we just opened up a new shop for our jewelry over on Etsy (The Hippie Hempworks) and have been killing ourselves making new pieces to sell at all the festivals we'll be hitting. I have photos up on my page of some of our stuff. I'm really excited about the new Tokewear. I'm hoping we'll be able to do well with those. If they'll sell well anywhere, they'll sell well at festivals! We have about 40 pieces done and want to make about 50 more before we hit the road. First on the list is Sasquatch, up in George, WA. Then we're turning around and coming back to Red Rocks, CO to catch Bassnectar on June 1st. After that, a quick jaunt to Bonnaroo in Tennessee, up to Rothbury for Electric Forest, then on to the National Rainbow Gathering. Once all that is done, it's on to All Good in Ohio and then we're planning on heading to Alaska for a couple of months. We might not make it that far this year, but if we have to settle for trim jobs in NorCal...oh darn, that would break my poor little heart. :D
We're doing all of this on a shoestring budget and we're just hoping that we can sell enough at each stop to pay for the gas to get to the next stop. If not, well....we might just have to ditch a van and go back to thumbing it. Not giving up on our plans though...too much awesomeness packed into one summer to give up on it. We had annual salaries last year of less than $5k...combined. I'm not even sure how we managed it and this year we might be lucky to clear another $5k, but we'll keep going. Money isn't as hard to live without once you stop wanting stuff, but having some more of it sure would make things easier sometimes! :D
On the dread front, the locks are looking good and I just started working on some new burnt bamboo wood beads to pass out to the dreadies I see along the road! The first one came out pretty well, so I'll be making more shortly. Peyote stitching for cuffs is still on my list of things to do...if I can ever find the time!
Truthfully, there wasn't much reason for this post outside of a need to purge. I'm worn out, sore, and hungry. At least I can take care of one of those right now. So until next time, be good to each other and love each other. May the Light of the Universe shine on each and every one of you!