He’s a newspaper man.
And he gets his best ideas
from a newspaper stand.
From his boots to his pants,
to his comments and his rants,
he knows that any little article will do!
’bout his part in the plan,
and he can’t understand,
that he’s not in command;
The decisions underwritten
by the cash in his hand,
bought a sweater for
his weimariner too…
I felt like it was time to write something…in a different format…with a little creativity. Earlier this month, after gobs of research and budgeting, I went to the ‘burbs of Chicago and bought a new truck with a camper shell. Ever since I became interested in mountain/ultra trail races, the subject of truck camping has appealed to me for the sole purpose of being able to efficiently access big miles of trails. So far, I’ve went to the UP of Michigan and traversed the entire state of Wisconsin. Within this post, I want to share the logistics of everything. Also, for creativity, I included some lyrics via my favorite band, TV on the Radio, highlighted in red and dispersed throughout the post…just because…creativity!
Within the past few years, it’s obvious that society has exhibited a love for nature and the outdoors via pictures/videos portrayed by the ever-popular social media outlets. I totally dig. I’m definitely apart of this epidemic, capturing shots during epic trail runs or, usually, just of a really tasty beer.
My exploration of mother nature comes in the form of running on, through, up, down, or around the landscape. A lot. This is why truck camping appeals to me (and why I wanted a truck to begin with). I’m able to adventure to a new geographically attractive location, sleep luxuriously next to the trailhead, and spend the next morning loping through the trails. No charge.
After a few bouts of experience, I came up with some simple rules:
1. Don’t take what I say too seriously.
2. The more you plan, the less authentic the experience. Don’t let “planning” ruin “doing.”
3. Comfort and cleanliness aren’t guaranteed. Accept being a little dirty…it means you’re having fun, right?
4. Go to breweries for good brews and roasters for good beans…no choice of words will break me from this rule.
The method to my madness (happiness):
To run big miles in a geographically attractive area (mountains, woods, lakes, greenery, cool weather…northern US)…usually the site of an upcoming race or a National Forest/Park…
Caught up in the feeling,
cut right through the ceiling,
ground below receding,
blink of an eye, higher than high.
On Mondays, I pack during the day before my Greenbush shift at night. After work, I depart straight from the brewery to Wisconsin. I use the old-fashioned way to pay for tolls around Chicago, with quarters. When the sun rises on Thursday mornings, I head all the way back south to Sawyer, MI, for my night shift at the brewery.
Got a curse I cannot lift,
shines when the sunset shifts.
When the moon is round and full,
gotta bust that box gotta gut that fish.
I bought a red 2005 Ford Ranger (100k miles-of-age), access cab, 4×4, V6…I have a camper shell over the bed. I’m currently building a bed frame with room for storage underneath…utilizing every space I can. Other plans include attaching a solar panel to the roof and installing a battery box for electricity access in the bed…time (and money) will tell.
You set your sights so high.
But this is beginning to feel like the bolt busted loose from the lever.
Large cooler stocked with ice…I buy a few gallons of water jugs (cheap and useful)…I bring plenty of water bottles…I eat black beans, Picky Bars, fruit, nuts, and whatever I buy at farmers’ markets. I bring a couple growlers…one with beer, one with cold brew. Always buzzed with a Caffeinated Consciousness.
Besides food/water and hygienic items, I make sure to pack a pair of sandals and both sets of running shoes…sleeping gear (mattress, blankets, pillow, etc.), clothing, towels, my backpack with a notebook and pen, phone, iPad, wallet, headlamp, shades, Patagonia hat, hydration vest, Clif Shot gels, among others…
Libraries. I love finding a small town library, in the middle of nowhere, sitting down and reading, blogging, working on schoolwork, or Internet surfing. Nobody knows me. I know nobody.
There are lakes EVERYWHERE. Clean lakes. Secluded lakes. I wash with biodegradable soap, wearing only my running shorts and towel off. I use the bathrooms in libraries or hotel lobbies to brush my teeth, etc.
Okay, enough of that. That is what I do and how I do it. I wish I had more to say but I don’t. I’m certain I will learn more as I go along…I’m a novice at this point. All I know is that it’s tons of fun and I have had some of the best runs of my life.
It’s the ending of a show.
And I throw my body down.
And I slip into the ground,