Temporary Normalcy

When you have constant access to a roof and a microwave, it can be hard to get back on the road.


So I’ve been back in Nebraska for two weeks now, a full week longer than I intended. I have had a lot of business to take care of, but I have to acknowledge that I am a bit reluctant to continue my journey. Even though I know I will enjoy it once I start rolling, that first mile is always the toughest. (just like jumping into a pool)

One of the biggest problems is all of the wonderful people in my life. Were I surrounded by loathsome family and acquaintances, leaving would be a lot easier. So I would ask everyone I know: Could you guys just be kind of terrible for the next 7-ish months? That will make my trip much more manageable.




A bunch of things have happened, but I’ll just give a real quick run-down:

My time at home started with a family reunion at my Grandma’s farm (pictured above). 54 of the 59 family members were able to be in attendance. It was a great time.

Picking sweet corn:

Thanks for the photo, Aunt Norma.

Exploring the grove with my nephew, Calvin:

Teaching my brother, Smiley, to husk corn:

One of us…one of us….one of us…

My family unit, minus the Canadians:

Thanks, Cousin Daley, for this picture and the one at the top.

I spent a few days in my hometown of Norfolk:


I had the opportunity to feel like a true hipster while I was back. In 2009, I was strongly considering going to China to see a total solar eclipse. The intersection of the phenomena with physics, specifically the theory of relativity, has long interested me. Ultimately I decided that I would not take the trip, feeling called to a greater role at the homeless shelter where I was working part time. Ten days after the decision was made, I was offered a full time position and remained employed there for seven years.

One of the factors that influenced this decision was knowing that an eclipse was coming in 2017. I knew I would get a great viewing opportunity in my home state. To complicate matters, I decided to go on this crazy trip (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) so I had to plan my schedule around returning for the eclipse.

Forecasts were foreboding in the Lincoln area, which stressed me out quite a bit. We decided to head west, watching forecasts on the way. My parents came down for the event and my friends Kyle and Chris were along too.

Mapping and radaring:

We ended up on a dirt road in the Nebraska sandhills, near the town of Arnold.

Our view was absolutely perfect:



Back in Lincoln, my focus was on Annie. I did a bunch of maintenance, even straightening out radiator fins:

New brake pad, old brake pad:


I also decided that Annie needed a nametag. Some intricate knife-work before spray painting:

Looking sharp:

(I had a weird chemical reaction take place between my clear coat and some acetone, which caused some cloudiness on the lower part of the windshield.)

Sonic got reprinted and resealed:


I mounted an old hydration backpack to the frunk lid. I’ve struggled to find the best way to carry water. We’ll see how this works.



I also started a new tradition of having people sign Annie as I go. She’s been asking to get a tatoo for some time.

It will be fun to see it fill up with names.


What’s next? Northeast.

I’ll be heading up through Canada, checking off four stops in Ontario: Toronto, Faraday, Kinston and Ottawa. Then it will be up to Schefferville, the most isolated spot on my trip. There are no roads leading there, so I plan to take a train in. After that I will work my way down into New England and the East Coast.


Thus begins Chapter 2. Let’s put on our tough face and take on the East!



Author: BA


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