In response to your questions!
What are you going to do with Clarence after your trip?
Clarence, the beloved MyPod, has been a real trooper through this whole thing. We’ve shared some fantastic memories and I’m so glad that I chose to go the travel-trailer route rather than sleeping in a tent every night. That being said, I’m pretty sure I’m going to sell Clarence after my trip. I won’t be needing a teardrop trailer that much anymore, and I could use the money. Sorry Clarence, nothing personal. I’m confident that you’ll go to a good home.
Anyone want to buy a camper trailer?
Do you get lonely?
Yes and no. For the most part, I enjoy being by myself and chit-chatting with strangers on a regular basis. It’s fun to meet new people and hang out, but at the end of the day, I’m glad that I can have my alone time. When I’m in places without cell reception or WiFi, I tend to feel a little bit more isolated. It’s important for me to feel connected to my friends and family back home. I can think of only a handful of times when I was truly lonely, and all of them happened when I was in the middle of nowhere and the weather was crappy.
How many miles have you put on your car so far?
So far? 21,573 miles. Wow, right? Some of these are Clarence-less miles. National parks tend to be very large, and often it takes quite a ways to get to certain overlooks or trails I want to see. Clarence stays back at camp, so I’m not always towing him.
How do you cook your food? What do you eat?
I try to eat well while on the road, consuming balanced meals and ensuring I meet all my nutrition needs. Here’s a typical day’s food consumption:
Breakfast – Special K Protein with dried milk and banana
Snack #1 – Apple
Snack #2 – Protein bar
Lunch – Turkey and cheese sandwich with spinach; baby carrots or cucumber on the side
Snack #3 – Pretzels and peanut butter
Dinner – Canned soup and crackers
Snack #4 – Dried fruit
Since I tend to hike a lot, I need to eat frequently or else I lose energy. About once a week I’ll treat myself to a meal out. When I have access to a microwave, I can make mac ‘n cheese, Yakisoba, and a host of other processed, salty foods. Paired with a salad on the side my dinners are quite tasty!
What’s been your favorite park so far?
This is a tough question. This post nicely summed up some of the highlights from Part I. As far as the second part of my trip is concerned, Channel Islands takes the cake. I also really enjoyed the Redwoods – something about the coast that really intrigues me.
What is the most challenging hike you have had up to now while on your adventure? What made it the most challenging?
Two hikes come to mind:
(1) Kingsnake Trail in Congaree. This was just difficult. It was 104°, super humid, and the whole place was teeming with tiny creatures that bite (mosquitoes, black flies, etc.). This was also the second park I visited and the 11.7 miles exhausted me. To top it all off, the trail was difficult to find at places, so sometimes I ended up bushwhacking.
(2) Gunnison Route. This was technically challenging. While only 1 mile, the elevation change is 1800 feet. That’s really steep – more like a bonafide scramble than a traditional hike. There was lose gravel, huge steps, and lots of perilous places where I was sure I was going to tumble head over heals to the bottom. Coming back up was a cardio workout, but less harrowing than the descent.
What are you going to do after your trip?
Not sure yet. I’m workin’ on this… 🙂
… are you going to write a book or something?
I plan on it! I’ve already started organizing my thoughts in hopes of putting together my most memorable stories from my travels.