6/5 - Almost to Oregon, 20-year-old Elizabeth Taylor Mobile Assault Vehicle and World Peace Day Spa passes the 100,000 mile mark.
6/1 - My girl, my girl, don’t lie to me, tell me where did you sleep last night?
6/1 - Self-Portrait with Elizabeth Taylor, Vantage Point off of CA HWY 299
I dropped the CouchSurfers off in Arcata as the sun went down and set out toward my next stop of Chico, CA on the most treacherous part of the trip as of this writing. CA 299 through Shasta/Trinity National Forest might not be much of a task for the modern sedan but for a Full-Size 1991 Chevy G20 Van with less than perfect shocks these hairpin turns up and down the mountain were pure insanity.
I was amazed at some of the radio stations I was getting in. Good indie rock and even a punk show? No cell service for miles but someone is playing Ratatat? For serious?
Ladies and Gentleman, for the second time in my 30-years I am about to embark on an epic journey. The road is long and fraught with hidden dangers…and rest stops. The magical beast you see above is Elizabeth Taylor - Mobile Assault Vehicle and World Peace Day Spa. The finest piece of 1991 Chevy Van that $2,200 could buy. She’s only got 96k miles and there is even a foursquare check-in for her. (If only I could find out how to make it a moving target). I named her thusly because the day I closed the deal was the day that Liz died. She was also delivered to me by fate. While driving a cab I had the same customer twice: the first time was to take him to his storage unit after he put his 2 vans in storage for the winter. The second time is when he took them out to sell them. On the week that I just happened to hatch the idea to buy a van and head west.
My destination is unknown. I will only know where I’m going when I get there. I will be running away from my hometown of Grand Island, Nebraska at 10am tomorrow morning; my only plan: follow the Great Magnet until fate steps in and shows me my future.
The last time I attempted this journey it was just myself, a guitar and my suitcase in my black 1995 Volkswagen Jetta. It was a cold January in 2007 and I’d just finished college and wanted to head west and visit some friends. On that quest it took all of 4-days for the universe to deliver an answer to the question of, “Where to?”
I’d visited my father and a friend in Colorado and then just happened to stop in Salt Lake City on my way to Seattle when I met up with a host from Couchsurfing.org who was a film student at Utah University (I didn’t even know heavenly father made a U of U [j/k -atheist joke!]) who told me that the Sundance Film Festival was going on that week and I should check it out. So I decided I would hang out a day or two and then make like Jay-Z and on to the next one.
Once I got there I sent out a Myspace bulletin just to check in (yeah Myspace! it was that long ago!) and got a message from the friend of a friend that I’d met the previous Spring Break on a trip to LA.
He was in a band that had just been signed to Virgin Records and were playing a BMI showcase to get placement in TV and Movies which means they were very bored and wanted to hang out.
I’d told them that I had no post-collegiate plans and they knew that I had experience in Live Music/Support and they asked me to come meet them in LA and be their one man road crew for a while. My mantra for that trip and this one is “Visualize abundance and the Universe will provide.” I know it’s kind of flaky and don’t you fucking dare say that it’s part of “The Secret” but I’m not going to argue with fate taking 4 fucking days to decide! Look at how long it took to kill Bin Laden!
I arrived in LA on Valentine’s Day of 2007, immediately started working and stayed there for exactly 3.5 years to the day. Ultimately I’d decided that LA was gorgeous ride-my-motorcycle-year-round endless fun and all but didn’t feel like home anymore. Oh yeah and it’s a fucking expensive oversize dirty shithole full of poisonous monsters loosely classified as human beings that will inevitably get flushed into the fucking ocean. So naturally I’m thinking about Seattle.
Joining me for the first part of the journey is my friend Ryan D. from High School (not sure I want to blast anyone’s name out on Tumblr).
So wish us luck and stay tuned for updates!
I’m good, I’m gone.
-T.J.Roe (formerly the Scabdriver)