“If you have trouble sleeping, if you toss and turn, is it really because of the mattress under you? Is there such a thing as a ‘comfortable bed,’ or is that just a feeling we have when we’re at peace enough to sleep at night?”
Page 203, The New American Road Trip Mixtape
(photo by @thegription)
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…” -John Muir
About your submission. It doesn’t have to be a place. Maybe it’s a person, your soul-mate that makes you feel comfortable and calm and at home whenever you are near. Maybe it’s you and your dog hanging out in a city park. Maybe it’s a car. Like mine. Anytime I return from any adventure where my van is parked, I feel like I’m almost home. There’s a bed in the back. There is food underneath. There are memories of the years spent traveling with all that we own fitting inside. This van, who my wife and I named “Lorraine” is definitely a big part of my definition of home.
Excited to announce that this labor of love is in sale on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle today. Search for The New American Road Trip Mixtape or go to semi-rad.com for info.
I recently met Brendan Leonard. He’s a book author now as well as writer for various outdoor magazines. He is a fellow searcher, a full time van dweller, living a very-rad life while also running his writing blog over at www.semi-rad.com.
His book is about figuring life out, trying to escape the 9-5, settle down, get a mortgage, save for retirement, buy-stuff-you-don’t-need-that-ends-up-owning-you-more-than-you-own-it kinda deal. Our stories had a lot in common, and his writing style is real, raw, funny, and heart felt. Go to his website and get inspired.
Where My Headwaters Run
This is Peak Lake. This is the Wind River Range. This is Wyoming. This is where it begins. It is the Green River, the main stem of the Colorado. This is where snow melt streams become the water course that carved the Grand Canyon. and so much of the landscape in between.
We all have our own headwaters. Things that carve us and make us what we are. For some it is family and a rooted sense of place. For some it is a wandering, restless pursuit. For some it is a spiritual journey that leads to another world. It is our job to understand this relationship. To seek out what it is that makes us. Some do it with books. Others with the internet and photographs. Some seek in churches. For me, it’s a map, a van, a notebook, and a guitar.
I fear that too many people don’t seek out their own headwaters. We forget to look for the source. The Source. We get lazy. We live Thoreau’s maligned lives of quiet desperation. We forget to listen to our own lives, dreams, and yearnings.
These are the things that inspire me to write songs. I have just finished a new album that describes the journey I have seen from the road, living as a nomad, and the people I’ve met and stories we’ve shared along the way. I am very inspired by people who are seeking out their own headwaters and a new version of the American dream.
That is just my story. Now I want to hear yours.