August 2016

I wrote of my uncertainty of just how exactly it was I was going to actually do this here “journey” o’ mine… Well, above shows what I chose to do – by means of mechanical transportation, after all, as I leave The Big 0(maha) behind.  The neon ‘City View’ sign you just happen to see behind me (I had wanted to see if I could include it in the background, but then forgot all about it when I was on the interstate shooting this… well, just so happens, I actually ended up getting it anyway!), is where all the photos of the Omaha downtown skyline (sadly, pretty much the bulk of the shooting I did the year I was back here) originated from… so, fitting, that as I leave the area, it is seen in reverse, the vantage point of where those all were taken.

So, yeah – decided upon not hoofin’ and walkin’ it… nor, doing it by bike… but, to drive it.  Reason being so, was just to accommodate all the crap that I had remaining, after giving everything else away, and wanted to bring with me… which was mostly every single lick of everything related photographic – lights, stands, even my photo monitor.  Also originally even brought my photo printer, but ended up leaving that at my ma’s, as I think the high temps messed with it, as I noted after trying to do some prints from my last portraiture shoot… the colors were off, and had a color cast to them.  Granted, it probably isn’t optimal for my photo calibrated monitor to be enclosed in a vehicle that mimics an oven, out over the road in this Summer heat… nor my two external hard drives, now that I think about it…  hopefully I don’t pay dearly for choosing to do so.

Anyway, on top of the photo gear, is of course day to day living essentials of clothing, food, cooking items for the food, sleeping, bedding, etc., etc.  As well as probably entirely too much other crap, that I am most likely going to end up leaving on the side of the road at some point here.  Just the old boy scout in me of, “always be prepared”, and bringing things that I may necessarily not need at all, but never know, maybe I will… and if perchance I do, well then I have the stuff.  Probably won’t though, and in the meanwhile am crowding up all the valuable space in my van with all this crap, making things tight.

So, that vehicle is a 1995 Dodge conversion van, that had only 96k miles on it… it was just as much of a RV I could afford, where it could get me around, as well as be able to use it as a “home” to live in and out of, as I galavant around the countryside.

gandhis-possessionsDoing so, did still though take a chunk out of the funds in order to do this all, nearly two-thirds of it… so, that hurt… but, just could see no other way around it, aside from going Ghandi and literally bringing whatever I could personally carry with me.

Which is another thing I was wary about doing the mechanical mode of transportation thing, is perchance the vehicle going kaput on me, and all of the sudden, I am without a vehicle (a vehicle that is housing all and everything I have and own), and stranded out, who knows where it ends up dying on me, and unable to be able to afford to fix.

Which is what happened to me yesterday on my very bloody first full day of this all (I am writing this on Day Two of already being on the trip)!  Where I am out in the middle of nowhere of the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, twenty plus miles from the nearest city – and Burgey (what I am calling the van… I am not too original when it comes to naming my vehicles, the van is burgundy… my previous car was Whitey… had a Blackie, a Goldie… and I am sure you can guess their colors), all the sudden dies and stalls on me, and will not start back up.

Great!  Just mother fuckin’ super ass great and awesome!  Really?!  Day fuckin’ one of this fucked up whatever it is that I am doing, and the means in which I am doing it, all the sudden deciding that it is just not going to function! 😒😞😠

Well, after a $128 tow this morning to the nearest town, all seems to be well now, thankfully.  Starting back up and running as normal.  Don’t have the slightest clue as to what it was that caused it to not start for over eighteen hours, to the point of the battery going low… but, all is well now.  Possibly vapor lock, that even upon cool down, still would turn over, but not start?  Somehow also too the engine getting flooded, in my trying to start it over and over?  Or it just not liking the fact that it did so, while I was driving off road through the Wildlife Refuge?  The dirt, dust, rumbling all about on the washboard road… maybe it was just it’s way of saying – “Hey, I’ll do this for you and get you around, but just stay on the main roads, pal, okay?  I’m a twenty-one year old frickin’ van here!”

So, that took a cut out of the traveling funds… though am not complaining at all, as that was the extent of the costs!  So, am not complaining at all in the slightest!  And want to to thank Ryan Battershaw (which, funny and small world, is distantly related to my cousin’s previous husband who passed away a year or two back), at Tony’s Tire and Auto, in Valentine, Nebraska… for not only driving all the way down and getting me, first thing this morning… but also, spending time checking out what could have caused it stalling, and not starting in the first place, and not charging me one red cent further for his time…  Sincerest appreciation and thanks to him!

So, I don’t know.

The three week interim I had while sitting back in the area, waiting for things to arrive in order to finally commence this all, I have to honestly admit, my feeling when it was time to do this all, wasn’t really one of glee, and/or eager excitement in – “Hey!  Let’s do this! 😃👍🏼 This is just a GREAT fuckin’ idea, of what all you’ve been thinkin’ of doin’, Jeff!”  But, the only thing that would come to my head, when the prospect of actually going out and doing this came closer and closer, was – “what the fuck am I doing?!”

And, I don’t know.  I’m purposefully unemployed, homeless, and living out of a fucking van… and, for what?  I CHOSE to do this!  The deed has been done, copious amounts of savings spent on doing just this – to giving away all I own, and now living out of a fucking van! and wandering aimlessly around the fuckin’ country, in hopes of figuring out what to do with my sorry ass son of a bitchin’ self!

I don’t know.

I always try to live by my highest right, of what feels most important and matters the most, to lead me to be and do in my life… knowing that whatever I choose and do, if I do so in this regard, well, is the best and right thing for me to do, and for me.  Do, I feel that what I am doing now is?  Honestly?  No.  Not at all.  Feel I am just doing it now, because I have done and spent all that I have, just solely for this… have made this bed, and now I got to sleep in it.

Was Burgey yesterday acting up, his, and universe’s way of saying to me – “hey, Jeff, let this be a sign, wake up call, to call it, and cut your losses to what they are now.”?

What’s the alternative though?  Just try and start over from scratch, finding just some other stupid dumb ass money-job, that I would be able to get, and just perpetuating what has led me here in the first place?!  It’s that same square one hell that I have been living heretofore, that I am trying to eradicate and get the hell out of!

I need to figure me the fuck out.  What it is I am here to be, and do.  I am so tired of being empty.  Tired of being lost.  Tired of not knowing what to do.  That is why I chose this extreme course of action that I am now submersed in, to like force my hand in trying to come to grips with just what it all may be about.

So…  I don’t know where I am going, I don’t know what I am to do… just gonna keep pluggin’ away… hopin’ that at some point…

I really am sad, sorry case.

Just doin’ what it is I am capable of doin’.

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  • PaulAugust 10th, 2016 - 5:42 pm

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for visiting my photoblog and for your comments.  I was actually on your site and looking at your photo archive last night (I somehow never saw the archive on my last visit — was it always there?) but I am guilty of really liking some photos and keeping it to myself, so I’ll go back later on and leave you a few comments (although now I wonder if there was even the ability to comment on individual photos?)
    “finding just some other stupid dumb ass money-job, that I would be able to get, and just perpetuating what has led me here in the first place” 
    “I am so tired of being empty.  Tired of being lost.  Tired of not knowing what to do.  That is why I chose this extreme course of action that I am now submersed in, to like force my hand in trying to come to grips with just what it all may be about.”
    I can really relate. I have been tired for so long, and empty for much, much longer,  but when you’re younger, if you don’t have the fortitude, it’s so easy to think that things will fall into place, that there’s still time.  As you get older, and things don’t fall into place, one starts to realize that there is actually not that much time anymore, and action is needed, and always was.  Like you, I’m at a point where I am approaching a drastic change in my life (not as drastic as you though it does involve quitting my job to just go do what I want). 
    I’m following you through RSS as well — curious to see where your travels take you and wishing you well.
    Oh, and great photo illustrating this post.ReplyCancel

    • JPHAugust 11th, 2016 - 9:20 am

      Hi, Paul, thank you for stopping by also.
      Yeah, the Photo Archives has always been there… maybe just my fault of not making things as easily noticeable.
      Yes, you are right, there is no way to comment on individual photos, as I really wanted my photo presentations to be just the photos, easy to be gone through, one right after another (well, within a year), in the lightbox format, as opposed to opening up and loading a new page each and every time… it has it’s trade-offs.  Comments and thoughts can still be left though, at the bottom of any yearly page, below the thumbnail grids.
      I feel your pain, and can totally relate to what you said.  I wish you well on your drastic change, and hope that it brings for you what you are hoping to find and attain.
      I look forward to now following your travels and work too, and glad to be to.  Wishing you all the best, Paul.ReplyCancel