A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. ~ Lao Tzu
I’ve been talking about some kind of road trip writing project since 1996. The idea keeps evolving. The first involved recruiting my talented friend and photographer Dara Blakeley and driving around North Carolina–documenting our lovely small towns and communities before Wal-martization gobbled them up, leaving a shell of empty brick buildings on Main Street. Sadly, it’s just about too late for that project.
Several years later, my husband Dan expanded on the idea and suggested taking a cross-country trip via VW Vanagon. He called it a Blue, Brew, and ‘Que Tour: We would travel to bluegrass Meccas and festivals, stopping for samples of local microbrews and barbecue along the way. We figured we could buy an old Vanagon and do some work on it; he’d drive and I’d write. Watching our neighbor renovate a cool 23’ Airstream she bought on craigslist, fueled our interest. We knew that we’d eventually do something like that.
When Dan died unexpectedly in 2009, I lost focus and interest in a lot of things–including most of my creative outlets like cooking, gardening, and writing. Thank goodness I didn’t give up on music–it’s always been something that connects me to Big Dan. I’m trying to play guitar (and failing mostly), and I see live music whenever I can. I was recently at Black Mountain’s crunchy music festival LEAF where I saw a vendor’s cute Scamp trailer. It had a lot of charm but needed much more love. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since, so I decided it was time to look into owning my own camper and possibly writing about whatever journey comes along with it.
My road trip won’t be the same without Dan, but I know he’d be happy that I didn’t give up on our idea.