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.

Dan and Paige

A happy, silly moment.

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.

A Scamp trailer

My catalyst. I wanted to take this beauty home with me and give her the love she deserves.

17 Responses to About

  1. Yvonne says:


  2. Debbie Rose says:

    So fun! I can’t wait to hear more. And to see you out here in your camper someday soon!

  3. Chris says:

    Keeping my eyes peeled for the perfect camper while I’m in your neck of the woods especially…

  4. I know someone who could travel the roads and document your journey (journey, don’t stop believin”)

  5. wendy says:

    Glad you carried on and continued w/that shared dream. Dreaming is what it’s all about:) God Bless!!

  6. Blogging and campers good times. I find my self in a camper after events far beyond my control as well. It is an adventure and I am making the most it. Happy Trails!

  7. Thanks TAN! I just peeked at your blog and loved it. Happy trails to you too!

  8. Pingback: Gloom, despair, agony on me | ReCamp

  9. The now cliche of “You GO Girl!” seems really appropriate. So sorry about your man Dan. Hang in there.

  10. Brett swearingen says:

    Do you know a contact and number for someone with a Spartan Carasoul for sale. We want to do the renovation.
    My best friends grandfather “Lieberman” was partner and built Spartan homes here in Tulsa. They still do homes, but shipping container homes!! He will restore it if I find one 🙂
    Brett Swearingen

  11. Debi Holcombe says:

    I saw this cute little camper the other day & was looking online for a “Scamp” & found your story. So sorry 4 Ur loss but don’t lose Ur dream!! Luv the Scamp – just darling! God bless!! :))

  12. Grace Kelly Laster says:

    Hey..our little Scamp! We still have her. She was a stripped out shell many years ago and we bought it from a friend for $1 who knew we needed both something to camp in at artcar and art events with our young daughter and save on hotels while we traveled. She was gonna fix it up for travel but it languished for years. She has a cool little vintage car camper world at her house in various state of decay and repair in an art environment and plenty of projects and travel herself so she blessed us by letting her go to us..We sealed and custom painted it inside and out and added the top shapes we found somewhere and added a vw kitchenette ,my husband built the bunk ,we added vintage shades and and made a vanity out of a fifties tv cabinet with make up mirror for costume changes at parades with pitcher and bowl to wash up ,with storage for linens inside .It has a built in closet. We even had a tiny microwave and combo coffee toaster and egg maker. We love finding tiny versions of things.a tiny heater warmed it up fast and we had tiny little fans to keep it cool.. Never needed AC because it was just for the evening on warm weather adventures . We had a tiny portable toilet for travel and also insulated it with the foil insulation to keep it warm and put down a new floor and tile. We have put new tires on a couple times. And put temp tow lights on the back a couple times when the vintage ones went out. It is a really old model Our friend had already checked the undercarriage and painted it .but we did have the tow tongue replaced when it became damaged from rough road coming back from New Orleans..yes we camped in a driveway in New Orleans as well as the bayou at Chauvin ,the beach several places in Florida, mountain lakes and farms and roadside easements . We put mirror tiles and Christmas lights inside instead of restoring the vinyl interior because it brightens it up at night. We used it a number of years from the mountains to the sea and my daughter used it as her magical warm playhouse at cold and wet art shows. She was very popular with the art kids! There are several things that are old and funky about our camper.that are nostalgic.the crackled Elvis tire cover which it came with..we are Elvis Fanatics! the broken window that we never replaced..it was my giant belt buckle that cracked it,the door is tyewhoppity because she was tossed about at sea before being sold at auction super cheap by the Navy who had used it as a conjugal visit trailer in Virginia Beach. We left all the old Navy stickers and signage warning to leave it clean or get a charge of $25. We used it at many spectacular festivals,artcar events and burns and she has been bedazzled in different ways..we still have the flamingos and she currently resides at home and is a great retreat for a nap ,making art or a houseguest. We just run a cord and hook up whatever they need. People have begged us to buy it to “restore” it but we customized it just for our weird specifications and don’t plan on selling it or changing it much ever. My daughter wants it..she’s a teen now. We have had illness that has kept us off the road for the last number of years. Maybe later some more adventures for my husband and I or some for her. You cant kill these things. We did want to fix the window but a low priority for us space age hillbillies.. I would highly recommend getting one of these to travel in. We boondocked for free many places. And stayed with friends for weeks at a time with our own space to retreat and keep our gear out of their hair. It was so much fun. We didnt even lose mileage unless we were going up alot of mountains and also had our art and show gear rig loaded up packed to the gills in the artvan. The 20 year artcar vision quest is a whole other story and the little Scamp is just a part of it. Over 500,000 miles of traveling all over the country. So much art ,music, culture,history and nature.It made for for a magical childhood for my daughter even though we were technically quite poor.I am glad you were inspired. Just letting you know the camper was “well loved ” especially by the Navy and wasn’t much at all when we got her..gutted and empty,green with algae but a huge blessing for what we needed and now just like we like her. She does need a new paint coat on top..we do that periodically . We have a hard time getting rid of guests that come and camp in her as it is. Not even kidding. I was looking online tonight to see about finding a Scamp and seeing what we have is impossible to find. Most people have kept them original,sell them fast as lightning and they make them them new for a small fortune! Thank goodness for high tide and good friends. Hope you found your best adventure. Dont delay. We learned from life that if we had it never would have happened because your health can fade and things can change in an instant. It doesn’t need to be perfect to be beautiful or just good enough to make a go of it. Stuck at home in a pandemic..but a respite from our cramped home studio at any minute and a shelter in the storm.

    • Paige says:

      No way! That is so great. I saw y’all at LEAF in Black Mountain. Thank you for sharing the great story and all the details of your beloved Scamp. Glad to hear you still have her. I haven’t gotten a camper to date but decided to wait out the pandemic in a cozy beach cottage (another dream of mine) and am loving coastal living. Thanks again for the note. ❤️❤️❤️

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