Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How we roll...

I think I've mentioned before that every square inch of our 'rig' -- the collective configuration of truck, camper and trailer -- must be used efficiently.  Everything must have a specific place to maximize our limited space.  That does not mean, however, that we are 'roughing it', as some of you may think.  OK, so we do not have a private bath or running water.  But when we camp in parks we pick sites adjacent to or across from the bathrooms and showers, and with access to potable water.  When we boondock or drycamp in remote areas (e.g., Padre Island National Seashore) we use a portapotty and haul in enough water for a 3-day stay.  For us, that equates to about 15 gallons.  Our truck and trailer are durable enough to haul more than that but we do not have adequate storage space.  Limited space means that each day we are faced with decisions about what stays, what goes to the storage room, what goes to charity, and what goes to recycling or trash bins.

We prepared thoroughly for this odyssey but since we actually put our journey in motion, we have found we still carry too much stuff.  The first three months we spent a lot of time sorting, organizing and purging unessential items.  Most of that phase is over...yet, I still find odds and ends in drawers and cabinets that we do not need.  Each time I do, I wonder how all of that fit into the various compartments of our rig?  Folks, we must be some pretty clever packers.  Purging will continue, probably, as long as we are travelling.

Along the way I have discovered that there is a hierarchy of organization.  The truck must be the most organized and comfortable, followed by El Valor (the camper) and finally, Truckwagon (the trailer.)  From memory I can probably list everything we keep inside the cab of the truck and where.  Sage's carseat holds the middle seat-position in the backseat.  Behind the driver's seat is her "travel bin", a pink-and-brown tote from her old bedroom that houses about 30 books, a purple pumpkin-shaped bag filled with miniature Doras and Bootses and their accessories, Rosemary the doll, and a few other smallish toys and games.  She has plenty of things to educate and entertain herself during our travels.  On the floorboard behind the driver's seat is David's book bag and under that section of the seat are a couple of bags of clothing he intends to put into storage.  Under Sage's seat is the laminator we use for our design products.  In the floorboard is a cooler that holds about 10 cans but we have not used it in a while, so it will probably end up in storage, too.  Behind the passenger seat on the floorboard is my book bag.  Under the seat are Folsom's food and water bowls.  In the seat, is the printer covered with three layers of pillows; this is Folsom's perch.  He prefers a blurred view of the world outside to a stagnant one of the backside of the passenger seat.  Unquestionably, he is our dog.

In the front seat, between driver and passenger, are journals and laptops (and an adaptor), phones and phone chargers, mail just picked up or en route to drop off, and notes about blogposts.  Cameras and corresponding data transfer cables are there, too.  Floorboards are cleared out so that we may ride comfortably.  The area of the floorboard between driver and passenger (where a console organizer might be) holds an assortment of flashlights and a hammer, in case one of the latches on the camper sticks.  Ha ha, this has happened often enough to dedicate that space for a hammer!  Might be a good weapon, too, if anyone tries to truck-jack us.  But why would they want to...?  Ha.  The dash and cupholders are organized, too.  In front of the passenger are stored more flashlights and an extra phone charger, extra data transfer cable, and sometimes leftover snacks.  Folsom's leash sits in the middle of the dash but is pushed aside to balance one of the laptops there when we stop briefly for fuel, snacks or potty breaks.  In front of the driver is one lone object: a compass that doesn't point north.  Perhaps it points toward the thing we desire most?  Between the cupholders is an ashtray, but since none of us smoke, we use that space to store extra fuses, the mobile broadband card and pennies.  Glovebox holds another backup data transfer cable, pens, a tire gauge, and mayhem.  I try to ignore the mayhem because I'm not really sure what it is.  Printed photos of landscapes from long ago?  Receipts from whoknowswhen?  Might even be an assortment of screws and nails from recently purged items that had to be disassembled.  Seems like the last time I reached in there something pricked my finger, and it was dark, so I decided whatever is in there can stay in there for now.

Oh, if you are a truck-jacker, I have disappointing news.  Most of these items are just passengers in the truck, not permanent fixtures.  In other words, we take them with us when we exit the truck.  And this truck is haunted, so it will probably break down moments after you commandeer it.  But if you are a petty thief...take what you need.  I'm tired of purging...

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