Tag Archives: Road

Time Springs Forward

So, did you have a little trouble adjusting to the “Spring Forward” time change? Kinda got you all flummoxed, didn’t it! Wide awake at the wrong time, sleepy when you’re usually chipper?


Well, just imagine losing four hours instead of only one. And not all at once, like on an international flight. But, losing time, one hour at a time, over a span of two weeks. Just when you start to get used to losing an hour, it’s time to lose another one.

This is what happens as you drive from West to East in March across our big country.

Start in California. Let’s say it’s 8:30. (For illustrative purposes, let’s make the time changes occur in a linear fashion, as opposed to the various times of day that you may cross a time line.)


Lose an hour when you cross into Arizona and it’s 9:30.


Lose another hour when Daylight Saving Time begins a couple days later and it’s 10:30. (Oh, and we won’t count the flip-flop that happens when you enter and exit a Reservation that doesn’t use Daylight Savings Time!)


A few days later, lose another hour when you enter Kansas and it’s now 11:30.


Two more days and you’re in Indiana and you lose another hour, making it 12:30.


Find yourself asking “What the heck time is it?” and “Where did the day go?”. Because the days end quickly at the eastern end of this trip.

I also think about my traveling friends, the Livingston’s, who have 4 little boys who don’t understand what’s happening. Just that they have less play time each day for a while. Oh, the whining!

Good thing we’re still (technically) on the Tramper Voyage. Not having to work right now is a wonderful thing. Makes adjusting to time changes, and a lot of other things, that much easier.


– Jane

DAY 189 – 03/17/2013 – LARPing in Trotwood, Ohio

Rolling through gray hills, we sought a campground. Parking overnight at Walmart has its charms. But, so few that we really prefer a nice campground in a park. Well, actually, our favorite thing is to park somewhere off the grid. Someplace where nobody else is and amenities are nonexistent. Where we see only woods and sky.

But, in a populated area just outside of Dayton, Ohio, an official campground is the way to go. We saw Sycamore State Park on the map and navigated our way over. We found the park alright but were having trouble locating the campground. Could it really be that small, grassy area with a spot-a-pot, right across a street from a row of houses?

Unconvinced and without signs for guidance, we drove deeper into the park, down an unmarked road. The skies overhead were roiling with sinister rain clouds, ready to drench us any minute. Where the heck was the campground?  But wait, we must be getting close to something, there are cars parked along the road up ahead.

A young man got out of his car and ran, as if he were late for something. Um… he’s wearing a cape and carrying a giant sword. Oh, where the heck are we?


Around the next bend, we saw even more people with capes and swords. And horns. And clubs.


OK, now we see. These folks are LARPers! Live Action Role Playing.


We stopped to say hi. They looked scary but turned out to be very nice! They were happy to pose for some photos as they prepared for battle.


They also knew where the campground was. That grassy lot with the spot-a-pot was it.

In summer, the lot would be pretty with leaves on the trees and warm breezes. In nicer weather, the locals hike and ride horses on the park trail system. But tonight, it’s cold and wet but a good-enough place for the Tramper to sleep for the night on the way back home to Baltimore.

Yep, we’re headed East. The Tramper Voyage will soon take it’s Baltimore hiatus. Oh, we’ll still be blogging. We have a number of summary posts in mind. A map of the Voyage, technical stuff from David, etc. And the Photo of the Week, of course, will continue.

Yes, we have lots of things to post. So, stayed tuned.

Meanwhile, we observe that homemade apple cobbler for dessert made the leafless Sycamore State Park park warm and cozy!


– Jane

Photo of the Week #2



Seen on a gray day at an auto salvage & steel scrap yard on the Navajo Nation Reservation in northeast Arizona.

Very eye-catching. These metal workers are artists and comedians! May they ever be thus…

– Jane & David

DAY 182 – 03/12/2013 – Two Last Ski Days in Colorado

“I noticed the carny nature of your trip”, said the gruff-looking security guard as he allowed us to camp in the ski area parking lot overnight.

I won’t name him nor will I name the ski area where he works. We don’t want him to get in any trouble for his kindness which I’ll describe below.

I wrote down this quote as soon as he said it. It was too good not to note. At one time in his life, he was a ‘carny’ – a carnival worker and a vagabond himself.

After we left Sequoia National Park, we turned Eastward for home. Marfa, the 4Runner, faced one more great challenge: getting back over the Rocky Mountains! But, David wanted to ski a bit more. We were right there, where all the big Colorado resorts were. And, we had a good line on a discount for some of them.


Up and up and up, over one of the passes through the Rockies

So, we picked one and it was a beauty! Fresh snow all over. Deep and puffy and so much fun! Certainly the deepest powder we skied all winter.

But, the one barrier to enjoying all this snow was the Tramper itself. We were in Summit County, a very chi-chi area of Colorado. We were actually rejected by the only campground open. Because the Tramper was too small!! Tiger Run has a HOA (home owner’s association) and I guess the trailer owners have an attitude because they live in an expensive resort town. Phhfftt! It’s still a trailer park, for heaven’s sake!


Soon we will say goodbye to the beautiful West!

We checked into the La Quinta that night. Seemed simpler than driving around looking for a place to park. What a nice hotel! (We have only used a hotel one other time on The Tramper Voyage. In Kayenta, on the Navajo Rez. Because the Navajo Nation has their own laws which we do not know.)

Still, we couldn’t leave skiing behind, yet. So, we decided to do what we’ve done successfully before. Park overnight on the ski area parking lot. Did we ask anyone if we could do this? Nope. Sometimes, it’s better to ask forgiveness than for permission.


As snow kept piling up around us, we settled in and made dinner. Then, an authoritative knock on the door! David opened up to reveal the ski area security guard. “There’s no overnight parking here. Didn’t you see the sign?”

Well, no, we didn’t. David got out and began talking with this gentleman, explaining why we parked here. David is one of the most personable people I know. He didn’t try to convince the guard to let us stay. He simply began sharing some of the Tramper Voyage with him. Soon, there was a smile on the guard’s face. He turned out to be a kindred spirit; one who had wandered with a carnival! He said that which is quoted at the beginning of the post. He could see then that we were not some 20-somethings who would get drunk and do something stupid. (Apologies to my 20-something friends who would never do this!)


Dawn. In our ‘secret’ location.

The guard showed us to another parking lot. A bit higher up. A bit more secluded. Nicer. Wow! I’m so lucky to be traveling with David. He connected so nicely with the guard. OK, maybe part of it was my sad face!

– Jane

PS –  In her ever accommodating and sometimes apologetic way, Jane insisted I “take a few runs on my own”.  I don’t always agree to those suggestions, skiing or biking entirely with her is a joy and only slightly slower or less intense than I’d do alone.  But today, up I went above the treeline and into a bowl.  A bowl is a huge open area of snow, usually “bowl-shaped” and exposed.  This one had filled with snow!  Lots of snow!  I like the exposed nature of these places as there are always surprises. High mountain winds can scour one place to an icy plank while, with a little thought, you can find where all that snow was deposited.  Several turns of each of my runs found that familiar ice.  I kinda like ice, having grown up skiing Pennsylvania boilerplate.  But then I found it, each run was also buoyed by the knee-deep glee of a powder day.  Bounding up and down til I was near spent, I laughed my way back to our meeting place before leaving the western slopes!

– David

Photo of the Week #1


This is the first installment of what will be a weekly post. These photos are not necessarily the most beautiful, but the ones we think are special. For one reason or another.



This pic was taken in Moab, Utah. Almost every campground has a toilet or two. This one is unusual because it has no roof! Just the sky, day and night. You can use the facilities and admire the view, all at the same time.

I’ve had a shower outdoors; one with just walls, no roof. It’s quite lovely, as long as it’s not too cold. If you ever get the chance to shower without a roof, do it! It’s great.

A toidy with no roof? Not so much. But it does have better ventilation.

In preparing this photo, I noticed the handy safety bar next to the toilet. Ok, I know what the one next to the pot is for. But, how about that one in the back? Gets you thinking doesn’t it?

Jane & David