The trip from San Antonio to El Paso was stressful. Usually I plan out my gas stops in advance. This time I thought it wouldn't be a problem since RT10 is the only major highway heading west from San Antonio. Two times I found myself down to 50 miles of fuel left based on a 5-7mpg average before I would see a sign for gas. I never like cutting it that close because I can't just pull into any gas station with a 13'8" tall trailer. Whomever laid out the distance between truck stops was on point.
I was great to meet up with Anthony aka Little Jin Grant. He gave me the best guided tour of El Paso. He showed me the Franklin Mountains which has a beautiful panoramic view of the city and part of Mexico. He pointed out all the interesting buildings, the rio grande river, and a club owned by a cartel. After that we headed to the west side to venture into Fort Bliss where he served in the Army. It was really good catching up with him because I have not seen him in over four years.
I didn't get to see any rattlesnakes. :-) I guess that's a good thing.
The drive from New Orleans to San Antonio was about 9 hours. Rt10 had some areas of construction that tried to shake every bolt loose in my brain and RV. Neo didn't seem to pleased either with the rough sections of road. Soon it will be a pleasant ride for travelers when the construction is complete.
YES THE ALAMO has a basement (You have to be a fan to understand). The Alamo was originally known as Misión San Antonio de Valero. It was founded in the 18th century as a Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound. Now it is a museum in the Alamo Plaza Historic District. "Remember the Alamo". The battle in 1836 and the documented soldiers that died there fighting for freedom Travis, Bowie,Crockett, and Esparza.
I really loved reading all of the history. They do not allow pictures inside the Alamo structure so take your time while inside. In the courtyard they have live history displays of the games, guns, and everyday life. I learned how to play the dice game that was used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie (side note - but fun).
Going during the week is highly recommended to avoid the crowd if you want to take your time reading the available displays.
THE RIVER WALK or Paseo del Rio is underneath the busy streets of the city. Its only a short distance from the Alamo.
I started my walk from La Villita (Little Village of San Antonio). It similar to the Riverwalk tucked away in the middle of the city wit shops and restaurants.
You can enter the River walk for La Villita through the Arneson River Theatre. The grassy steps are a beautiful quiet place to stop and meditate before starting the long walk.
I believe that the river has paths and sidewalks for 15 miles which provide access to the museums, the King William Historic District, 300-year-old Spanish missions, hotels, mall, shops, and restaurants.
NIGHT TIME - The place is freakin gorgeous at night. I could not capture the lights in the trees, the boats strobe lights, fountains, and restaurants. You have to see it in person.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of American experience in the war that change the world in a very unique way. It tells of how we fought, how it was won, and what it means to us today. As you walk the through the many elaborate displays you learn the price of freedom. This museum like others are meant for you to be inspired to do my research.
- Try several methods to purchase tickets:
- Information desk $2 - $5 off
- Tour Companies - Combine tours for better discounts
- PLAN TO STAY FOR 3+ HOURS
The Dog Tag at the top of the picture is an interactive card. It gives you the opportunity to follow the story of individuals they have captured. It also allows you to revisit your journey later online via your registered tag. You'll also find additional items selected by the curators which might be of interest. It is a great oral history from the time they boarded the train and headed off to war.
The movie ticket Beyond All Boundaries is a MUST SEE!!!!!... Tom Hanks narrates a 4D movie that is nothing short of incredible. Things drop down from the ceiling, fog effects, the chair movement, flashing lights across the audience, and most of all you don't require those glasses that cause me headaches. I recommend you try to watch the movie before entering the exhibits. It really tells the story and the museum is laid out similar to the progress of the movie.
WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!!!
Thanks for following..
Love to hear from and your experiences, please leave a comment below.
Also if you are feeling generous leave a tip.
THANKS AGAIN and MORE TO COME!!!
This morning I woke up and if you have a breath of life, you see what I see -- the world has a few problems. It’s so easy to get distracted by all the different challenges we face. I wish I could say I feel sorry for humanity but I don’t. When you dig deep into the available information, you start to see a reoccurring theme.
I started with scratching the surface of the “belief system” in my previous blog; this should lead you in all kinds of directions of research. I laid out a specific path in my notes for this next blog, but even this morning I wanted to change a few of the topics, especially with all the death that is occurring. Most of us react by saying, “How can I save the world” More on this later.
Did you know in 1936 Anna Freud theorized and classified a number of defense mechanisms which appear in the works of Sigmund? Today, there are upwards of 30+ theories and classifications for defense mechanisms. Below are six of theories that are still used today that I found very interesting:
Once you dig into just a few of the defense mechanisms, you find that most of what you are seeing comes from your unconscious. The unconscious contains all sorts of significant and disturbing information that we try to keep out of awareness. Psychologists have theorized that the unconscious acts as a repository for all the primitive wishes and impulses. It really starts to make sense why our reasoning has not evolved collectively. All defense mechanisms are responses to anxiety and how the unconscious and consciousness handle the stresses of a social situation(s). Pick any life situation and try to find the theorized classification. You will start to see how bat shit crazy we all are collectively.
So, pick one the many problems that have been around for decades and start saving the world. You will always find opposition to an agreeable fact because of a belief system supported by a defense mechanism.
Please don't be shy about buying me a beer DONATE
“This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
“But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!”
- Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream”
We will always be confronted with a painful history that today continues to shape American life; it’s not likely to be forgotten in my life time. I started this blog with the historic 1963 King speech that included Stone Mountain. Just five years earlier before that speech, the state of Georgia purchased the land and banned Klan rallies from being held at the summit.
There is so much history of humanity fighting for what they believed with each belief meaning different things to different people. IMO, it is willfully ignorant to believe that the removal of any statue or monument will sever any connection to the past. Each monument can be removed and placed in a museum. America’s museums and historical societies have the funding and following to overcome any misguided view of history being erased. By placing the statues in a museum will be the appropriate setting to tell all sides of the events. Also the stories will be told for generations as an important historical lesson about the moral wrong of slavery, the irrationality of racism.
Here I sit at the face of Stone Mountain.
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock and the site of Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The elevation is 1,686 feet and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain is well-known not only for its geology, but also for the enormous rock relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world. There is a carving on its face that depicts three Confederate figures during the Civil War: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Stone Mountain was once owned by the Venable Brothers and was the site of the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan in 1915. It was purchased by the State of Georgia in 1958. There is so much more history here and I challenge you to do some research.
I can’t even express in words the beauty of this Park. I’m nested in the woods with a view of the lake. I love the peace and quiet which allows me time to practice meditating and writing. There are several activities available including a laser show, which seems to be the thing for most of these national parks. I’m so glad that I decided to visit this park.
This morning I had a huge breakfast but knew I wanted to go swimming. I remember being told over and over again that I should wait 45 minutes to an hour or I would get a bad cramp and drown. All these years I would wait after eating before I swam. This time, I jumped right in the pool and started swimming. I swam 500 yards without any issues. I continued my workout for an additional 700 yards of intervals. To my surprise, I did not cramp and drown. When I returned to my RV, I did a little research on this belief. I found that there isn’t any proof that swimming immediately after eating causes cramps and more importantly doesn’t causes a cramp that would cause me to drown
I’m going to write a series of blogs associated with theories and research about the mind. I urge you to do your own research because it is very important now more then ever. Just look at what is happening in America today. So let’s dig in with our “belief” system. The problem with most people isn’t so much their ignorance as knowing so many things that ain’t so.
It’s really easy to question something like going swimming after eating but imagine trying to question a strong belief, something passed down by someone you trust, a parent, mentor, friend, family, group, etc. Beliefs shape the way we think and act. It is important that we accept that some, perhaps most, of our beliefs may be wrong. Another important thing to keep in mind is that your beliefs may have no relationship with/to reality.
A belief is assuming something to be true. All beliefs are created by choice. Many times it is void of facts. A belief about a things existence is not the same as its existence. I believe that water is blue and in reality water is clear. Once your belief met reality you would start saying, “Water is clear”. There is no reason for you to believe. just state the fact. You can dig deeper into what is a “fact” and find that facts can be influenced by beliefs. You will see how this can make an infinite circle of discussion. I will discuss that in another blog.
Mankind has been studying the human mind for hundreds of years. We are still a long way from understanding how we think. Most of our reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do. Historians can look back right now and see that many of the our popular beliefs are in most ways the same as centuries past, organized and collective nonsense.
There was a line in “Men in Black” where Agent K said it best, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everyone knew the Earth was the center of the Universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what we will know tomorrow.”
It’s hard for me to say at this point that beliefs are okay because many of us hang onto the unreasonable ones. We result to the many defense mechanisms when confronted with the challenge of those strong beliefs and how they have no relationship to reality. This means that many of the most treasured beliefs may need to be discarded. I see belief as a disease and just like any health problem, it requires diagnosis. The question is how do we collectively cure this disease.
edited by Vonda Smith
I get asked a lot why did I decide to buy a Fifth Wheeled Recreational Vehicle (RV). The answer is pretty fucking simple, “Because that’s what I wanted.” Why make shit so difficult
Why is it called a Fifth Wheel?
The term fifth wheel comes from a similar coupling used on four-wheel horse-drawn carriages and wagons. The device allowed the front axle assembly to pivot in the horizontal plane, to facilitate turning. ... Fifth wheels were originally not a complete circle and were hand forged. I’m sure that didn’t make sense. In laymen terms, the hitch is in the bed of the truck like an Eighteen Wheeler as opposed to being behind that truck like a U-Haul trailer.
Is a Fifth Wheel Right for You?
I DON’T FUCKING KNOW!!! It was right for me because I had a short list:
1) Good warranty because shit will break
2) Big name in the industry
3) Garage for bikes and shit
4) Big enough for two people and two dogs
5) A separate room so we could escape each other if needed
6) Sexy as shit (I'm talking about the RV)
The Other Types of RVs
For the most part, all of them look great inside. Let’s say you are on the fence and just have no idea where to start. There are other types of RVs on the market and even they each have sub-categories. So, the shit can get crazy if you let it; you can consider the following short list:
• Class A motorhome
• Class B motorhome (campervan)
• Class B+ motorhome
• Class C motorhome
• Truck camper
• Popup camper
• Travel trailer
• Teardrop trailer
Take some time to Google images of a few. Also, go to an RV show in your area and you will see all the new and latest stuff.
Convenience Factor / Cost?
To me, they all cost a lot of money. If you go with a Fifth Wheel, you will need a truck that can pull it. If you go with, let’s say an A Class, you will need to have a small vehicle in tow to run errands. Either way, you will be buying two vehicles. For the A Class once it is parked, you will not want to move it. Imagine having to unhook everything just to go to the store for the cookies you forgot to pack. However, with Uber and Lyft being available today you have options. Look, you can overcome any obstacle with proper planning. I personally wanted a truck so that I could take my bikes to the trails and races. (life hack) Every guy should have a pickup truck.
What Type of Hitch?
I have an unusual and new type of hitch made by Anderson (pictured on the left). It is light weight and can be removed from the truck bed easily. I have had this hitch for under two years and love it! Tell them I sent you. They won’t know who the fuck I am but tell them about this blog. I can always use a sponsor. Hell, I will be a spokesperson for the hitch. Let me know if you want a video. The hitch on the right is great but not light weight or easy to remove.
I will just tell you what everyone else is saying. The fifth wheel is more stable than a tow behind. There are a ton of reasons why out there. Personally, I pulled all kinds of trailers when I raced motorcycles and I never had a problem with stability. Trailers are well built now with stabilizers, etc. Hell, back when I had an 8x10 trailer without the stabilizers, I would pull it at 85 mph in a Escalade with no problem. Please do NOT try that! I’m stupid. Besides, I can drive like nobody’s business.
It’s a Truck with Limited Space
If you decide to go with a fifth wheel, I will only caution you on knowing how many people will travel with you. IMO, you can only seat four people comfortably in the truck towing your fifth wheel RV. Sure, you can seat five but why? For more than four people, I would suggest an A Class and tow a cheap little pickup truck.
Diesel – PERIOD
Gas is expensive. I wish I would have bought a diesel truck a long time ago. I had a Hummer and a Lifted Denali truck that would not pass a gas station at 9 miles to the gallon. I can average 10 miles to the gallon pulling an 18k house (depending on the terrain) with a diesel truck. You can’t go wrong with diesel. I’m sure the future will be bio-diesel go green).
There are so many great options. Sure, anyone could tell you what to buy, but why? Make your list and go buy something. Worst case scenario is if you are wrong, you can sell it and buy something else. I will write a blog, "How to act without knowing the outcome" soon. For a fee, you can come stay with me.
Maybe this helped someone. I look forward to your comments, questions, and personal stories about your fifth-wheel experiences.
Look, I don’t mind living on peanut butter and jelly if I can keep writing but if you are feeling generous click “Donate” to leave a tip. Think of it as investing in the book I’m writing.
edited by Vonda Smith
Someone forwarded me a video that spoke about trust. I was compelled by their description. It closely describes how I feel every time I pull into an RV park. I’ve tried so many times to write this blog but never could pin down the right words. Even now as I write this, I know that it won’t make sense to many of you. At this point, I can’t imagine a time when we will ever be able to share a simple life experience with understanding. A moment when I can express with clarity a feeling of an experience and within that one experience, be able to walk you through my life to explain why I perceive that experience the way that I did. Yes, I know that sounds confusing.
Take a little time to ponder this before continuing to read, “A writer doesn’t know what he/she has written until it is read by someone else.”
A black person asked me recently, “What it is like to be Black and travel across America in an RV and are you scared?”
You may ask why I chose to say it was a “black” person that asked the question. It was only because of the last part of the question which seems to be a continuing question from my black friends, “are you scared”.
Being Black while traveling is the tightening of muscles anticipating anything; constantly aware, expending a lot of energy analyzing minute details of the surroundings, watching for signs, trying to interpret body language, reading signals, to be ready to react to anything, and preparing for possible disappointment and the need to leave at a moment’s notice.
It is only being able to relax after a warm greeting of hospitality. It is how the body can stand solid on the renewed feeling of acceptance, generosity, and warmth. It is something that should be natural but is oftentimes overshadowed by the constant negativity ever present in the world.
As the day turns to night the darkness hovers over you like a cloud of uncertainty. How stories are written and told present themselves with a constant narrative that hate lashes out mostly in the dark of night. Fear is merely the product of the unknown or more importantly the possibility - the possibility of indifference, of falsely negative twisted perceptions, and hate for no other reason than the color of skin.
Cognitive scientists try to understand not just what the mind does, but how it does what it does, and how past experiences are a key developmental aspect of how we will perceive the world around us. How experiences create both unconscious and conscious survival reactions during the process of adaption. It is such a heavy and unnecessary burden to bear just to enjoy nature. Good and bad people exist everywhere.
Learning to let go of fear affords a luxury not having to think so much or worrying about if danger exists before anything occurs. Constantly relearning how to relax and only focus on what is in the present.
Once again please ponder, “A writer doesn’t know what he/she has written until it is read by someone else.”
Fear of living is the same as being dead.
Thanks to Vonda Smith for edits.
I’ve had many sleepless nights where I sat up and wondered, “What is life?", "Where do I belong in this dark place?" and "Do I even have a place?”. I take these thoughts into the day. Today I sat near a busy street in the city. Things seem to look the same from city to city here and abroad. I sat there motionless, watching the people move, oblivious to anything but themselves. They looked like robots following a program. They walked by the homeless as if invisible. A middle-aged woman sitting up against a wall with a sign that read, “I lost my job and my family is on the street food, water, or anything.. HELP” went unnoticed.
The robots continued to move at a seemingly predetermined pace. Everyone once in a while a robot running late would push and bump its way through the other robots disrupting the assembly line. Faces would frown and gestures would be made but just as fast as the disruption occurred the line would go back to normal.
I fade back to my thoughts... I couldn’t tell if I was like my mother or father. They were both scholars and educators by profession. Both of my sisters excelled in academics. I on the other hand, am not a product of this academic environment. I was happy with a C average. Yet, I was nothing close to average because I was always into different shit. I always knew, without question, that there were, are and will be great and wondrous trials for me to overcome. The path I walked had curves where it was straight for others. I stood out even when I wanted to blend in.
In all my years, I always found myself blessed with having beautiful people in my life no matter the length of time. Each one of them brought light to my dark place called life. Each step of the way, they helped me evolve, learn, and continue to understand there is no purpose. How each of us are bound by invisible chains, closed in by imaginary walls that are real to us.
Yet, it occurred to me that no matter who was around or how many people I came in contact with, I remained a loner. I worked in silence most of the time, interacting with friends and having relationships mostly built on something fragile. To my own fault, most of them were seasonal. Just like then, I still find myself in solitude, at times a self-imposed exile that has become my way.
If and when you see me doing things differently from the group, go ahead and judge me harshly. Its the installed program you accepted to despise the beauty of uniqueness. We have all accepted some form of the program that keeps us bumping into one another operating in a subset of conditions. Humanity has built and passed down year after year an environment that keeps us focus on distractions and sedated by false hope. We have all invested so much of ourselves in the idea of success trapped in a cycle of consumerism.
So much of our lives lost in the pointless search for purpose or meaning not allowing ourselves to just live.
“My wish for you is to be motivated in life by something more than your own happiness.”
- Will Johnson
I have been trying to force myself to finish this fucking book I’ve been writing for the last four years. I have a ton of stuff written but it isn’t in any cohesive format. I know what it takes to accomplish a task since I have completed so many. Set goals, milestones, track the progress is how shit gets done. Every morning wake up on purpose, create a habit, be consistent.
Part of the process was to work on my terrible grammar. Get off my lazy ass and take a writing class online or at the community college. Fuck that.. Send it to a friend for proof-reading. Next grab a few self-help and motivational books to keep kicking myself in the ass to complete each milestone.
What is the real secret? Several of the recent books I've read say that I’m missing the illusive “why”.. Why the fuck am I writing a book. Who is going to read it? Should I care? Hell yeah, I care.. I want someone to get something from it.. which is my “why”..
Holy shit it turns out that my “why” is to help someone? Wait a fucking minute, I don’t have this shit figured out myself. How will my experience help someone? Just this morning someone asked me, “What’s next?”. I told them, “My plan is to have no plans”. Of course they looked confused by my response. So I returned the look of confusion.
Before I get in to deep; you maybe wondering why I use the word “fuck”. For some reason it is a very interesting word. Something about someone grabbing their pearls in surprise. Get a damn life its 2017 and the word is being used in regular TV. Matter of fact stop watching so much TV. Its just a word. If you are offended take this apology and get off my page.
This will be the first of many blogs. It will be of shit that I have experienced in my life and just maybe it will help you in some way. I’m going to attempt to tell you some real shit. You can decide what to do with the information.
Let’s see what we can accomplish together. I ask that you be a willing participant by asking questions and sharing your personal experiences. That’s enough for now… Its time to hook up the RV and get back on the road. First stop Charlotte. If you are there and want to talk shit at a coffee shop or your favorite craft beer spot.