Monday, March 4, 2019

Louisiana Road Trip

The adventure starts again, to see our full route, visit Bruce and Louise's Trip

Bozeman, Montana and the Rees Family

At the end of August 2018, we got an opportunity to go back to Montana and meet up with some friends from Australia. The Rees family was touring some of the western states with 21 Australian cattle ranchers. Sharing knowledge and building friendships, farmer to farmer. The tour ended in Bozeman and we joined them for a week of hanging out. What a great town, highly recommend it. It is alive, active, great food and beautiful views. Big Sky country.
I love big dinosaurs, this is at the Museum of the Rockies

Lewis and Clark maybe came through here, but they have a motel named after them. 

Hanging with Grahame Rees, what a great visit with him and his family.

We went to a grizzly reserve. They give them a good, safe place to live. Did you know that grizzlies can smell dead animals 3 miles away. Like up on the mountain in the background.  

A giant electric guitar at the Museum of the Rockies

Saint Andrews, New Brunswick

Saint Andrews, New Brunswick. Leaving Sydney we headed for home. Stopping in Saint Andrews just before the border. Saint Andrews is an art community with lots of little shops and a great botanical garden.

visiting an old wooden bridge

Our trip to the Maritimes, Canada June-July 2018 

Sydney and Fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Fort Louisburg, Sidney, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island. Sydney is the main city in this area. We spend a couple of days there on the Sydney River. We heard some great music with Kitchfest. Which is an annual music festival held all over Cape Breton Island. Pretty great stuff.

For a day trip on July 1 we went down to Louisbourg and visited the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. This was the location when France control Canada. This was the center of cod fishing in the 18th-century. Cod was fished here and shipped to France to feed Paris. It is an amazing place and well worth checking out. We only spent a half day there, you could easily spend and entire day if not more. We even got to seem them shoot the canons. This fort was captured twice by the British. The French were great at making forts but not in keeping them.
Right outside our hotel in Sydney is a performance hall and this giant violin

Walking into the Fortress of Louisbourg.

They have re-created about 25% of the village, including restaurants with traditional food. 
Inside the fort

Cape Breton, Cabot Trail

Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail. Known as one of the 10 outstanding drives in North America. Picturesque and French, the Cabot Trail circles around the Northern end of the island. This is the Arcadia area on Cape Breton Island, everyone is speaking French.

Along the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island

Rocky oceanside along the Cabot Trail 

P.E.I Prince Edward Island, Green and Beautiful

P.E.I. Prince Edward Island, Anna of Green Gables. One of the coolest places we have been. You understand right away why people love it here. It is beautiful, green, peaceful. Like you went back in time. Cross over on the 8 mile causeway and take the ferry back. You know there are no rocks on P.E.I. They have to import gravel.

A small fishing village on the north side of the island

What a fun night with the Ross Family Ceilidh. Crazy active music

Taking the ferry back to Nova Scotia

On the ferry across the Northumberland Strait out of Wood Island to Pictou

New Brunswick Bay of Fundy

New Brunswick  and the Bay of Fundy

Gardens on St. Andrews, New Brunswick

At the Bay of Fundy National Park

Enjoying the waterfalls at the Bay of Fundy National Park
On the floor at the Bay of Fundy

Louise at the Bay of Fundy, low tide

High tide, Bay of Fundy

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Our Cross Country Journey Featured on Teaching Traveling! Blog

What a treat to be featured in a nice interview on the Teaching Traveling! blog by Lillie Marshall. The blog features inspiring interviews with Teacher-Travelers. I am not really a teacher but I do teach courses through my Book Publishing School and my Facebook group How to Publish Your Book. This is a cool blog the supports teachers getting out into the world and sharing what they learn.

To read the full article click here, A 12,000-Mile Road Trip Across the U.S. Based on Lewis and Clark!
Thank you Lillie

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to Take 2.5 Months Off and Run Your Business From the Road, Interview with Winnie Anderson and Let's Talk Tech

Undertaking this cross country trip took some planning behind the scenes support. One of the things I was able to do was maintain and manage my online businesses by setting up some support systems beforehand. In the podcast Let's Talk Tech hosted by Winnie Anderson we talk about how I did it. One of the challenges for this trip was maintaining my online businesses and income. We all talk about passive income but it actually takes some continual effort to make it look like we aren't doing anything. In this interview I talk about some of the things I needed to put into place and some of the lessons I learned. 

Click here to hear the entire interview with Winnie Anderson

Bruce Jones is an international best selling author, product creator and graphic designer. To learn more about publishing efforts check out my Bruce the Book Guy blog

Monday, December 5, 2016

Millennials Hit the Road in New RVs by the Thousands

The millennials are hitting the road in new smaller, more streamlined and tow-able RVs. Can you believe that Americans will buy 420,000 home-on-wheels this year. Here is an article from on the latest trend.

Millennials Hit the Road in a Sleek New Generation of RVs

Image from Pixabay, public domain images, RV

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Lessons Learned from a 12,000 Mile Trip of a Life Time Across America, July - September, 2016

Lessons Learned from a Trip of a Life Time Across America, July 8, 2016 to September 21, 2016

We did it, we drove back and forth and up and down the country during the summer of 2016. In July we sold our house, put everything in storage and headed west. I have been through the bottom and the middle of the country but had always wanted to travel the northern route, up though the Black Hill and Montana. As we were getting closer to the sale of our house and what should we do Louise reminded me about my interest in the Lewis & Clark journey. Why don't we do that with some side trips to the National Parks. And it is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service so what about that.
Red going west and blue returning east.

So that is what we did. Somewhat by design and somewhat by how life works we also had a hole open up in our lives. I had been winding down my business, moved it home and now that we are selling the house we decided to put a hold on buying one and take a break. Everything worked, our car, our car's air conditioning, the road, no accidents or injury's. We got there and back.

We traveled about 12,000 miles over 2 1/5 months. Driving from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington, down to San Francisco and then Los Angeles, up to Yosemite and Yellowstone, to Montana, northern Michigan, Chicago then back to Massachusetts. We traveled in a Subaru Forrester staying mostly in mid-priced hotels and occasionally camping. We planned on doing more camping but it was just so hot that we couldn't. We debated about some kind of RV but for this trip we used just the car. If we had a small RV it might have been more comfortable when we just needed a nap but the car is what we did.

Grand Teton National Park, striking and beautiful.

The most beautiful place, maybe Grand Tetons National Park. The most desolate, northeastern Wyoming. For Louise it was the Westport Hotel along Route 1 in Westport, California, just a beautiful place on the California coast. But we saw many, many beautiful places. I was just amazed with the wheat fields in Western Montana, I had no idea. They are Huuuuuuuge.

Lessons from the Road
• A small, 6 pack size cooler that goes in between and behind the front seats is perfect. Put in some cheese, a couple of drinks, some apples and a yogurt with ice from the hotel and you are ready to go. My original thought was for a big one but the big ones are just to big.

• Get your financial life in order. We were able to pay all our bills from the road, mostly online. But it takes some effort to get this all straight. We also had a PO Box.

• Prescription sunglasses, the best decision. I have never been a sunglasses person and need to wear glasses to drive. Before leaving I got an exam and two pairs of glasses, regular and sunglasses. The sun is so much brighter in the west than the east and for half the trip we drove into it. Glasses worked great

• This one can be hard, but try not to set dates to visit people. This is your trip, not theirs. It is amazing how a date even weeks out can ripple back on you if you are doing a wandering type of trip like this. A number of times we ended up hanging around places waiting to get together when in reality we would have just moved on. Put your visits at the end when you are coming home.

• Visit sites in the morning, travel in the afternoon. Drive to where you will be visiting tomorrow.

• works fantastic for hotel rooms. We didn't really have any places we had to be. We would just pick a hotel once we got some place. I used the web and phone app Select a city or area, bring up the hotels and pick one. It worked great.

• Pick rooms with king size beds. We found those rooms to be better. The beds weren't so beat, somewhere on that mattress is a good spot. Queen size rooms the mattresses often seemed well used.

• Apple Maps or Google Maps on your phone are amazing. We used Apple Maps all over the country for all our directions. I also carried individual state paper maps from AAA for the big picture. But used the maps on the phone for daily travel. Travel services from AAA are free if you are a member.

• Small individual packs of cheese along with an apple can give you a very nice boost in the afternoon. Coffee in the morning, a cold juice in the afternoon. We also sometime ate at the food bars in grocery stores. You get what you want.

• Three meals a day in restaurants is a recipe for gaining weight. Still working on getting that off.

• Having a rough route really helps, I used the route from Julie Fanselow's book Traveling the Lewis & Clark Trail. It worked great. Her book took us to many places we would have never gone. With that rough route we then took side trips to national parks. Some people use Routes 66 or Route 6 to cross the country. But kind of knowing where you are going keeps you on a path.

• Car phone charger is a must, a small LED flash light is a must. Keep these with you all the time.

• To keep track of when to pay the bills I carried a paper chart with dates I paid and needed to pay, along with a monthly calendar. To many moving parts. You don't want to miss your car or health insurance payments. Most people these days keep all this in their phone but being able to scribble on paper really helped. I did prepay some bills, others I paid as we went. I kept a file with passwords and key info. We also staged a duplicate set with a relative just in case.

• A roll of paper towels, a bottle of Windex, a set of folding chairs, nice to just sit sometimes along a river, and a beach blanket. There are beach blanket with a plastic side and a cloth side, they are waterproof and work great.

• This is a big one. Figure out where your stuff goes and then put it back into that spot every time. Same spot every time, every day, always. It takes a little bit to figure out where these spots are but if you don't you will loose your stuff. This applies for your car and your person. For me car keys in left pocket, phone in right, my backpack behind the drivers seat. Louse, backpack behind the passenger, my suite case on the left, Louise's on the right.

• Bring your own laundry soap and a pile of quarters. We actually kept all our quarters in the pocket on one of the passenger doors. We did laundry in a number of hotels. It worked great.

• We took one camera, the iPhone, we each had one. I debated about what camera to bring and finally just settled on the iPhone. It worked great, for a phone, directions, internet, posting on Facebook and Instagram

• I also took a small MacBook Air for keeping up with my bills and for keeping a blog of the trip. It is light and connects everywhere. Include a small bag for all your chargers.

• Car phone charger is a must, a small LED flash light is a must.

• I used Google's Blogger platform for keeping a daily journal. I was going to keep a journal book and even made one, but the online blog worked better. It takes time, often about an hour a night. Louise would sleep and I would blog. But then people can follow and we can remember where we went.

• For social media I used Facebook and Instagram. I would blog and then repost the post on my Facebook page. I was surprised how many people followed the trip. I would also Instagram and share across my Facebook page.

• Have your credit card company send you notices on your phone when you use your card. Great way to keep track of what is being charged. Moving your financial life on line is a bit of work to do but is essential if you are going out on a long trip.

September 20-21, 2016, The Home Stretch, Holyoke, Mass and the Famous WEBS-America's Yarn Store

September 20-21, 2016, The Home Stretch, Holyoke, Mass and the Famous WEBS-America's Yarn Store, and driving to the end of our trip.

If we really wanted to we could be back on the east coast today, but we have one more stop after crossing the Mass, New York border. Louise loves to knit and the mecca of knitters is WEBS-America's Yarn Store in Northampton, MA. This is a yarn store that buses of knitters show up to. it is huge and much loved. And we are driving right by it, it is just off the Mass Turnpike. So one more night, we stay in Holyoke, MA and then on the 2st we visit WEBS.

It is a funny feeling crossing back into Massachusetts. Our license plate now matches all the other cars, we have come home. We sometime got funny comments on the road when people see your license plate from the other side of the country. Especially from the Rangers at National Parks, they are always looking. But we are back in our world, but we actually have no home to go to as we sold it in July. We are here but there is no here. With the good fortune of a friend we have a house to stay at in Rhode Island for the next few months while we look for a new home. 

We leave WEBS and head to Rhode Island and the end of our trip.

Crossing into Massachusetts on the Mass Pike.

Stopping at the first rest stop along the Mass Pike.