You may be wondering how I spend my time every day as we move slowly across the country. two months into the trip and I think I have it down. Here are the different functions performed by the members of “my crew”:
Shopper: Shop for groceries and other needed trip items. Keep three to four days dinner ingredients on hand in case there is no place to replenish the stock.- Do not buy more perishable items than can fit in the refrigerator. Almost every town seems to have a dollar store of some genre.
Bookkeeper: Enter receipts into Excel spreadsheet to record our expensesf. Write down cash expenditures if there is no receipt.
Driver: Drive the support vehicle. Drop off and pick up The Rider on the route. Leapfrog when necessary. e.g. when there is no place else to go, when The Rider may run out of water, when the route is more dangerous and you want to keep an eye on how things are going. Don’t expect The Rider to do a lot of thinking at the end of his ride. That’s a mistake. He’s pooped – give him some slack.
Truckcamper Nanny: Get gas as needed and wash windows. Wash the vehicle when you don’t like the way it looks or want to touch it anymore. Vacuum it occasionally and sweep it out. It attracts dust and dirt.
Domicile Kitchen Manager: Know where everything is. Organize the food box. Organize the equipment/snacks drawer. Pack and unpack the refrigerator. Keep cold beverages stocked. It’s like a puzzle that needs to be done constantly to keep up with it.
Bartender: Get the Rider a cold beverage once in a while. Serve appetizers during Happy Hour. That’s worth a lot of points.
Cook: Prepare dinner everyday and pack in calories and nutrients for The Rider. Negotiate Cook’s Nights Off and eat out (for your mental health – cooking gets to be a drag). Vary the menu so you don’t get bored to death. Don’t eat as much as The Rider eats. He needs the extra calories. You don’t.
Clean-up crew: Wash dishes, pots & utensils as best you can. Soap and hot water are good ideas, although that may not always happen. Clean the camp stove/grill. This is a yucky job. Easy-off stove top cleaner works pretty well. Spraying the grill with PAM makes the clean-up easier. Line a dutch oven with foil when possible. A mesh dish bag helps drying. Get over it and use plenty of paper towels and an occasional paper plate, you are not killing that many trees. Pack up the stove after dinner to save time in the morning.
Photographer: Document the trip with photos. It’s good to get pictures of The Rider and share them with him (more points).
PR & Social Media Intern: Talk to people about your cause (if you have one) wherever you are, Hand out business cards to let people know about the trip. Engage campground personnel. Write a blog. Use Facebook. Send text messages.
Travel Agent: Find places to spend the night. e.g. campgrounds, rest areas, truck stops, motels, Walmarts. Check out restaurants and things to do in towns you pass through. Get into the local culture and go out for ice cream or a drink. Support local businesses. Think of field trips to cool places. www.TripAdvisor.com is a great resource because it includes user reviews.
Cheer Leader: offer moral support and listen. And listen. And listen. Tell your stories about your own day too.
Self-Entertainer: Find something of interest wherever you are. There’s a story in most little towns, even if they are almost abandoned. Get some exercise every day, even if it’s a little walk. Do something for yourself (pedicure comes to mind but a Starbucks will do). Read with a Kindle in the daylight or dark after your rider has crashed. There’s a lot of truck time, but no excuse for boredom!
A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you can control it.