Ever since I got the news that the frame on my truck was going to be replaced, I’ve had the idea kicking around my head that I should take the opportunity to add a vehicle to our fleet that can actually hold all of us. We’re a family of five, and the kids have been jammed three across in the back seat of Mrs. P’s 4Runner since the day Ginger came home from the hospital.

I recently got a comment on the About page from a new reader. She made the escape from the east to northern Idaho back in the 70s, and as I wrote to her about that common bond, I was struck by the degree to which I feel like I’m at an inflection point in my family’s journey to personal freedom.

Faithful APB reader and modern pioneer MattDaddy recently commented: “HOWEVER dear sir I’m concerned that you’ll never get out of CT and to ID where you really want to be if you continue to increase your output and energy in your current situation (I say this with all due respect and affection). I saw that you took stock of your “halfway to your halfway” point and you gave yourself an honest review. I’d think at some point you’d have to […]

Back in January, I posted about how we had a set a goal of being out of the northeast by the end of 2015. At the time, there were 103 weeks left for us to plan and execute our exit strategy. Six months later, and a quarter of our allotted time is gone. So how are we doing? First, I’m a big believer in periodically reviewing your progress toward any goal. Without a regular, honest assessment of where you are […]

Back in the late 18th century, as the coastal cities of North America were filling up, people who were looking for opportunity, which in those days meant land, turned their eyes away from the “civilized” east and into the mysterious forest frontier to the west. The Appalachian Mountains formed a natural barrier to westward migration, but a few hardy souls braved the wilds, knowing that beyond the mountains lay the freedom they craved – freedom from the crush of humanity, […]

Heaven Smells Like a Pine Forest

I had a chat with the kids a while back about the afterlife. I told them that when I eventually wake up on the wrong side of the grass, I’ll know I’m in hell if I’m watching a non-stop replay of the embarrassing, stupid, or downright mean things I’ve said to people during my life. It’ll be a long movie – essentially every waking minute from age six to about twenty-eight or so. And if there are spiders there, I’ll […]

We kept pretty careful records during our trip, so I decided to break everything down to see how much we spent, and what we spent it on. It’s how I roll. Total distance driven, miles: 6,735.6 Total number of days on the road: 12 Average distance per day, miles: 561.3 Maximum distance in a day, miles: 799.0, first day out Average time spent in the car, hours: 9 hours, 29 minutes Longest driving day, hours: 13 hours 45 minutes – […]

To start with, I’ll spare you the painful details of our drive back to the east. We saw Devils Tower, we saw Mt. Rushmore, we stopped at Wall Drug and the Mitchell Corn Palace. After that, it was just driving and talking about what we had seen and experienced. As for the big picture, we met all our goals. First, I managed to safely conduct my family across the continent and back, for which I’m truly thankful. While we were […]

Goodbye to the Redoubt

We cleared Montana today and passed through the northwest corner of Wyoming on our way to Mt. Rushmore. We’re staying in SD tonight, so we’ve officially left the Redoubt. Bummer. Although we have enough daylight left today to knock an item off my bucket list – seeing Devils Tower. I’ve wanted to go there ever since I first saw “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” as a kid. As I get further and further east, my mood continues to darken. […]