Full-Timing on a Harley and a Tear-Drop Trailer
I follow quite a few blogs and I especially like those with brave, adventurous people; today’s guest post by Jaclyn Heyen epitomizes those qualities! Visit her blog, “Blue Road” here: http://www.jhblueroad.com/
I was pretty excited when Bob emailed me asking to do a guest post. I am always amazed how many people know of my travels or have seen me on the road. I didn’t set out on this life to be known… my initial goal was to disappear.
All of my life I’ve dealt with severe depression and an Eating Disorder. I was in treatment both in and out patient since I was 18. I was someone who made a good fly on the wall if I was out and about but preferred to be by myself playing music. I was also someone who felt like I started living life late. I figured I wouldn’t live past my early twenties and now in my mid thirties I think of every day as bonus.
I have always barely made it by financially. Figured if I got a degree it would help but it turned out the more educated I was the less money I made. I realized I was going to have to work the rest of my life… Retirement will not be an option… So, if I was going to have to work I was going to live as close to retirement as possible.
I started researching living on the road when I got my Harley (called Blue) in 2007. I had never rode my own bike before I got my Harley but grew up around motorcycles. I took the weekend class and by the next week I put a down payment on a 2007 FLHT. Yep, I went big for my first bike… With every intention of riding around the country.
I thought about toy haulers but wouldn’t be financially doable. Thought about an older RV and pull a trailer for my bike but still not financially doable. I finally came across the Little Guy Rascal, which said you could pull with a 1500cc motorcycle… I have a 1584cc. The great thing about a teardrop trailer is there is no setup. I can stay at Walmarts, truck stops and bear country and it gets me out of the weather. Even bigger bonus is that I get to ride my motorcycle every day.
After many years of dreaming and researching how to live on the road, from public lands to workamping, I finally decided 2012 was going to be the year of the RV. I worked 3 to 4 jobs for 8 months and lived in a shed for 3 months to make enough money for the Little Guy Rascal trailer (I call TicTac) and set out on my new life the end of October 2012. I left Rosendale New York the day before hurricane Sandy was suppose to hit that area with $1000 to my name.
I do not have a consistent income, as I’m not on disability or social security of any sort. I make the little money I have by doing some virtual gigs. I have a masters degree and do marketing, social media and audio/video editing contract gigs for small businesses and non-profits. These gigs are usually modest pay with either very limited hours or for a limited amount of time. I have also done workamping gigs. I worked for Amazon.com as Camperforce in Campbellsville Kentucky for 2 seasons and I worked at Wallace Street Photo (old time photo place) in Virginia City Montana for 2 seasons. I have also done some house/pet sitting gigs, which gives me a chance to spread out with all the amenities for a bit.
I am also fortunate to have many Road Angels… RVers, friends and fellow bikers who will give me a place to stay and/or a meal. I try to give back, when I can, helping them with their computer and electronic needs, give them an ear and a few good stories.
I love to tell the story of last summer, when I was going through Fort Wayne Indiana, where I had a trucker who drove next to me, honked his horn and gave me a hand gesture that looked like he wanted a sexual favor. Completely horrified, as a single woman on the road, I just kept riding. He came by three or four times throughout the city honking and giving the same hand gesture. Finally, north of the city he came by again and honked, gave the hand gesture, pulled in front of me with his blinker on and slowed down to exit at a rest area. I took a deep breath, knowing I had to pull over to see if there was something wrong while building myself up to be ready to give this trucker a piece of my mind and be sure he never wanted what that hand gesture suggested again, I start to exit. Luckily, the trucker didn’t completely exit and went on his way.
I pulled into the rest area and breathed a sigh of relief as I get off my bike to realize that the 6-pin connector had disconnected and the cable had been dragging all the way through Fort Wayne. I sent up a thank you to the trucker and apologized for assuming the worst and headed back into Fort Wayne to get it fixed. I’m still trying to figure out a better hand gesture… Maybe create a book of universal hand gestures for the road… But, really, that is about the only way to describe in hand gestures that something disconnected. Always a good story for a laugh… Or maybe it is the facial expressions that go with the story that make it funny. It is a lesson learned and I now put duct tape around the connector so I don’t have to go through that again.
That’s enough for one post, in my next post we’ll continue Jaclyn’s fascinating story!