Cross Country Travel

It’s Been Fun, But We Must Go

It’s the end of March and the weather is perfect! We don’t want to leave California and head back to Pennsylvania, but the time to return home has come.

Before we dive into this cross country journey, let me introduce the family. We are going to become very close over this series of blog posts covering our travels across the United States, so it’s only appropriate we get to know each other first!

Cross Country Trip

The fedora wearing hottie on the left is Katie, my wife, and I’m the goober (stole that one from my Dad) on the right. Together, we are the “somewhat-uncertain-where-life-is-taking-us” married Millennial couple.

Oh! And we also have these two lovely fur balls.

Cross Country

Meet Guinness and Jameson; the quirky Siberian Husky duo.

We have been exploring California together for almost 2 years and it has been absolutely life-changing. Listening to donkeys make Sasquatch-like noises at night in the middle of Death Valley, floating down the Truckee river in Tahoe City, and dancing at the Venice Beach drum circle… these are just a few of the memories we’ve made, all of which are special for their own reasons.

We have fallen in love with the weather and ever-changing scenery around us and we were excited to explore more of the West.

We had a problem though.

The Western United States was so much more vast and wide open than we were use to back east. Every mountain, valley, and canyon had something new explore.

So that’s why we decided to purchase “Tot” to pull behind “Tater” the Tacoma. Get it?

Cross Country Travel

Mouth of Thompson Canyon | Panamint Valley, CA

Thanks to Tot, we were able to step up our exploration game. Tot came equipped with a complete solar/propane system, outdoor kitchen and shower, hot/cold running water, a furnace for those cold nights, off-road suspension, and enough room inside for all 4 of us.

Sounds like we know what we’re doing, right?

We spent several weeks using Tot to explore more remote parts of California and prepare for the journey back to Pennsylvania. We had never made a trip of this size, lived in such close quarters (50sqft. – and Huskies aren’t small dogs), or pulled a trailer before this. But we knew it would literally bring us together and teach us some interesting things about ourselves and one another.

And little did we know, we were going to end up live streaming the whole trip as well!

Yup, you heard that right.

About a month before we were set to embark on our cross country journey, a little app called Meerkat was launched.

I won’t get into the details of our adventures on Meerkat, but through lots of conversation and engagement, we had built a really awesome community! Everyone wanted to see us stream our cross country trip, but given how high the data costs would be, I knew we had to figure out a solution to decrease the expenses.

After some targeted tweeting and strategy discussion, Novatel Wireless reached out and agreed to sponsor us! They provided the data we needed along with a Mifi device for our trip, which was beyond amazing on their part.

We couldn’t have been more excited! We just made a ton of friends on Meerkat and now we were going to be able to take them across the country with us thanks to Novatel Wireless. It’s really nice to see large companies reaching out and seeing the value that can be delivered through social communities. I really hope more companies start doing this sort of thing!

Time To Push Off

It was Wednesday March 25th.

Everything was packed in the truck, our Mifi device had just arrived, and Tot was completely supplied for adventure!

We needed to stop at the grocery store so Katie could grab our final items off the shopping list. Meanwhile, I prepared to get everything ready. Mounting the GoPro to the trailer, syncing all devices with the Mifi, and finding the perfect place to mount the phone for live streaming on Meerkat.

Katie returned and we packed the fridge. She got some of our favorites which I was definitely pleased with – with such a long journey ahead, you’ve got to have plenty of snacks!

We both said “see you later” to California, knowing we would be back in the future.

But for now, it was time to hit the road!

To Be Continued…

Cody Stevenson

Cody Stevenson

Founder and CEO at Nonconformedia and Big Rigs & Pancakes Podcast Co-Host
Cody Stevenson