The Broken Little Car.

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Here is the good news, I bring you this image of the docks on the flathead lake. I had an amazing pancake breakfast, thought I’d have to drive here myself, potentially calling a tow truck which I cannot afford, but have have had my day turned into a fun road trip adventure. Its 4th of July eve! Neysa and I adventured through Taco Bell, a thrift store, and getting lost on the dirt roads. Someone has been shooting at the roadsigns again and we, with no cell signal, as always, missed quite a few turns.

As far as the car, I have the parts and jacks, but have run into a snag. The mounting hardware for the new shocks does not match that of the old shocks. I’m falling short on the funding for the alignment, having to instead purchase a few tools and plates for the upper bushings.
I am raising my funding goal, despite raising over the initial amount.
I am in need of a 15mm, 14mm, 13mm, deep sockets, as well as a 13mm articulated box wrench. Hopefully the local store will have these as well as a coating agent (not grease) for the hardware as well as a few nuts and bolts I can buy to piece together the upper assembly as the original and the new are different sizes. I was extremely lucky to bum a ride to Polson, MT today after discovering the parts could be sent to a shop there next day. Polson Auto Parts was nice enough to match the price I had found through the Monroe reseller. I should only be $50 off of my needed goal.

Please donate to my repair fund at GOfundme!IMG_2365.jpg

I will be hoping for the best. oddly enough, my American made car parts are in repair on the 4th. If its not become apparent, this is not as much a blog about art or travel or photography. I don’t want to sugar coat how “#vanlife” works in the real world. I have been traveling, roaming, housesitting, and backpacking off and on for most of the last decade. I bring out these posts to provide insight to what it means to be a traveling, working freelancer, on a normal budget, with bills and setbacks. Everything from cutting mat board on a pick-nick table in a national forrest, to automotive repairs which hinder travel. there is a vast unseen element in solo travel. I love every minute of it. But, this lifestyle isn’t glamorous. It’s hardworking and stressful, but rewarding simultaneously.

To this point.

One of my uncle's delicious treats.
35mm film scan.

My new job has occupied most of my time for the last two and a half weeks. There have been a few excursions to to the flee markets and local taco bells. Volcano tacos on my budget are a feast of kings. But, I’m almost always in transition from one place or another. I have perfected an on the go ramen making procedure. I can go from packet to stomach in less than five minutes, while everything fits right in my little day/camera bag. Finding variety, however, can be downright frustrating some days. Fifteen years in short order, often at higher end resturauntes will do this to your pallet. Cliffbars in the morning, ramen for lunch, fruit and coffee. Stretching six weeks with $300 has been a bit rough. My cousin, however, is an amazing cook. So diner is always a lesson in keeping it cheap and tasty. Given the fruit everywhere, I may never want to leave.

Ending this brutal financial month, I find no more film in my bag, yet expect my first paycheck to land tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I merely finished the last roll of 35 this morning. I did budget that well. The seven mile trek to the only one hour film lab I found in St. Pete commences after work tomorrow. I expect the journey to kill another few rolls. Posts have been lacking as my free time is being managed with gallery submissions and meeting contest deadlines, such as Creative Loafing’s Time contest. The energy I’ve regained in my photography is something unfathomable. For the first time in years, I actually enjoy loading my camera. The little Canonet lives in my bag, yet I don’t feel like carrying even my bulky nikons to be a hassle.

An image submitted to Creative Loafing. This is a digital collage from a shoot this past december with model, Hypatia Gregory.

Whether I’m forced to re-spool a busted film cartridge, salvaging the last roll in my bag or busting open one of the Nikon’s whose internal devices rupture on a semi-daily basis, its done with a mother’s love. Having two of those Nikon’s is proving to be one of my wiser decisions. And despite my earlier mishaps, I decided to await my Vegas journey this fall to have my Mamiya sent. There is an amazing freedom in being forced to reconcile my differences with 35mm film. The best comparison I can make relates being able to use what I now know about photography to my first week in Photography 1. Yes, Its exactly like being a film student again, but version two. All the annoyances of cheap consumer slr’s, yet the knowledge that as long as I press the button with confidence and frequently, that little, beast of a pitbull, nikon won’t rip my arm off. I’m now saddened by the idea of switching formats to shoot weddings this fall.

Tomorrow, the great hunt for a new camera bag will also commence. Or at least i’ll be entertaining the idea as I venture along my way. I do love my current backpack. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bought a second one after destroying the first years ago on a trip to louisville. I can easily stuff all my nikon crap, a ton of film, laptop, and anything else I need for a day trip effortlessly inside. I live mostly out of this bag alone. The bag also defies the bottomless purse problem that plague so many rucksack style bags. I has one major drawback that I never could have imagined. Shooting in the gulf waters is extremely precarious with that canvas military bag. Seagull Bags please rescue me. I do need to head back to the army navy store this weekend to find a stuff sack for my sleeping bag.

This weekend is another, so much to do with so little time deal. Johnathan and I are going to be couch moving, disc golfing, and doing a bit of cycling in between on sunday. Saturday, I work, then will be out and about for the entire evening. Hopefully, I can sneak back over to the flea market for veggies in the morning. I’ve mentioned it twice, so just know that there is a bit on the flea market in the works. It’s one of the best open produce markets i’ve encountered. Tomorrow, will be restricted to working and getting my film processed. There are too many rolls to not make this top priority.

In the following day, images will come and I am all to anxious to share.