So I was sitting on my parents' porch staring at the goats on one of those weirdo summer breeze-like March days and thinking, GEESH THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. Then immediately, right right you know, I was like THIS IS STILL ELWOOD, INDIANA. Where I've been for 19 of my 23 years, all 23 in central Indiana. Living with my parents. Working for the school corporation I was a whippersnapper in. I mean yes duhhh my life is fantastic and I'm lucky lucky lucky lucky. But THIS IS STILL ELWOOD, INDIANA.
And there are so many cool people in places like Atlanta, Georgia and Thomasville, North Carolina and Akron, Ohio and lots of rad other cities, some I know, some I don't, some I wanna know better better. And there are lots of disc golf courses. And lots of places to read. And I have this neat pick-up truck I need to get to know better.
So my idea: I'm gonna roll out of that silly Elwood, Indiana on June 1st and roll back into town around the beginning of August. Me and that pickup topped with this glorious camper shell I bought off some dude mowing his lawn. In a second, okay probably a hundred and twenty, I'm gonna talk about the dots on my loop. The general road trip goals are to unwind from a year at home/working with first graders everyday, get over one last social/personal/mental hump in the recovery from the divorce, play lots of disc golf, do a few readings, and most importantly hangrageliveitup with some of the coolest people blown around the Midwest/South.
The Loop (estimated dates)
June 1-6: Travel to/time in/leave Akron, Ohio
June 7-8: Travel to Ann Arbor/Detroit, Mich
June 9-12: Time in/travel through Michigan/upper Indiana
June 13-15: Travel to Chicago, Ill
June 16-23: Time in/leave Chicago, Ill
June 24-30: Travel through Indiana with major stops in Indy and Bloomington
July 1-5: Travel through Kentucky/Tennessee
July 5-11: Time in/leave Tuscaloosa, AL
July 12-22: Travel to/time in/leave ATL
July 23-29: Travel to/time in/leave Outer Banks, NC
July 30-Aug 4: Travel to/time in/leave Thomasville, NC
Aug 5-6: Back to Indiana
So here is what I'm saying. If you live in/between these places and wanna hang or disc or whatever, let's do that. Show me a cool place to get pizza. Show me a neat little statue. Let me sleep on your couch. Let me meet your pet. Take me to a rad concert or reading. Take me hiking. Or whatever.
Another part of the trip is gonna be a Vouched Books Online series of posts where in each major stop I spend an evening with a cool writer, chatting about their words, seeing their city, spending a day next to their shoes (I'm thinking Akron, Chicago, Tuscaloosa, Atlanta, somewhere in NC, and maybe one other). More details to come on this soon!
And here is that weirdo moment where I ask for your help (but HEY HEY I asked for your company first, priorities one through three maybe four I promise).
Readings: I have ones in the works for Chicago, Tuscaloosa, Atlanta, and maybe Cincinnati, but if you want to help solidify those or set up ones elsewhere, I'd really freaking love that. I'm not a total idiot/lame-o, I promise.
Your Favorite Places: I'm really interested in seeing my friends' favorites or cities' best venues, bookstores, food stops, museums, parks, etc. If you know any of these rad spots in places on the list or in between, please please let me know. EVEN BETTER: take me there!
Disc Golf: My goal is 15 different courses. I have the major ones like Idlewild and Flip City on the list, but if you have any other must-play courses, I'm gonna add it, oh yes I will. Also, if you know anyone who plays/wants to play disc golf in any of these major stops, let me know. I GET LONELY EASILY.
Couches: I'm gonna sleep in my truck between major stops, but it's gonna be hotttttt and not in the sexy way. Like I sweat a lot. So if you have a cool couch to crash on or know somebody that does and don't mind me being a bum on it for a day, let me know.
ANYTHING ELSE TELL ME TELL ME
Also, I'm gonna use this blog for updates both pre-trip and during-trip, if that is interesting or something.
Here's another awkward part: Money.
As part of this trip, I'm gonna do a Vouched Books Online post series about
experiencing 5-6 of my major stops with writers from the area (with
audio/video content, interviews, and recaps; MORE INFO SOON). I've been chatting up my
cool friends and digging in my skull to find a couple ways to raise
money for this series, as well as get other neat people involved, have
some cool reason to write, and (yes yes it happens) a way to make some
extra bux for the trip.
I'm cool just paying for this trip and being all like whatever. That's the plan duhhhh, but if you wanna help out or something, here are some options that might be neat for both of us:
- Borrowed from that lovely Molly Gaudry and her "I'll write you a poem for $1" thing, I'm offering here to write poems for you for a buck. So, a poem for $1 (delivered via email/FB); a poem on a postcard from the trip city of yr choice for $5; a poem postcard in the mail and a phone call or video from the road to read the poem to you or someone of yr choice for $10; a poem postcard and a phone call or video from the road reading the poem and a chapbook of all the trip poems (and possibly other goodies) for $20. Here's a separate post about it if you're interested. If this sounds fun, send it as a gift payment to my Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Or you name a price and what you want me to do with the poem and we can negotiate and such.
- Or you can buy my book from me for $12 (that one that also features good reasons to buy it, Christopher Newgent and Brian Oliu)
- Or I'm selling parts of my coin/knife/basketball card collection if you are (WHY) into those things. Ask, weirdo.
- Or if I'm gonna be in yr city, I'll do yr dishes or mop yr floors or be yr escort or walk yr dog or hang out with yr annoying friend for you. Prices negotiable.
- Or if you just wanna give me some food or booze or something, I'm down with that. I'll be really appreciative and nice.
Basically, I'm down for whatever. "I'd do anything for money, anything for money, anything for money, I'd do anything."- State Champion
If you are interested in any of these offers and helping out, send it as a gift to my Paypal (email@example.com). Also, of course, shoot me any questions or concerns or happiness.
Woosh, glad that's over. So yes, disc golf and readings and hanging and exploring. Make me less lonely, make me a better human being.
Major thanks to Molly Gaudry, Christopher Newgent, Laura Straub, Layne Ransom, and any one else now and before and futurely that tosses me ideas and keeps me from being super dumb regarding this trip. I'D BE SO BROKEN DOWN ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WITHOUT YOU.