Moving Out

And it seems such a waste of time

If that’s what it’s all about

Mama, if that’s movin’ up then I’m movin’ out.

Billy Joel

The ceremonial start has already happened, but today feels like the first actual stage of Smokey Coast to Coast. My final packages successfully arrived at Allyson’s yesterday, in perfect condition no less. That left me free and clear to move on and begin heading west.

Well, more of a southwest, really. I’m less than two hours away from where I started, at a Boondockers Welcome site in Cummington, Massachusetts. Yes, that’s really the name of the town. You know what else? A distinct mineral was discovered here. It’s named after the town, called Cummingtonite. Go ahead, look it up. I’ll let your dirty minds come up with any other interpretations of these names on your own.

ANYWAY… This isn’t a particularly exciting place to be, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s a place I can spend a couple of days, get some work done (the included WiFi is excellent), and figure out where I’m going from here. It’s supposed to rain pretty much the whole time I’m here, unfortunately, so it’s not worth unloading the bike and taking some rides. I’ve been here before, though, so it’s not a huge loss. I’m just down the street from the Cummington Fairgrounds, where I won my class at the one and only rallycross I drove in my ex-cop Crown Vic. I felt like Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltraine in hot pursuit of them Duke boys. That was a different life, but it’s a happy memory.

Back to the present day. In some ways, this still doesn’t really feel like a start. I’ve made it as far as western Massachusetts, where I’ve spent a great deal of time in the past. I even went to college in nearby North Adams. But in the important ways, I’m well on my way on this journey. I’m done driveway surfing from one friend to the next, the way I have been pretty much since the split with Trisha two months ago. I’m done orbiting one particular area waiting for something to happen like I have been for almost the same period of time. This will be my last stop in New England for quite some time. Next, I’m heading to a Harvest Host brewery just over the New York line. I’m still figuring out where to go from there, but I’m feeling like putting a few miles behind me over the weekend so it really starts feeling like I’m out of my former home territory.

Funny thing about that. I lost my previous road atlas in the fire. I mean the big paper book of maps that you can hold in your hand, which I find much more useful for looking at the big picture of a trip than detailed maps on an electronic screen. I stopped at the Irving in Greenfield, MA to avoid using my composting toilet, and picked up a new one, as well as a candy bar because I can. The total cost came to $17.01. The registration number of the USS Enterprise is NCC-1701. I guess it’s time for me to explore strange new worlds, and boldly go where I haven’t gone before.

Movin’ Out by Billy Joel popped into my head, and it’s a great summary of my feelings right now. Instead of sticking around where I’ve always lived, doing what everyone expects me to do, and leading a boring, unfulfilling life (like I did for quite some time), I’m packing my bags and leaving. He certainly didn’t have running away in a van in mind when he wrote it, but it still works. There are no hard feelings here. It’s just not for me anymore. So here’s your soundtrack for this post. Enjoy.

The Great Journey of Life continues.


  1. yo bro….anyways. (so Justin nearly 30years later) I got it…my DNA may yern for new england, but the Gibbs instinct says that is not home and never was. So it leaves me with where do I belong?


    1. I’m right there with you, my friend. New England no longer feels like home to me, but I haven’t traveled enough to have anywhere else call out to me. That’s part of the reason for this journey — to find home.

      — Deep Thoughts, by Smokey Da Van 🙂


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