20,049 miles of moving


The data nerding doesn’t stop . . .

year month mileage moves
2013 September 1,216 4
2013 October 1,876 7
2013 November 1,895 7
2013 December 1,639 6
2014 January 1,436 4
2014 February 1,947 7
2014 March 1,687 5
2014 April 1,463 6
2014 May 1,993 7
2014 June 1,020 5
2014 July 873 8
2014 August 1,703 8
2014 September 1,024 3
2014 October 277 1

Our towingest month was May of 2014, with nearly 2,000 miles of moving and seven moves. Our busiest months were July and August of 2014 with eight moves each.

Interestingly though, and without thinking about it at the time, the number of moves we made each month and distance driven each month were very similar. On average we drove 1,432 miles a month and made 6 moves. That seems to have been the natural cadence.

So on average we moved every five days and each move was on average 257 miles.

– Anthony, Waukee, Iowa


393 nights visualized

Click here for interactive map.

Nerding out with CartoDB.

The bubble size represents how many nights were spent in a given location. You’ll see that Pomona State Park in Kansas was overwhelmingly our favorite location.

Hover over the bubbles to see the location and total nights spent. Click on the bubbles to see that location’s web site. Zoom in and move around for more detail.

Two locations were omitted: one, a storage unit in Orlando, Florida, where the Airstream spent a week while we rented a vacation home with our family. Two, an overnight in a Wal-Mart parking lot in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

One final note – the bubbles are drawn to zip code. As you zoom all the way, do not expect the bubble to represent the precise location.

– Anthony, Waukee, Iowa

Airstream as winter cabin

Winter camping. Lake Anita State Park. Anita, Iowa.

Shortly after moving into our new house, Julie enrolled in a year-long course in therapeutic massage. This was largely inspired by her sister, already licensed in Iowa. Is it ever wise to go into business with family? We shall see what comes of this sister-sister conspiracy.

I have and continue to be a willing test subject until the course is complete in December of this year. Unfortunately the classroom time consumes several weekends, leaving me and Alfred to our own devices during the day.

Meanwhile our Airstream has been languishing in storage most of the time. Sad about this I have taken to using it on weekends throughout the winter, primarily at Lake Anita State Park.

Lake Anita is a gem in winter due to camping being rather unpopular this time of year. There are usually a few ice fisherman out on the lake. It’s 45 minutes from our house and they keep the power and water on.

I’m not sure what prompted me to start doing this – some mixture of refusing to let the Airstream dream die and feeling guilty about a very expensive shiny object sitting idle.

Having lived in this contraption I never thought of it as a weekend thing but I have surprised myself. I am developing a weekly corporate-unwinding routine. Running, reading, writing this stuff, catching up on the great photograph project, perhaps watching a movie and becoming immersed in a game I have played since 1991. I now understand why people buy cabins.

So you can do this in winter, in Iowa. Obviously the fresh water hose is not an option beyond filling the fresh water tank. I do have a heated hose and used to insulate the standpipe when we were full-timing but I won’t go to that trouble for a weekend.

The biggest issue, as always, is disposing of waste water which will freeze in the exposed drain pipes. Grey water can be eliminated by simply leaving the valve open provided you have a full hook-up.

If the temperature is forecast well below freezing all weekend then I leave the black tank valve open as well. This is not a best practice and should not be done long term since, well, you know. But you’ll have no trouble doing this for a few weekends and when it does get above freezing you can fill the black tank and flush it all out.

We are very close to purchasing a composting toilet which should solve this problem for good. I intend to have it installed by Airstream in Jackson Center. We’ll see how that goes . . .

It is also necessary to re-winterize after each outing. I do intend to write a “how to” on winterizing over and over again. Once you’ve done it a few times it’s a short routine.

If you’re wondering, the virtual fireplace pictured above is a fun iPhone app, “A Very Cozy Fireplace HD.” It streams to the Apple TV and even includes the fireplace crackling sound.

– Anthony, Waukee, Iowa

What have we been up to?

Alfred. Lake Anita State Park, Iowa.

After 393 days in an Airstream we bought a house in a school district city called Waukee, which is a suburb of Des Moines. This is in the state of Iowa. It is forgivable that you may be unfamiliar with the city and state so to be clear, for domestic and foreign readers, this is in ‘Merica.

I described the house in my last note as a “nice new townhome with no exterior maintenance.” Riveting. We haven’t done a remarkable job of decorating or furnishing yet but it’s comfortable and we were able to pick out some last minute finishings – like having all the carpet replaced with hard floors throughout. I know, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The neighborhood is in the new fashion of mixed home types with a nice trail system. The height of the art of these things might be Celebration, Florida. While unmistakably suburban, the mix of housing is nice. There aren’t sterile rows of townhouses resembling military housing, nor street after street of cookie cutter single family homes – jail for the overextended.

I get a few emails from people enjoying the candor of this blog. So in that spirit I offer an awful photograph of the house. This was featured on Iowa Realty’s web site (sorry I am breaking a copyright – please Sir, I bought the this hastily stapled together bunch of sticks nonetheless).


The good news is the skip – dumpster – has been moved a bit further away and the mud field to the right is now mid-construction, which is loud most of the time.

In other news, we have been:

More on these later.

– Anthony, Lake Anita State Park, Iowa
41°25’51.57″N, 94°46’18.88″W