ON THE ROAD: A PHOTO & POETRY ESSAY OF A 2017 JOURNEY / by Jim Lounsbury

In June 2017 our family embarked on a van trip across the United States. We wanted to explore, eat, sing, camp, meet people and make a documentary about some of our very fine friends. (The doco is called The Meaning of Vanlife... you can read more about it here.)

We started on the road… we must continue there. Pens to the road, wheels to the sky, fill the tanks with coffee and let the horizon burn.

 Hunter S Thompsvan.

Hunter S Thompsvan.

The Players:

 Jim Lounsbury aka The Director – filming a documentary entitled “The Meaning of Vanlife” about the vanlife communities across Australia and the US.

Tenzin Lounsbury aka The Baller – finding the YMCA and the bball camp in every city, growing an inch for every mile.

Finnian Lounsbury aka Huckleberry Finn – following every river and rainbow, pulling every thread, wearing every hat.

Me – aka ‘I’m just a teenage Beatnik baby’ – delusional writer and lover of cacti, overalls and the rambling of the road.

The Prequel:  Florida to South Carolina

 An Ode to the drive from Port Orange to Charleston- aka “Southern Traffik”

“I don’t wish to die,

 I'm not ready to die,

please gods,

don’t let me die.”

 

Day 1: July 6th Charleston, South Carolina, through Georgia to Talladega, Alabama.

Tacos you ring my bell!

We eat and drive and drive and sleep and

Occasionally we sweat iced tea

Our funk is the funk of the forest

Sweet and heavy and smelling of peaches

Day 2: Talladega, Alabama – through Mississippi – Memphis, Tennessee.  

We see the rain coming

We hear the insects coming

Both buzzing, fat and warm

More friend than foe.

 Day 3: Memphis, Tennesee – Hot Springs, Arkansas.

We have to dig deep to uproot,

blue and salty,

Drinking too much music

and eating too much road.

 Day 4: Hot Springs, Arkansas – Tulsa, Oklahoma

We have been boiled, shelled, seasoned and

Made tasty –

Bathed in magma and flicked towards the West.

 Day 5: Tulsa and the Russell Westbrook WhyNot Basketball Camp

We are the thunder, the music

And the menial mysteries.

We sport

And we shyly worship our heroes

And we wash our clothes in Bowie.

Day 6: Tulsa, Oklahoma – through Texas – Sante Fe, New Mexico.

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Ejected from the court, we bounce

Out of the heat into the night

Red night windmills pushing us towards

Our small victory

 Day 7: Sante Fe, New Mexico

Everything beautiful

Everything dry but green

Brown but soft

Strong but round – coloured, shaped and flavoured

To make us feel as though we are

Accidentally home.

 Day 8: Sante Fe, New Mexico – Denver, Colorado

These are not people.

These are folk.

These are not vans

These are homes

These are not mountains

But a nest.

 Day 9: Vanlife Gathering, Rocky Mountains, Colorado

 

If 200 people go to the bathroom in the woods

And nobody sees them…

Be careful where you put your feet.

 

 

Day 10: Vanlife Gathering and we leave. Denver – San Fran – Sydney.

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We are still as Buddha

Fat and fed by the land and the trees and the mountains.

And then our flight is changed and we are

Instantly

Conversely

Upside down, inside out and flying backwards over the Pacific.

 


HOME: I miss my van… but I love my bath… I miss the trees… but I love plumbing… but the mountains… but my bed… but the vanlife… but shampoo… but the open road…. But…….  We are the libertine wanderers.