Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ready To Hit The Road!

We haven't posted for almost a month now because Patrick's been busy with the Sonoma Plein Air Festival (he'll be posting about that experience soon), and we both had a number of commercial and photography jobs to wrap up - it has been a crazy month.

We are almost ready to hit the road. We finished a tight pack of the truck today, because we have cleaned out our storage space and are now completely mobile. Everything we own is in the truck, the Smart, or our Airstream. We are on our way to a tinier life. We still have a long way to go, though, to reduce our consumption, but Airstream life has helped us get a better handle on how much power, water, and gas we are consuming on a daily basis, and how we can minimize waste. It's an adventure in itself, figuring out how to consume/waste as little as possible on a daily basis.

It took us quite a while to clean out this space but we did it.

I have reached a point where letting go of or selling material things doesn't bother me at all. The only twinge of uncertainty I have had in this whole process was right after we put our home up for sale. I worried for a bit about not being a home owner anymore because it's considered to be such a marker of success and stability in life. But then I realized that what I was really worried about was not that I wouldn't be a homeowner anymore, but what others might think of us for not being homeowners, and that's a road to nowhere. A big part of following my bliss means letting go of the fear of judgment. It's really easy to get rid of your extra coffee cups - letting go of foolish pride is much harder.

Even the Smart car has a hitch now - the bikes look pretty funny on the back of my car. 

In the last two weeks we have put a hitch on the Smart for our bikes, and big flaps on the truck to protect the Airstream from rocks. Bambi's don't come standard with segment protectors anymore, just a thin film to protect the front of the Sport from rocks kicked up by the truck. We thought about going to the Airstream factory and having segment protectors attached, but that would mean drilling holes in the shell of the Bambi, and we are leery of puncturing the shell - even when this is done at the factory, for protectors, or a solar panel, or even a bike rack, there is always a chance that chronic moisture leaks could follow. We have a water tight shell, and we are not ready to risk that yet. Moisture leaks and water damage are really the Achilles heel of Airstreams, so we are not in a hurry to risk damage to a good seal.

These Rock Tamers are highly recommended on the Airstream forums - hope they do a good job of protecting the Bambi. At the very least, they make us feel a little badass - like real truckers.

Patrick and I hit the road on Wednesday morning, and we are so excited. We are going to make our way to Texas and will spend a few days in Austin before we head farther south. Patrick will also be off to Texas Plein Air soon, which starts on October 26th in San Angelo, Texas. 

It's very fitting that we will hit the road on October 14th, because it marks the 20th anniversary of the day we first met, and October 15th will be our 17th wedding anniversary. It's a great day to begin our biggest adventure yet. - Kimberly Saunders

© Patrick & Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. We now have those same mud beasts on our truck. The shiny girl is a 1962 with a few blemishes, but we think our new flaps will keep her looking young! As everyone are LIVING THE DREAM! It will be fun to keep in touch through your blog. Happy safe traveling Kimberly and Patrick!

    1. Same to you! Hope we get to camp with you next year at Augusta!

  2. Hi Kimberly and Patrick,

    That's so exciting, you're ready to go! Congratulations!

    Can I ask a question? Your truck will pull the Airstream, correct? Will you be driving the Smart car separately?

    1. Hey Jaynie. Yes, the truck pulls the Airstream with no problems. It doesn't even affect the gas mileage. We drive the Smart car separately. It's safer than putting extra drag on the trailer.

  3. I admire your spirit and the empty storage locker. The energy to get to this point will carry you through many years of travels