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Chasing weather

April 11th, 2017 at 11:24 pm

Uh, I still need to hammer out the final details with my water jug issue, but I think the my best course of action is to just encase the whole thing in a relatively tall plastic trash can. A clean one naturally. I mean they're just large waterproof bins basically. So, I am hoping to have this solved by tonight.

In the meantime, PatientSaver asked this seemingly simple and perfectly reasonable question, "But why do you want to live out in the woods on your own for few weeks at a time?"

I am kind of jumping ahead here, but basically, there are practical and spiritual reasons to do this. It starts out with my personal enemy #1, and that is the nasty, humid Southern heat. Anyone who has had to get into their car after it has been baking in the summer sun knows just how woefully inadequate vehicle air-conditioners can be. There are even times when you are better off rolling down all the windows and just start driving.

Now, imagine trying to stay cool inside that. There are animals and even infants that have been cooked alive this way.

This is also why the phenomenon of snowbirding even exists to begin with. When you are mobile, you might as well just get up and go somewhere cooler.

However, as someone who is more of a penny pincher than one stricken with wanderlust, I just don't see too much value in wasting gas, traveling up and down the eastern seaboard, just to "cool off".

Still, I need to figure out something, and after some internet research and even testing out some ideas, here is what I have figured out so far. Oh, and feel free to jump in anytime and share some ideas if you have any. Believe me, I'm all ears.

Ok, first of all, let me state that I live in Raleigh, NC. This is where my family is, this is where I will be during the colder months of the year, and this is also where I will return to, say, every other week to get my laundry done, check my mail, catch up with the family, etc.

To give you an idea of the weather here, today's temperature is roughly in the low 80s F. It's not considered "hot", but the interior of any car always ends up hotter than the ambient temperature.

To beat the heat, the best place I've found to park in is in a mall parking deck. I am not only almost entirely out of the sun, but I also have easy access to public bathrooms and the food court.

The downside is that malls are only open until 9pm. After that, I can head to my 24 hour gym, where I can shower when I am on the road. Plus, I need to work out anyways.

There are other places I can go to as well, depending on what I want to get done at that moment, such as 24 hour grocery stores, 24 hour Walmart, and truck stops.

So that's a concise example of what my future daily routine may look like.

However, as summer rolls up and the heat intensifies, even parking decks may not be enough. When that happens, I will need to consider snowbirding to somewhere cooler.

But where? This is when I started looking up annual temperatures and precipitation charts in my state.

Here's the mean temperature in July:



Here's the normal precipitation chart (suggesting higher likelihood of rain that should further reduce the heat).



All of them point to the western edge of North Carolina. I pulled up Google Maps to double check what's over there, and lo and behold, it's the Appalachian mountains. Well, more specifically the Blue Ridge highlands. Anyways, point is, it's a vast stretch of cool, shady, national forest land.

I haven't been in that area much, except for the town of Asheville. For those that may not know, this is also the place where one of the richest family in America, the Vanderbilts, decided to build their super McMansion. From what I understand, this Cornelius guy from way back could have built it anywhere, but after hiring a professional surveyor years to find that perfect spot, he came back with the answer: Asheville.

This is significant in part because there were no air conditioners back then. In fact, even indoor bathrooms and plumbing was cutting edge, if not unheard of. Long story short, the climate had to be naturally pleasant for as much of the time as possible.

Today, Asheville is also a bit of a tourist trap, so I don't intend to stay too close or for too long even though it's a nice area. Rather, I've scouted places that are deeper into the national forests, where I have been given permission to overnight at their Walmarts, to having available 24 hour gyms there.

But this isn't just about me trying to beat the heat. I've always fantasized about living a bit closer to nature. How great would it be to wake up, turn on a small kettle for a warm tea, and open the doors to a national forest? Despite doing some prelimary research, I am still not certain exactly whatI will find there. However, that's all part of the adventure, right?

Also, let's not forget that this is aimed towards me not having to own a house, so that I can drastically lower my monthly bills. So yeah, that's the plan and, crossing my fingers, I hope it all pans out.

10 Responses to “Chasing weather”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    Well, this is certainly an interesting approach. Not for me, but I look forward to seeing how it works for you.

  2. Tabs Says:

    I be crazy so you don't have to. Haha.

    And yes, I'll be more than happy to share my findings here.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    My cousin hiked most of the AT. I wonder if you could use any of the stop over towns near the trail as hang outs? They seem like they would be cool with the odd joe hanging out in their car! Smile Also I think that map is not exactly true as it doesn't seem to factor in the humidity!!

    You have kids right? So how does this work with them? Or are they almost grown? Time flies on these blogs!

  4. Tabs Says:

    Yes, humidity just makes everything even worse! Also, I think it is a little insane that some people use so much wood in their build and don't even bother to weatherproof it. They are risking so much health hazards with mildew and rot. Wood is very pretty though,I will give them that.

    Stopover towns sound great. I try to be as stealthy as I can so few would notice and be bothered by it, and I imagine fewer still would even care.

    Yes, indeed I do have kids. I see someone is been keeping tabs on me haha. The youngest is 16 going 17. She will be off to college soon, and then I can really do this for real... That is, assuming everything works out as planned.

    However, something like this full timing in a car camper can't or shouldn't be attempt overnight. That is why I am starting a little bit early to build and test it, make sure everything works, and I would know what to do by the time I can really do it full time.

    All this is still experimental and up in the air. Even I don't know if it will pan out. But hey, what's life if not for a little bit of adventure once in a while?

  5. CB in the City Says:

    I used to live near Asheville, and, believe me, it does get hot there.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    I also wondered why you were doing this. Very interesting approach. Not for me, but I am enjoying the comforts of home and a/c when it gets hot and humid. We've been to Asheville during the summer and yes, it is hot. We like Savannah, but it is miserable in the summer with the heat and humidity as is Washington, DC. Can you say prickly heat rash? Anyway, I look forward to reading your progress and wish you the very best.

  7. Kiki Says:

    Is this a post retirement lifestyle?

    I thought you were in Law Enforcement or related field so could probably retire pretty soon?

  8. Tabs Says:

    Yes, Asheville indeed does get quite hot during the summer. It's just not as hot as where I am now. For example, right now, it's 83F in Raleigh, but it's 76F in Asheville. I've checked further up north, and it's also roughly about mid 70s in various parts of Virginia. On the other hand, Burlington, Vermont is about 55 right now.

    A lot of snowbirders go quite a long distance, but due to personal and financial reasons, that's just not a practical option to me. I think the takeaway here is to have a realistic expectation of how much (or more like how little) the temperature change will be. This is already a 4 hour drive minimum for me.

    Still though, even if the temperature drop is small, it is still better than sitting where I am now. I am hoping that, combined with other preventive measures, it will be enough to beat the heat. We'll see though.

  9. PatientSaver Says:

    Moving the air with a fan helps Had no idea it was that hot in that area already. I can't stand the humidity but even up in here in CT there's at least 3 or 4 weeks of unbearable humidity. That's why I got central air installed a week ago. Smile

  10. Tabs Says:

    Kiki: Argh, and I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids and that dog too.

    Patient: Yes, already have a fan for the car. Also working on finalizing my design for my windows, all to try to minimize the heat.

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