From June 5th to July 6th Donna and I traveled over 7500 miles across the country. From Phoenix to Kalispel, Montana to Lancaster, New Hampshire to Austin, Texas to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico to Show Low, Arizona and back to Phoenix, Arizona.
Along the way we met many people and experienced a lot of America on many levels. We continued to do the 3 hours every day of radio (Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock M-F 9am-Noon Eastern Time). We chronicled the trip using the show's archive pages and kept adding photographs and graphics and MP3s of the shows to each day so that a full archive of the trip accumulated
There are many more details shared each day in the MP3 of the radio shows and many came along for the ride by listening to the show.
Below are a few of the 2000+ pictures taken to help highlight what was experienced. But most of the color can be found in the interviews and observations found in the radio files. But I'll try to provide a summary of my observations and conclusions in this article.
The primary goal was to deliver to Porcfest the "Moneylith" for the activist behind www.DontTreadOnMeme.com
For the past 18 months we have focused on educating others on the importance of learning about money and the use of alternative currencies. Just at the Monolith from '2001 A Space Oddessy' represented the "Dawn of Man" via an increased level of understanding and intelligence, the "Moneylith" represented the "Dawn of Money" and a reeducation of 'Generation Next'. The LOV3olution that was inspired by the teachings of Ron Paul, pure libertarian philosophy and Austrian Economics has evolved into a much greater understanding.
This American Road Trek was a continuation of this education and the sharing of our efforts with those that would benefit the most and would be helping to make the effort a viral meme for an entire generation. The trek was also to explore what might lie ahead as the next goal in the continued development of an awakened generation.
Ready to go. Fully packed with supplied for a month of travel and over a week of camping, electronics for the Radio Show, PA System, tools, the Moneylith, the Money Dome (a geodesic dome built as a vendor retail space for the Porcupine Festival - pictures below) and supplies. We have two almost identical 1998 Montero SUVs that get over 23 miles to the gallon on the highway, but the aerodynamics and the weight brought that down to about a 12 miles per gallon average.
The northeastern corner of Arizona is mostly Native American Reservation land. It is very beautiful in its own way but barren. We always make a stop to support one of the few industries left, jewelry.
Near the top of the mountain that leads down to Page, Arizona (Glen Canyon Dam is at the top of the Grand Canyon and is responsible for Lake Powell) was another series of jewelry stands. In the background you can see the start of the Grand Canyon.
Much of Utah is dotted with small farming communities like Panguitch, Utah.
Here I am at the auto parts store in Idaho Falls, Utah getting a new hub and bearings to replace damaged ones on the trailer. Donna and I had left the trailer under the supervision of a Sheriff Department's dispatcher watching the trailer for us in a small town's Sheriff station further north on the highway while we got parts for the repair.
A deputy offered to hold his flashlight for us for almost an hour while I filed the axle so it would take the new bearing. But the replacement hub was incorrect. We were able to use the old Hub and the new bearings to make it the 40 miles back to Idaho Falls to try for the correct parts but Donna and I had to sleep in the parking lot for 4 hours waiting for the parts store to open.
The radio show started at the same time the parts store opened so it was my goal to have the repair done by the end of the show and work on the repair during the commercial breaks. The store manager made a trip to a local supplier to get the correct parts by the start of the 2nd hour and I was determined to be on the road by the end of the 3rd hour.
We had all of the tools that we needed (The axle filing would would been a lot easier the night before if I had my Dremel kit but I thought I was really over prepared as it was and didn't bring it... arrrr), and with the proper parts all I had to do was pack the bearings with grease and properly assemble the hub and I was golden... but this is a messy job.
Just as I was getting ready to get really dirty during one of the final two show breaks a man appeared offering to help. He explained that he is a regular listener that makes cassette copies of the show for his neighbors. He listens using a satellite dish and pulls the signal from LRN.fm's feed. He knew from our previous show from Salt Lake City, Utah that we would be passing through Idaho Falls. When he heard what we were doing he called the 3 O'Reilly Auto Parts stores to find out which one we were at and rushed down to help. Ron packed the bearings and finished the assembly just in time to be part of the radio show in the last segment.
Donna and I took Ron for a very pleasant breakfast and learned a lot about the politics of Idaho. Thank you Ron.
On our way to Kalispel, Montana to meet with Pastor Chuck Baldwin and visit the Liberty Fellowship Church we almost ran out of fuel. The only pump available was closed but Donna was able to encourage the lady owner that lived just across the street to open up for us.
You may notice that the Ron Paul signs had been removed from the vehicle. It was during this time that Rand Paul had endorsed Mitt Romney for POTUS and every encounter with people on the road at rest stops and service stations had dramatically changed. What was a pleasant experience had turned to one of sadness and confusion and it became a drain on both Donna and I. We are very use to being ridiculed by the uninformed and defenders of statisim and are only encouraged to 'defend the faith', but we were unable to console people that were deeply affected... so we packed the magnetic signs. Unfortunate.
A familiar sign at the KAC (Keene Activist Cen- ter in Keene, NH):
Keene Activist Center (a.k.a. KAC) in Keene NH:
Ernie sits in with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge on Free Talk Live at the KAC:
Picking up Drew (Phillips) in Keene, NH on our way to Porcfest in Lancaster, NH:
The Moneydome at Porcfest 2012:
The Moneylith and Angela Keaton:
Porcfest was a great place to showcase the Moneydome and the Moneylith - they were both
very popular and were placed in a perfect location. It was hard to walk by them and not stop
and see. More photos to come in the next edition.