[rohd pik-uhl] noun, verb
1. clarifying one’s life and perspective of the world through a road trip. (eg: “I’m quitting my job, moving out of the apartment, and doing a road pickle this summer.”)
2. the act of embarking on a road pickle. (eg: “We’re going to road pickle all summer long and reassess ourselves.”)
My Goal in Life
To find this sense of value, confidence, and peace inside me.
That’s the on-going theme of Road Pickle.
Somehow, I find myself constantly trying to shed exterior layers surrounding me. All the personal effects, real property, commitments, obligations, responsibilities, even my fucking clothes, become unnecessary in this desire to get at the hurt, angry, little child inside.
And I’ve been doing this since my teens.
The Alaska Road Trip
It started in 2010, during my motorcycle ride from San Diego, CA to Fairbanks, AK. I spent a month riding up there and back. I was married to my first wife then, and by that time, our marriage had changed dramatically since it started 20 years earlier.
I could feel something huge inside, just chewing away at me, and I didn’t know what it was.
But during the ride up to Alaska, it was just me and my motorcycle, along with a few changes of clothes, a laptop, and camping gear. As long as I could find a coffee shop once every few days to get online and check up on my website development projects, I was golden. I realized all I needed to be happy was this much.
It was the road calling me. That’s what it was.
A year later I divorced, and met another woman who seemingly was in search of the same thing.
Sash was languishing in a similar marriage. There was also a hurt, angry little child inside her that needed a way to reconcile the same decades of pain and humiliation.
Road Pickle Begins
In March of 2013, we managed to dump about half of our stuff, including real estate, a car, an extra motorcycle, a lot of accumulated junk, and some debts. We also joined my website development skills to Sash’s sales and marketing talents to create a digital marketing company named, “Too Much Tina“, that we took on the road.
We left San Diego on motorcycles.
Two and a half years later, Sash and I had rode through 35 states, coast to coast, meeting lots of people, making new friends, and forging a relationship.
In October of 2015, Sash experienced some bad heart pain in Boise, ID. She had experienced heart pain for many years, and at one time, in 2009, her heart had stopped for two and a half minutes. Doctors in Boise strongly recommended she get a cardiologist and take it seriously.
We went back to San Diego, signed a lease on an apartment, and stayed for a year and a half. It was a cardiologist that deduced her heart issues were electrical, and that certain mineral levels in her blood were low. He suggested drinking a lot of high alkaline water (Smart Water, Gatorade, coconut water, et al) to help increase electrical current. And interestingly, Sash found the advice had worked.
Why We Got the RV
By that time, we had re-adopted a beagle that my first wife and I had owned years ago. The beagle, named Mia, was still living with her, and she didn’t want the dog anymore. So, I took her. Now with an old dog, we couldn’t continued Road Pickling on motorcycles. So, the idea came for buying a toy hauler and pickup truck and continuing our road lifestyle that way.
The money for the RV and new pickup truck came because of the hard work we had done the past few years running Too Much Tina. Sash had made so many connections across the country, as well as in San Diego. I was busting my butt building websites for these clients.
Road Pickle Gets Back on the Road
In March of 2017, we broke out of our apartment lease and got back on the road with our motorcycles secured inside the toy hauler, our then 14-year old beagle, and our shiny new pick up truck.
The future seemed so bright!
Leaf on the River
Don’t schedule anything long term because the river’s in charge. Let the water carry you. Instead, be ready to pack up the trailer and head out when the current reveals your next destination.
Once you get that into your head, you realize how little you need.
“If you lose everything, you still have yourself”.
As long as you have yourself, with no one else to hold you down, you have everything you need to get by.
More About Steve and Sash
Magically, we met each other in 2011.
I became a computer geek in 1981 on a Radio Shack TRS-80. I was hacking into banks, schools, and government agencies during a time when most passwords consisted of the word, “password”. But I didn’t do anything evil; I just wanted to see if I could hack in and poke around.
I started riding motorcycles in 1985 on a 1979 Kawasaki KZ-400.
I worked for a variety of software companies, all of which built health care claims systems marketed to big insurers like Blue Cross, Aetna, United Healthcare, and so on. I ran the R&D departments for these companies.
I started building websites in 1996. By 2003, one of the websites I built was getting so much traffic, I was able to earn advertising revenue to quit my software job and support myself, my first wife, and our home. I’ve been working for myself ever since.
Sash was a homemaker for much of her adult life. Becoming a mother at age 24, she wanted to do right and shift all her energy towards her new born daughter. She became the proverbial “soccer mom”, drove an SUV, attended PTA meetings, even went to church.
But once her daughter grew up and moved out, Sash found herself looking for the next thing. And that next thing was resolving all of the unresolved shit still festering from her youth.
During that time, she was working for a magazine, and then later did sales and marketing for an online publication.
When the two of us met at a coffee shop, we instantly recognized each other as feeling passion and compassion for one another. We also found that our professional talents fit together perfectly. It was like timing was just right, and the planets were in alignment. Two people in their 40s with a new lease on life, ready to do what they should’ve been doing all along.