[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.”)
The Story of Sash & Steve
We became full time nomads in March of 2013 when we packed up our essentials on two motorcycles, and set out across the United States. We stayed in Airbnbs and hotels, or with friends and family. We lived and rode through 36 states. We lived this way until 2016.
Sash began suffering chest pains, enough to warrant trips to the emergency room, one time in New Brunswick, NJ, and another time in Boise, ID. So in 2016, we decided to head back to our hometown in San Diego, CA, and rent an apartment for a year so that she could see doctors and figure out what’s going on. By the end of 2016, her chest pains had subsided, though doctors weren’t entirely sure what caused it.
In the following months, we were ready to get back on the road.
Except this time, we decided to buy a toy hauler RV, and tow our motorcycles around the country. The idea being that the RV would provide us with all the necessary facilities to live on our own and not have to stay in Airbnbs or have to live as guests in other people’s homes.
The Toy Hauler RV Years
We bought a 28 foot bumper pull toy hauler from ATC (Aluminum Trailer Company) in April 2017. We picked up at the factory the day it finished construction, and lived in it from there on.
The first 6 months were spent mostly in RV parks, paid campgrounds, and at Wal-marts, Cabela’s, rest areas, and casinos. After that, we started boondocking on BLM and U.S. Forestry lands. We got hooked on camping out in the wild with our toy hauler and being off-grid and disconnected from utilities. Today, we boondock about 95 to 98% of the year.
How We Earn an Income as Nomads
We own and operate two Internet companies.
The first, Clear Digital Media, Inc., operates website properties and sells advertising space on them. It’s similar to how a magazine publisher operates several print publications and sells advertising on them.
The second is Too Much Tina, a marketing agency. We build websites for businesses, run their social media accounts, design print materials, set up Shopify stores, Amazon stores, write blog posts for them, manage their e-mail marketing campaigns, etc.
We have a third iron in the fire… ATC Owners. It’s the owners group for people who own ATC Toy Haulers. It’s the only such group sanctioned by ATC itself. It’s day to day operation is organizing ATC rallies across the country, but it’s broader effort is to create a closer-knit group of owners.
Leaf on the River
If the two of us have any core, central belief, it’s that there is no past and there is no future, there’s only right now.
There’s no saving for a retirement. There’s no “I should have done this”, “I should have done that”… There is only letting go of your struggles and imagining yourself as a leaf on the river.
A lot of unhappiness, it seems, stems from people making expectations. They expect success from their hard work. They expect people to give back when they’ve given so much to others. They are in fact, working for the future. We see that as silly because we don’t live in the future. We only live in the now.
When someone talks about the sins of the past, and then seeking the path to salvation, they’re talking about “church”. They’re not talking about “God”. What we believe is that God is more of the energy that binds the entire Universe together. It’s the same energy that keeps electrons moving around a nucleus, the same energy that keeps planets orbiting a star, and the same energy that brings two people together into a lifelong bond.
Road Pickle came about because of this belief. We wanted to get away from urban and suburban centers, the constant fight over politics, bickering over social change, and all the fighting and drama playing out in the neighborhoods. We wanted to shed ourselves of material things, be more self-reliant, get back to the Earth, and just enjoy being alive.
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 nomad since the day she was born. Her family rarely lived in the same home or same town for more than a year. She attended over 20 different schools in her childhood. Her father rode with one percenter motorcycle clubs and Sash grew up in the MC culture. She became a mother at age 24, and from that point on she put all her efforts into raising her daughter. She became the proverbial “soccer mom”, drove an SUV, attended PTA meetings, and even went to church.
Once her daughter grew up and moved out, Sash found herself looking for the next thing. And that next thing was looking back at her pre-motherhood years and resolving all the shit she left on the shelf 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.
Sash went on to publish a book about her journey from a one percenter’s daughter, to a soccer mom, and then to a motorcycle vagabond: http://www.rudebikerchick.com