Wednesday, November 6th, 2013—
The Tater Team will miss these days!
In three days the Tater Team will arrive back home in Boise, Idaho! For the last seven months and four days the team has never left the Big Idaho Potato and in three days they will return to a much more normal (and much less exciting) life. Although the Big Idaho Potato will be in hibernation for the winter, while making local appearances around the beautiful state of Idaho.
Paul the driver will return home just in time to start coaching his sons third grade basketball team. I hope to hear that his sons team name is “The Fighting Idaho Potatoes!”
Kristie has a busy schedule ahead as she plans to reconnect with her very pretty puppy Roxy before jetting off to Hawaii and building one of her world famous tiny houses.
I will be looking for employment in the Boise area using the numerous skills that I have developed during this tour. Before settling down too quickly I will be enjoying the beautiful shores of Oahu over Christmas with my family and venturing to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my best friend. I guess I just can’t shake the travel bug that the tour has provided me.
Summarizing the last seven and a half in a blog post would be nearly impossible and is something that will take years for me to do. I want to apologize in advance to anyone I come in contact with for the next decade of my life because they will hear about all of the memories made on this tour.
I sincerely hope you have enjoyed following along on Facebook, Twitter and our blog. It has been a great adventure and I am glad you all were along for the journey!
Tuesday, October 29th, 2013—
I’ve been looking forward to our stop in Asheville, NC for quite some time and not for their very extensive selection of beers. Instead it seems to be a hub of sorts for people who live in tiny homes. They have informed me that they may not have a higher population of folks who have downsized their living space to the size of most Americans master bathrooms but that they may just be the most vocal in our little community.
There isn’t a specific size that makes a home a tiny one but on average they are 186 sq ft. I built a traditional tiny home on wheels a few years ago out of reclaimed materials. It was meant as an experiment but I loved the forced simplicity immediately and decided to make this my permanent living quarters. I bought a half acre in Boise and built an addition on a foundation expanding my square footage to 230 and started to blog (tinyhouseontheprairie.net) about it. It was then that I discovered a bunch of like minded tiny house bloggers and started to connect online.
When the potato was scheduled to be at the WNC Fall Festival I reached out on Facebook to see how far away everyone lived. Turns out Laura LaVoie & Matthew Belitsos of 120squarefeet.com are from the area and Ryan Mitchell of thetinylife.com happened to be visiting them! They graciously picked me up after ‘work’ each day and we ate our way around the city and got to know each other better. They all were speaking at a tiny house conference in Asheville the day I had to be on the road to Raleigh. I was bummed I would miss it and Laura mentioned that Raleigh was hosting a Tumbleweed Tiny House workshop over the weekend too.
I had that in the back of my mind to look up the workshop on my day off but when we went to check in guess who was in the banquet room?! Of all the hotels in the city the Tumbleweed workshop was in MY hotel! I was able to sit in on portions of the workshop and talk with a bunch of folks who were interested in building there own small homes. To top it all off Tyler and I were able to meet up with a guy we had met vacationing in Reston, VA earlier in the tour who built a home in Africa.
Who knew that building a super small house several years ago would connect me with so many great people…what a tiny world
Monday, October 14th, 2013—One of the main questions we get asked along the way is “How long do you guys do this for?” and our answer is “for seven and a half months and we have _______ to go!” I remember the first time I used this line and it went something like “we are on tour for seven and a half months and have about seven more months to go!” Back then, it seemed so long, but time has flown by! The team now has about 25 days 6 hours and 37 minutes (as of posting) before returning to Idaho! What happened during the last seven months and where can I sign up to do it again??
During my time at Boise State University, it seemed that 7 months would go painfully slow, between writing papers and studying for exam it seems that I could not get through a week, let alone a month before the I was asking when the school year was going to be over. Now, we will have completed just under the amount of time a school year would take and never would have guessed it! I suppose that is the difference between learning and doing something that is fun and having a blast!
It is quite easy to look back on the last six and half months and see the differences, especially with television interviews! The nature of the job, we do A LOT of television interviews and the other day I stumbled upon the first practice television interview myself and Kristie did during training and all I can say is “YIKES!” I am glad our bosses let us go on the road after that! Now interviews are second nature to us, and very few questions surprise us like they all did in our first one.
Five, ten, even twenty years from now I am excited to look back and see what else I continue to learn about myself from this tour. For now, I am going to enjoy the next 25 days and 6 hours!
Monday, October 7th, 2013—
The second place pumpkin, weighing just over 1,400 lbs.
Over the last six months, the team has grown very accustom to the Great Big Idaho Potato. Whether it is displaying it at an event, doing a television interview about it or just waking up and looking at our window, seeing it no longer surprises us. It is the greatest job in the world being able to present this object to the country but the shock value has worn off on us. But our event on Sunday brought the shock value back to our job!
We brought our truck to the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence, New York. All we could say was WOW! This was the biggest and best pumpkin farm that I have ever seen. Not only did it have zillions of pumpkins but it also had a corn maze, a haunted house, a bakery, pumpkin cannon…everything you could ever imagine! We were happy to add our truck to the collection for the afternoon!We had heard rumors of a pumpkin “weigh off” but really had no idea what to expect, until the truck turned it’s first corner. There were probably 20 VERY, VERY large pumpkins. The world’s largest potato was grown at just over 11 pounds but these pumpkins were much larger than that. These pumpkins weighed anywhere from 1000-1500 pounds! I can’t imagine a potato that big (ok, maybe I can seeing how its on the back of our truck!) As the farmers presented their “babies” and the process of growing each we marveled in amazement. Our experience is with potatoes and the growing process that takes place largely in the ground so “babying” a few potatoes is difficult. These farmers keep a very watchful eye over a crop of maybe three pumpkins in hopes that one can get large enough to win the prize money ($5,000 on this afternoon) and the bragging rights.
While the farmers are watching over their pumpkins we continue to watch over the Big Idaho Potato truck and just as those farmers are waiting for their moment to display these amazing pumpkins to the public, we wait until the day we can display it in a town close to you!