Friday, May 7, 2021

RTTC Bears in the Wild: A Book About the Adventurous Tiny Trailer Camping Life

It was a simple beginning, a simple and innocent introduction. Seventeen miles from my home in Iowa is Lake Darling State Park. "Why not go on an overnight bicycle camping trip?" I thought to myself, so with a song in my heart and a great tail wind, I found myself one Saturday morning camped next to the lake and talking to two wonderful ladies whom I discovered later to be the Traveling Teardrop Sisters. One of their tiny trailer teardrop campers was a Rustic Trail Teardrop Camper, a Grizzly model. A couple of months later, I owned my own RTTC tiny trailer, a "standy" Polar Bear model, and three years later, I've written a book about the travels and adventures of RTTC tiny trailer owners, RTTC Bears in the Wild

I write about what I'm doing; I've always done that. I think writing helps me understand and enjoy my life. As the saying goes, we don't just write to explain; we also write to understand. Soon after buying my tiny trailer, I was happily writing about the adventures of the "Green Goddess" in my blog, Green Goddess Glamping; and then I was also writing about the adventures of other tiny trailer owners, profiles and travelogues. Many of those articles for the blog were about RTTC owners because they were my first contacts in the tiny trailer world. 

My new book, RTTC Bears in the Wild, is a compilation of articles from Green Goddess Glamping about the exploits of RTTC tiny trailer owners, such as trips to the Canadian Maritime Islands and forays through desert and forest; it's about times with new friends sharing ocean vistas. The book begins with the second article I wrote for Green Goddess Glamping, "Why Such a Tiny Trailer?" It ends with a longer chronicle of my trip to the Carolinas to have my trailer's roof replaced after a limb bashed a hole in it during a storm. 

Some of the travels my wife and I shared are included in the book, but my favorite stories are those of other RTTC tiny trailer owners--some just plain fun but also some truly adventurous, such as one travelogue where a woman traveling solo passes through a wildfire. “Without a doubt the most challenging day was driving in California from Trinidad to Lake Tahoe. I chose the forested road, which happened to be having fires. I could barely see, had no cell service, was on a road too tiny to turn around on, and I was ALONE. This is the only day on the entire trip that I doubted I could handle this all by myself, but in fact I was able to, which is pretty cool."

RTTC Bears in the Wild is my first book that includes color photographs. The photos add to the beauty of the book, even if they also triple the printing costs. It's not my first non-fiction book based on blog articles, though. I've also published I Write: Being and Writing and A Day Out with Mom, two books compiled from articles written for my writing blog, Tom Kepler Writing. Those two books were more personal, one about my perspective on writing, and the other about my family. RTTC Bears in the Wild, though is about the tiny trailer community, and not just the RTTC community. 

"Kicks on Route 66," one chapter in RTTC Bears in the Wild

Camping in tiny and little trailers is a lifestyle that evokes Conestoga wagons and the Oregon Trail. Truly, the book is about people who launch themselves into a lifestyle of discovery and simple living. It's a book about taking the saying "Less is More" and making it real, making it roll down the road and set up camp at the end of the day, the light of the campfire flickering among the pine trees. 

I proud of this book, the most expensive to publish because of its color photographs. Those photos  help the stories told come to life, though, about how when it's raining cats and dogs, tiny trailer owners are snug in their campers with their cats and dogs, warm and dry and waiting out the storm. I invite you to read and enjoy these tales of "Bears in the Wild," these stories of people who decided to get out of their houses, away from their TVs, and to get out into the "wild," to travel and get away from it all--or to get to the source of it all by enjoying nature. I hope RTTC Bears in the Wild opens up the world of tiny trailer camping for you, just as the Traveling Teardrop Sisters opened up that world for me. The book can be purchased both as a paper book and as an ebook on Amazon.

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4 comments:

  1. Sweet.... Can't wait to read it.

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    Replies
    1. I had assumed at first to include your travelogue, but the number of Grizzly articles made me have to choose from among them. Sorry! You've been a great supporter of my blog.

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  2. Congratulations on publishing your new book, Tom!

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