Have Camper, Will Travel

Welcome! Bienvenido! Willkommen! 歡迎! Chào mừng! ترحيب! And other translations we Googled! You’ve made it to Local Color XC. We’re glad you’re here. Here's our story (abridged): 

LocalColorXC

Last summer, while riding our bikes along the Salt Creek Levee Trail in Lincoln, Neb., Mel proposed a wild idea. “Let’s buy a travel trailer,” she said. “Let’s hit the road. Let’s see everything.” Several months and a few dozen Craigslist searches later, we found ourselves unhitching a 1968 FAN camper trailer in our parents’ driveway. The ad called it vintage. Our parents called it a piece of junk. They were both right, though staring at in broad daylight—the door drooping from its hinges, a hole punched through the window, the paint flaking like dandruff off the aluminum—the latter felt more appropriate.

We named her Elsie, a play on LC, short for Local Color (the name of this blog). Why Local Color? When editors send Carson out to chase a story, they invariably ask him to “send back some local color.” They want the atmosphere in the courtroom, the size of the protest, the age of the old men in Fat’s Lounge. The idea seemed to fit what we love most about travel—not just the view from Johnny Mercer Pier or the top of the Empire State Building, but the old woman chain smoking in the motel lobby, the foul pickled pigs feet in the Key Foods in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and all the other strange and lovely encounters of a trip unplanned.

 Lincoln, Neb. Image courtesy NebraskaBusinessFirst.com.

Lincoln, Neb. Image courtesy NebraskaBusinessFirst.com.

Purchasing a travel trailer implies that you will, in fact, travel more. At least that's why we purchased Elsie—that, and a penchant for spending our weekends struggling to build things (see Camper DIY for more struggling). It usually looks like a pair of birds trying desperately to fly through the window. We fail. We flap around. We try the same thing again. Nevertheless, Elsie, we tell ourselves, is an investment in us, an investment in adventure, and a commitment to seeing the country anew. 

A few weeks after bringing Elsie home, we sat on my parents' porch swing in Plainview, Neb. Carson had just been strung out on another assignment. We stared at the rusted farm equipment before us, a pair of grain silos and the shoulder-high corn unfurling toward the horizon. We decided Local Color would be a great name for a travel blog. And it was! Which is why the domain name wasn't available. Thus Local Color XC was born.

Welcome to our adventure. In the near term, you’re about to read how two 20-somethings let Carson’s parents basically renovate their trailer for them (but we held the trouble light! We held the trouble light!). Later on, we’ll share our stories from the road, the people we meet, the geographies we explore…Oh, and did we mention Costello? He's our goldendoodle. He's joining the fun, too. So, you know, be prepared for some gratuitous dog photos. 

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