The DIRT Dad Fundo Across America—Day Zero

“Fall asleep with a dream and awake with a purpose.” -Unknown

Today was a VERY long day. Twenty-two hours, to be exact. I have this life theory to make us appreciate the significance of momentous events in our lives, and we have days like these. Days where you have to earn the privilege of falling asleep with a dream and waking up with a purpose.

The Flight

The commute to JFK takes about two hours which means we are out the door by 6 am est. My body clock was blaring several hours earlier with a torment of thoughts swirling in my head—up at 4 am. The commute was smooth, and so was the flight.


A funny thing happened to me when I was in medical school. Not funny, as in amusing, but unusual or unexpected. There is little fun about medical school and some of why I’m now a physical therapist and not a physician.

Only hiccup was when Kristin's bag was searched by TSA because she was smuggling a bottle of spices for cooking in the RV.

When you’re a student, you begin to get treated like a physician. While this was apparent in many ways, the one I found funny was the continuous delivery of credit card applications I received, often two or three a day. I guess I was seen as a safe gamble even though I didn’t know what to do with money because I didn’t have any.


I applied to more than I should have, and one in particular accrued frequent flyer miles. Although at that time, when I tried to cash them in, the blackouts and restrictions made it impossible, and I became frustrated and canceled the card.

The best flight I could find from NY to my starting point in San Francisco was on Delta. When the representative told me I had a frequent flyer account, and there were enough miles to cover two Delta One seats, I smirked.


The seats reclined into a bed. I was sent a menu with my gourmet meal choices several days in advance. The airport lounge was a comfort before and after the flight. It was delightful.

The RV

The RV experience wasn’t as smooth or delightful. We arrived on time for our 3:30 pm pst pickup appointment and were ready to roll. As we learned the intricacies of trailer life and inspected our mobile home for the next 60 days, we spotted a leak.


Two hours later, we had a new toilet and all of the plumbing to go with it. It may have been a blessing in disguise, but it was incredibly frustrating and set us back a bit. We were finally ready to roll at 5:30.

The Bikes

Our next stop was the bike shop. I shipped two bikes to the Roaring Mouse Bike Shop in San Francisco for assembly and tuning up. The staff couldn’t have been more professional or accommodating. It is a leap of faith for a cyclist to put his bikes in the hands of a UPS carrier and the tech at an unfamiliar bike shop.

Daymond and the crew at Roaring Mouse eased my anxiety, and when I arrived, my Ax Lightness Vial Evo D and Ridley Helium SL were all set. I rolled them into the RV, and we were off to the next destination.

The Boxes and Big Box Stores

The flight would have been much less delightful if we had attempted to bring everything we needed. It’s a lot of stuff—two people for 60-days with bikes and all the assorted accessories. There was no way. I shipped six large boxes to relatives in Half Moon Bay who were gracious enough to accommodate them and us when we arrived in the RV.

First, we needed to stock the Schwenk Tank on wheels, which meant more boxes and a big box store. Up and down every aisle with multiple carts requiring several trips. It was comical. We rolled the caravan out to the RV and organized. I feel it won’t be the last time we spend some quality time in a parking lot.

The Final Destination—Bed

Our final destination for this long day reunited us with family I hadn’t seen in some time and our boxes. After a much-appreciated meal and some catching up, we were back at it. When we found a place for everything, I checked the clock and made the calculation. 22 hours.

Route planned. Kit laid out. Bottles prepared. Food sorted. Sigh!


There are days when you have to earn the privilege of falling asleep with a dream and waking up with a purpose. On this day, I will go to sleep knowing that I will awake to make a memory I will remember for the rest of my life. It was worth it!

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Brock Toomey
Brock Toomey
1 year ago

I count 2 Bloody Mary’s and two wine boxes for Mrs. Schwenker🤣. Nice landing, nice RV, bikes…kit. Now it’s game time!

Thomas Houghton
Thomas Houghton
1 year ago

Schwenk tank needs a sticker!

1 year ago

Shout out to Roaring Mouse! A great long-standing LBS in SF.

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