The end

Our last hemp stop was in New Castle, Pa, on Thursday August 5th, where Project PA Hemp Home is refurbishing a dilapidated old house. They’ve gutted the house and are creating 8-inch think hemp walls that are fire, mold, and pest resistant, while regulating temperature and sound. The project’s goal is to provide people with disabilities with low-cost healthy homes. And they’re using hemp because they want to “grow houses in fields, rather than build houses in fields.” It’s a beautiful program.

There were news crews there when we pulled into New Castle (nothing like a camera in your face after 6 weeks on the road—Eric did a great job of representing the hemp industry’s potential …and the camera crew caught a sibling moment between the girls). This last stop proved once again that the industrial hemp field is filled with passionate people doing good work: something we’ve encountered all along this hemp tour.

Everyone thanked our family for being troupers for the cause: they’d been following along on Eric’s travelogue and podcast, and know some of what we’ve been through: the high highs and the low lows.

After that visit, we were so close to home, we could all feel it. All we wanted was to hug our mom mom, snuggle our dog, see our friends and family, meet our new kitten.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Greeting

Driving down the PA turnpike, we had a moment that couldn’t have been scripted as a better end to our trip: a man in a red truck pulled up next to my passenger window. He was holding up his phone and pointing to it. I though I heard him say podcast. Before I could react, Eric sped up past him. I told eric to get in the right lane, because I thought the guy was trying to get our attention. He got over in the right lane and rolled down his window. Sure enough, the guy pulled up next to us holding up his phone with the industrial hemp podcast showing and yelled excitedly: Podcast! We gave him a thumb’s up and a PA holler and we all rolled on.

I mean, if that isn’t a fitting end to the hemp tour, I don’t know what is.

The Stats:

Days on the road: 37

Miles traveled: 10,000

States driven through: 25

States stayed in: 16

Camping nights: 27

Hotel nights: 10

Hemp tour stops: 15

Pools swam in: 8

Oceans swam in: 2

Volcano hiked on: 2

Yurts slept in: 1

Podcasts episodes published: 10

Newspaper articles written: 5

Magazine issues published: 1

Blog posts: 29

Kid fights: ∞

Rocks collected: 250

Tacos eaten: 57

Candy eaten: all of it

Dolly’s Follies

(some of these I wrote about and some I didn’t because, I mean, there’s only so much calamity I can convey before even I start doubting that it happened)

* Blown tire in North Carolina

* Electric went out on driver’s side of the cabin (due to blown tire?) so neither the stove nor the fridge worked properly

* None of the 5 TVs worked

* Busted pipe under the sink caused water leak in Kansas

* 5-foot piece of wooden molding fell off of upper bunk bed onto the girls (in South Dakota)

* TV above the passenger seat was slowly coming off it’s hinges (as we all were)

* ….other than that, she was a dream

Favorite spots:


Drive to Moab on 191 and Moab, Northern California, Fort Benton, MT, Shoshone Valley, WY, the Polouse in Washington


Moab/Arches, Trinity River in the Shasta Mountains, The Yurt, the Redwoods, Shoshone Valley in Wyoming


Lake Powhatan, NC, California Yurt/Redwoods, Fort Benton.


Redwoods, salt pool in Moab, KOA in Mt. Rushmore.

Favorite road food:


Lisa’s ramen in California


Lisa’s ramen in California


Steak at grand union hotel in Fort Benton Mt


Tacos at Illegal Pete’s in Boulder


There are so many people to thank for their help along the way.

Lancaster Farming, Ken at IND Hemp, everyone we stayed with along the way: Steve, Susan, Bryan, Lisa, Clark, Matt, Tanya, Gregg, Tonia, Julie, Morgan, Logan. Everyone who donated to our trip through Venmo and PayPal.

And I personally want to thank all of you. If you’ve been reading along on this blog, if you’re reading these words right now, then you were on the trip with me. Writing this blog kept me sane (or mostly sane, as you know). I wrote it on my phone, with my thumb, usually while barreling down the highway or late-night in a KOA somewhere. I wanted to remember as much of this trip as possible. I needed to process. I couldn’t capture it all, but I tried to paint a picture of some key moments.

If you want to, leave an emoji below so if I see you out in the world, I know you’re one of the people who followed along. This way when I see you, I know you know ;)


This is a beautiful country we’ve got here. And it’s definitely hurting—From wild fires and heat domes, to supply chain breakdowns and homelessness.

I keep thinking back to that moment the first morning of the trip in Assateague: staring out over the Atlantic Ocean, feeling the sadness and weight of the too-much-ness of humanity and the price our planet is paying for it all.

I think there are ways we can live with more balance, and it’s up to all of us (individually and together) to figure out what that looks like. The folks in the hemp industry are trying to figure out what that means for them. I know the people in the mindfulness community are trying to work on it. But it’s going take all of us looking around in our local communities and supporting each other in order to repair the breach— especially as politics and media try to vilify and separate us into us and them.

For me, I’ll be remembering Dolly’s main lesson: there are good people everywhere. All over this country. I’m going to try to be one of them. ❤️

Thank you for reading!