HiDo K.D. Road Trip

HiDo K.D. Road Trip

From Josh Bruce

My mom, Kathy Bruce, and I are going on a road trip. You're welcome to join us. (Hover over image to navigate through the slideshow.)

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Update #5

28 days ago

Made it to Granbury, TX after The Dr. Pepper Museum (fist planned site). Very neat.

On the way we had to quickly pull off (mom woulda done the same) to see Big Rocks Park; see photos here: http://bit.ly/hidokd-photos

The friend I stayed with in Granbury contributed outside of Fundly; so, we only have 3 more solos left (the current goal). If we get all 20 solos claimed before mom and I hit Texarkana and nothing gets in the way, we sill go to The Devil's Icebox (marker #7 on the map image).

Today (Tuesday March, 25th) I will be heading over to Bruco (marker # 3) before heading to north Dallas to drop some more trackables. Then staying overnight and seeing some more friends in north Dallas.

I'm not sure how I got so many friends concentrated in Dallas but here we are. So, that gives us time to find three more people to throw in on the #HiDoAdventure.

More Info

My mother, Kathy Bruce (deceased), and I are going on a road trip. You’re welcome to join us. Read the details of the original campaign on the full project details page.

The initial goal was set at $500, which was achieved! (Still humbled. Y'all are amazing.) 

Because of those contributions it was much easier to improve the quality of the journey (my mission in life in general). Thanks to your contributions we were able to do the following, beyond what I would have done without the campaign:

  • Upgrade the "turtle shell," what I'm calling the boxes used to protect everything. The original boxes chosen were chosen based on durability alone, not aesthetics + durability. Now we have both, which admittedly does increase the possibility of theft, which is ultimately okay, though undesirable; the important part is keeping the game piece "in play."
  • Upgrade the lamination used to create the game tokens. Instead of using 3mil lamination we used 7mil, which is only because we couldn't use 10mil.
  • We used square paper punches instead of a paper cutter, which improved consistency in the game pieces - a 1.5in printed area with a 1.75in total game piece.

As I'm writing this, I'm in Austin, Texas, having travelled from Seminole. 

We have:

  • 50 packages, which include: 1 Geocaching trackable (front), 1 remembrance of my mother (back). 1 "hitchhiker" (a shell or worry stone), 1 jewelers bag, and ~20 "ornate" boxes ("turtle shells" as I've come to call them).
  • All trackables have been activated, which you can see on Geocaching.
  • 21 have been dropped in caches, which you can also see on Geocaching.
  • 15 solo trackables claimed so far, which brings us to the next goal...

18 total supporters at $10 or more; this will get all 20 solo trackables claimed (limit one per person). If we achieve this goal by the time we reach Little Rock, we will go to The Devil's Icebox in Missouri (marker #7 on the map in the image gallery), which was a random stop on the last cross-country road trip I had with mom.

  • Support with $10 or more, with a name associated.
  • I assign you a solo trackable, add story to trackable, and make other minor edits.
  • I will email you instructions and whatnot related to the trackable.
  • If you include a list of cities you've lived (or if I know roughly what it is), that list will be put as the initial goal for the trackable; so, you can see if it makes it to you after going there. For example, this is my trackable.

***

***

When I told a long time mentor and friend about mom he said:

“If I can offer some advice - take the drive back to Nashville slowly. Use the time to see some of the country you haven't spent time in, and to sort out your thoughts a bit. I drove from south eastern Georgia all the way to Leavenworth Kansas in one shot several years ago, and I regret the fact that on that entire trip all I saw were truck stops and Waffle Houses.”

What started as a need to get the car to Nashville, some friendly advice, and the well wishes of others quickly escalated into a full-on creative and gamified project I think mom would have enjoyed.

Sea Shells and Geocaches

Mom had a few dozen sea shells roughly the size of a silver dollar. During the services we asked attendees to take one. By the end, we still had roughly 50 left. For each shell I will create what’s called a "trackable" to become part of a GPS game called Geocaching.

You can help move pieces of mom. You can see where these "pieces of her" have been and where she’s going.

The Path and Stops

Simplest way to see what the plan is would be to go to the map created using RAND McNally TripMaker.

Read the list of milestones, cities, and states.

Above the Goal

Any funds above the goal goes to:

  • Improved food and lodging.
  • The trip to Colorado to scatter mom's ashes.
  • Lastly, to either the Denver Victims Service Center (where she worked for a time) or another foundation or charity.

A piece of you gets to travel with a piece of mom, figuratively speaking of course.

  • Contribute $10 or more and have a trackable dedicated to you, like the one above (limit one per person and 20 altogether).
  • Contribute anything and have your name added to one of the non-solo trackables.
  • Once the trackables are dropped, pick one up and move it somewhere else; play the game, have an adventure, even if it’s in your own backyard.
  • Bookmark some of the trackables and watch their traveling adventures; maybe you'll go somewhere one of them went to.
  • See the story of the trackable and share your story at Geocaching.com and anywhere else you would like.

A Son’s Eulogy

My mother, Kathy Bruce, was found deceased in her apartment on Friday March 1st, 2019.

She was an amazing human. I know you’re supposed to say that but I’m not just saying that.

She flipped houses before it was cool. Spending her days taking down walls, putting them back up, and painting them. She taught herself to pour ceramics using a kiln she kept in her home. She was the manager and owner of a house turned apartments. She was a teacher and community leader in the Denver area. Mostly all at the same time, a true queen of the side hustle.

She counseled battered women in the greater Denver metropolitan area. She administered multiple online communities, some of which she created herself. A hardcore naturalist and observer of the world, fascinated and giddy by things she had not seen or done before, even late in life.

What struck me most about mom though was, as she got older, she took on more and more the look and feel of Janis Joplin captured in old news reels and interviews, complete with a cackling laugh that turned the soul.

Her big-brim hats flopping up and down revealing her big-rim, rose-colored glasses. Her brightly colored clothes draped over her like a series of cloaks waving around as if she were underwater at times. She dyed her hair bright red but subtle enough so she didn’t look like a clown.

She was always playing with something. Learning something. Reading something. Experimenting with something.

Food was probably my favorite as a kid. Dissecting and learning about squids, before cooking and eating them, for example.

She had her moments and days, like we all do. For me, however, I will always remember being related to Janis Joplin’s doppelgänger.

Many will sing the blues at the loss and mom will be here, in spirit, pullin’ her harpoon from her dirty red bandana, playin’ soft. Joplin’s album Pearl was released after her death and was the first to hit the Billboard charts, at number one, for nine weeks, and went quadruple platinum. I don’t know if a bang like that is prepared for mom or if she would have preferred to only live on in the hearts and minds of those she impacted.

I do know, I am forever changed for having known, experienced, and interacted with her.

I also know I’m not alone. Thank you, mom.

At this point, I’m reminded of the final recording of Janis’s life, which is also on Pearl. It’s an a cappella piece entitled Mercedes Benz. Janis closes it with a smile you can hear, filling the room with a quick, cackling laugh preceded simply with a jovial, “That’s it.”

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Josh Bruce posted a new update:
28 days ago

Update #5

Made it to Granbury, TX after The Dr. Pepper Museum (fist planned site). Very neat.

On the way we had to quickly pull off (mom woulda done the same) to see Big Rocks Park; see photos here: http://bit.ly/hidokd-photos

The friend I stayed with in Granbury contributed outside of Fundly; so, we only have 3 more solos left (the current goal). If we get all 20 solos claimed before mom and I hit Texarkana and nothing gets in the way, we sill go to The Devil's Icebox (marker #7 on the map image).

Today (Tuesday March, 25th) I will be heading over to Bruco (marker # 3) before heading to north Dallas to drop some more trackables. Then staying overnight and seeing some more friends in north Dallas.

I'm not sure how I got so many friends concentrated in Dallas but here we are. So, that gives us time to find three more people to throw in on the #HiDoAdventure.

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Josh Bruce posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #4

When I came into Austin, I figured I would stay for the night and then head to the Dr. Pepper Museum the next day. Then I realized "the next day" was Sunday - and they're closed.

This is the biggest drawback to having no sense of time...and is not the first time...probably won't be the last.

So, in the meantime, I'm updating all the project-related details and activate the rest of the trackables, which will make it easier going forward. From what I've seen, bigger cities tend toward smaller caches, which makes sense. So, having all of the trackables activated should make find places to drop them easier.

I'm really trying to get the larges dropped as soon as possible.

ps. One of the trackable drops was near a bee farm, mom loved honey and was one who believed eating local honey can help with allergies. I picked up an assortment of six jars, missed the owners though, maybe next time. My cousin, his family, and I tried all six at breakfast this morning and have deemed them good. Taking the rest back for Becca and I to share...if the corks don't get glued in. :)

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Josh Bruce posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #3

This was going to be a Bon Jovi update (we're halfway there). Then it turned into a Pareto update (80% there). Now it's a: We met the goal update!

Thank you so much. Seriously, very humbling experience.

1. You can continue to contribute, which will go toward getting your name on a token (6 solos left) and the second trip.

2. Added photo of the shell scattering setup. The remembrance is attached to the trackable token; therefore, it will be there for as long as the token is.

3. I was going use 3mil lamination - decided that wouldn't weather any storm. Eventually upgraded to 7mil as the punch we bought could go through it (couldn't make it through 10mil).

4. I've had two reports from contributors that they received the same message meant for someone else. I cannot view the sent messages myself; therefore, cannot correct without reaching out to Fundly. Further, I'll just be sending emails from my address as it will be easier to reply and I can see the addresses inside Fundly's message center. (In their defense, they're more setup for bulk emails, which are one email to many people, not customized emails to individuals.) I will resend all the messages later as Kathy Bruce and I really need to get on the road. Apologies for the hiccup.

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Josh Bruce posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #2

Created a project page on my personal site: https://joshuabruce.com/moms-road-trip/

Created a short-form URL for easy sharing (share away!):
http://bit.ly/hidokd-road-trip

Discovered Geocaching.com has an API, which means I might be able to write something that will display all 50 trackables in one place.

Updated the Fundly main page to reduce the text visitors have to read here.

I've activated a few more of the trackables and will be sending messages out soon on what I think is the most optimal way for you to monitor yours, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Thursday March 21st is going to be a busy day, I think but, so far so good - most likely waiting until the 22nd due to Thursday being what it is and mom not being ready yet.

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Josh Bruce posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #1

The Geocaching folks approved the new design for the tags. Built out the grids and ran to the Staples, 40 minutes away (in a different town); small towns are interesting. After some trial runs, finally got it sorted.

Ordered a 1.5 inch and 1.75 inch square paper punch and, with the help of Becca's Amazon Prime subscription to reduce overnight shipping and your contributions, the punches should arrive by Thursday. (Fingers crossed.)

I also went ahead and activated one of the Trackables to see how that works on Geocaching: https://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?id=8160904

This way you can get an idea on what your box will be when you can't see it. I can't post more than one image to these updates but a close-up of the design will be coming soon - I'm not supposed to show the code that's on the tag - it's only for people who find it.

Thank you all so much! I cannot express my level of gratitude in words alone.

Cheers,
Josh

ps. I'm pretty sure I'll take Wednesday, while waiting for the punches, to add this to https://joshuabruce.com.- that way it's a centrally located, public place for late comers to the meeting of the mom. :)

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