Stars and Screens is Back!

After a six-week hiatus from the project and social media, I’m logged back in and ready to begin the second leg of Stars and Screens. Before I hit the road once more—and tackle some serious writing sessions—this feels like the right moment to recap the summer leg of S&S, explain my pause in the project, and make plans for the upcoming fall trip.

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Summer Leg Recap:

From mid-June to mid-August, me, my pup, and Honeybear the camper covered over 4,000 miles. Numerically, I can think of a few ways to break down those 4,000 miles:

States: 15

Drive-Ins: 8

Boondocker Hosts: 7

National Parks: 5

Bears: 2

Toy Story 4 Viewings: 6

But like any good adventure, my summer leg can’t be quantified in numbers. The experience is captured better by moments: Cindy Deppe’s hug and words of encouragement at Becky’s Drive-in, immediately recognizing a kindred soul in Tim Anderson, falling asleep to hum of an alpaca herd in Maine, breaking into my jammed trailer door only to accidentally shut it again in Acadia, family stories in Massachusetts and New York and Ohio, ripping a waterlogged cabinet from the trailer ceiling in Vermont, Bill Coyne’s faith in Bengies Drive-in, Carla Shakour’s sweet potato fries at the Northfield Drive-in. I could go on, but then I’d spoil my own book project. Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who became a part of the journey.

A Pause in the Project, an Explanation:

In late July, I visited the Transit Drive-in near Buffalo, New York. This was my final theater of the summer leg. From New York, I slowly headed towards my home base in Florida. The trip south meandered around the map to accommodate family visits and more writing time (at least, that was my plan—not so sure I didn’t spend that time hiking and eating ice cream). By mid-August, I tucked Honeybear the camper into storage and I took off on a non-drive-in-related adventure.

I flew to Spain to hike two ancient pilgrimage routes, the Camino del Salvador and the Camino Primitivo, a combined total of 435kms, or 270 miles. My foot modeling career is probably over, but I had a blast—great trail friends, amazing views, and just the right amount of very inexpensive wine.

Before I left, I considered writing enough blog posts to keep my updates regular and scheduling them to appear as usual, but I ultimately decided that I needed a break from social media and the internet. The opportunity to live largely disconnected outweighed my concerns about losing followers for the project.

Four hundred plus kilometers gave me ample time to think about my next plan for Stars and Screens.

Fall Leg Plans:

From the beginning of this project, I’ve known that the fall and winter months would create a few problems. First problem: Most drive-in movie theaters close in the winter. Second: Travel trailers are not built for cold temperatures. Third: I am a Floridian and also not built for cold temperatures.  

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My solution to these challenges is to slowly travel around the Southeast, where a select number of drive-ins remain open, into December. Right now, I’m looking at theaters in Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, and Mississippi. When I can’t stand the cold, or I run out of open drive-ins, I’ll find a spot to hunker down and start drafting my book.

*I have also made an important decision regarding my beloved Scotty camper, Honeybear. Stay tuned for more info!