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Two moms, a teen and a baby meet odd characters and discover awesome places as they seek the roads less travelled. Read more

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Two moms, a teen and a baby meet odd characters and discover awesome places as they seek the roads less travelled.

About this project

THE WHAT NOW?

Blacktop: Driving Across America is a 100-page, full-colour trade paperback chronicling a family's road-trip adventures. It is not a travel guide, though there are lessons to be learned. It is not navel-gazing, though we are sometimes inspired to look inward.

It is a collection of vignettes and short stories married with stunning photos from the road. We meet odd characters—like the just-released convict in Florida—and discover true Americana on back roads where tourists rarely travel.

Blacktop is divided into three sections, including two epic road trips (Montreal-Texas, Montreal-California) and a How'd We Do That.

BUT WHY?

But why a book, you ask, when most of these stories are available for nothing at Life's a Trip? Because you believe in print, just like I do. You love the look and feel and smell of pages in your hand and you know that a book is forever.

WHO ARE WE?

My wife, Melani, is the planner. Her itineraries, while flexible, showcase some of her favourite things: quirky museums, bizarre restaurants and treasure hunting. Our teenager, Trev, is a veteran road-tripper. He doesn’t much care where we take him, so long as there’s a Ripley’s museum and we don’t sing too loudly in the truck. Jilly’s the baby: She arrived in November 2011, so she’s just learning how spectacular life can be on the road.

Me? I’m into blacktop. I love the sense of power and peace you get when you’re sharing the road with no one but truckers and your passengers are asleep, trusting you completely to get them somewhere. I love the feel of the steering wheel and the smell of adventuring. I love meeting characters and quirky roads and getting lost.

 ARE YOU KICKSTARTING FOR GAS MONEY?

Heavens, no. All funds raised will go toward hiring a design consultant, printing and shipping Blacktop.

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Risks and challenges

This is a pretty low-risk project. The book is in the final stages of editing, so any troubles will be associated with logistics, as this is my first time navigating the self-publishing seas. If delays happen, you'll know about it as soon as I do.

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Rewards

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    Welcome to the club! Exclusive access to Blacktop updates.

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    0 backers Limited (13 left of 13)

    Not only will you get exclusive updates as Blacktop comes into being, you'll see your name on the Kickstarter section of Life's a Trip AND get a Facebook shoutout from Joe the Truck!

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    Pledge $9 or more

    1 backer

    You're gonna get a special thank you noted on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog, a Facebook shoutout from Joe the Truck, and an original-art postcard, because everyone likes to get mail.

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    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: My sincere thanks, noted on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog. Also a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200) from across America, and I'll send you an original-art postcard (snail mail! rejoice!).

    Oh! And an early-release PDF copy of Blacktop.

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    2 backers

    Your name on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog. Also a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200) from across America, and I'll send you an original-art postcard (snail mail! rejoice!).

    Oh! And a PDF copy of Blacktop, of course.

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    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    Your name on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog. Also a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200) from across America and an 8x10 print of The Badlands or The Reclining Lady (your choice; see juhlbox.wordpress.com). Oh! And a PDF copy of Blacktop, of course.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Your name on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog. Also a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200) from across America. Oh! And a PDF copy of Blacktop, of course. More fun: Choose a theme for a photo shoot and I'll send you a 5x7 print of my interpretation.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    7 backers Limited (18 left of 25)

    Now we're getting into it. You're going to recieve a signed copy of Blacktop, hot off the press. You'll also see your name on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog and get a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200) from Across America and a thank you on an original-art postcard.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Now we're getting into it. You're going to get a signed copy of Blacktop, hot off the press. You'll also see your name on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog and get a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200) from Across America and a thank you on an original-art postcard.

    One last thing: Your name in the Acknowledgments section of Blacktop.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    My sincere thanks, noted on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog. Also receive a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200) from Across America, a 8x10 of The Badlands or The Reclining Lady (visit juhlbox.wordpress.com to choose), and a signed copy of Blacktop.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    My sincere thanks, noted on the Kickstarter page of the Life's a Trip blog. Also receive a package of 10 desktop wallpapers (1600x1200), two 8x10 original prints and a signed copy of Blacktop.

    Want your travel story told? I'll interview you by phone or email and write it up for you -- up to about 600 words.

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    Pledge $500 or more

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    All those things, and you are now my best friend.

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Funding period

- (30 days)