When I started this trip, I noticed very quickly that a lot of folks are improvising to make ends meet right now. Here's a few things I've seen in the last 7 months that have stuck out in my mind.
In Baltimore, I stayed with some musicians who lived in a large warehouse space. They've installed sound equiptment, a stage and some skateboard ramps. They host concerts and events to pay their rent.
Ben, a Greensboro musician didn't have a place to stay for a while, so he built a shack out of old windows/found materials. I stayed in it for a couple nights, it was very cozy.
A craggy, old biker-hobo I met in Florida had an ingenious handlebar and rear rack setup.
I couchsurfed with some freegans/dumpster divers in LA. One of them works at Trader Joe's, so they always know when the good stuff is being pitched. The US throws away about half of the food it produces because of too much inventory.
Here's a small garden I spotted. It was planted in a shaded area, but got plenty of sunlight with strategic mirror placement.
I've had more than my fair share of MacGuyver-isms. Since I'm riding sans-insurance, I had to give myself stitches back in November. It's just like sewing on a button...into your arm.
When traveling, you're able to spot your own kind pretty easily. I've met train-hoppers, hitch-hikers, other bikers and hobos of all sorts. Living life on the road is an alternative to lack of options in the "real" world. Some I meet are biding their time until things turn around, some are running away or searching for something, but most just live day to day, not worrying about anything out of earshot. The improvised life is the only life for them.