Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you doing this project?

This is the first question that comes out of everyone’s mouth. Why? I am following a dream that is bigger than I had ever intended. I am 27 years old, I am single, I have no kids, I truly believe that this is my time to do something exciting and real. Besides, why not? I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What is Huff’s Hundred Day Haul?

Huff’s Hundred-Day Haul is a photographic odyssey. An optimistic look at America during the final 100 days of nineties expiration. The Hundred-Day Haul is a progressive traveling tour that is driving through the entire continental US states.

What is the Vital Light?

The Vital Light in today’s modern times is the Newsletter that I came up with back in the summer of ’97 to inform people coast to coast of my journey. I knew that if I were to embark on such an extensive mission, I would have to rely on all the people I knew from coast to coast. So, based on a poem by Emily Dickinson, I came up with the Vital Light. "The Poet’s light but lamps, themselves go out…The wicks they stimulate, if VITAL-Light". It’s an exchange. I disseminate optimistic vibration through the Vital Light. The Vital Light first had 40 original members on the mailing list that was first mailed out in August of ’98. The second issue grew to 75 names. It was in the winter of ‘98-’99 that the Vital Light was best defined down within the creative walls of 331in the great city of Atlanta with winter hosts James McIntyre & Tom Lillis. Their encouragement and generosity fueled my ultimate vision. By the spring of ’99 the mailing list grew to more than 222 names. 4 issues of the Vital Light have been sent. The 5th issue, which features the colorfully artistic, map has been handed out to folks along the journey. It is halfway completed and will be sent to the majority of mailing list before the end of the Haul. At this point there are more than 400 names on the list. This is a very difficult number to furnish from the road. On the 72nd day the Vital Light went world wide on the web. It has nearly 1500 visitors, and an average of 75 visits per day. "You can blow out a candle, but you can’t blow out a fire, once the flames begin to catch the winds will blow it higher."

How can you afford such a long and expensive project?

Since I knew that I was going to go on this journey, I saved all of my earnings from my successful lawn-care service on Martha’s Vineyard, Your-Way-Works. I also raised money by selling my photography at the summer long Vineyard Artisans Festival during the summer of ’99, where Christopher’s Candids, my exclusive outdoor retail booth made its debut. It was progressively successful and defined throughout the summer. The final show was on Labor-Day weekend, and I raised over $1500 in product sales and random donations. I am traveling with my product line of greeting cards, and have crashed festivals along the way. The other source of income is through the generosity of sponsors. Money is a mere tool to fuel the project. I cannot worry about the money. I must complete the project. With this state of mind I continue to move. Although now at this point, I have exhausted all of my own funds and must rely on people to sponsor me. If you would like to sponsor, go to sponsor Huff, for more details.

When did you first come up with the idea?

I first came up with this idea during the dark hours of early morning in late July of ’97. Back then there were 883 days remaining in the 1990’s. The Dickinson poem, of which the idea is based on, is ironically numbered 883. I began to inform people the exact number of days remaining. I would just blurt this out, and people thought I was a freak. I knew that I would be on this trip. I knew the hype in America would be what it is right now with just 25 days remaining. People thought I was crazy, and it first I did not know why I was counting. And then it came to me. If I was going to be a successful photographer, I needed an angle. Photography is all about angles. My angle was to be a countdown of the final days of the ‘90’s. Many folks mistake this as a millennium mission. Though it is, my intention is to focus on the end of the final decade in the 20th century. The ‘90’s to me have been an adulthood evolution. I graduated from high school in 1990, and then went on my journey from innocence to experience. On a higher level, I was sick & tired of all the negative vibration that was disseminated throughout American society in the ‘90’s. So, my actions to combat this negativity would be to take an optimistic look of America, and reveal the great things that the media tends to bury through the portrayal of violence and tragedy. In the middle of this century photographer Robert Frank did something similar, it was black & white version of candid Americans.

How did you come up with the idea?

I came up with the idea that late night I have already talked about, but it was later defined in the MowZone. The MowZone is where I hide out behind a lawnmower. I have been cutting grass for 20 years of my life. I have creativity behind the lawnmower. These thoughts are created in the MowZone, hence Huff’s Hundred-Day Haul

What is the "The Story of Old Blue"?

The Story of Old Blue is a 24 paged multicolored photographic-documentary about my ’88 GMC S15 pickup truck. It is complete with a story line, colorful photographic magic, and a whole mess of stats and facts. I created it down at 331 in Atlanta, and then sent it blindly to the CEO Jack Smith of General Motors. At the end of the Photogumentary, I gave them a Vital Proposal asking them to sponsor the highway spaceship, Millennium Phalcon. Unfortunately their corporate sterileness rejected my idea.

What is the Millennium Phalcon?

The Millennium Phalcon is my highway spaceship. It is a ’99 Chevy S10 pickup truck with an extended cab and fiberglass shield that encompasses the truck bed creating the "Phalcon Lounge", for proper rest and relaxation. The Phalcon was provided by Tom Flurkey Chevrolet of Cape Cod, I sold them on the idea with less than 20 days before departure. They appreciated "The Story of Old Blue". 6 days into the Haul, the Phalcon was badly beat-up, and had to be rebuilt. See day 94 in The Huff Report.

What is the Millennium Phoenix?

With death, comes new life. The Millennium Phoenix is a ’99 Chevy Blazer that was provided by the Enterprise. She was a great vessel for the first 50 days of the journey, together we drove over 11,000 miles. Think of a Phoenix rising.

Who is Patrick Finnegan?

Patrick Finnegan is the main character in my own private journal. He is the incurable optimist, a prince of smiles. See VL2. Patrick will be revealed to the world at large in the future, after the Haul project is complete. Patrick is a likable dude with all sorts of 1990’s experience. No, he is not me. But he is however very similar. He is a fantasy.

What do sponsors get for helping you out?

My sponsors get both physical and spiritual recognition. In the final product I will reveal in very clever ways how I used their sponsorship whether it be money, food, advice, or possessions. They will get a special edition of the final book, and a feeling of pride for their help.

How did you choose your route through America?

Well, since I live on Martha’s Vineyard, I decided the best place to start the Haul would be 50 miles north on the mainland at Plymouth Rock where the pilgrims landed back in 1620. The finish line would have to be full circle and at a very significant spot to ring in the New Year and have proper closure to the Haul. New York Silly was out of the question. Acadia National Park will be my final destination because it is from there that America sees the first sunlight. Therefore the final page of the book will be the rising sun of our new age. It’s a great way to end the beginning of a hopeful new era. Everything else in between just sort of fell into place.

What is at the end of the Haul?

At the end of the Haul, I will return to my home on Martha’s Vineyard. I will about ten days to rest, and forget about the whole project as best I can. Then I will devote full time in creating a rough draft for the publisher. It took 100 days to accomplish, so I will give myself a 100-day deadline. I am right now shopping for a publisher, and have doubts that I will find the right one. 100 days will put us into early April of 2000; the book will be ready for the world at large by the summer of 2000 so that you all can have it. It will be full of magical photography and colorful prose. Then come spring, I’ll get behind my lawnmower and continue to live a normal lifestyle. I will also be preparing Christopher’s Candids for the summer artisan’s series. This summer I will have new line of Haul photography. Eventually you will be able to order it exclusively through the Vital Light.

These questions were answered in Montana on day 25, December 6th’99, 75 days in the Haul.