The Tent Life

Our life is odd. I know this. It’s something I’ve always longed for and now that I’m in it, it’s kind of hard to grasp, conceptually. I find myself wondering what my family and friends must think of everything. Do they think we’re batshit crazy? Maybe they think we’re doing everything in our power to dodge the responsibility of a “real” life and that once we get this out of our system we’ll grow up and start down a traditional path. Part of this is true. We are dodging the responsibilities of a traditional life. It’s the growing up part that the jury is still out on.

We decided to spend our summer living out of a tent. Which I adore. Nothing like finding a place in the middle of nowhere, with no one in sight, where just the three of us (Dave, myself and the mutt) hang out and play outdoors. We did a ton of climbing throughout Arizona and Colorado and worked on getting some color back into our pale, nearly translucent bodies. This made sense for several reasons.

1. We’re homeless.

2. We get to live in the wilderness.

3. We can travel around the U.S. with ease.

4. It’s cheap and/or free.

5. We’re homeless – I already said this one, but it was the driving factor of this decision.

To clarify for anyone entering the story now; we’re homeless by choice. We’re not crazy (by definition) and we’re not degenerates (in my opinion). We sold all of our worldly possessions, Dave sold his house, we packed up anything that was left into my Tacoma and drove to the Florida Keys to move onto a sailboat. We did that for a couple years. Then, when we sold the boat and flew to Antarctica, we’ve been homeless ever since. We haven’t been anywhere long enough to call anyplace home. Technically, we spend more time in Antarctica than anywhere else in the world.

Life in a tent is pretty cool. But it’s not always easy. For instance, when it’s raining and cold and you want to cook dinner, pee, or not be in a tent – your options are slim. Another defect we discovered was that the dog enjoys going in and out of the tent during the middle of the night and doesn’t mind waking us up under the guise of needing to pee. What does she do when she gets outside? Meander around and sniff things. Dog: 1. Me: 0.

There are a lot of really beautiful places to camp in the United States. Though personally, I think it’s hard to compare many to Utah. The desert, seems to be a biome that not everyone can see the beauty in. While I struggle to understand this, if it keeps the population lower and the masses at home, perfect!

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This was such a phenomenal campsite, just outside of Moab. I wanted to stay here forever.

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We popped into Arches National Park, as well as Canyonlands.

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Right after we arrived in Colorado, it dumped snow on us. Just what we wanted after spending 6 months in Antarctica.  We bring cold, snowy and rainy weather wherever we travel. I know everyone says this, but they’re all exaggerating. I’m not. Everyone will tell us, “It’s been so warm and lovely for the past month, it got cold the day you arrived.” Needless to say, I don’t appreciate your shit, Weather. How about some love for a change?

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The powder hound.

 

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Rain or snow, it’s always ball time for The Fluff.

 

We bummed around Colorado for a couple weeks. We took care of the medical and dental qualifications for McMurdo. Yup, we’ll be headed back there in fall to spend another season down on the ice. Turns out we kinda liked it.

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Finally, back to my beautiful Arizona where snow is an optical illusion.

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We hiked the peak in the distance. The dog is in better shape than we are.
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Climbing gear on the tarp. The Chateau Deluxe in the back.

Next, to New Mexico. Dave and I spent some time in the Sandia Mountains and got back up to speed on our rope and technical skills…it was badly needed.

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Dave doing all the work kite flying

We bought a parafoil in Boulder so we’d have something to do on days that were too windy to climb. Albuquerque was a great place for the kite, with it always being windy.

D & J assisting on kite flying

From New Mexico, we bumped back over to Arizona to take care of some more odds and ends. Between going through the rounds for the USAP Program and getting my last name changed, I fear I may never be able to look at another piece of paperwork again. After we got things taken care of, it was back up to Colorado so Dave could begin his medical/dental qualification process. Unfortunately, we’ll have to go through the draining and maddening hiring process every season! Bummer man.

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We spent some time up in the Independence Pass area of the Rockies. Checked out Leadville, the highest city in the United States, via the highest paved road in North America (just over 12,000 ft). This picture is us pretty much at the summit. You can see the smoke from the fires that have been raging in Colorado.

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We’ve had some pretty sweet camping spots

 

Then we went off to Utah again. Months ago, we had purchased permits to do Paria Canyon with a friend of ours. Our friend seemed to be messing with fate on this trip; he sheared off three of the five lug nuts on one of his tires and had to stop in Barstow for the night. When he continued his journey to Kanab, a semi truck tire exploded and the shrapnel hit his window. Finally, he arrived in Kanab and mentioned some severe pain in his abdomen. Considering we were about to head deep into the middle of the desert, no cell or GPS, we all figured we’d better play the smart card and get him checked out before we start the trek.

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He got scheduled for an appendectomy later that day. The doctor said he was amazed Jason was still standing. If we had gone into the canyon, his appendix very likely would have burst.

Now? We’re headed up to Washington. We’ll be taking the scenic 101 through California and Oregon, arriving just in time (hopefully) to begin a caretaking position we accepted. Some friends we met while cruising the Bahamas asked if we’d be interested in caretaking for a natural hot spring in the Cascades (Goldmyer Hotsprings) – naturally, we took them up on the offer! We’ll be up there until August, in a remote cabin, just making sure everything goes smoothly.

The journey continues!

  1. Hey, when will you be in Oregon on the 101? Would love to drive out to Lincoln City (or whereever) and meet up with you guys!!