View from our new land.

Being nomadic has meant different things to me through the years. Recently, having purchased a home, my nomadic identity has been in question. Have I outgrown my tendency to wander? Have I sold out for comfort and consistency? Am I just too lazy, or complacent, or finally satiated by my current home to engage in more wanderlust. Ha! As if!

I’m taking a different tack. We have a home that has appreciated, providing some financial security. We purchased land in Arizona for investment, remote isolation experience, or as a bug-out destination. Our notions of doing much development there has lost its appeal. We’re approaching our retirement years, and after some contemplation we’ve settled on some basic facts. We, yes my wife and I, want to retire. We want our retirement home to be in San Diego. We want to retire debt free, including any mortgage. We want to live in a peaceful, beautiful place with great views and low population density.

Enter Julian.

It ticks all the boxes.

So, what of my nomadic lifestyle? Well, I see it as evolving from a singular migrating strategy to one of multiple permanent locations to move among. And, if we pull off our goal of retiring debt-free, we’ll have the freedom to truly travel and satisfy more of our wanderlust than ever before!

Yellowstone ’23

We had a great time camping in Yellowstone this year. We stayed in the Indian Creek campground for 5 nights. The drive up and back were 2 full days each. With each day in the park comprised of driving about half the time between the various sites throughout the park. When we returned each evening, it was nice to just park in our lounge chairs and stare at the fire.

Day 1

15 minutes into the park from the west entrance, we were greeted by a bear playing along the river.

The rest of the day was devoted to setting up camp before the afternoon showers started.

Day 2

We saw a baby bear on the side of the road on our way to Slough Creek.

Later that day we went to Mammoth Hot Springs on our way to Canyon Village.

The terraces of minerals from the hot springs pools were amazing even with cloud cover.

The rest of the day was spent going to Canyon Village where we ate Bison-Elk burgers, picked up some firewood and shopped for souvenirs.

Day 3

This was a full day of touring the caldera, starting with Norris Geyser Basin.

My favorite part of this area was the mud jacuzzi.

Next was Artists Paintpots. A spectacular array of various colored pools.

A pool of bubbling mud was entertaining.

Next stop: Old Faithful

After Old Faithful, we continued around the southern loop along Yellowstone Lake.

After stopping in Lake Village for some souvenirs and coffee, we continued toward Canyon Village. Along the way we spotted some Bison and Elk.

We stopped at the North Rim Drive Lookout Point to check out the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Day 4

We started the day with the Grand Prismatic Spring. After doing the path along the edge of it, where it remained constantly shrouded in steam, we decided to take a hike up to the overlook. This was well worth it.

We then proceeded around the lower loop again to the Mud Volcano, where we were greeted by a herd of bison.

More to follow…

Epic Week

We left on Friday for our land in AZ where we spent the night…and had a visitor…

Saturday, we headed out through Flagstaff to Page, stopping at Horse Shoe Bend.

Proceeded north toward Kanab crossing by the Glen Canyon Dam, we took the Cottonwood Canyon road north to Cannonville.

Then up to Barker Campground in the Dixie National Forest, we camped in an Aspen forest at 9300′ elevation, frequented by deer. 

Sunday morning, we headed east along Hwy 12 along Hell’s Backbone to Capitol Reef National Park.

We stopped for our park stamp, sticker and benchmark magnet, then got pies at the Gifford Homestead and proceeded along the Scenic Drive into Capitol Reef.

We then hiked into Capitol Gorge, observed ancient petroglyphs…

and the more recent Pioneers Register from the early 1900’s…

and finally hiked up to some water pockets in the canyon sandstone. 

Monday, we returned to Capitol Reef to embark on the “Loop the Fold” drive. Starting in Boulder, we first stopped at a Puebloan excavation site, then proceeded up the 12 to the 24 and stopped for pies again before proceeding on the loop along the eastern side of Water Pocket Fold. 

This nearly 100 mile long monocline is characterized by multiple lines of the earth’s surface protruding upward at angles, up to 80° caused by plate tectonic forces producing accordion-like folds of upheaval and drops, exposing 100s of millions of years of strata of the earth’s surface.

Turning west, climbing the Burr Trail Switchbacks and taking the Upper Muley Twist Canyon Trail to the Strike Valley Overlook, we arrived at the most spectacular view of the region, and possibly my all-time favorite overlook.

Finally, proceeding westward we arrived back at Boulder, finishing our 130 mile drive 8.5 hours later.

Tuesday, we hiked to various lakes in Barker Recreational area, along part of the Great Western Trail. Aside from 2 lone  fishers, one mountain biker and a group of 4 hikers, we had the forest to ourselves.

Wednesday, we headed to Bryce Canyon, the original focus of this trip.

We got our obligatory tourist items, then proceeded along the guided audio tour starting from the southern end back toward the north end of the park.

We took several mini hikes/walks to the various overlooks along the way, but planned to hike down into the hoodoos later. 

We decided to hike to Mossy Cave, and ventured to a wonderful waterfall just beyond it while surrounded by towering hoodoos. 

We decided to explore more of the surrounding off-road trails west of Bryce but a recent wildfire prevented completing the loop around the southern end, so we opted for taking a small loop that treated us to an overview of Bryce with some peeks of the hoodoo amphitheaters.

Thursday, we decided to venture to Zion National Park. Just after entering the park, we hiked up to a canyon overlook with some amazing views of the towering cliffs and slot canyon below.

We proceeded to the visitor center then took the shuttle into the canyon to get an overview of the park’s distinct features. We hiked along the river and waded in among the throngs of tourists until my footwear failed me and we decided to return.  We then took the shuttle back to the Emerald Pool trail heads where we proceeded to the lower pool of the three where we enjoyed a cool cave with seeping water and a light misting of waterfall from the upper pools.

Friday, I decided to venture to Powell Point on the southern tip of the Escalante Mountains which our campground was situated in. We had views of this 10,200′ elevation promontory with its pink and white cliffs on many of the days while traveling in the area. This off-road adventure was much more demanding than I’d expected and we definitely pushed Mr. Bumpy and ourselves to our limits, and a little past.

However, the final hike out to the very point gifted us with a final epic overview of all the areas we’d been exploring during the week.

Overland Expo West 2022

First time attending an Overland Expo. Lots of great gear and ideas for outfitting rigs for overland adventures. Great instructors providing expert advice from years of experience working with the tools of offroad recovery and international expeditions.

Mr. Bumpy geared up for Overland Expo
Oh Shit Moment

Yosemite 2022

Recent adventure in Yosemite national park.


“Mouse” the Skoolie House

It was a great weekend, cleaning out the skoolie. Although it has been a house for many rodents for many years, and 3 babies met their demise during demolition, it is almost clean of any remnants of unwanted guests. This will be a stationary base camp/office for future trips and land development.

The plan is to set it up to be fully self-sustaining with solar and water harvesting. There’s a lot of work ahead, but we got a good head start.

New Year’s Road Trip

I was watching a show on space exploration and the solar system. The focus of our planet’s magnetosphere presented some amazing images of the auroras at the poles. I began researching the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and from where they could be viewed. Apparently, northern Montana has some opportunities for viewing them. So began an exploration of easy to reach destinations.

It was two days after Christmas, and we had about a week left of our two week vacation. I went from exploring beautiful photographs of auroras to planning a road trip to northern Montana. With no notification, I informed my partner to start packing for a road trip. We started out from home, about 20 miles from Mexico and 10 miles from I-15…headed for Canada. With a decent touring sedan, warm clothes and a reservation at a hotel outside Provo, Utah for that night, we embarked. No, I didn’t check the weather reports. At least not as I would have as a professional driver. Here goes!

Those final hours, in the late night, winding through mountains in a snow storm at 35mph was quite stressful. The second day, travel was beautiful from Utah to Great Falls, Montana. The roads were almost completely clear and the snow in the surrounding mountains was picturesque. I opted for a larger town not as close to Canada as I had hoped, but this turned out to be a great decision.

We explored all the waterfalls in the area. We went to the Lewis and Clark museum, and visited a natural spring that feeds the shortest river which feeds into the Missouri river. We walked and drove around the area exploring local coffee shops, restaurants, real estate and a western wear store. We never caught a glimpse of the northern lights. The solar winds and the weather have to align at the right time with a dark sky to catch them…so, this one remains on my bucket list.

We gained an appreciation of Montana, enjoying an unseasonably warm New Year’s, knowing that these people endure some extreme weather. We learned a little more about the final days of the expedition to discover a waterway to the West coast. We witnessed the massive power of rushing water harnessed to provide electricity. We look forward to revisiting the area in the summertime and maybe trying to witness those elusive northern lights again.


It’s been an interesting couple years. From trucking to teaching to trading and back to IT. From living in a truck to owning a home. From struggling with heartbreak over relationships and the loss of my two sisters to being happy in an effortless and loving relationship with a wonderful woman. From an unstable existence to a well connected, grounded community to a virtual one due to a pandemic.

I’m restructuring my goals and interests. Although I no longer live as a Nomad, I am still committed to the ideals of freedom of exploration. Whether by hiking local trails, or taking planned vacations abroad, my heart still looks forward to being mobile. Although I’m exploring things like smart home automation, I am also fantasizing about RV living and researching off-grid options for current and future life enhancement.

I look forward to life getting back to normal-ish. I hope the world returns to a more sane and compassionate mindset with more equality than previous eras. I will continue to plan for a safe escape if necessary but continue to hope for a time where exploration and freedom are not a means of escape but instead, a routine part of daily life. Retirement is on my horizon, so hopefully the latter will become my norm.

Stay safe. Explore the world.

Surf’s up… to almost 3 feet.

It was great to get back out in the water and actually catch a couple little waves today. Operative word, “little” as there is no swell to speak of. However, it was perfect for me as it had been a couple years since I’ve been out surfing, and I wasn’t sure how I’d fare. And fair was just how I did. I effortlessly hopped to my feet a couple times. Read the waves well for the most part and controlled my board better than expected. Being in just trunks and a rash guard, I got bit cold as expected and was out long enough just to have some successful rides and not get hung up on waiting for the perfect wave or bobbing on the outside waiting for the rogue set.

I’m glad my neighbor coaxed me to go out. Sometimes I need a little more than my good intentions to follow through. Even as fun as surfing can be there is still some residual trepidation from past surfing injuries. Once we navigated our entry to the non-boulder area we had no problem getting to a nice unpopulated spot with some suitable sections. The heavy fog added a bit of a challenge, causing some false positives and a couple surprise pop up waves that caught us off guard. All in all, it was a great little reintroduction for me. And thanks to my neighbor for the friendly nudge.

WordPress Unintuitive

It’s hard to believe WordPress is the content management system used by more websites than any other.  It is one of the most frustrating things I’ve been working with for months now.  It produces wonderful looking pages if they are exactly how you want them by default.  However, trying to manipulate things is a process of guessing or googling for incremental finds for every tiny manipulation.