How it all began...

The idea had been circling in my head for years. But the time was right and I could no longer fight the wanderlust that had built up. I bought a 1977 GMC NuWa motor home, threw a solar panel on top and started getting it ready for the open road. My main goal: to wander around North America, catching up with old friends, visiting new places and experiencing things I haven't before. This is my story...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

3rd Annual Winter Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

Quartzsite, Arizona - “Super Bowl Festivities in the Arizona desert…does it get any better than this?”  This is the thought that occurred to me tonight as I sat around a small TV amidst the remnants of the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, joking around, eating homemade soup, lots of chips, dips and a few brews.  Oh and let there be cake, as well!  All powered by the sunny, gorgeous days we’ve been having here in the desert.  Nothing like being off the grid (which a small percentage of the people in the US are doing) and watching the Super Bowl (something that MANY people in the US are doing).

Is my first post in nearly 9 months really about the Super Bowl?  No, at least not in its essence.  This post is about the camaraderie and connections that this 3rd Annual Winter RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) has fostered.  I have met some amazing people during the last month and reconnected with friends from the past 3 years.  And that is really what this is all about.  Gathering together and creating connections.  These connections have led to discussions and wonderful friendships.  All under the warmth of the Arizona sun.

Now to try to sum up the last year of my life would be nearly impossible.  It would also be quite a task.  One which I am not up to challenge.  Instead, I will simple say that many things have occurred, life has been lived, experiences have been, well, experienced.  And life goes on.  Am I still happy, three years after leaving the comforts of my home and taking to the road?  Absolutely.  No questions asked.  While I look back fondly at the connections and friendships I made in Denver, I am so truly happy being out on the road, living each day for me.  That’s right, I live each day for me.  Not work.  Not obligations or appointments or any of the number of things that bog us down in the daily life.  But instead, I spent my days enjoying the company of like minded souls, conversing about nothing and everything.  Life is grand, I tell you.  Life is grand.  And there is always cake.  How can it get any better than that??

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Cirque (and I) go to Portland!

Portland, Oregon - Something unusual is in the air today...the sun.  Though I have been soaked to the bone with the wet Northwest climate, the sun is out today, creating a wonderful vibe in the city of Portland.  I have traveled up here to work with the Cirque du Soleil for the next 6 weeks, while also giving me an opportunity to explore yet another area of the country.  The first thing I found out is that living in a motor home in the rainy Northwest is much more challenging than I had imagined.  I am finding out that my rig is nowhere near waterproof...not even water-resistant, really.  All those times that I procrastinated on resealing the roof has come back and enacted its revenge upon me.  The dampness contained within it's confines is palpable.  So the logical steps for me is to get outside my four walls!  I am finding that cabin fever can run rampant if you let the weather outside dictate your daily plans.

Thus, I have been making a concerted effort to go outside my walls and explore.  One of the main reasons for making this voyage to the Northwest was to visit with friends up in this area of the country, check out the local attractions and immerse myself in its culture.  Since I will be heading back to the mountains of California for my summer job in the National Forest, I figured it would be a good time to get my dose of live music, tasty foods and other activities that are nonexistent while in the remote areas that I haunt in the summer months.  If anyone out there has any good recommendations for exploring the area, please leave a comment for me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Life and Times of the Cirquador Kid!

Santa Monica, CA - When living the life whimsical, you can get into some interesting situations.  You can also come across some very interesting employment opportunities.  Case in point: I am now working for the Cirque du Soleil in Santa Monica, California.  In typical fashion, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  A chance encounter with a fellow van dweller in the deserts of Arizona garnered a friendship.  Through that friendship, I learned that the Cirque du Soleil was hiring people through a temp agency in Los Angeles.  The rest is history, I suppose.  Or at least history in progress at this point.

My first impression of working for the Cirque?  Amazing.  I am an usher for the show and thus get the opportunity to see the show nearly every day.  I'm assuming that at some point I will tire of the show through repetition, though I have a strong feeling that will not be anytime soon.  Small acrobats flying through the air, lithe forms with fluid movements gliding and sailing across the stage.  The shear strength and agility of these performers is on the verge of superhuman.  For me, they conjure the images of superheroes, though that may be in part to the fact that they wear tights.  I can only imagine the training and discipline they have had to endure throughout their years.  Hell, I struggle just to do a handstand.  For the majority of the show my mouth is gaped open in awe.  And for the other part, I'm somewhere between giggling and guffawing.  It is truly an entertaining spectacle.

I must give props to both Cirque du Soleil and Adecco, the worldwide temporary staffing company, for their treatment of employees.  From conversations with people employed directly through Cirque,which is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, I get the feeling that it is an amazing company to work for.  Their employees work hard and the company treats them with respect and rewards them with great benefits.  They are well taken care of to be certain.  As for Adecco, I can only speak to the people that hired me and those that manage us on a daily basis.  The one thing that can be said - they are happy to be there.  Honestly, that says a lot.  That happiness with their jobs translates to them treating all of us especially well.  Thus, it provides a great work environment to be a part of.

I do feel so lucky to have added this to my repertoire of experiences.  After all, isn't that what life is really all about?  Stories you can tell and experiences you can share.  Well, my shift starts in less than an it's off to the circus for me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Life as a Procrastinator

Adelanto, CA - Yikes.  That's all I have to say, really.  I have no good excuse for my 8 month sabbatical from writing.  Certainly things have occurred, life has been lived, roads have been get the picture.  I could blame it on writer's block or lie and say I've been too busy.  But I think I will just fall back on the good ol' standby of Procrastination, a lifelong companion of mine.  After a month, I thought "wow, I should really write some of this down".  After two months, I didn't know where to start and what to's not easy condensing one's life to a few paragraphs.  After six months, the task became so incredibly daunting, that I just ignored it.

Yet, after meeting up in the desert with 90 other like-minded people for the 2nd Annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, I felt somewhat reinspired to jot things down, if for no other reason than to document where I've been and who I've met.  At the very least, I can look back 20 years from now and say "I did what?!?!"  So that's a plus.

So how does one sum up life for a period of seven months?  Certainly not well.  Maybe one day I'll come back and write more about each of these, but for now, here is a quick list:
  • Backpacked the Lost Coast Trail in Northern California - a 4 day, 26 mile point to point endeavor that had me witness some of the most gorgeous scenery I've seen
  • Started training for a Search & Rescue Team in Fresno, CA
  • Returned to Lake Edison in the Sierra National Forest for another summer of campground hosting
  • Backpacked 5 or 6 more trips during the summer months in the forest
  • Had several friends come visit me at the campground, including a visit from my parents, who drove their truck camper out from Michigan and stayed with me for almost 3 weeks (yes, my parents have a truck camper...clearly this is where I get my wanderlust)
  • Volunteered on a WWOOF farm near San Luis Obispo in October (Carrizo Lavender Farm) and helped build an EcoDome (similar to rammed earth home)
  • Traveled to Baja, Mexico for some relaxation and community work (helping Santa deliver toys, medicine, food and clothing to almost a dozen remote villages)
  • Met up with friends in San Luis Obispo for the New Year
  • Attended the 2nd Annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ
  • Visited Slab City (some call it "The Slabs") in California
OK, that is about the lamest summation I've written, but for now it will have to do.  I simply wanted to post something to help jump-start me into writing mode.  I'll see ya down the road...