Life by 40,000 Miles

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3, 2017 by thedesertfiles

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I’ve always loved watching the odometer hit a milestone. On our way home from a fundraiser I noticed that the Jeep was about to hit 40,000 miles. Usually I congratulate myself for keeping the miles low for the year, but this time I started thinking about everything that occurred in my life during those first 40,000.

Without retreading over other blog posts I’ve written, my life since 2010 has had quite a few ups and downs. Some of it fantastic and some of it down right horrible. And when it comes to my blog, lately I’ve been struggling to find a topic to write about. Most of the time inspiration hits and the little voice in my head says “you should write a blog post about that!” Not so much in the past few months.

Looking back through my previous posts a lot of what I had written about was getting through challenging times; little nuggets of self-realization that happened when I was in deep thought about serious life moments. The original intention of my blog was to share my desert adventures with students. To give them a window into the fun and enjoyment of outdoor recreation, and to explore places unknown.

But life changed and my purpose for the blog shifted into an outlet to share my thoughts and learnings. However, like I’ve mentioned…during the past few months I’ve been in a blog rut. Only it wasn’t really a rut.

It took some time but I finally realized why. It’s because for the first time in a long time, I’m truly happy. It had been such a long time since things were normal steady that change and upheaval were my “normal”. My blog rut was because things have finally gotten good.

“Wow, this is what it was supposed to feel like all along?”

“This is the stability I thought was out of reach.”

“I can’t believe it’s finally here.”

“You mean to tell me I don’t have to worry about that? Or this?”

…are all thoughts that have been recurring to me over the past few months. I used to not let myself get too happy because my line of thinking was, “well it’s probably going to turn to shit anyway so I better prepare myself.”

I don’t much think like that anymore. I’m going to fully embrace how good everything is because it’s about time.

So with that I’m really looking forward to the next 40,000 miles and getting back to the true intent of my blog. Desert Adventures and irritable bowel syndrome awareness.

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The Unknown…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2016 by thedesertfiles

You cannot truly grow unless you step into the unknown…

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A few weeks ago I packed my Jeep up and headed to Arches and Canyonlands National Park. It was a trip I’ve been wanting to do for some years but always put on the back burner. I decided to go solo, not so much to find myself (I figured that out a while ago), but to put myself through a backcountry trip where the only person I could depend on was myself.

I was going to document my trip day by day but instead I’ll go ahead and write what I thought about during my time out there.

A loss for words…

Being alone for 4 days in the wilderness was quiet, really quiet. After Day 2 I realized I hadn’t spoken a single word since I started my trip. The only thing I heard was the wild and the thoughts in my head. In the evening I could hear packs of Coyotes in the distance. The only sound to come out of my mouth for the duration of the trip was a few howls back in response. And respond they did!

It was kind of nice actually. When you don’t speak your mind it kicks into high gear and your thoughts become incredibly clear. Usually my mind is a quick fire race track of thoughts. There are a few things that I have always worried about, and these things will always occupy my mind. However, through the silence I realized that I just have to accept that they will always be with me. I’ve managed them pretty damn successfully over my 34 years. I got this far, so the reality is those worries haven’t really held me back at all.

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A Thunderstorm…

I started my trip a day ahead of schedule in hopes of avoiding a thunderstorm that was going to pass through. Whelp…didn’t really time it right and I drove straight into it. Not only that but I drove straight into it on a particularly rocky and steep section of the trail. I don’t often engage my lockers but for a few hours I was locked front and rear going up and down slippery slopes, lightning all around, with white knuckles and a puckered butthole. It was the only time during the trip that I was concerned that I was alone and help might be days away.

See, I tried to avoid something and drove straight into it. The lesson here is that if you see something unavoidable coming towards you, it’s best to keep your head up and face it with everything you have. Push through that shit and the sky will eventually clear.

That evening, when I finally arrived at my campsite, I poured myself a glass of whiskey and watched the stars come out through the clearing storm.

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Slow time down…

9 years ago I started exploring the desert in an effort to find myself. Since then I found what I was looking for. It’s become that constant that grounds me to what really matters in life.

Every now and then you have to test yourself. You have to go through something unknown. It’s different for everyone. For me it’s a new trail. It’s taking a risk in the great wide open and having enough confidence in yourself to face whatever happens.

Time passes by more quickly as we get older because we tend to experience less. When we were young time passed by more slowly because we experienced so many firsts. Elementary school, Jr. High, High School, dances, first dates, driving, band, sports, college, travel.

And then, as time goes by we fall into a routine…work then home, work then home, work then home. Time speeds up, and before long you are asking yourself where did all of that time go?

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If you want to slow time down, if you want to enjoy those special moments in life, try stepping into the unknown.

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About Time…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 12, 2016 by thedesertfiles

How much time do we really have?

There are folks that say, “We have enough time in the world”. Then there are others that say, “Live everyday as if it’s your last”.

How should we live our life knowing that at any moment it can all change in an instant? I prefer to think that it’s somewhere in between thinking we have enough time and living every day as if it’s our last. If you think about how you would spend your last days what would you do? Where would you go? Would you party it up in Vegas everyday or jet around the world 7 days a week trying to see as many places as you could?

If you partied in Vegas every day of the week you wouldn’t last 3 days…and then it would most certainly be your last day. If you jet set around the world everyday would you really get to know the places you travelled to? What’s travel without spending time with the culture you’re visiting?

If you move too fast you’ll miss the important moments of your life and those of the people around you. If you move to slow you’ll miss those things too.

Maybe living everyday like it’s your last isn’t about doing a thing; maybe it’s about what you do with the important people in your life.

Plan vacations and see the world.

Take it easy and relax.

But when push comes to shove and the situation is grim what you’ll think about first are the people you love.

So for them, live for them like it’s your last day and set aside enough time to show them.

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(Photo by Jose Diaz)

This is Home

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2016 by thedesertfiles

Far off in the distance a contrail of civilization crosses the sky.

Dusk settles into evening.

A wisp of wind cradles the creosote.

The first starlight punctures the sky with a faint shimmer.

The campfire roars to life.

I am home.

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Course Correction…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2016 by thedesertfiles

For my friends…

I often think about years past. About how they begin one way and end in another. You can’t really predict what will happen, nor can you assume to know where you will be 12 months down the line. Sometimes life throws you a curveball, change occurs within a short period of time, and you have to deal with the course correction.

As I’ve gotten older and more experienced, dealing with the course correction has become easier. However, the pain that comes with it is a force to be reckoned with.

You say to yourself “I got this” and keep pushing forward. Unless you crap your pants as an adult…you’ll stop pushing and you won’t get over it. I haven’t.

I’ve written about constants before and when you go through a period of change those constants have a way of coming back around; even if you’ve put them aside. Friends forgive and accept, water under the bridge.

It is possible to fully commit to an undertaking and still lose. That is not weakness, that is life. You just have to keep on going.

Thanks for reading =).

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My bit of heaven…Big Sur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So life throws you a curveball…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2016 by thedesertfiles

What are you going to do? New blog post coming in a few days.

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DIY: Wrangler Layflat Platform

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2016 by thedesertfiles

Hi All,

I’ve been wanting to take this project on for a long while and I finally got around to it. I removed my back seats last year wanting to build a flat platform to provide more cargo area for camping supplies when I head out into the wilderness. It could also serve as a sleeping platform.

There were four things I wanted from the design:

1: The platform required no drilling into the Jeep

2: Easy removal for repairs

3: The strength to hold up under tow straps and rocky terrain

4: Maintain the factory look

So…here it is!  More info past the pics..

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The design is very simple and only requires the following items:

1: 3/4″ Oak Plywood (dont buy the cheap stuff)

2: Assorted wood screws (you can use most of the existing factory bolts for the rear seat

3: Outdoor carpet

4: Carpet glue

5: Swear words after you muck it up the first go around

6: Jig Saw with wood blade

7: 4×4 metal brackets (See pictures)

8: Saw horses

9: Circular Saw (optional…the Jig Saw worked just fine

10: Waterproof sealant for wood

11: T-square

12: 4×4 wood post

I did all of this for under $150. Most of the items on the market cost upwards of $400 and require drilling into the body of the Jeep. Enjoy the pics below. If you have any questions let me know!

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