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 =).


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.




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..



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!











A moment of clarity…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2016 by thedesertfiles

Nothing but the sound of the fire and the coyotes far off in the distance.


Preventing a Snowball

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2016 by thedesertfiles

I’d like 2016 to be the year that I find myself heading back into the wild on a regular basis. Whether it’s a hike or a Jeep trip, being out in nature is on the top of my list.

A lot of us, including myself, tends to get caught up in our day to day. Sometimes we let something relatively minor snowball into something completely bigger than it actually is. It might be a deadline at work, it could be an argument you had with a family member; it’s usually something that won’t have any bearing on your life after a couple weeks out. Just a blip on the radar.

I’ve come to realize that preventing that snowball is figuring out what the constants are in your life. What are those things that you always refer back to when you try to calm your nerves. Everyone has constants even if they haven’t realized it.

One of my constants is the desert. I can go out year after year, decade after decade, and it remains relatively unchanged. It’s a place that that will always be as it was when I first found it. No matter the snowball, it will always be there waiting to bring me back down to reality.

To ground me in what really matters.

So when you’re about to snowball, take a moment to reflect on the constants in your life.

(Click on the image for the larger view)




Hello 2016!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2016 by thedesertfiles

Well I’m very much looking forward to 2016 and be on the look out for my first blog post of the new year. Thanks so much for visiting my site! Now get out there and explore!


Joe Diaz

Bodie Ghost Town: Echos of The Past

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 by thedesertfiles

For the past several years my Uncle has run the trout ponds at McGee Creek RV Resort and Campground.

Despite my love for the outdoors I never took the oppourtunity to visit Mammoth and partake in the beauty that is the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I decided to take advantage of the long Labor Day Weekend and spend three days fishing, camping, and exploring the area.

The highlight of the trip was my visit to Bodie State Historic Park.

I’ve been wanting to visit Bodie since I named my first Jeep after the town way back in 2007. It’s been on my bucket list and always in the back of my mind. A town preserved in a state of arrested decay, Bodie looks like it did when the last person left many decades ago. You can walk the streets, peer through the windows, and get a glimpse of what it must have felt like to live in Bodie during it’s peak (1881 or so). The Schoolhouse still has the chalkboards on the wall, the bars still have bottles behind the counter, the mortuary still has caskets, and the mill echoes of the workers long since gone.

Enjoy the photos! (Click for full size)










Hidden by Nothing

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2015 by thedesertfiles

Most people drive through it without ever giving any thought as to what is outside their window. Short days and long nights are on the mind. What bar should we go to? Shots when we check in? Will we get a corner view? That’s usually how the trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas goes. For most people it is a long desert highway accompanied by an urge to pass through the desolate landscape as fast as you can.

When you do decide to briefly glance out the window on that drive, you see the hills and mountains in the distance. Then you turn your attention back inside the car and that’s that, it all looks the same.

That’s how it goes for most people.

However, there is something out there and it’s hidden by the nothingness of that drive. It’s how the desert protects itself. It tricks people into thinking that nothing exists beyond the highway. The desert lives and breathes and for the few people who venture out beyond, a sense of uncorrupted freedom awaits.

Some days the only things you hear are the gentle wisps of wind in the distance, followed by the quiet rustle of the creosote bushes. There are no phone calls to answer, no emails to respond to, no bills to pay; there exists nothing except yourself, and the wild world around you.

It is a wild untouched place, hidden by veiled desolation.

(Photos taken during the Wildflower bloom: Spring 2015)








Life finds a way…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2015 by thedesertfiles

Even in the harshest environment life flourishes.

Click on the picture for full size image

Feeling the spirit at the top…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2015 by thedesertfiles

God’s Country – enough said. topofmountain