Photo Story: Stunning Images in 'Unsettling - Going Full Nomad'

Mar 17, 2020
by Jacob Johnson  


bigquotesUnsettling /ʌnˈsɛtlɪŋ/ adjective - to alter from a settled state; cause to be no longer firmly fixed or established

Unsettling, going nomadic, is trending like an idler pulley on a high single pivot. Perhaps the attraction is that the alternative is to settle, which sounds like an uninspiring, underwhelming compromise.

Everything happens in cycles. In the 1930s, motor bungalows and rolling homes were popularized as cheap portable living spaces for the poor and as vacation wagons for the more fortunate. A nice new Schult trailer could be had for just $275 in 1934. Returning from war and through the Great Depression, many had trouble finding housing and jobs. By necessity, people were living on the move, trying to find a place with some work, or just a place to disappear and get by with as little as possible.

With fallout from the financial crises of 2008, people again turned to the home on wheels as a more affordable way to live, escape, or means to move from place to place where intermittent employment might be found. The current surge in nomad life is further fueled by images of cozy wood clad van interiors, draped patio lights, a steaming cup of coffee, and doors opened to panoramic views.

Prologue

Life Choices

Hurricane Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
"And the earth becomes my throne" (Hetfield/Ulrich) If you're really into your job, this is probably the wrong environment for making career decisions.

bigquotes...with no home and no job, the plan was to do a lot more with far less.

We bought a vacation wagon, and then it happened. There in the desert, thousands of kilometers from home, the sun’s last golden rays kissing the brush rustling in the autumn breeze. A feeling of contentment… Happiness! Leading up to this we had settled, life had become a comfortably familiar humdrum of work, paycheques, property, and possessions, all masquerading as happiness but not delivering the elusive nectar. We were working more to have more and subsequently actually doing less. I had recently sold my home, and in a matter of days I’d return to work to give my notice, retiring from what had been a career for a quarter-century. If you want your audience to think you're mature, you don't say you quit, you say you retired. Now with no home and no job, the plan was to do a lot more with far less. Going full nomad is a simple enough idea. Rid yourself of most of your material possessions, leave your cares and worries behind, go where you want to go, do what you want to do, cruise the open road to perfect weather and idyllic destinations... oh... and bikes!

It's been a year since we began our nomadic wandering, since we left the stability of being settled. It's not all perfect weather and idyllic destinations, it's not all happiness. But 99% is, and we're not looking to settle again anytime soon. Here's looking back on a year of being houseless and chasing happiness.

The Beginning

Dixie

Where would we go? What would we do? Hurricane Utah is a familiar shoulder season escape along with the surrounding communities and parks. That familiarity seemed like a comfortable way to begin an unfamiliar life. The fact that our rolling home was in storage in nearby St. George made the decision easy. It was the beginning of March when we maneuvered into one of the designate sites on the Hurricane Cliffs BLM. Our neighbours were a couple of women in a travel trailer that had seen better days a long long time ago. It wasn't sitting anywhere near level, curtains fluttered out of missing windows, and bits of trash were migrating across the desert from heaps of garbage piled against the sides of the trailer. Their favourite pass time seemed to be shouting obscenities at one another. Up the road was a newer looking unit. A couple pieces of plywood pretended to cover a massive gaping wound in the wall of the trailer. It had been completely ransacked. This isn't the nomad life that hashtags are made of. This is the reality of people who have run out of options.

Our time in Dixie was a lot colder and a lot wetter than our stereotypical assumptions of the Desert Southwest. Precipitation in the area turns the soil the type of slick goop that would suck your gumboots off as a kid. While waiting for trails to dry after storms, adventures in Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park kept us plenty busy. One dollar Taco Tuesdays, and Enchilada Thursdays were something to look forward to regardless of weather. Long rough drives, with a wet bog or two mixed in, to the must-do mesas like Gooseberry, Little Greek, and Guacamole grew tiresome when done on repeat. Even though the JEM network lacks some of the flare of the mesas, it became a favourite go-to for us simply because it was nice to pedal from home and avoid those drives. If anyone is listening, an airy line from Gooseberry Point to the JEM network would be legendary.

Snow Canyon State Park Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Constant reminders that Grandma was right, "Life is tough and then you die."

Virgin Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Uprooting means leaving friends and family behind. So when you're in the desert in a different country and someone knocks on your door... they're almost certainly a stranger. If that stranger is Ryan Kremsater and he asks if you want to go check out some Rampage lines... just do it.

Virgin Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Ferda Girls... Just rolling around a past rampage venue is surreal!

Virgin Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Freezing temperatures, brutal winds, and snow squalls (yup that's snow) put an end to the fun.

Hurricane Cliffs Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Prime conditions on the Hurricane Cliffs as winter draws to a close.

Zion - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Day or night, Zion puts on a spectacular show. At the right time of the year, at the right time of day, there's even serenity in this tourist mecca.

Gooseberry Mesa - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Looking to get away from the crowds? Secret Trail on Gooseberry Mesa might be your jam.

Spring

Grand County

At the end of March, as the seasonal weather and temperatures improved, we pushed north to Moab. The jaw-dropping awe of vertical patina cliffs and towering arches never gets old. Dispersed camping outside of town again allowed us to keep our costs in check... Spring is notoriously busy and expensive in Moab. If repetition is the measure of favouritism, our favourite trail was Slickrock, followed by, Mag 7, Porcupine (from the Notch which still held some snow till late April), and Ahab.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Classic for a reason... Moab's iconic Slickrock Trail recently celebrated 50 years and is absolutely timeless!

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
When home is where you park it, you can get some spectacular views out the front window. Evening light on the La Sal Mountains soaring to over 14,000 ft.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Spring storms creating some drama in the desert.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Night life... Standing beside Corona Arch catching shooting stars.

Arches National Park - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Variety is the spice of life! Canyoneering in Arches National Park.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
The hole in the wall places are always the best.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Stopping for another pic. Because it's Moab.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Crossing the border into Colorado's Mesa County. Sunset and that perfect single track ribbon synonymous with Fruita, rolling toward the Hot Tomato for a slice of pie before making the long journey back to Canada.

Summer

Home in Canada

Is home where the heart is or where you park it? The Bow Valley has been home for most of our adult lives. Returning at the end of April we were greeted in the customary Canadian Rockies fashion... with snow. And the snow seemed to just keep on coming in fits and starts, a brief reprieve mid-summer, and then more snow long before fall would officially arrive. With a climate portable rolling home, we often found ourselves fleeing the Bow Valley to bike parks and drier warmer weather in parts of British Columbia. For us, home is where you park it, preferably it's warm and sunny there, and for health reasons we hope our hearts come with us.

Panorama British Columbia - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Early season at Panorama Mountain Resort.

Canmore Alberta - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Some grim July days in Canmore Alberta which typically sees its fair share of sunshine.

Canmore Alberta - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
The Canadian Rockies looking coastal in the rain.

Fernie BC - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Growing up in Fernie BC, it will always feel like home.

Silver Star British Columbia - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Wood is good! Silver Star Mountain Resort.

Silver Star British Columbia - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
"girls just wanna have fun" (Robert Hazard)

Silver Star British Columbia - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
The ever popular World Cup trail at Silver Star.

Dog Pond Drops - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Marcus Henry of Steedz Enduro proving freeride lives in Canmore.

Nordegg Alberta - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
That embarrasing moment while exploring canyons when you realize that your biking clothes look like Spider-Man pijamas.

Moraine Lake - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Fall comes early to the Canadian Rockies signaling that it's time to move on.

Fall

Running From the Cold

Shovelling snow and chiselling ice off the home likely isn't on too many people's bucket list, and neither is towing a 16,000 pound home over snow-covered mountain passes that even sedans can't seem to successfully navigate. In early September heavy snowfalls and the associated seasonal traffic accident chaos had already begun in the Canadian Rockies. By mid-October we had enough and were ready to retreat south.

In part because we wanted to explore, and in part because unseasonable cold weather kept finding us, we were constantly on the move through the fall, from Moab to Hurricane, to Las Vegas, a couple visits to Phoenix, and some time in Sedona.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Back in Moab to savour the high country before the snows come.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Autumn awesomeness high in the La Sal Mountains.

St George Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Early snowfalls and freezing temps push us further south. Zen trail in St. George, Utah.

Moab Utah - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Autumn light on Goosebumps.

Las Vegas - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Vegas has a new slogan for 2020. "What happens here, only happens here." Not joking.

Sedona Arizona - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Just a few girls from Canmore Alberta hanging out at Sedona's Seven Sacred Pools.

Phoenix - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Finding some wilderness amongst the urban jungle of Phoenix.

Winter

Running Out of Options

Unsettling is to alter from a settled state or cause to be no longer firmly fixed or established. Living on the road can feel precariously close to being homeless. Especially as you realize how many of your neighbours have run out of options and are in that exact circumstance. This reality is driven home as I finish reading "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century" while parked on the ruins of a long abandon community near Ryan California.

As winter closes in on the Desert Southwest, we're running out of options in a different way. The hunt for warm and dry weather nearby, with overnight lows that generally remain above freezing is getting harder. Why do we need it to be warm? Because nobody likes frozen poop tanks or pipes. Ideally, there would also be a good network of trails nearby. Not too much to ask, right? Adding to the struggle is the growing number of people flocking to free public land, the problems people bring, and subsequent loss of access to land. The popularity of RVing and loss of access to public lands means Campgrounds and RV Parks are commonly sold out and rising costs reflect it. With some loose criteria and running out of options we find ourselves in some unforgettable places.

Quartzsite Arizona - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Quartzsite is a bit of a right of passage for nomads. Ask people why they go, and the answer is; "it's free". Ask what they do there, and the answer is inevitably; “there's nothing to do". This is Quartzsite Arizona... The spelling is indeed incorrect. And there's only nothing to do if you don't like doing anything.

Quartzsite Arizona - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Nope... nothing to do in Quartzsite.

Slab City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Out of options... Depending on your perspective, Slab City is where dreams come true or where dreams come to die.

Slab City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
The last free place in America. Slab City is visually and mentally disorienting. To be surrounded by a community that has so little yet willing to give so much is overwhelming.

Slab City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Bikes are fun. Life has ups and downs. The region has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States, with nearly half of the documented population living below poverty, and a high school dropout rate of 30%. Yet Slab City is a vibrant community of people making it work in spite of the circumstances.

Slab City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
"If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." (Marilyn Monroe) While our stay in Slab City was brief, we're forever gripped by the beauty and kindness of the people in this community. Grateful to all who welcomed us into their homes and showed us unconditional love.

Saltan Sea - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
The Saltan Sea from apocalyptic Bombay Beach. One of the lowest points in North America at over 200 ft below sea level.

Cathedral City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
More than retirees and golf carts... Palm Springs delivers lungbusting climbs and breathtaking descents.

Cathedral City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Spectactular high desert riding.

Cathedral City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Hahn Buena Vista Trail is a must do when in the Coachella Valley.

Palm Canyon Epic - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
The Palm Canyon Epic, with numerous options you can make it as epic as you want. Even in December, we were thankful for heavy cloud cover to keep temperatures somewhat bearable. Our route clocked in at about 27 miles with 6,300 ft of descending and 2,500 ft of climbing mixed in.


Joshua Tree - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Off the bike days... With Joshua Tree just down the road from Palm Springs, there's plenty to do when the legs don't want to turn the cranks anymore.

Ajo Arizona - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Discovering unknown places you never knew you'd visit, when it's winter and your only criteria are warm dry weather and finding some trails. Ajo Arizona. Upon arrival we realize the trails we spotted online are actually roads. Regardless, we find community, friends, and adventures.

Lake Havasu City - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Lake Havasu City's SARA Park. You know there's not a lot going on in a place when they buy the actual London Bridge to make the city more interesting.

Salmo BC - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Keeping it legal... A flight home to Canada to get our winter fix and ensure we stay comfortably under the allowable days in the United States. Reset travel insurance, update vehicle registrations, and general adulting.

Arizona Hot Springs - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Not in our wildest dreams would we have imagined slot canyons with hot springs. But they exist. Complete with amoeba that will eat your brain!

Death Valley - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Perspective is everything. The scale of Death Valley is mind-boggling... strolling across Badwater Basin 282ft below sea level with 11,000 ft Telescope Peak just out of the frame to the right. A bizarre environment the mind strains to grasp. Disorienting polygonal patterns in the salt crust exasperate the complete lack of familiar perspective.

Death Valley - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
You'll never go hungry in the desert, because of all the sandwiches there.

Death Valley - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
A three million acre expanse of some of the most extreme landscapes on the continent lit only by the night’s waning moon, we are greeted. As we wade aimlessly across the Mesquite Dunes a Kit Fox welcomes us, leaping, bounding in the darkness, as if we’re friends reunited. We walk together for another mile across the endless ripples of the dunes. The kit fox running circles around us, waiting atop each ridge crest vibrating with excitement as if to encourage us to hurry up so we don’t miss it. We are content, we haven’t missed anything, we’ve been welcomed unconditionally in an unwelcoming environment, and that’s all we need.

A Milestone

Celebrating a Year

In Sedona Arizona we celebrate a year since going full nomad, being houseless, and chasing happiness. One of our biggest fears as we ripped our roots from the ground a year earlier was leaving community, connections, friends and family behind. Leaving the things we associate with home. Like so many times in life our fears were unwarranted. We've been welcomed into some of the most diverse communities we've ever been exposed to, we've grown our family, discovered a nomadic tribe of friends, and old friends and family have joined us along the way. No matter where we've been we've felt part of a community and sense of belonging, we are at home as nomads.

Sedona Arizona - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Celebrating our first year of nomad life in Sedona

Sedona Arizona - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
Fun in the Arizona sun. Canyon of Fools (left), Hangover (right)

Sedona Arizona - Photo Jacob Johnson mysticmountainadventures
"maybe tomorrow I'll want to settle down, until tomorrow I'll just keep moving on." (Bush/Crossen)



108 Comments

  • 26 0
 This is inspiring, something to aspire to. Great writing and epic pics. Thank you for sharing. If you are ever in the greater Seattle area, please let me and sterling know. If only just to grab a beer and a bite to eat...
  • 8 1
 Oh my Redface Huge thanks Chef! Definitely tough to put stuff out there not knowing how it will land. Can't wait till our travels bring us back the the PNW. We'll definitely reach out when we're end up back in that zone Salute
  • 4 0
 Lost me at unicycles, I tried but wasn’t able to recover after seeing one.
  • 7 0
 @DirtMcGuirk07: to be fair I included two pictures of a unicycle so there's still two tires and there is balance in the universe lol
  • 2 0
 @mtnmanjake: Bwahaha! As our dear author here said: variety is the spice of life. U spend 6 days riding in the desert and I’ll bet trying something new would be very tempting.
  • 3 0
 @DirtbagMatt: We've been coming to the desert for over 20 years and it's not getting old yet... our thirst for variety seems to be satiated by the variety and contrasts of cultures, seasons, landscapes, and activities. It's crazy how much we still haven't seen, even in what we'd call our home town, never mind what we haven't seen as visitors to the desert sw.
  • 1 0
 @mtnmanjake: Fantastic! I miss it dearly. Used to spend a lot of time in Fruita and Moab in my CO days. Haven’t been back in years... Cry
  • 19 0
 Stop it. You make me regret my sensible life choices and make me dream back to the days I had very little money and a lot of time to use it.
  • 6 1
 ha! And here we are reminiscing about the days when we had more money lol
  • 18 0
 Definitely some 'Photo of the Year' contenders here!
  • 3 1
 Too Kind! Redface
  • 5 0
 Agreed! The photography is amazing, well done @mtnmanjake !
  • 3 0
 Thanks so much! The positive feedback has us on cloud nine! Grateful Salute
  • 12 0
 god damn what a photo journal. and littlest hobo FTW.
  • 2 1
 Thankfully we don't pull out the camera when we're stressed and crying lol Littlest hobo definitely hits all the feels... Grateful for the kind words Obee Salute
  • 8 0
 Top photos and top prose. I often can't read my way through a travel blog, but you stuck the right note between aspirational and collegiate; welcoming and wanderlust.
I'll work my way through the rest of your photos too. Top framing, (posing!) and post-prod skills.
Well done guys.
  • 1 1
 Grateful for the massive compliments!!! Have an amazing Tuesday Salute
  • 8 0
 Yep, that’s where I wanna’ be right about now.

(I’m lookin’ at you COVID-19 insanity.)
  • 5 1
 Self isolation is the only right thing to do Salute
  • 6 0
 Wow. Just wow. Taking the time to really think things over. I like your type of riding. I'll share some if you're back my way sometime.
  • 2 1
 Humbled! Truly means a ton Redface Hopefully we'll make it back up that way someday soon... it's been a couple years.
  • 4 0
 WOW if this doesn't get ya pumped up to get out and do some cool stuff. absolutely amazing!! I love riding virgin my favorite place probably. zion national park hands down i think is the coolest place. you've got me inspired for sure
  • 2 1
 Many Thanks Mike! The desert southwest is so amazing and diverse... definitely an incredible place to be and a wonderful climate to be living on wheels! Hope you're having a great start to the season Salute
  • 4 0
 This is excellent Jake! As always, the photos are next level and your story was on point. Thanks for including the hardships that go with this sort of lifestyle. There are so many "vanlife" vlogs that make this nomad life seem perfect...which of course its not. When you make it through the Loops, be sure to look me up!
  • 2 0
 Thanks Crisco! Glad the darker side came across... We're truly enjoying the experiences and lifestyle... but like anything there are two sides. The number of people around us that are really really struggling is tough on the mind, and I can't help but have some fears of it one day being us. Especially now with markets and job losses around the globe Eek
  • 4 0
 Very pretty pictures, looks like fun, but I know this lifestyle is not that cheap and nothing is free, so clearly you guys are working either from the road or in between jaunts. I looked for the deets on how you support this lifestyle but didn't see anything ....
  • 3 0
 Thanks Ben Beer Where we live (Canmore Alberta) is one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. Living nomadically is as cheap as people make it. We haven't mastered living cheap but we're slowly getting better and it's definitely been cheaper than the way we were living our lives stationary. I retired from a 25 year career in engineering and am trying to make a bit of money when we're home in Canada to offset some of the costs of living. I do a bit of photography, mtb instruction, and leading educational tours in the Canadian Rockies... scary times for me as with many people as my potential for income in 2020 is now largely on hold with covid-19 and markets aren't helping my retirement savings.
  • 2 0
 @mtnmanjake: I have a short bus, Promaster 118, so too small for full timing unless we tow a trailer, but certainly enough space for a week or two. My son and his girlfriend are living in a converted Econoline EXT while attending college in Utah, so far it's working out though during temperature extremes it can get uncomfortable.

My wife and I are both medical providers, I work in psychiatry, so once my wife is ready to be done in about five years, then I can work entirely on line and perhaps this will be our future ... though I'm not sure what to do with four dogs, two cats, ducks, and chickens Smile

Good to see folks getting out there and living the dream.
  • 5 0
 Some great writing and even better pics!! You got some bangers in there son!! And you better come up here and hang some time soon!! Free place to park for you!!
  • 3 1
 You’re far far too kind Joe Redface It’s tough to make life sound or look super interesting but we tried to gloss er up as best we could... We a bit constrained snowbirding... but fingers crossed one of these years we’ll visit the states in the summer again and have a chance to swing out your way Salute
  • 6 0
 It visits Heel or it gets the hose!!!!
  • 1 1
 and just like that I'm the proud owner of a new hose lol lol lol
  • 7 0
 Shared the article with non-biking friends and they enjoyed it. So nice!
  • 2 1
 That's awesome! Thanks tons for sharing it!!! And super stoked it resonates outside the mtb scene Beer
  • 6 0
 "hot springs... with amoeba that will eat your brain!" - that warrants more explanation!
  • 3 1
 Naegleria Fowleri is found in water bodies in america's desert southwest Salute
  • 7 0
 Great write up, and the photos are TOP NOTCH !!!
  • 2 1
 A million thanks! Salute
  • 3 0
 This is an amzing article, I made the choice to live in Whistler to ride bikes at its best...but winter is TOO long here! hahaha
One day i'll take the kids and wife to a road trip that could last for longer than a... month to start with ^^
thank you for the beautiful pictures guys ( the cave one is POY)

CHEERS
  • 2 0
 Thank you! Means a ton!!! Whis is where the magic happens... especially working in the industry it's the land of opportunity! There's tons of families on youtube doing Full Time RV Life... find one that resonates and start spamming the wife with video links lol Winter is incredible but don't think we realized how good the sun and warmth was for the mind and body until we tried this snow birding thing. Can't wait to adventure around more of this amazing planet Beer
  • 2 0
 @mtnmanjake: Can't wait to read about your new adventures!
Have fun!!! life's a chance YOLO >> Ride hard
  • 6 0
 Great photo journal. Writing skills on point too!
  • 1 1
 Much Appreciated Beer
  • 7 0
 This is just epic!
  • 2 1
 Oh my Redface Huge thanks!
  • 6 0
 Awesome, some great inspiration out there Smile
  • 1 1
 We're so inspired by the people around us! Stoked if we inspire some others too Salute
  • 5 0
 Dreamy stuff, nowhere else on the planet is so affordable to be bike nomad i think, enjoy it to the full, its my dream too!
  • 1 1
 We're grateful for every day we get to enjoy this lifestyle... we're spending a lot compared to so many people around us. we still need to learn to live cheaper! Go chase that dream Salute
  • 2 0
 Love the Vanlife myself, though recently outgrew ours and in the market for something larger taking turns getting dressed in the morning wasn't the most enjoyable. Spent three summers travelling with our business, spring and fall working seasonally, and taking winters off to recreate and escape the snow. My favorite part was riding right from the van out into the wild. Had the opportunity to ride so many different trails and places. Also, the perspective shift that happens when you go from city life to living on the roads and in the woods, things you thought were important are just not anymore.
  • 2 1
 Perspective shift is huge! Good luck with the search Jarrod Beer
  • 3 0
 All that and not one dad joke??? Lol
Cheers to you both (and the cat).
Congratulations on one year.
Thanks again for the rad shots in moab. Looking forward to hooking up this summer for some big mountain adventures.
  • 2 1
 There's one in there near the end... I wouldn't let ya down Salute Missing you down here! Wish you could teleport on down to join us.
  • 3 1
 @mtnmanjake: Dude. You had me at James Hetfield.
  • 3 1
 A few awesome quotes definitely polishes the turd lol
  • 1 0
 @mtnmanjake: I caught it, glad you were able to sneak it in!
  • 4 0
 Your Pictures are awesome, great memmories from August for me too (colorado / utah), keep up the Camera work !
Say hi if you visit / need a stay in europe some day.
  • 1 1
 We definitely can't wait to get back to Europe! Hopefully soon. If you make it to the Canadian Rockies in the future give me a shout... it would be great to get out for a ride!
  • 4 0
 Wow! Breathtaking! Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us. Takes living in a van down by the river to a whole new level.
  • 1 0
 Our pleasure! Massive thanks Beer There's a less pretty side to it, just don't take pictures of the uglier parts of life, and the balance scale so far has been more on the wonderful side Smile
  • 3 0
 Filling the tractor up and sowing wheat. Saw this and thought what the f*ck am I doing here...think I’ll park it up and go riding...
  • 1 1
 ha! And from this side of the world i'm thinking filling the tractor up and sowing wheat sounds like a wonderful way to make a living... with days off to go ride of course Salute
  • 1 0
 @mtnmanjake: yes mate it’s not bad...but not immune from what’s happening in the world - can’t buy bum fodder in the town I live in...very disappointed in my country this week, it’s like we’ve become a nation of doomsday preppers...
  • 2 1
 Keys to happiness - become Canadian citizen for healthcare, travel the world. I swear sometimes I feel like AZ gets invaded by as many snowbirds from Canada as snowbelt states, but all the Canadians are young and active. Hard to get them to spend money here, too.
  • 2 0
 Ease of travel around the world, until recent events, have definitely made adventuring awesome.

We def spent money in Arizon, Nevada, Utah and California... pictures of resorts, hotels, restaurants, and gas stations wasn’t really relevant to the story though lol
  • 2 1
 @mtnmanjake: Glad to hear it. I sometimes worry that Canadians take advantage of our warmer states but don't contribute as much to the economy. Jealous of your healthcare flexibility, though!
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: we're definitely grateful for our health care! But even for us it's not as dreamy as sometimes perceived. Generally speaking a Canadian needs to buy medical insurance if they're going to be out of the country for more than two or three weeks and travel medical is expensive. Part of the reason we flew home was to reset our travel medical... what we saved in travel medical by going home for a bit, more or less offset the costs of going home lol
  • 3 0
 What a great read and photo experience. The quality is top notch and please let Tracy know that the perfect PMBIA knees and torso angles were noted in those ride shots!
  • 1 0
 HA! Thanks so much Jeff :cheers: We ride slow so there's lots of time to think about where all our body parts are... and only gotta get the technique right for the tiniest moment in time at 11 frames per second Redface
  • 5 0
 Amazing. Just amazing.
  • 2 1
 Overwhelmed Redface Thank you Beer
  • 4 0
 Damn, amazing photos and life!!
  • 3 1
 Thanks so much! Life isn't always as awesome as glossy photos makes it look... but we're doing our best Salute
  • 4 0
 Awesome, awesome photos. Well done.
  • 1 1
 Very much appreciated!
  • 3 0
 Beautiful write up and even more beautiful photos. You are very fortunate to do this. I envy you.
  • 2 1
 Thanks so very much! Don't be too envious... it's awesome but it's still life with ups and downs, stress and anxiety, and bills... if only we could run away from those damn bills lol lol lol
  • 2 0
 That was awesome Jake, as usually great photos, but who knew you were such a great writer? Also glad you snuck the "sandwiches" dad joke in there!
  • 2 0
 Thanks man Beer If jakejokesdotcom is ever gonna be a thing I need to keep the dad jokes flowing lol I’m working on the words and images skills... still works in progress Redface
  • 3 0
 Rad Jake!!! Awesome post!
  • 2 1
 Thanks tons my friend! Hopefully we'll catch you and the fam jam hanging at the resorts this year Salute
  • 3 0
 Damn Jake, you guys are doing it right man! Much respect.
  • 2 1
 Very much appreciated! Not sure we're doing anything right, just trying something different. Who knows, we might be totally blowing it Eek
  • 3 0
 The La Sals Mountain high point is Mt Peale at 12,7xx.
  • 2 0
 Yup... it’s a typo but I don’t have powers to edit a published article... Good catch Salute
  • 2 0
 Try the east coast next awesome bugs and humidity but the muddy trails make up for that
  • 1 0
 HA! lol We were definitely surprised by how little of the desert southwest stays consistently warm and we've already talked about having to check out the east coast in future years to keep the excitement of new discoveries going. With your glowing recommendation maybe we'll just dig deeper on the west side lol
  • 1 1
 Awesome piece! Minor correction: there is no peak in the La Sals that reaches 14,000 feet. They fall quite short, with the tallest (Mt. Peale) being 12,721.

Thanks for sharing!
  • 1 0
 Oh man... reading this...from my desk at work...Great read, really great read...so ready to hit the eject button, buy a bigger van and just go lol
  • 1 0
 That was a refreshing read and inspiring capture of some amazing places and experiences. Thanks for sharing your nectar chase! Maybe some local journeys this summer?
  • 2 0
 Well done Jake, living the dream.
  • 1 1
 We're just going bankrupt faster than you lol Thanks Darcy! Much appreciated Salute Hopefully you and the mrs can get out in the van a bunch this summer!
  • 2 0
 huge props. Amazing article.
  • 3 0
 Truly appreciated! Grateful that it's been received well here... twas a bit scary to put something out there that doesn't have sizeable airs motion pictures and a slayer soundtrack Redface
  • 1 0
 "If anyone is listening, an airy line from Gooseberry Point to the JEM network would be legendary."

Ha!
  • 1 0
 Read every word. Looked at every photo. Can't say I do that too often. Really cool! Glad you're enjoying yourselves ????????
  • 1 0
 Thanks so very much Salute
  • 1 0
 You may be cool, but you will never be as cool as the guy unicycling down a mountain cool?
  • 1 0
 Fact!
  • 1 0
 JJ - Good to catch up on your "retirement". Amazing photos and story telling my friend!
  • 1 0
 Thanks Greg! Apologies for the delayed reply... we got shuffled out of Moab and into Canada and have been in isolation for a about 11 days now. Hope you’re doing well and taking care of the fam. Looking forward to a fresh new world when we emerge Salute
  • 1 0
 Great article, Jake. Congrats on your first year of being homeless.
  • 1 0
 Many thanks Bill! We’ve settled into isolation here in Canada and looking forward to better days Salute
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