Ive made it out of California and am now deep into this adventure.  I am currently in Austin Texas and to be honest, I did not think I would be spending so much time here, but what a state to get lost in.  So what have I been up to since January?

Where we last left I was rooted in Slab City California.  During my stay there I met a woman (Jenn) and her dog (Harley) in the hot springs who is also a van dweller and we hit it off and decided to start traveling together.  We visited Joshua Tree and then made our way to San Diego to see the Pacific Ocean.  After spending a week there soaking up the sun and the fresh air, we headed East.  I finally got my convoy of awesome started and one thing I have learned is that the right people are worth traveling with.  Life is simply easier with good people.

 

 

We had a really great drive and visited a few places in Arizona and we definitely fell in love with the mountains out there.  New Mexico was another incredible state to wander around in.  We spent a little time up in Gila National Monument and took advantage of the hot springs and cheap camping in the canyon.  It was freezing by the way, our bathing suits were frozen in frost in the morning.  New Mexico definitely had an incredible portfolio of views to offer us and honestly did not want to leave.

Jenn and I parted ways north of Albuquerque so she could make her way up to Minnesota.  I traveled with a Navy guy for a few days before he deployed again.  I then took off to see my Grandma in Hobbs for a week where I built up my van!  Thats right, Grady got an upgrade and it really feels like home.

 

 

After a week in Hobbs I made my way to San Antonio to meet back up with Jenn and her sister.  We did the River Walk and San Antonio is as beautiful as it was when I was there for bootcamp in 2003.  From there we head to Corpus Christi to get some beach time.  The weather was still too cold for the beach and we head West towards Big Bend National Park.  We spend time along the Rio Grand and I discover that Texas is a goldmine for random fishing spots.  I left Jenn in Big Bend and I went camping along the numerous free camp sites right on fishable water access.  My catch so far:

  • 1 Beer Can
  • 1 Wash Cloth
  • 1/2 of a fishing pole
  • 2 small Smallmouth Bass
  • 1 very small Crappie

I wandered over to Austin which is the city I really wanted to dive into.  I met with a hasher friend and checked out a few of the local breweries: Live Oak and Hops and Grain.  I definitely recommend both but my favorite was Live Oak.  They have a disk-golf course and the best Hefeweizen Ive had to this date.  I also got to hash with AH3 and these guys totally delivered an awesome trail with plenty of beer and false trails.

My favorite spot:

Definitely taking the cake, my favorite discovery in Austin is Bartoncreek Beltway.  Its just a beautiful natural park that features hiking and an awesome river.  This place attracts really awesome people and making new friends was very easy.  I also got to get some long exposures done.  Yay productivity.  Also, theres a spot for diving off of the landing.

 

Where Im Headed

West to get some time alone in the desert before head East towards Jacksonville Fl to meet up with friends on the East Coast.  It is really going to be a great summer.  These past three months have been an incredible ride.  I am grateful for how this lifestyle grows you as an individual.  Life simply does not stop and the best part of this is that the freedom remains.  You choose to be where you are right now.  Forget whatever reason you can come up with for not pursuing whatever it is that you want to do.  People come and go in your life and so do opportunities.  Society has us too hooked on comfort.  Growth comes from hard times and adversity.  Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable more often.  This week I challenged myself to sitting in a cold river.

I leave you with this Vice documentary on Wim Hof.