I was told there would be no winter in San Diego…

I’ve been staying on the boat now for about 5 nights. Each night I sleep aboard, I hear a new noise, I learn something new about the boat and I get a little bit more adjusted to my new space. The past couple of nights, with the exception of last night, I learned that it can get pretty cold in the marina on a boat with no heater… Since I am bascially camping, I’m not sure why that didn’t dawn on me. But it finally did when I woke up in the middle of the night with my dog begging for entry into the blankets and with me shivering like I’d just walked a mile in the frozen tundra. Yesterday afternoon, i fixed that little problem. I picked up an electric indoor space heater, set it on the navigation station, set it on low and let it run. That provided plenty of heat through the night and into the morning. 35 dollar fix! Making it sooo much easier to climb out of from under the warmth of the covers.

I am surprised at how much space there is aboard this boat. It’s really incredible. I packed nearly all of my kitchen from my apartment into the galley on the boat. Granted, I don’t have a LOT of dishes and/or pots and pans but I have enough that I could comfortably cook and entertain 8, and it all fit on the boat. Amazing.

Today I’m working on finding an efficient way to stow my clothes so that they stay clean, and dry. 🙂 It shouldn’t be much of a challenge unless we get a ton of rain. It takes a little creativity and some spatial recognition to figure out how to make it all fit but its totally doable!

All a man needs…

“All a man needs is good rum, a good dog and a good boat” Not sure who ‘actually’ said that but I’m using it! Hahaha!

Today I  finalized the deal on the boat and took possession of it. I’ve renamed it from “Riches to Rags” to “Latro”.  Latro apparently has many, many meanings, of those meanings a few stuck out (highway robber, Bandit, Mercenary), but none of those actually suited me…at least not yet! One of the other meanings is Nomad. I chose that name for obvious reasons (for those of you that actually know me). Being this is a new chapter in my life, a new life style and something that keeps me mobile the name seemed fitting.

Tonight is the first night on Latro. I spent a couple of hours this afternoon getting familiar with all the little nooks and crannies the boat has to offer in terms of storage, tried to get a solid understanding of the breaker panel and how to check to see if the boat is leaking…or sinking. 😐 Fortunately, there are no leaks and it does not appear to be sinking, so I think we are off to a good start.

Rubio, my faithful dog, is taking his first steps onto the boat. He was literally more nervous about walking the docs at the marina than he is about being on the boat. That may chance when we take it out sailing…in any case, he’s super comfy now. I brought along his little dog bed, a couple of his toys and some treats to help him have some kind of personal connection. He seems to be doing just fine.

Rubio didn’t get any rum…he is to young.



3 years already?

So, I guess its been a while since I’ve updated this…nearly 3 years? A lot has happened since then. I’ll try to briefly recap the time gone by, then update on my latest adventure.

I left Bend, OR. with the intention of making my way to Colorado. I remember as i was crossing into Utah along the way that I really didn’t feel like going all the way to Colorado. So as was crossing the state line, I took the first exit off of the highway and headed back toward Oregon. I made it to Newport and stayed there for about 6 or 7 months. While I was there I rented a place and sold my RV and trailer.

It was a good stay, I started working out at the local gym and really getting into good shape. Though I really did like it there, the travel I needed to do for work was getting pretty difficult as the closest airport to Newport is in Eugene, OR. and its about a 90-minute drive (on the best day) to hop a flight. When the Oregon Ducks are playing, well, IF you can get a flight, they are double and triple the price. The next option is Portland, that’s 3hrs one way from Newport.

While I was doing all the business travel, one of my trips landed me in San Diego, CA. I really liked the area and made a couple of trips down there. On the last trip, I planned to stay a couple of extra days over the weekend to try to find an apartment. I found one and set up shop in San Diego. The place I rented was a one room place above a residential garage. A ttwo burner hot plate, microwave, a dorm style fridge and a murphy bed… pretty tiny but it was a good place to be for the price.

I was there for about 8 months. I left because my landlord was starting to involve me in his domestic issues and trying to borrow money for booze. I decided I could find a better place, sI i located a spot downtown and moved it. It was awesome, 1br, 1ba place in the heart of the city. So convenient to the airport, groceries, and restaurants. It really was great. I was there for 1 year. I ended up moving out because the rent I was paying was pretty high, and when my lease renewed it went up nearly 8% which pushed it way outside of my threshold for peace. 🙂

I moved into a place about 10mins from downtown, still in San Diego. I’ve been in this place now for 13 months in March. It is a great little place with a garage included. Though I found out after asking the main office in October, they are raising the rent when my lease term is up. Apparently, this is the latest craze in rental property ownership. Whatever, I can’t seem to get my head around paying the amount that they are asking.

With the news of the pending increase, I decided to look at all of my options. I thought initially it would be a good idea to just buy a place. I contacted a realtor here and toured a ton of properties. Finally found one and put in an offer. When the appraisal was completed on the place, the value came back at less than the asking price for the property.  I offered the seller the full price that came back from the appraisal, but they refused to come down and rejected my offer. So I backed out of the deal.

I took a couple of weeks to think about my next move and what other options I had. I still though that buying a place was the right answer. I spent countless hours scouring the web for properties in all of the western states. I researched income tax rates, sales tax rates, property taxes, as well as other living expenses and made a list of places that I was interested in, then started looking at properties in those states.

I chose Nevada (Reno and Vegas), Washington state, Oregon, and California. I even considered moving back to the midwest near Chicago or even in Atlanta. No matter where I looked, nothing felt right. The values on the homes were inflated, the areas weren’t right…etc. I just couldn’t get a good ‘gut feeling’ for a place.  I then repeated the same process in looking for apartments to rent instead of homes to buy. Same result. I just couldn’t seem to find a place that I liked and made sense.

Next, I considered moving back into an RV. There again, I just couldn’t seem to find the right one, or RV parks that were priced right in the areas that I considered RV’ing to. I knew that the leasing office was going to need my decision by the end of February and all of the effort I put into considering the ‘next place’ led me to the end of December.

At Christmas, my brother Jason, came out to visit for a couple of weeks. Recent life events have placed him in a favorable position to pursue some of his dreams, of those dreams, he is planning on purchasing a sailboat and sailing around the world. While he was here, he and I decided to look at some boats to get an idea of what he can expect when its time to buy one. As we started looking, it started dawning on me. “hey, you could actually do this too…” So, he and I talked about it, I tried to understand all the pros and cons associated with a decision like that and got back on the googles to research. 🙂 I checked slip fees, types of boats, costs, how-to’s etc… and decided that this is the right thing for me.

I’m not in a position to sail around the world right now, however, all the info I researched showed me that if I did decide to live on a sailboat in San Diego I could do it for 1/2 the cost of what I am currently paying for rent and even less than the proposed rent amount if I renew my lease. So I really started digging in and getting serious about finding the ‘right boat, in the right harbor’. I found one and am a couple of days away from actually owning it. I will be renting a slip in the Chula Vista Marina (cvmarina.com) and living aboard the boat.

Today, I did the sea trials and had a surveyor come out and check it all out. Those guys are great, he checked every square inch of the boat. Then we took it out of the harbor to get it hauled out of the water. This is so they can check the hull, prop, and paint to see if there are any issues or maintenance required. It all checked out, no issues at all! We put it back in the water and headed back for the marina. We put up the sails, ran the engine, ran the auto pilot and just generally sailed. I was at the helm and alternated between that and running the rigging, truly a blast! I’d never sailed before so it is all new to me. It seems to be coming to me very quickly though.

I’d never sailed before so it is all new to me. It seems to be coming to me very quickly though. I just can’t believe how excited I get when I hear those sails starting to catch wind as the main is raised and the jib is unfurled. Incredible! The feel of the wheel and rudder as the wind pushes the boat along… its been along time since I’ve had that kind of exhilaration. I simply love it! As I learn more, do more, experience more I’ll update this blog for anyone still following. After 3 years, I would actually be surprised if anyone is – hahaha! Here she is… 34′ Hunter. 4 berths, 1 aft (sleeps 2), 1 vberth(sleeps 2), one at the sette(sleeps 2) and one in the salon (sleeps 1). If you are doing the math, thats room enough for 7 down below.

As I learn more, do more, experience more I’ll update this blog for anyone still following. After 3 years, I would actually be surprised if anyone is – hahaha! Here she is… 34′ Hunter. 4 berths, 1 aft (sleeps 2), 1 vberth(sleeps 2), one at the sette(sleeps 2) and one in the salon (sleeps 1). If you are doing the math, thats room enough for 7 down below.


So come on out and visit – we’ll go sailing!

Going coastal

The other day I left the RV to go for a walk. I was planning on going to one of the national parks around Bend that have trails through the mountain wilderness. As I was getting ready to go, the image of the coast came flashed through my mind. So instead of packing a backpack for a few hour hike, I packed an over night bag and headed to the coast. Its about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Bend to Newport. I left around 3p and got into town right around 7p. The sun was shining and the ocean was beautiful! IMG_3049 IMG_3051I drove over Thursday afternoon and I’m headed back to Bend this morning. It was really a fantastic stay!


Its about time…right? :-)

So, its been a couple of weeks since I posted last. The previous RV park I was in didn’t have good wifi, and I was forced to use my personal hotspot. I saved most all of my data plan for work. Since I’ve moved on across the country, further west and landed in an RV park that has superb wifi! I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide a catch up, update.

I visited a couple of more places in Tucson before I left, I like that area of the country and I’ll probably go back at some point. One of the places I visited was called San Xavier Mission. They call it the white dove of the desert. it is such a beautiful place. Its been around since the late 1700’s and is still very much in service today. Walking through the mission I could just feel the energy there – such a powerful place and amazing that its still going after such a long time. I took a few pics, but I think the ones on the website are a little better. 🙂 You can read more about it here:  http://www.sanxaviermission.org/History.html

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Another place I checked out before I left was Ironwood Forest National Monument. There was a lot of wildlife but none that I could capture on camera. Its hard to stop the motorcycle, get my phone out and snap a shot of anything, let alone a moving animal! 🙂 I did see a road runner and a coyote within a few minutes of each other and laughed to myself because I immediately thought of Looney Tunes – that coyote STILL can’t catch the road runner! hahahaha! I snapped a few shots of the area though as I happened to catch the desert in bloom.

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I left Tucson on Easter Sunday. I’m not sure if being in this RV is a good thing for me or not because that day I got a wild hair and said…”hmm, maybe I should go to Oregon.” So, around 10a Sunday morning, I started packing my gear, unhooked all my tethers (electric/water etc…) loaded the bike and pickup and off I went!

I stopped off in Las Vegas and had dinner with a good friend of mine, Mike Simone, got all caught up with him and continued down the road. I drove about 2 hours past Vegas and pulled in for the night. The next morning I fueled up and continued on to Oregon.

The trip wasn’t without its problems. In fact, at this point I’d be surprised if it was without issues. In California I blew out one tire on the trailer I’m pulling, that caused the trailer to swing wildly back and forth behind the RV. I happened to look back as the tire blew, all of the sudden, blue smoke and the next instant lots and lots of pieces of my tire peppering my fellow motorists. I bet they were happy to share in the experience. I’m sure at least two of them were cause one of them waived (middle finger) and another honked repeatedly.  Those folks in California sure are friendly.

Anyway, I stopped as soon as I could get over in on a section of the road that actually had a shoulder, during the time I was looking for a slowing down and looking for a spot the trailer was still swaying, this caused the car plate (the area of the trailer where the front tires of my truck sit) to get bent so badly out of shape that it almost ripped it off of the trailer. I finally got stopped and reluctantly exited the RV to go assess the damage and found what I’ve just described. In addition to that, I checked out the other tire and found it was in pretty bad shape too and would likely blow before long. It must have gotten pretty torn up with all the back and forth the trailer was doing. When the tire blew it bent up the fender on the trailer, tore off the tail light and sent the trailers license plate either into outer space or through a vortex into another dimension. I looked up and down the highway risking my life (literally) looking for the plate…I managed to find the mangled piece of tail light, but sadly, no plate.

I called Les Schwab as they were the closest to my location. They sent a truck, and another tire. I had a spare but I wanted that other tire replaced too since I had I all the ‘fun’ I could stand when the first tire blew. 🙂 The Les Schwab guy was really cool, and got me back on the road in about an hour. The car plate on the trailer was still bent, welds were busted and it was literally held on by a single bolt. Albeit a big bolt, it wasn’t much in comparison to the weight I’m pulling. I limped it to the next town going north, Dunnigan California, and pulled into a truck stop there. By the time I got there it was about 7p so I spent the night in the parking lot of the truck stop. The next morning I found an RV park that was only about a mile away so I moved my rig over there , worked most of the day then got in touch with a welder that fixed my trailer up again. 170 dollars later (not bad considering what it could have cost if I lost my stuff) and I was road ready again! The remaining 500 miles were surprisingly and thankfully uneventful.



IMG_2970 IMG_2973 IMG_2974Well, almost. I’m in Bend, Oregon currently. I unloaded my truck and left the bike on the trailer. I went cruising around town to see what has changed since 1998 (a lot has). As I was driving around my water temp gauge started climbing and the truck was heating up, I could smell coolant too. Good news! I will not be bored, more issues abound!!! How fan-freaking-tastic! HAHAHAHA!!! I was close to the RV park so I just limped my truck back there and called a mechanic. He came and looked at it and it turns out the manifold sprung a leak. The truck has about 160k miles on it and after doing some reading I confirmed what he said in that this sort of thing happens with this year of truck between 130k and 160k miles. Well hallelujah!! I hit the top end of that spectrum! 🙂 I also read that the water pump goes around this time too. The mechanic took the truck to his shop, before he left I asked him to replace the water pump and hoses too, maybe I’ll get ahead of an issue for a change? Yeah right…I’m not holding my breath.

All of that said (rant included) I am thankful overall. No one was hurt, I didn’t lose any of my things and it didn’t cost nearly as much as it could have so I am truly fortunate in that respect. Additionally, I’ve been blessed with some incredible scenery along the way. The fresh mountain air, the crisp fragrant smell of the the pine tress in the high desert of Oregon is really breath taking. Despite the issues I encountered getting here, its all small stuff really and truly water under the bridge. 🙂 I’m in a very Nice RV park, with solid wifi and a quiet serene setting. Not sure how long I’ll be here, maybe a couple of weeks, maybe more but I plan to enjoy as much of it as I can…well, once I get my truck back! 🙂

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Stars in the desert

I really wish I had some pictures of what I witnessed last night. Unfortunately the iPhone isn’t very good at all with night time photography. I took my truck out to a place in the desert away from the city lights, and really away from anything, parked it, unrolled my sleeping bag in the back of the truck and watched the moon and stars last night.

I can’t believe the amount of stars that can be seen out here. Shooting stars, satellites passing overhead, it really was a fantastic site. I think the next time I go out to do that I’ll try to pick a time where there isn’t a moon, that should bring the stars out even more!

Making Lemmons into a mountain?

Mount Lemmon is one of the more popular areas around Tucson. I took a drive up there yesterday and was really amazed the change in scenery as I ascended in elevation. It goes from cactus to trees in such a short time, pretty cool stuff. The road to the top is about 27 miles and it goes from roughly 800 feet to a little more than 8000 feet in elevation. Some of the views are really amazing. There is a ski resort and a residential community at the top of the mountain too. I’ll probably make another trip up there before I leave. Enjoy the pictures!

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Finished the day with a steak and a beer. Perfect!

Finished the day with a steak and a beer. Perfect!

Totally Tucson!

I’ve been in Tucson for 6 days. I’m staying in a nice RV park thats very inexpensive and close to most everything. I have spent most of my time, this week, working and catching up from being on vacation the week before. I have been able to get out and about a couple of times and now that I’m all caught up I should be able to get out a little more this week. The other day I took a motorcycle ride out to the Sonoran Desert National Monument. What a fantastic place! Prior to this trip that I have embarked upon; when I thought of the desert, I thought of a barren wasteland with very little to offer other than scorching sun and no water…maybe a few cacti – what I am finding is that there is a whole different world. So many plant and animal species that live in this place, it is truly incredible! I keep trying to catch some of this wildlife with my camera but I’ve not been successful so far, I’ll keep at it! 🙂

Here are some pics of the ride – I have to say riding through terrain like this is something that will stick with me the rest of my life.

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Planted in Tucson

The trailer has been repaired. The updated hitch coupler is commercial grade, if I have troubles with this one I’ll have more than a run away trailer to worry about!


I loaded up everything yesterday afternoon, took a shower and relaxed until around 9:30, I tried to go to sleep but was antsy. So, I unhooked everything (power/water/sewer etc…) loaded up and drove from Deming, NM to Tucson, AZ. I left around 10:30p and arrived about four hours later. I stayed over night in a truckstop and then moved the RV to a park this morning.

I’ll be staying here for the next month, that should give me some time to do a lot of exploring around the area and figure out where I want to go next. If anyone is in the area, give me a call or shoot me an email. Visitors are always welcome!