Thousand Trails Whalers Rest: Your Beach Is Right This Way

Greetings from Whalers Rest, in semi-sunny Oregon! We’ve been on the road for over a year now. (I know, right?) During that time, we haven’t done much “trip reporting.” It just sort of seemed out of the scope of what I was doing on Misdirected. Not to mention the fact that my posting schedule has been…erratic, shall we say?

However, with my personal commitment to getting the Nomad Road website off the ground (coming Real Soon Now), I’ve started messing around with the idea. What, I asked myself, would an ideal trip report look like? Would it be straight Campendium style reviews about how level sites were and how clean the bathrooms are? Or would it be more…experiential, shall we say? More about what it is like being at the campground than nuts and bolts details that are already being provided by so many other providers.

Then we spent a few weeks here at Whaler’s Rest, outside Newport Oregon, and I had my answer.

Home Sweet Mobile Home

I’ve written a lot about Oregon, both in my fiction and here at Misdirected. Nothing prepared me for the reality of it.

I’ve been exposed to lots of Oregon residents talking trash about their home. Some talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder. Others mention that the rain never stops. They say the winters are awful.

Clever devils. I had no idea that they were attempting to keep us outsiders from discovering how amazing this place really is.

Whaler’s Rest RV Resort sits just South of Newport, Oregon, on the Oregon coast. And I mean, like right on the coast – our campsite is about 250 yards from the beach in a straight line. Following the walking path takes maybe half a mile. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Stella in her home slot
Good thing we like trees.

Yeah, that’s us. Completely surrounded by trees on three sides, on top of a hill looking back toward the Pacific. Full disclosure – there are so many trees here that you can only catch occasional glimpses of the ocean. But you can hear the waves pretty much 100% of the time. It is amazing and therapeutic.

The Greenest of Them All

The lily pond at Whalers Rest
The Reflect-a-Lily Pond

So, Oregon. No matter where you look, you are going to see water, like the gorgeous lily pond sheltered below the clubhouse on the North side of the park. Most of these roads, and many of the sites, are hard-packed dirt and gravel. That means one thing: mud. If you don’t have them already, get yourself some rain gear and especially water-resistant footwear. Melissa went so far as to get herself trendy forest green Wellingtons.

We stayed here three weeks, and it was a rare day when we didn’t see the sun at all. I think maybe three days that were perpetually overcast, and remember this is in the tail end of winter – February through early March. The idea I had of the state being perpetually foggy and gloomy was just not even close to realistic. And if you don’t mind a little rain, there is nothing preventing you from layering up and heading out into the world anyway. There’s a reason that the flannel shirt seems to be the state item of clothing.

The park infrastructure is pretty typical for Thousand Trails. You’ve got a laundry room, some aging but functional bathhouses, and a bunch of park amenities that no one has been able to use for a year. Thanks, COVID. About ten to fifteen percent of the sites are long-term leases. The surrounding forest gives an amazing amount of privacy between sites, something we loved. The staff is amazingly friendly and helpful, and the park’s two halves are secured behind code-locked gates.

Speaking of the two halves…

A Tale of Two Parks

Slot 8, just inside the front gate
Level cement slab, deck, and fire ring. We’re going to ask for this one next time we show up.

This view of Slot #8, just inside the front gate here at Whalers Rest gives you a great view of what to expect. This is our favorite site, with the integrated deck, concrete pad, table, and fire ring.

It’s also a great place to talk about the “two sides” of the park. Whalers Rest is cut into two halves, a North Section and a South section. Upon arrival, you’ll be directed to take a look around and choose your site. (Most Thousand Trails campgrounds follow this policy, rather than assigning sites.) If you choose the South side, you’ll get slots like the one pictured above: concrete pad, up to 50-amp power, usually a table, and a fire pit in front of the landing spot for your rig.

However, what you won’t have is cellular service or WIFI.

In order to remain connected to the universe at large, you’ll need to move to the North section of the park. There the sites are a little more secluded, a little more tree-surrounded, and a lot more covered in cell service and Free Wifi (as of March 2021, anyway.) You pays your money and you makes your choice.

We tried both sides. I initially fell in love with a site at the far South end of the park, right next to the trail to the beach. I lasted four whole days. After getting tired of my endless bitching about no cell service and no wifi, Melissa had us hitch up and move to the North Side, into the slot pictured above. I not only loved staying connected, but I loved the view and the sound of the ocean as well. Walking a little more is a health benefit anyway.

Speaking of walking…

Right This Way

Beach Sign Whalers Rest
Following This…
Path to the beach
…leads you to this.

Like most Thousand Trails resorts, Whalers Rest incorporates a “Walk The Trails” walking trail which meanders around the park for a mile, enabling fitness enthusiasts to keep track of daily mileage.

However, if you start off at the sign (pictured above) at the South end of the park, you can instead walk through a tree-lined copse into an explosion of Oregon greenery. Now, remember, I’m from Northern New Mexico – I have seen trees before. But the green here is everywhere. Birds talk to each other and furry creatures scamper through the underbrush, driving my dog to distraction. And this is in February, mind you. Back home, if it isn’t a pine tree, it is bare of leaves and greenery in winter – skeletal branches reaching for the sky in a mute supplication, begging for Spring to arrive.

The path wanders around for at best half a mile, leading you to the side of the Pacific Coast Highway, the fabled “101”. And, despite what I have read on many other reviews about the park, this is no 6-lane monstrosity with packed cars whizzing by at upwards of 80 miles an hour.

This is a two-lane road, with very sparse traffic, with drivers usually going well under the speed limit so they can gaze at the ocean. The longest we had to wait to cross the road safely during our stay here was about thirty seconds. Dart across the road, and you’ve arrived here:

The Lost Creek Horizon

Lost Creek Park Waves
Lost Creek State Park

This is the real reason you want to stay at Whalers Rest, in my opinion. You are never further than fifteen minutes walking distance from Lost Creek State Park, and its gorgeous public beach.

I should mention here – through some miracle of legislation, all of Oregon’s beaches are public. That’s right – unlike California, all 362 miles of Oregon coastline are 100% public use lands. And the numerous state parks provide parking, access, even public facilities like restrooms. (Though curtailed during the age of COVID, many of these restrictions are being eased and lifted as I write this.)

These aren’t exactly crystalline sunbather’s paradises, mind you. While we were here the average ocean temperature was under 40 degrees F. Instead, these beaches are populated by sea life, beachcombers, crabbers and clammers, and the ever-present driftwood:

Driftwood
The ocean creates fabulous art

While here I tried to make it down to the shoreline at least every three days. But, every single day, from some vantage point in the park, I was able to stop and just stare at the Pacific. I can’t seem to get enough of it, and would (and will) return here in a heartbeat for more “ocean therapy.”

Whalers Rest – add it to your “must visit” list if you have any love at all for nature, hiking, and especially the ocean. Maybe skip it if you don’t like rain or trees.

I’m On To You, Oregon,

  • Jeremy

Who Tells Your Story

On July 3, 2020, Disney released Hamilton on its streaming service, Disney+.

By July 7 I had watched it 5 and a half times.

So, yes, ok, one could write me off as yet another semi-obsessed #Hamilfan. And, to a certain degree, I am. (a three-hour musical 5.5 times in 4 days, amiright?)

But there was also something deeper existing below my Lin-Manuel Miranda worship. I’ve been trying to get my head around it for months. All while wandering around the RV humming “Satisfied” under my breath.

History is Relative

I’ve been watching the “discussion” around Hamilton since I was introduced to the musical by my nephew in 2016. For every 100 fans, it seems, there is one totally disgruntled critic. Some have hated the fact that non-white characters are not featured in any way in the show. (Mind you, all major characters are played by persons of color.) Others get pissed that LMM has written a story that “glorifies” the founding fathers into larger-than-life titans.

My gut reaction is this: get over yourselves, guys, It’s a musical. LMM was under no obligation to spin the storyline to fit your personal desire for a narrative. Rice and Weber included Che Guevara in Evita though the two never met in real life. It is theater. If you don’t like it, write your own damn musical.

But, speaking as an amateur historian, these critics fail to grasp the concept that ALL history is revisionist, by nature. “History is written by the victors” as the saying goes. No, you are not seeing a musical about Cato, Hercules Mulligan’s personal slave who was integral to the revolutionary intelligence operation. But you’re also not seeing a “true” depiction of Aaron Burr, or George Washington, or even Hamilton himself, for goodness’ sake. You’re watching LMM’s interpretation of Alex Chernow’s book about Hamilton which, though written by a reputable historian, still can only be based on the sources who bothered to write things down, and is further colored by those authors’ perceptions.

Oddly, this is something that the musical nails right on the head, frequently throughout its length – we have no control over our legacy, because it is created ultimately by thse who remember us.

And this is the burr under my saddle, the thing that kept me watching the musical over and over again while doing other things: who, exacly, will be my “biograhers?”

Unwitnessed

“Curious is the trap-maker’s art,” intones a line from the video game Darkest Dungeon, “his efficacy unwitnessed by his own eyes.”

So, too, is the legacy after our lives – we have no clue what we are leaving behind us.

A legacy is a curious thing. For many people, their contribution to life will be their families – the sons and daughters that survive when they are gone. Others write books, or build edifices, or, like LMM, write musicals that people will probably still be humming along to a hundred years from now.

Hamilton stops me in my tracks because it leaves me with serious questions about what I am leaving behind me.

For years after my initial diagnosis with epilepsy I suffered from suicidal ideation – I wanted quite seriously to kill myself.  My quality of life was horrible, and every good thing in my life had been ripped away from me, including my ability to communicate. I managed to push through it, but my family and my therapist can tell you that at times it was a very close thing.

See, it wasn’t that I thought that I was unimportant to those that love me. It is that I thought I wasn’t important enough.

I walked up to the abyss and stared down many times. It wasn’t until I was challenged to “push the edges of the box” as I’ve recorded here before that I began to come around.

Now, having survived past my 50th birthday (which I was originally told I wouldn’t see), I began to wonder about what lies forward from here. What, exactly, can I say I am leaving behind me when I am no longer here?

The Comparison Fallacy

Like most of us, I tend to derive most of my self-worth from comparison to those around me. Oh, we say we don’t, but in the end we do – how else can one evaluate ones’ existence as a human being without using other humans as a yardstick? I appear to be a towering intellect when compared to Delilah, my dog. (Though I have owned one dog that was much smarter than I was.)

I spent the first half of my adult life trying to compare myself to the titans of my childhood – my father the scientist, my uncle the master musician, and my father’s Dad the war hero. If I could manage to follow in their footsteps, I thought, I’d be doing ok.

But I never became a father, quickly turning that comparison into a non-starter. Then, in my 30s, epilepsy struck, and I found myself trying to be smarter than the average bedpost, and failing the comparison more often than not.

By the time I got relatively stable again, I was in my 40s. I still required near-constant care from my wife to overcome my issues with memory and critical thinking. (These thankless tasks she still performs to this day.) But I was able to begin evaluating again – what, exactly, was I bringing to the table as a person? What value, ultimately, was I providing to the planet I had decided to stick around on after overcoming my tendencies toward self-destruction?

The Artists Quandry

I tried so many things. I tried being an advocate for others with mental disabilities. Since I could not have children of my own I tried being a foster parent. I worked hard at being a better family member than I had been for the first few decades of my life.

Ultimately, I had to settle on that most vacuous of pastimes – art. I was no longer a musician, but I slowly taught myself to write. For a period I wrote every single day, just to prove to myself that I could. This evolved into this blog, which turned into ghostwriting, which eventually turned into creating a novel.

I should have been proud of my accomplishment. Instead, it left me grasping after how inadequate I felt for writing something that was “not important.”

And herein lies the problem – how does anyone determine what art is “important?”

Back to the Lin Manuel Miranda problem – he’s already produced two Tony Award-winning musicals, won Grammys, and a Pulitzer Prize.

Homeboy is TEN YEARS YOUNGER than me. Admittedly, I had about a decade in there in which it was a serious accomplishment to finish a sentence but, still – LMM was 28 when his first Tony-award-winning musical came out.

At 28 I was a lead singer in a cover band, racking up astronomical equipment bills and bar tabs.

So, even without the handicap angle, obviously, I was not making anywhere close to the same kind of contributions.

Running Out of Time

A common theme through Hamilton is that the main character is always doing things as if he was “running out of time.” – resulting in his huge volume of correspondence, political theory, and economic designs which still form the underpinnings of our national economy today.

Now, I am not trying to say that I should be producing a legacy anything like one of our founding fathers, or even one of the greatest artists of our generation. (fight me.)

But, it is quite sobering to look at one’s volume of work and see…not much. One novel and a handful of articles, mostly about video games and weight loss.

Thus, I am haunted by Hamilton – if LMM quits today, his legacy is secure.

if I quit today, I am not sure anyone beyond my immediate family will even notice I am gone.

I say this not in an effort to receive  “attaboys” from anyone – but, instead, as a real challenge to myself in my current life.

My sole goal for over ten years now has been to live to see my fiftieth birthday. An insensitive and probably idiotic neurologist told me early on in my treatment that “clustered partial complex seizures originating in the temporal lobe” (my personal diagnosis) were essentially a death sentence. And that I most likely would not live to see 50.

So, mission accomplished, right? Except…I’ve lived to see fifty just for the sake of being half a century old, I guess. My “bucket list” was essentially empty until a few weeks ago. “What will I leave behind me?” had never even entered into the equation.

Until seven months of mentally chewing on five (and a half) viewings of Hamilton, that is.

Get Out Of My Head, Lin-Manuel Miranda,

  • Jeremy

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Now, THAT’S a tree

One of my least favorite things is the concept of the New Year’s Resolution. It seems like a concept that is bound to fail – who the hell makes successful life choices and then implements them in the dead of winter? (Southern Hemisphere readers, maybe you can weigh in on this.)

But a few weeks back I put out a post called “Manifesto”, in which I outlined some changes I was going to be personally making: to wit, a new Bucket List for myself.

I put it together, folded, stapled, and mutilated it, and then I added it to Misdirected.

And now, I would like to go through a few of these new ambitions for the future years of my life with you, gentle readers.

Obviously, we won’t cover ALL 50 of them, but there are a few here that bear some extra consideration.

Visit Ash Falls (Rosedale, OR)

Probably not how Oregon looks in real life

Probably the most important item on my list. (I ranked it #1, after all) I can FINALLY visit the geography surrounding my fictional city, Ash Falls.

So, just when the Oregon weather turns nice and rainy, we’ll head up I-5 from Sacramento. In the southwestern corner of the state lies the area I set my fictional metropolis in. There is no city of half a million residents there, in real life – the closest community would be Roseburg, OR. Sitting between the two arms of the Umpqua, it is placed smack dab in the geographical center of my creation. My Umpqua River is a deep and wide channel that eventually meets the Pacific south of Coos Bay. I can’t say I expect to see the images in my head brought to life in reality.

But, at last, I will get to touch some trees, smell the air, listen to the water and figure out exactly what it should be like to live in Ash Falls. Residents and former residents of the area have paid me the high compliment of saying that I captured the “feel” of Oregon in my book. Still, I have a feeling that Oregon in my head is probably a lot different than the reality.

Vampires and Werewolves aside, of course

See the Redwoods in CA

Not retouched at ALL. The park really looks like this.

I mean, who says these things have to take forever, right?

On January 11, Melissa and I went to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park just outside Santa Cruz, California. It was, to wax poetical, freakin’ amazing. The very existence of these monstrous organisms is very humbling and inspiring. The only hiccup was we took the little furballs with us on our trip. This meant that A) We were prevented from checking out the old-growth zone with the really big trees, and B) We ended up carrying the little shits for the back part of the hike. Vixen has heart, but not the knees and hips to support a 5-mile round trip.

Jeremy’s Taxi Service, Party of One.

I have frequently suffered from “over-imagination syndrome” in my life. So much time is spent fantasizing about a place or a thing that by the time I experience the reality of it I am somehow disappointed that it didn’t match up to my unrealistic expectations.

I am happy to say that my imagination did not even begin to touch the reality of these magnificent trees. When we arrived in Santa Cruz I didn’t even know this park existed. Now it will remain in my memory as one of the highlights of the time we’ve spent on the road.

Complete a 10 k/half marathon/marathon

At the Finish Line, May, 2017. Still one of the defining moments of my life.

Oh, 2020. The wrecker of the best laid plans of mice and men alike.

I had big plans for 2020, I really did. Especially on the personal fitness front. My brother and I had been planning for YEARS to complete the 26-mile long Bataan Death March Hike in White Sands New Mexico, in celebration of our 50th birthdays.

Not only did the event have to be canceled due to COVID, but my brother and I both developed an advanced case of “Quarantine 15” that would have proved problematic in managing a 26 mile course. (In my case it is more like Quarantine 27, but that doesn’t flow quite as nicely.)

Completing the 2017 Run For The Zoo 5K remains one of the highlights of my weight loss journey, honestly. It was something that was always on my “Maybe someday…” list until I was finally able to go out and do it.

But I really, really want to keep going on that. So, my bucket list now includes completing a 10K, a half marathon, and a full marathon someday. In all honestly, I could complete a 10K right now, if anyone was holding them. But 13 miles, and then 26 miles? Daunting prospects. I will need to commit to some serious road time between now and whenever it is we are allowed to start having organized athletic events again.

Record an album

Out of the back of the closet and ready to work

In 2020, in one of my few positive personal developments, the “music” switch in my brain quietly flipped back to the “On” position. For the first ime in over a decade I was able to coherently sing, play, and practice semi-regularly.

And, during a visit with my best friend, I discovered that we had a wealth of musical material just sort of lying around. We had written tons of songs together but never really did anything with them, other than occassionally playing them at gigs between cover tunes.

Which got me to thinking: wouldn’t it be cool if I could actually do something with them?

We live in the age of COVID, where tons of musicians have been remotely collaborating and producing excellent music despite the inability to work together in the same physical space. And the musical production tools available to us are light years ahead of what we had twenty years ago. On my iPad, I have a recording studio that I would have killed for back when I was a professional.

I would love to re-engage with several of my musician buddies and make an attempt at bringing those musical creations back to life. We have more than a dozen of these never released songs just lying around collecting dust. To my ear, at least, they sound like they still hold up. Why not release them into the wild and find out?

Complete the Brian Drake Trilogy/Deep Ember/Our Little Secret/Learning To Live In The Dark/Sell 1,000 total books (across all titles)

The books inside my head. (Image by Pexels from Pixabay)

So, I am nothing if not a professional procrastinator. I can do “work” all day long, but when it comes to my own creations I have major trouble getting myself to actually sit down and finish. I frequently hold my personal copy of Inheritance and stare at it, wondering “How the hell did I do that?”

The end result is that I wind up with uncompleted projects. A lot of them. Currently, I’m waiting to finish the last two books in my Ash Falls trilogy. I also have the outline of an entire fantasy novel sitting around waiting for me to return to it and turn it from a frame into a home for my poor neglected characters.

And that doesn’t even begin to deal with the existence of not one but two different non-fiction titles I’ve been “working” on for years. 17 years, in one case. My biography/memoir Learning To Live In The Dark details my voyage through Adult-Onset Epilepsy to the life I lead today. And Our Little Secret deals with bariatric surgery from the male perspective, since men are still avoiding this life-altering procedure.

All sitting there, queued up, in my head. Waiting to be written and released.

And, as a validation of all the work that would go into writing five more books, I would actually like to sell a few of them. Nothing too dramatic – if I could sell 1,000 copies, total, of my works, I could cross this off the list.

So far? I’m just over two hundred copies of Inheritance sold. I’ve got quite a ways to go.

Launch RV website Nomad-Road.com/Get 100 subscribers to Nomad-Road.com

The infamous “Hello world!” website. The shame is unbearable.

If you spend any time on Misdirected, you know that the site can be a bit…scattered. Today is Epilepsy, tomorrow is gaming, yesterday was RV Life adventures. Though we went through a period where we covered our journey through bariatric surgery to the exclusion of everything else, it has sort of regressed to the mean of being about “whatever the hell Jeremy happens to be thinking about when he decides to sit down and write something.”

As it happens, I’ve spent a lot of time writing other people’s blog posts, ads, and what have you to try to support our “RV habit.” And I have always wondered if there was some way I could actually turn blogging into an actual, you know, revenue stream.

After researching other projects I could be doing while I am busy driving all over the country and not writing fiction and not updating my website, I came across the idea of building “niche” websites.

Before moving into full-time RVing, we spent a substantial amount of time researching other people’s websites and blogs for tips, wisdom, and knowledge about RV Life in general. Along the way, we’ve sort of become the fount of knowledge for friends and family members about RVing, Full-time RVing, and the lifestyle in general.

So, as it turns out, we have a niche. And our “niche” would also give me the opportunity to split out a bunch of the RV Life stuff from here on Misdirected to a home of its very own.

Accordingly, I’ve begun amassing data for a new website all about our RV Life: nomad-road.com.

If you go there today, you won’t find anything yet. I’ve registered the website and purchased some artwork, and that is about as far as I have gotten so far. There’s a reason this is on a “bucket list” and not a “cool stuff I’m proud to have accomplished” list. But, stick around – it is super high on the “do this major project next” list.

The Next Fifty Adventures Begin

If you take a look at the Bucket List, you’ll see there are some pretty outlandish goals there. But, why not aim high at this point? These are things I would like to be able to look back on and think that they really meant something. We like to tell everyone who asks us about becoming full-time RVers that we have traded “material goods for experiences.” And I want to make sure we maximize those experiences in every way possible.

Thanks for stopping by to visit while I muse. I will keep everyone posted as to where we are going and what we are doing via the usual social media channels, and will make a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT whenever we clear an item off the Bucket List. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

One Down, Forty-Nine To Go,

Jeremy

Manifesto

Quill and Document
Quill and Document

According to Wikipedia, the definition of manifesto is: “a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer.”

Yup, that sounds about right.

It is based on the idea of “making manifest” – presenting evidence that demonstrates the existence of a thing.

So, what is the thing that we are demonstrating the existence of, exactly?

Hang on a second…I am a little rusty, but I promise we will get there together.

Everything That Can Go Wrong, Did

It is no secret that 2020 has been a gigantic shitshow for pretty much the entire planet, with the possible exception of ownership and stockholders of home delivery companies. It has been tremendously difficult for those of us who are creative types especially.

Personally, Melissa and I got an early start on the craptastic experience back in September of 2019. The death of our niece, as well as several of Melissa’s family members, created a sinkhole that we just never really climbed out of.

Renesmae firehouse portrait
We still miss you. Always will.

Which was unfortunate, because it was also supposed to be the beginning of our “great adventure” – the sale of most everything we owned to hit the road full time in an RV.

So, then COVID happened…

The Year Of Cancellations

I had big plans back in the day, at the start of our adventure. Everything would be meticulously photographed and documented. I was going to write every day. We would share our journey with family, friends, and the world at large.

Instead, I managed a whopping 5 blog posts this year. I completely petered out by July, and fell into full-time “writers sulk.” (Like writer’s block but with more pouting.)

Over and over again we found our travel plans disrupted and derailed. We got trapped in an RV park in Arizona for 8 weeks. Maggie May’s transmission gave ass,. Endless park closures led to perpetual cancellations and reshifting of our route.

The final straw for the year was September. The sudden death of my favorite uncle completely derailed us. We pulled up stakes from our hesitant exploration of Utah, (Zion was closed) and headed home. In three days we made it home, only to sit and wait through the endless confusion that is COVID. We finally managed to have a memorial service for him. I somehow managed to deliver his eulogy, and then went and had about a week’s worth of alcohol therapy.

That’s about the one thing we “accomplished” in 2020 – we both developed pro-level drinking skills again. Yay us, I guess?

Turn It On Its Head

Ray Casias w/guitar
The musician I wanted to be when I grew up – Ray Casias.

After the demise of my Uncle Ray, I seriously considered just quitting the RV Life completely. It seemed like one thing too much. We spent three months in Albuquerque, wrestling with what to do next.

However, his example got me thinking. He battled a degenerative disease for years that took away his mobility, his ability to play guitar and sing, and his ability to pastor a church (though never his passion for his faith.) HE would have given anything to be able to do what Melissa and I were doing, no matter how poorly it was going for us.

And, in the middle of all that chaos and indecision, Stella appeared.

We loved Maggie, but nine months of living full-time in her had taught us a lesson: storage is important. And stumbling over Stella in the RV park where we were staying seemed too good to be true. (Not an affiliate, we just love them to death.) Oddly, her owners felt the same way. “It was waiting for the right owners to come along,” one of them told us. So, we scrambled to make it happen. And, somewhere in there, it became apparent to us: we were committing to doing this “RV Life” thing for the foreseeable future with this purchase. And I was going to need to make some changes to my daily routine.

The saying goes that the best time to make a change is 5 years ago. The next best day is today.

Making It Manifest

Home, ’til the next major upheaval anyway.

So, we come to it. I resolved to “make manifest” the changes in my life that need to occur.

I’ve recommitted to daily work – every day I’ve been taking a picture on my phone and posting it on Instagram and Facebook (as I am sure some of you have noticed.)

Every day I have been walking the dog further and further. Like many of us, the enforced inactivity has led to me packing on excess weight. I am now hovering just under 200 pounds – not horrible, but still 25 pounds above where I had stabilized after bariatric surgery. I am determined to shed them and stop this creeping reversal.

And, I have begun slowly re-engaging those creative muscles. I have a slate of ideas ahead for the first time in almost a year and a half. What are they, you ask? Stick around, and you’ll be among the first to know.

It is the simplest thing in the world to just give up. To sit still in the roaring traffic that is our current world and wait to see which semi will run over us first.

Instead, I am choosing, today, to put my head down and start moving again.

Putting It In The Bucket

One of the first things I am going to do is create a new “bucket list” for myself. Believe it or not, I completed my “lifetime” bucket list back in 2017, with the publication of my first novel and completing my first 5k. And, for some reason, I never set up a new set of goals.

Sounds weird looking at it now.

But, in the days ahead, I will be generating a new one. I will even add it to the site here and start checking things off the list as I go. You may be interested, you may not. but putting it out there where the whole world can see it will help me be more accountable. As I take these plans and make them manifest.

We’ve just started a new 7-month road trip. It will not go as planned. There will be changes, and cancellations, and hiccups. But I will do my best to push through and not quit. And I have a few projects coming up that will help all of you follow along.

It isn’t a set of New Years Resolutions that will be abandoned by January 15. It is instead a commitment to a lifestyle change. As my nutritionist said back when I was preparing for bariatric surgery – I will have bad days. It is just important that my good days outnumber the bad ones.

Welcome back, and I hope you enjoy journeying along with us.

Here’s To Manifesting My Manifesto,

  • Jeremy

What A fANTabulous Day We Are Having

Las Cruces, NM. Green chili. Old adobe buildings. Scorching heat. (101 degrees today.)


Oh, and an entomologist’s paradise as well.


Last night we hopped into Maggie and discovered our breakfast bar/counter space was covered in ants. Little tiny black ones, merrily anting away, getting into every single drawer, cabinet, and open container of food. (Including some that were supposedly airtight, mind you.)


3 exhausting hours later, we had beaten back the invasion. We had sprayed every outdoor surface with Ant Murder Aerosol. We had washed every dish. We had thrown away two trash bags worth of ruined groceries.


And still this morning, every time an errant breeze wafts over my skin, I slap myself, positive the 6 legged invaders have returned to exact vengeance upon me for their slaughtered kinsfolk.


The management at the RV park has been…less than helpful. When I reported the problem this morning the woman (older, bespectacled, disinterested) behind the counter shrugged and said “It’s that time of year.”


Umm, ok, fine, but what are you going to do about it?


This triggered a series of inquisitorial questions aimed at ME, mind you. Did I spray my tires?


Well, no.


Did I spray my water hose?


Again, no, because –


I didn’t leave food out in the cabinets, did I?


Well, yes, because that’s where dry food GOES, in my pre-ant existence.


Again with the shrug. They would send someone to put out granules. Which might kill my dog. FYI.


I departed seething. How the flip was I supposed to know about spraying down every part of Maggie that was in contact with the ground with ant spray beforehand? Certainly, no one mentioned this to me when I checked in.


At our site, I met a maintenance guy who told a very different story.


We’ve never seen an infestation like this before, he reported. He’d already been to three campsites this morning, dealing with multi-legged, antenna-waving invaders.


I pointed out the origination point near our campsite, a tree about five feet away. He thanked me profusely for tracking down the colony. Apparently, most RVers don’t bother to figure out where they are coming from.


I had performed this investigation as I was following and carpet bombing the little bastards last night, but maybe others don’t take this quite as personally as I do.


Given his attention to detail and promise to come right back if we should have a recurrence, I didn’t begin packing us up and moving on down the road. But I am still pretty pissed with the front desk staff that could not give two shits about my problem and attempted to shift the blame to me for not taking precautions they never bothered mentioning in the first place.


Life on the road. What’s not to love?

I cANT Even,

Jeremy