waterfall in OR

Loaded Questions Vol. 1

“So, what do you do all day?”

We drive. All the time. Gotta see the world … That’s a dirty rotten lie. We try to avoid long driving days if we can, preferring to get “somewhere” and then go outside to play.

We do a lot of things, really. Stand up paddle boarding, for instance, in whatever body of water we can find. We’ve been known to pull over for especially inviting reservoirs we’ve seen from the side of the road. A favorite was Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge outside of Havasu City, Arizona. Crisp blue water formed these enticing wide-to-narrowing channels through yellow reeds that stood taller than we are. We saw resting heron and the ripples of rising fish as we passed and the sun was warm through the windows, so we pulled over for a paddling pause then lunched on the dusty bank.

Red Rocks, NV

We buckle down our Chacos and head out for long hikes. The promise of waterfalls helps, or epic views, or a lake to jump into at the end of the trail. We’ve trudged up some surprisingly strenuous trails and meandered along others, stopping here and there for breath and for wonderment. Lake Twenty-Two in Washington was enchanting — the trail wove through luxurious PNW jungle, the giant leaves of overhanging trees dipping onto our path, dripping with a gentle rain. As that rain grew steady we climbed over jutting black boulders, radiant and slippery against a blazing green backdrop, ending with a slow loop around the agitated lake.

Lake 22 WA

Bumpas fly fishes and I read books, we drink inspiring cups of tea and color or work our brains a little over a crossword.

We climb rocks, which is a new challenge for me (it’s like teaching an old dog new tricks) and I love it. The intensity. The strength it imparts. The required focus and breath. The frustration and (ideally) victory. The stunning places we find ourselves climbing is pretty great, too. Parts of our journey now take us to notable climbing destinations, some that I never knew even existed and others that Bumpas has been itching to get to for years. City of Rocks in Idaho is another world. Its monstrous granite structures littered across fields of sagebrush beg you to come get lost, then scramble higher and higher and higher to take notice of the approaching sunset and find your way back again.

City of Rocks, ID

We take our time in National Parks, flying through the ones that seem to have become more like zoos so we can settle more deeply into the bluest blues of Crater Lake; the bubbling mud and sulfur steam at Bumpass Hell in Lassen … This is a real place. I have pictures.

You can find us at your local breweries, the more IPAs and sours on tap the better. We’ll be the ones playing Cribbage or Bananagrams. Come join. We’re friendly.

We cook delicious meals. Or we don’t, in which case we’re on a mission for the city’s best fish tacos. We have a running list of recommendations.

And some days, honestly, we don’t really do anything; we don’t really accomplish anything to note. Maybe we’ll rearrange or redesign or add a new feature to Nico. Maybe we’ll just talk about it. We’ll sleep in and have coffee and play a game of washers, or we’ll look at the atlas and talk about our next move without actually making any sort of plan. Because we don’t have to. We’re not in a hurry to leave here or get to there. We’re free to be where we are. And isn’t that the point?
Sawtooths, ID


4 thoughts on “Loaded Questions Vol. 1

  1. Hi Ali and Bumpas, I always enjoy your posts and think about you two often. This was a great “what our days are like” article and I learned something new from reading it. I had to google Washers – the game. Fantastic – do you have an official set – like a wooden box with a cup in the middle? ( http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Gander-Mountain-Realtree-Washer-Toss&i=820523 ) I could make those in my wood shop as gifts. Tips?
    Also, I have often thought it would be cool to see a map with your all your destinations and routes. Have you made one of these or keep the information in your road atlas?

    You will be approaching 1 year on the road before you know it… Keep going? What is your vision?

    Have fun!

    • Ali

      Hi Greg!

      The Washers game we have was made by a friend. I’ll email you a picture of it – he did a really nice job. This is definitely something you’d be able to craft yourself! If you need any tips I’m sure our friend would be delighted to lend his wisdom – he was getting ready to make a second set when he gave us ours.

      We seriously can’t believe it’s been almost a year already. It’s crazy. We’re going to need to head home to Colorado for a little bit to make some decisions, but we’d love to keep traveling if we can, as much as we can.

      Hope you’re great!

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