Summer Dreams

Antler’s Cafe – coming off the trail

Tim, Alicia, Cait, Lina, Steve, and me

Last week I finally started updating my new porfolio site Head over and check it out. Of course, it’s not designed yet or anything, but I just wanted to get some content up for the time being.

I’ve also finished working there trial here at Anasazi, for a little while (you and I don’t know when I’ll come back). Let me just say that I’ve LOVED working on the trail. I love being in nature especially, all the TrailWalker friends I get to meet here, and getting to know the YoungWalkers. I started a blog about TrailWalker life here but I haven’t been updating it enough. But I have some stories I may be adding to it one day.

I have been surviving the summer heat here by purchasing large quantities of ice cream. It really helps! Oh yeah, and sometime A&W Rootbeer too. Can’t go wrong with a Rootbeer float every now and then.

Since finishing walking the trail I have put my efforts into re-starting my freelance programming business (currently called “Vendo” but I might be changing that name). I’m working on my personal site (new design isn’t finished yet, but it’s there), and I’m starting a new one for a new client (which I’ll announce once it’s finished).

I’ve been focusing on my personal schedule as well. I’ve found that when you work for yourself, you have to keep a strict work schedule. There’s no “boss” or “office” to keep me accountable, so I have to write out my own schedule and stick to it. One thing that helps me is this creative work place called GangPlank which allows anybody to come and work and collaborate. Themed in pirate flags and lots of computers, it’s my favorite place to get work done. Frankly, I LOVE it.

I also love the new ward I’m in. Nice people.

Alas, all this love, but I am heading out. Why you ask? Because I’m freaking awesome that’s why! Oh, so you think I just float around and do whatever comes my way and keep no stability in my life… well… okay you win. Expect the unexpected. But really, I do have a direction, and I’m testing out a few ideas before I go for it all the way.

I’ve been doing some soul searching and I’ve found that I have a recurring passion in my life: to create fun situations and learning environments. That’s a fancy way for saying I want to become a teacher. So I tried it out: I set up my own free class for the public and taught an HTML class. I also signed up to be a Substitute Teacher for the Mesa Schools District (although I didn’t get to do it because of a long story about my hands being too calloused for the fingerprint card and it taking too long to process, etc. whatever). So I’m trying things out in other ways. I’ve tutored a few people about how to make websites. And don’t forget what we do as TrailWalkers: teach wilderness skills baby! So yeah, I’ve been trying this out for a while. I’m going to consider a few other options first, but then if those don’t stick and this one does, I’m going back to school for a Master’s Degree in Education. (Horray for more student loans!) Well, hopefully I don’t have to incur more student loans. I’m (fingers crossed) hoping that I can create a successful freelance business to pay my way through college. Pray for me on this one, please.

I’ll be looking for a job in Utah when I head up there.

Okay that’s all I have time for. If you’ve read all the way here then GREAT. Have a splendid freaking fantastic day.


Still Around

Donkeys In The Road – Gunlock, Utah

Man I feel like I’ve been up to a lot and a little at the same time. 2011 feels like it only lasted a few weeks!

But this year has proven to be both simple, and drastic. The simple part is: I worked some trail jobs and build my Freelance Portfolio. The drastic part is: I stopped pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Yeah, that’s right – no more Engineering Degree for me. And for a very good reason. I had this huge awakening in February and realized that my passions really are in making websites and helping people via nature (hence the freelance work, and consistent trail jobs for the past 6 years). Not so much on the mechanical side of things (even though I was getting straight A’s). However, I will still watch a rocket take off in awe and sit there and think about how it all works 🙂

I’ve been working pretty hard this year at building up my skills in website awesomeness. I have new clients, and new strategies for how I run things. I’m pretty happy with it all. Overall, running my own business as a freelancer has been hugely rewarding, but is also just as challenging and at times can be super tough. Right now my portfolio is not up. I took down the old site because I just didn’t like it very much. As soon as the new site is up, I’ll be sure to blog about it so you can go check it out. Most of my work comes by word-of-mouth anyways.

I LOVE trail work too. Nothing in the world beats going out for many days, or weeks at a time and living off the land (with Anasazi) or camping out (with Aspiro). Yeah, I forgot to mention that this year I tried something new: I spent the Summer (and Fall) at Aspiro. It was a totally great new experience and really opened up my eyes to what other programs are like. That’s what I went for. I loved what I learned at Aspiro, and especially the people I got to know there. I am also very excited to return to Anasazi in the Winter and come back to some of my roots that I’ve planted there. I think I will always want to have a part in this type of work – even when I grow up (I haven’t grown up yet, okay?)


here I am, still in Utah. I keep pushing back my plans to move to AZ for the Winter due to various reasons:

  • Ended up working at Aspiro for a few extra weeks
  • Decided to stay and help out some family with moving their stuff
  • Working on some websites with clients located locally
  • The Holidays… why travel around when you can just stay here?
So by the time November came around I didn’t see any reason to travel back South again just to come back up here for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I decided to stay here until after Christmas.
Not that we even have any big Christmas plans.
Yep, my family is pretty cool. We don’t ever make big plans, and just see what happens. It annoys most other people. I’m proud of it because I’m always ready for whatever happens. Comes with the territory.
Have a good life, and in case I’m not back here by the time Christmas rolls around… Merry Christmas.


Up at Aspiro

Car rides!
Just a quick update: I’ve been working at Aspiro in Utah since May. It’s a great therapeutic adventure program. Instead of survival based, we go rock climbing, mountain biking and some backpacking. I’ve been really busy working on some web projects during my off-weeks. Life’s good. Still full of challenges as usual. I’m doing a schedule where I work 2 weeks and then I have 2 weeks off. The past two weeks I was in Moab and Escalante for work. It was awesome! Now that I have some time off I think I’m going to enjoy some movies and swimming. Then finish a few websites that have been awaiting my attention.


El Norte

I left Phoenix (shown above with the sunset) and took a trip to Salt Lake City this week. Not so much as a vacation, but to get some things done. I hitched a ride to St. George with my buddy Lincoln and Reggie (“my buddy” includes 2 people). I spent the week sleeping on the couch at Tamra’s house. Got to meet her awesome and roommates: Caroline, Kandace and Jenny. They live in a beautiful duplex on a hill that overlooks the city. Each morning Tamra made the most healthy smoothie in the world, and after she and Kandace and I would go for a run. St. George has some of the most beautiful scenery surrounding it hands down. I don’t care where you are from, and no matter how green and magnificent you think the mountains are where you live. Nothing compares with red and white sandstone hills with etched markings of wind and water, with black lava rock and green junipers painting the rest of it.

While there I zipped over to Moab and attended the Aspiro Tryouts. Aspiro is an outdoor therapeutic program similar to Anasazi, but they do adventure based activities (rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking, etc.) instead of wilderness survival. After the tryouts I was pulled aside and offered a job right away! This made me really happy, but I had to postpone the offer because I’m committed to work at Anasazi until May. If you’re thinking I’m leaving Anasazi for good, that’s not true (it never is for those of us who are “lifers” there). I’ll be coming back in the Winter to Anasazi as usual.

I have made a big decision: not going to pursue a degree in Engineering anymore. I realized this in January when I got my acceptance letter into the program. I was not excited when I got it. I didn’t want to believe it, but it was true. Needless to say I’ve decided to pursue Experiential Education as a career choice at this time. It is what I’ve loved doing for many years now, and so much that I hadn’t realized how far I had come with it. My education is in it, and 90% of my work experience is with teaching in the outdoors. It’s not that I don’t like math and science and rockets and computers… I love it all, but my passion has shifted to people.

I’m still doing math and programming on the side. I have a need for this technical stuff as well in my life. I still want to know how things work. I’m pretty happy doing these two things as a balance.

Really, if I could contribute anything to society right now, it would be the understanding of the true connection we have with out planet and how our modern technology is actually a part of it. Let me explain for just a minute: we are connected to our Earth. Not just in a spiritual way but literally physically. Our cells, and atomic structure are based off of carbons just like our planet. We resonate with it, whether we realize it or not. Most people don’t see this. We only watch movies about it (like Avatar) and wish we had it too. But my message is that WE DO! This has become more apparent to me the more time I spend in the great outdoors – sleeping on the ground, and not separating myself from nature with modern camping equipment. I hope I’m not sounding too off the wall here. I completely support the expanse and discovery of our modern technology. Someone told me this a few weeks ago and I agree: “What we are doing with technology is natural, because our planet has produced us and given us this ability to create what we have made.” Now I still believe we have to fix how we do things and make our technology cleaner and less intrusive to our planet. The paradox of our existence is our ability to create and destroy simultaneously. But I wish we respected the balance of our planet among all this invention and modern living. Too many people are scared of nature, see it as dirt, or disregard its importance. I get to work in a place right now where I take kids who don’t understand nature and after a few weeks in the wilderness they realize how ALIVE and connected our Earth is. And once they realize that, they become better people too (thus is the concept behind therapeutic wilderness programs). We seem to take for granted how dependent we our on our planet until something changes – like a natural disaster – and that is when we realize how fragile we are without the complete support and cooperation of our planet Earth. I wish the general population would understand this better. I know there’s a lot of people out there who know this, but there is still too many individuals preoccupied with their image or their bank accounts to care enough about where it all comes from. We are married to our Earth, and must understand it. Our practices need to change more than just using a recycling bin. The best thing is knowledge. Learn what our Earth is and understand why we are who we are – because of our planet. Lastly, I’d like to build myself an earth home. They are pretty dang cool.

My Year 2010

My year – 2010: Had a job, had a car, had a girlfriend. Lost the car, lost the job, lost the girlfriend. Started a website business, made some money. Lived in a tent by a river, lived in an apartment downtown, slept on a couch a lot. Hitch hiking … Moab to El Paso, Jackson to Rexburg, Jackson to Salt Lake, Jackson to anywhere I want. Calculus Class (still pushing for that Engineering Degree). Spiritual growth. Feeling older – Decade #3. Planting “roots” ??? not yet apparently. But my direction has never been more sure.


Life at Snake River Park

I’ve been living at the KOA in a tent by the snake river. I’m using someone else’s tent, which is nice because it’s large.

Working via the internet proves difficult in the evenings because the wireless internet here is used a lot by the campers and always lags and resets. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I hitchike to town and use the library’s or Heidi’s internet connection.

Speaking of hitchhiking, that’s what I did yesterday to get to town (actually, Bud who owns KOA saw me on my way out and gave me a ride). I worked at Heidi’s until 1am. I woke up early and started hitchiking back to camp. Got a ride from my first female driver to pick me up – a lady from Chicago who just moved here. She was driving a Jeep with the top off – pretty cool – and took me as far as the Enclosure climbing gym. 10 more minutes on the roadside, and a police officer stopped and told me hitchiking was illegal in Wyoming. Let me go but told me to walk. So I did for about a mile, then called Mary and had her pick me up so I could make it back to the KOA in time to start my shift at 10am. Luckily, she wasn’t working. Oh, and I should add that I didn’t know hitchiking was outlawed in WY. It’s legal in UT, NM, and AZ. Whatever the reason, here’s what I found about the laws here…

This is from

According to Wyoming state law, it is illegal to hitchhike on a highway. State and local police will enforce this. However, many hitchhikers have had successful trips across the state by either hitchhiking from on-ramps or by using a highway loophole which many cops allow…

It is legal to walk on a highway, if a person is walking facing traffic. In some cases (if the other side of the road is not safe to walk on) a pedestrian can walk with the flow of traffic.

As long as a hitchhiker is not actively requesting a ride (sign raised or thumb out), he or she can keep walking. And this is what cops are likely to tell you in Wyoming:
“Keep walking…”

So be sure to look like you are going somewhere with your own two feet while in Wyoming. Read a section of the law below, and click the link for more related pedestrian laws.

Code 31-5-606 Soliciting on streets and highways.

(a) No person shall be on a highway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, business or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle. This subsection does not apply to persons attempting to obtain assistance for disabled vehicles.

31-1-101. Definitions.
(viii) “Highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained or if not publicly maintained, dedicated to public use when any part is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel;


Though I plan to be here until October, my priorities are daily reviewed in my mind: build a portfolio so I can work for as a web designer, and eventually earn income online so I can have the freedom to travel while earning enough income to live well. I am also applying for Forest Service jobs in the Fall, and maybe even something with the Coast Guard. It’s still open, but I’m going to apply.

So far, I’ve worked on 3 websites: my portfolio,, and (only edits on the last one). I have a few ideas for more, it just takes a lot of time to get back into the swing of things. I’ve discovered that paying attention to the right “teachers” online has helped me the most. I pay $9 a month for nettuts tutorials online from Jeffrey Way. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made for learning website stuff (I stopped getting Netflix so I could afford this).

So that’s me on top of Mt. Olympus (in Utah. no pics from Wyoming yet). I’m always searching for new friendships, and oh yeah, I’m not going to school this Fall. I have to get out of debt before getting into more. I’m happy to feel in my heart that I have the skills I need right now to be successful in life. That’s not saying I’m not learning, and won’t return to college; It means I’m accepting who I am right now and planning my future wisely.


Travels and Decisions

I am back in Salt Lake City after being gone for over a week. I drove to Rexburg with Tim and Bradyn two Sunday’s ago, and I got back by getting a ride to Logan (stayed with my brother Sterling for a few days) and then hitch-hiking to Farmington where I took a train to Salt Lake.

In Jackson, WY the weather was perfect, though cold on our first day. I went rafting, mountain biking, and still found time for finishing some website projects. Despite the hardship of staring at a computer for long amounts of time, I really enjoy being involved in website design, structure and maintenance. My clients are also happy with my work too 🙂

In Jackson I found a job at Dave Hansen Rafting. They need a person to help at the front desk. I accepted it, because, well, I just wanted to be up there this Summer. Now I have to be back in Jackson this weekend, ready to work. I’m taking it because I can work 2 days a week if I want. I’ll need the flexibility so I can still freelance. The big down-side of taking this job is it will last until October – so I’ll have to postpone a semester of school until January. But maybe this is a good thing because I need the extra time to get out of debt first.

I also really want to work for the Forest Service. I thought about this a lot while in Jackson and really felt good about pursuing a Forest Service job. I just need to volunteer my time with them first, before I can land a paying job with them.

There’s a lot of work ahead of me, and I’m trying not to overwhelm myself with too many options and commitments. Between my new Jackson job and website freelancing, I’m also supposed to 1. start day-trading with my 401-K $$, 2. finish my online Calculus class, and 3. volunteer for the Forest Service. Oh yeah, don’t forget about some basic recreation in between all of that too! Yeah, it’s too much I think. I’m still deciding which thing to let go of. update July 1, 2010 1. I’m not doing any of these three things! I have decided to stick to working at Dave Hansen and building websites. Those two things alone keep me plenty busy. I hope to work for the Forest Service in the Fall. –WBC–