100 Days in the Wild

We’ve  decided to make a modest goal for 2015: this  year we will spend a minimum of 100 days in the wild as a family.  If Tree or I go climbing alone and Soleil’s not with us, the day doesn’t count.  Since it’s about family time in nature, we’ve got to have our Button with us to tick off a day.

Pretty Soleil

So here’s the plan from now to May….

We’re flying south to Yuma this Sunday to meet up with our RV (it’s currently in the shop getting LED lights and new carpet, and undergoing a massive solar power installation–thank you Pa for overseeing the renovations!).  Then, after a couple of weeks in Yuma learning the ins and outs of our new rig, we hit the road in search of family climbing destinations (read: bouldering). Our first stop will be off-the-grid camping in Joshua Tree, then we’ll move to Vegas where we’ll hit up Red Rocks for a month, then Bishop for a month, and then, Tree’s favorite place on the planet, Yosemite for three whole weeks!

We cannot be any more excited to get our wild on.  Tree’s been going to the gym; I’ve been doing yoga and TRX training,  and we’ve been taking Sol to pools and playgrounds, but none of that is the same as getting your blood pumping outside.  Getting sweaty in nature taps into something primal and raw. Plus, it feels good and keeps you sane.

Soleil training for our coming adventures….

Soleil Climbing

Before meeting Tree and becoming a nature girl, I was a brooding existentialist who chain smoked and liked to talk about how we all enter and leave this planet terrified and alone. But now that I own shoes with sticky rubber, and “enjoying nature” is more than shopping at an open-air mall, I feel the closest thing to god as I think will ever be available to a non-believer like me. Being out in untrammeled wilderness gives me what Glenn Albrecht, a Professor of Sustainability and super badass environmental philosopher, coined as a feeling of eutierria.  I love this neologism. The idea has been expressed in poetry by Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver and countless others throughout history, but now we have one concise word to sum up the dissolution of ego into the wild, or rather the happy union of the wild within and the wild without.

 Eutierria: a positive feeling of oneness with the earth and its life forces where the boundaries between self and the rest of nature are obliterated and a deep sense of peace and connectedness pervades consciousness. (eu =good, tierra = earth, ia = suffix for member of a group of {positive psychoterratic} conditions).  (Pronounced: You tee air ia).  In contrast, to ecoanxiety, ecoparalysis and global dread, when the human-nature relationship is spontaneous and mutually enriching (symbiotic) we experience a state of ‘eutierria’.

For the rest of the week though, we are still in Hood River, a perfect little bubble community if there ever was one. For the past two months, we’ve been housesitting for our very good friends, Corrin and Glenn, who are on a road trip through Mexico.  I think because we knew it was short term, we have totally loved our time playing ‘house.’

Soleil went to her little Spanish immersion school three times a week….

Soleil going to school

She had play dates with lots of kids in the Hood.

Here she is “cuidando a Jackson” (taking care of Jackson), because he’s just a “bebe….pero muy, muy grande”

Soleil and Jackson

Soleil and Wren playing with toys, in the pool, on the trampoline….

Soleil and Wren3

Soleil Wren pool

Soleil and Wren trampoline

And, of course, she played with Noni….

Noni and Sol5

Noni and Sol fort

Noni and  Sol3

Noni and Sol2

As much as I’ve been loving being here, I’ve been way too domestic for my taste. Aside from cooking and regular old house chores, I’ve been cleaning the chicken coop, filling water and food feeders, and collecting eggs, all of which have been a novel experience for me. I’ve never labored for my own food before so it was enlightening to discover how much work is actually involved in producing a couple dozen eggs a week. As a society, we’re so removed from our food. We have no real idea where it comes from, and what it takes to bring sustenance to our body. We’re consumers, not producers.

But not me lately! I am proud to say that I’ve been earning my fried eggs, omelettes, quiches and frittatas.

I do want to delve deeper into the world of permaculture and homesteading, but I’ve still got so much wanderlust in me. Maybe someday we’ll figure out a way to have both. Wouldn’t that be the dream!

Chickens

Chores

Collecting eggs

Pretty eggs

Soleil and Wren2

We’ve been taking Soleil to the pool a ton to practice her swim skills in preparation for a couple family raft trips we have planned this year.

Soleil kicking

Mama and Soleil flotador

Soleil and Mama little pool

Soleil and Mama swimming

And Tree has been working so very hard these past two twelve months. More than any of us, he deserves to go outside and play. It’s always a challenge to find balance between making a living and actually living.

Tree working

Thank you again Corrin and Glenn. Your home is full of the kind of love I love….hundreds of books and fragrant spices and handmade art from friends. It’s been a wonderful place to be.

Books

Fire

Just three more weeks until we’re back on the road. I can’t wait! Stay tuned folks. Things are going to get good again –Stevie


Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things

--Mary Oliver

And one from Emily Dickinson....

I taste a liquor never brewed – 
From Tankards scooped in Pearl – 
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I – 
And Debauchee of Dew – 
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days – 
From inns of molten Blue – 

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door – 
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” – 
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats – 
And Saints – to windows run – 
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!

 

 

Comments

  1. Hello Tree and Stevie,
    Although we’ve been following you three for quite some time, I don’t think we’ve ever left a comment. Your story speaks to us on many levels. We’re constantly balancing our love of travel and our desire to live closer to the land and our food. After spending a year traveling and sailing in Mexico, then working in Alaska, we’re settling down in Bellingham, Washington and have started a little homestead. Currently we have dairy goats, chickens, goats and pigs. It’s been an absolutely amazing journey…..but I love reading of your travels to exotic locations since we’re a little tied down at the moment. If you ever want to bring the RV up north and spend some more time on a little farm, our place is always open to you all! (Seriously).

    Take Care,
    Katie and Mark

    • Hey, I just checked out your blog. You guys look like future friends of ours. And you happen to live in my mother-in-laws town, which means we’ll be coming to visit (her? you? both?)soon. We’ll be there in June-July 🙂

      • Stevie –
        That’s crazy! It would be awesome to meet you all this summer. We’ll certainly be around so please do reach out to us when you come through town. We’ll look forward to it!

        Katie and Mark

  2. Tessa Hill says:

    Your plan for the road and your “100 Days in the Wild” sound awesome! I really admire how you dive right into life, wherever you are. I tend to hang back, trying to figure things out first, which sets up a rut. You’re an inspiration!

    • Thank you, Tessa. I think we should combine forces, though. I could use a little ‘hold back and plan’ mentality. We seem to be shooting from our hip most of the time. Or, maybe it’s just that as soon as we make plans, we break them. Who knows! As long as we’re all safe and happy. What’s your family’s latest plan?

      • Tessa Hill says:

        Well, I’m hoping to be recovered from this past summer’s Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, China via Trans-Siberian Railway adventure soon so I can get our second kid in college and then move (with the third) cross country to Atlanta this summer 🙂 I hope to use your dive-in technique there. Eventually when hubby retires, full timing adventure like you are doing is the goal. Have fun!

  3. She is at such an enjoyable age

  4. she is getting so Big!!

  5. Bella!!

  6. And we meet up with your RV like a week after that!

  7. When do i get to see you

  8. Fun! It gets much harder once they are in school and doing extra activities. My husband is great at planning exciting stuff for my family….me not so much. I’m more lazy

  9. LOVE the picture of Sol on the climbing wall.. little monkey! She certainly takes after her parents. Glad to hear you’re hitting the road again so we can read about more adventures in Sprinter Life GINORMOUS!

  10. What fun ☆ enjoy your family and the trip.

  11. Stevie Trujillo Aaron and I are still interested in meeting up to do a Napa tour. If that is still on your agenda, email me the info so we can get our passports. Miss you guys!

  12. I love it!!! That’s an awesome plan. 🙂

  13. Sounds like a great plan, am looking forward to the tales – and also to seeing how the new home looks after the upgrades. Happy Trails.

  14. We miss you guys so much!! Xoxo

  15. Stop off in kernville!

  16. Tara Palmer Benoit, Tree is definitely the trip leader in our family, too. I have veto power, but I rarely use it. I’ve almost always been stoked to go where we go and do what we do. Easier to enjoy the ride!

  17. I’d call Tree the trip Despot more than leader, but that’s just me… 😉

  18. Nonituyas says:

    It has been complete joy, sharing life and love with you three in H.R.
    Blessed journey to you all, and I’ll see you in June.
    Love you stars . . .
    Noni

  19. Rebecca, we’d love to! I’d love to finally meet you after all these years.

  20. Nice pic Stevie Trujillo

  21. Magnificent

  22. Rebecca Giddens – We’ll be on our way from Bishop to Yosemite around April 10th, via your loop. Will you guys be around? Lets connect. Miss you guys. -TREE

  23. Let me know if you guys come through Oakland, would love to meetcha!

  24. We’d love to Margot!

  25. Chuck. I 100% agree. It’s my favorite age, but I say that every age.

  26. Kelly, we won’t be back in LA until the fall, I don’t think.But you guys can meet up with us. Let’s do family camping time.

  27. Continues to improve as their personalities develop

  28. Oh thats sounds cool. Where

  29. so cute

  30. Happy Trails

  31. Hi you two:
    I’ve spent several hours catching up on your adventures. Wow! Very impressive, thank you! I envy your adventurous spirit!

    After our sailing trip last year, we are seeking another adventure… on wheels this time. Just over 4 years ago we purchased a Swanky Tank (Anna’s term) a 2008 Sprinter 170x with a 2010 Winnebago conversion.
    We count 58K miles crossing the US and back twice, an annual trip to Eastern WA to visit family, and an adventure up into Canada (O Canada!) from Banff west to Vancouver and back home to the SF Bay area.

    We’re considering shipping the Tank to Antwerp (from Halifax) for a 3-4 month European tour, or as an alternative, shipping to Buenos Aires. Stay tuned!

    I’m writing because I am interested to learn about your blogging software. Is this of your own design? I think it’s a pretty good piece and I’d like to use something like that as an ongoing travel blog. I’m OK with the greekodyssey2014 for what it was, but to dig in a little deeper would be helpful. Can you point me in the right direction?

    Safe travels!

    • Hi there. It sounds like you two are kindred (adventurous) spirits. I hope our crazy paths cross someday. For our blog, we use WordPress, and the layout was designed by Shauna Callaghan. Her Facebook address is: https://www.facebook.com/ShaunaC1?fref=nf&pnref=story. Let her know we sent you her way. We’ve been using her for years. She’s great. If you’re not on FB, I’d be more than happy to introduce you through email. Keep us posted on where you’re headed. We’re looking into a European tour ourselves, but if you go to Buenos Aires (my favorite city in South America), I’d be more than happy to chime in on suggestions for your S.American tour.

      Cheers!

  32. Happy, Happy, Happy – can’t wait to see you.

  33. Anjie Villalobos says:

    Although I don’t often comment, I just want you to know that reading your entries ALWAYS brings me joy. Thank you for so generously sharing your life with us.

    xo,

    Anj

  34. Sol and Wren look like twins in trampoline photo. Musings from a twin mom. Love it!

  35. Also, WOOFing may be the long-term answer for your wanderlust!

  36. 100 days in the wild sounds like an awesome plan. I’m currently spending way toouch time inside, working to save money to do a trip similar to yours. But I do need to remember to make it outside more often, it drains my soul to be inside much!

    • Congratulations on your upcoming trip! And, yes, you need to take some soul-fueling days outside to recharge those batteries. All work and no play sucks. Plus, outside fun is free 🙂 If we can help answer any questions that come up as you prepare for your journey, hit us up. xo.

  37. Mais alors que vous avez utilisé pour être en mesure dde mettre
    juste sur lle nouveau smartphone Nokia ou Sonyy Erricsson tojours le prochain, parce
    que ce serait unn appareil photo à mi-chemin décent,
    il ya maintenant tellement de nombreuses options là-bas des charges du fabricant.

We want to hear from you! You may comment as 'Anonymous' to hide your identity if you don't want to leave your name. We look forward to hearing from you.

Speak Your Mind

Your comments make us happy.

Leave a comment, get a kitten!