Yearly Archives: 2021

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Happy New Year 2022

Happy 2022. Here are a few photos from ’21 that made me smile. I wish you all the best in the New Year.


Mule Polly checking out the new bed I built for my brother Christian when he came to visit. It’s built of red cedar and two-by-fours. In case you haven’t seen it already, Polly was the mule that pulled my wagon 14 months across America for the Lost Sea Expedition documentary which you can stream here on… Continue reading

Smell the Laundromat: Two-month Roadtrip in a 1923 Model T

Their rig: the Ford hot rod that caught my eye (Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California)

My wife Julia and I were driving around the campground looking for a place to park our tiny gypsy wagon trailer. We drove by a black hot rod Ford parked in a camp site, and I thought, “I’d like to meet those people.”

Our rig: our Subaru Crosstreck towing our home-built gypsy vardo wagon

How We Got Here

Julia and I were on a… Continue reading

When Land Burns and Rivers Run Dry: A Rafter’s Story

My wife Julia and I walked by a large green inflatable raft sitting on a trailer under a redwood tree. A man was sitting in the boat, stowing gear. He was tan and lean with a trim beard. “Is that your little wagon?” he asked and pointed to where our tiny gypsy camper was parked. We told him it was. “I love it,” he said. The man said his name was Mark.

Mark and his raft (Jedediah State Park, Oregon)… Continue reading

Fire, Drought, and Crash: Julia’s Letters From the West

“Tada!” Old growth forest to clearcut (outside (Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park)

“Before we hit the deer in California we hit somebody’s carburetor in Idaho.” excerpt from one of Julia’s emails to friends

Julia and I are exploring the West in our small car and homemade gypsy trailer. We went west looking for the perfect place to start our next long-distance saddle journey. We knew the West was burning up, drying out, and running out of… Continue reading

Total Vehicular Destruction in Two Acts

Act One. The Blowout

It’s after dark, I’m driving, and the caffeine jitters are kicking in. My wife Julia and I are heading across the desert in our Subaru Crosstrek, towing our tiny red gypsy wagon. We’re outside Idaho Falls, pushing through the night to get to Hailey, 130 miles away.

Our rig: a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek towing a homemade vardo gypsy wagon I built on a $250 trailer I bought from Northern Tool. This is the same wagon my… Continue reading

Me Hue Man: New Name, New Tattoo

She stepped out of the night and came over to where Julia and I were chatting around the picnic table. Our homemade gypsy wagon trailer was parked next to us. It was hard dark, and the woman’s long black hair covered her eyes.

She stepped out of the night
Looking into our gypsy wagon at night.

She said, “your wagon is so cute. I’ve been thinking about building a teardrop.” A teardrop is a small trailer, often homebuilt, that has… Continue reading

BioLite Stove Review: Now We’re Cooking With Wood

My wife Julia and I have used a BioLite stove on our latest car camping trip. Who knew you could use twigs and pine cones to boil pasta and charge your phone? In this post, I review the BioLite cook stove. Read on to learn if cooking and charging your phone with a wood-fired stove might work on your next camping or road trip.

Our BioLite cookstove. Here, in Maximum Overdrive Liftoff mode. In this photo, I have just lit… Continue reading

Lesbians, Furries, Kissing Men, and A New Belt in the Sandhills of Nebraska

My wife Julia and I left western North Carolina in our homemade gypsy vardo wagon and arrived four days later in the Sandhills of Nebraska, where we spent the night in a cabin owned by a rancher and his wife. They own a leather shop, and I asked her if she could make me a new belt. “Sure,” she said and told me to drop by the leather shop the next morning.

The rancher’s wife and her children
The cabin… Continue reading

From Starved to Star

The transformation of Magneto

A kind soul rescued him from a herd of eighty feral horses, some of which were starved, others of which had broken legs. And yet, he survived. Read the amazing story of Magneto the Magnificent, my wife Julia’s new horse, at her blog Saddle Under the Stars.

Little Red Vardo Gypsy Wagon Road Trip

This week, my wife Julia and I hitched our little red vardo gyspy wagon to the Subaru and headed west. It’s the same wagon my mule Polly pulled across most of Newfoundland and then through Pamlico County in eastern North Carolina. It featured in the “Our State” / UNC-TV’s episode “Mule Rider” which won a regional Emmy Award for director Morgan Potts.

Loading up L’il Red. I also call it the Newfie Wagon because my mule Polly pulled it across… Continue reading
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