8/17/18 11:50 AM

Wandering Log | July 2018

In July, we formed new and deepened friendships, fell in love with the west all over again, and began our meandering back east. We left Yosemite on July 1st, two weeks before the outbreak of horrible wildfires. We feel extremely blessed to have seen the park in all its glory. 

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From there we spent a magical time in Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks, learned to BBQ in Ojai, soaked up the sun in San Diego, and spent a week exploring the wild desert of Joshua Tree and southern Utah.

TOTAL MILES WANDERED: 2,701

King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

Overview: We visited these two parks over the course of five days while camped amongst huge sequoia trees in a campground with cell phone service, allowing us to work at the same time! We could have stayed here for weeks.

Recommendations:

  • Visit the General Grant Tree and walk through the Tunnel Tree
  • Visit the General Sherman Tree (the world's largest tree measured by volume!)
  • Hike Moro Rock early in the morning
  • Drive the King's Canyon Scenic Byway

Where we camped: Azalea Campground in King's Canyon. This is a great central location between the two parks and has a little grocery store and a restaurant.

Remote worker ready? Yes, we had at least two bars of Verizon cell service.

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Ojai, CA

Overview:  We went to Ojai to visit friends and got to spend a few days exploring this sweet little town. Our friends at Gordon's BBQ showed us how to cook like pros, though they just have a special intuition about BBQing that we don't have...anyway it was delicious!

Recommendations:

  • Visit (or stay at) Caravan Outpost, an all-airstream inn.
  • Eat at The Ojai Beverage Company

Where we camped: Wheeler Gorge Campground. No hookups, no water or dump station, no cell service.

Remote worker ready? Ojai is, but the campground where we stayed is not.

San Diego, CA

Overview:  Quintessential Southern California, SD is one of our favorite places. We hope to spend more time here in the future!

Recommendations:

  • Walk Mission/Pacific beach 
  • Eat at Waterbar around sunset and try to get a table by the window that looks over the ocean!
  • Grab breakfast at Kono's Cafe and go sit by the water.

Where we camped: Campland on the Bay. If you are looking for a family reunion vibe with lots of activities for kids, this is your place. Otherwise, it's way too crowded for us.

Remote worker ready? Yes, at least three bars of Verizon cell phone service.

Joshua Tree, CA

Overview:  We visited Joshua Tree while staying in Desert Hot Springs. Being the summer off season, we pretty much had the park to ourselves, soaking up the hot sun like reptiles. We entered the park in Joshua Tree and drove through to Twentynine Palms, stopping to see Skull Rock, Keys View, and any Joshua tree that stood out to us. We didn't explore as much as we could have because it was too hot to hike very far. We'd love to visit in the winter.

Recommendations:

  • Take a photo with Skull Rock
  • Shop at Hoof and Horn in Yucca Valley
  • Eat at Joshua Tree Saloon

Where we camped: Catalina Spa RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs. Amazing pool and gym!

Remote worker ready? Yes, at least two bars of Verizon cell phone service.

joshua tree

skull rock

Zion National Park

OverviewStepping into Zion is like exploring another planet. Huge rock faces and hills show layers upon layers of minerals in sweeping designs, giving you a glimpse into the magnificent history of this part of the earth.

Recommendations:

  • Hike The Narrows. Through slot canyons, mainly hiking through water, you will want to hit up one of the local outfitters to rent gear for this hike.
  • Take the free shuttle to tour the canyon. Often the only way to get around the park, you can hop on and off the shuttle to various sites and hikes.
  • Hike Angel’s Landing. Angel’s Landing is said to have received its name by Frederick Fisher, when exploring Zion with friends in 1916 exclaimed, "Only an angel could land on it!" Incredible views of the park, but not for those who have trouble overcoming a fear of heights.
  • Drive the Zion - Mount Carmel Highway during sunset. Get out of your car near the top to go sit out on a rock and take in the silence.

Where we campedZion Canyon Campground and RV Resort. It was very hot in July, so we stayed at a campground to be able to use our air conditioning.

Remote worker ready? Yes, we had at least two bars of Verizon with our weBoost turned on.

zion

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

OverviewThough it’s difficult to pick a favorite because they are all unique, Bryce is our top pick in Utah. You can explore the hoodoos (unique rock pillar formations) from beautiful vantage points along the canyon rim and walk down into the canyon to explore them up close.

Recommendations:

  • Enjoy a sunrise at Sunset Point. Yes, yes, there is also Sunrise Point, but Sunset Point also faces east, is equally as beautiful, and there will be less of a crowd.
  • Hike along the Rim Trail. This trail is 0.5 to 5.5 miles long so you can choose the length of your adventure. We recommend checking out Bryce Point, as there’s a beautiful overlook.
  • Hike the Navajo Loop Trail. The hoodoos are quite a site to see, and this trail allows you walk amongst them.
  • On your way to Capitol Reef, stop at the cutest little desert cafe called Kiva Koffeehouse, a nice respite on your drive.

Where we camped: There’s a lot of dispersed camping just outside the park in the Dixie National Forest and a gas station (Sinclair) with a dump station and potable water. Also, the elevation is higher in Bryce Canyon, so the weather was great for boondocking.

Remote worker ready? Yes. We had at least two bars of Verizon without our weBoost turned on.

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kiva koffeehouse

CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK

OverviewDid you know we have a National Orchard? You can pick and eat ripe fruit for free in the town of Fruita, part of Capitol Reef National Park. Another major part of this park is the ancient petroglyphs and pictogrpahs that can be found etched into the canyon walls.

Recommendations:

  • Hike the Capitol Gorge and enjoy the pictographs. You’ll want a vehicle with high clearance to get to this trail as it’s down a bumpy dirt road.
  • Visit the nations only national orchard. The fruit from the trees is free for all. The best time to enjoy is during the fall.
  • Hike the Hickman Bridge Trail. The natural bridge will help foreshadow what’s to come in Arches National Park.

Where we camped: There is dispersed camping on BLM land a short drive from the park. This was our favorite spot to camp because we were surrounded by other-worldly red dirt and rock formations.

Remote worker ready?  We weren’t able to get great cell reception at our camp spot (enough to send texts), but you can access it a short ride away in town.

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capitol reef

national orchard

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

OverviewThis is a big park which is divided into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the combined rivers—the Green and Colorado—which carved two large canyons into the Colorado Plateau. You’ll want to give yourself time to explore this park.

Recommendations:

  • If you have a four wheel drive vehicle, drive the 100-mile White Rim Road over two days.
  • Hike the Grand View Trail. This will give you a great scenic overlook to the various districts this park has to offer.
  • Hike to the Mesa Arch. It’s a relatively easy hike, and it offers great views with another structure that’s Arches-esque.
  • Visit the Needles district. It’s about a two-hour drive from the Island in the Sky Visitor Center. It offers beautiful rock formations and long vistas.

Where we camped: We camped at Goose Island Campground in Moab. It’s along the Colorado River and was only $15/ night.

Remote worker ready? Yes, we had at least two bars of Verizon with our weBoost turned on.

canyonlands

MOAB, UT/ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

OverviewWe stayed in Moab for a few days and visited both Canyonlands and Arches while staying central at one campground. There are over 2,000 arches in this national park, with more being formed all the time! You’ll want to watch the video in the visitor center on how the arches form and decay.

Recommendations:

  • The scenic drives through this park are amazing. If you only have a couple hours, drive to the Windows Section where you can check out some of the park’s largest arches, or drive to the Delicate Arch viewpoint and see Utah’s most famous arch from a distance. If you have time, though, start in the early morning and hike to the Delicate Arch. It’s a few miles without much shade.
  • Hike to the Double Arch. This was our favorite formation in the park. If it’s not too busy, you can climb up to one of the arches, though you’ll want shoes with good tread.
  • Eat dinner and grab a delicious beer at Moab Brewing Co. Killer wings are .25/each on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights!
  • Visit the Landscape Arch. At 300 feet, it’s the second-longest span in the world.

Where we camped: We camped at Goose Island Campground in Moab. It’s along the Colorado River and was only $15/ night.

Remote worker ready? Yes, we had at least two bars of Verizon with our weBoost turned on.

arches

LEADVILLE, CO

Overview: We wanted to spend a weekend at a higher elevation to get relief from the heat. We searched on our AllStays app for public land and found an amazing spot near Turquoise Lake.

Recommendations:

  • Paddleboard, kayak, etc. Turquoise Lake.
  • Relax by a fire and enjoy the beauty!

Where we camped: Public land.

Remote worker ready? Yes, one or two bars of service with our weBoost turned on.

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Introducing our Digital Nomad Guide

In the last two years we've:

  • Traveled 40,000+ miles
  • Visited 25 national parks
  • Worked full time along the way

We've heard from people through our travels how they admire our lifestyle and want to live the dream. Well, we've listened and we're responding with a resource that's meant to educate and inspire people to live a sustainable alternative lifestyle. This digital nomad lifestyle is based on meaning and adventure, all while working at the same time.

We're happy to announce that we've self-published a practical guide: Becoming a Digital Nomad: A Step-by-Step Guide to Living and Working from the RoadIf you're someone who dreams of living a life of adventure from the road, get your copy today to begin your transformation.

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Topics: Digital Nomading, Full-time RVing

Written by

Justin and Ariele

Justin and Ariele

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