Ran into some traffic on our way somewhere. Spotted an exit with a sign for a campground somewhere else. Spent an uneventful night somewhere I can’t recall.

Well actually it wasn’t all uneventful. The neighbor came home drunk and backed his truck into his rv. There was a bit of a ruckus between park staff and the drunk. And in the morning I went to the office, complained about all the noise (he also had a guard dog), and got a full refund. So really it was a somewhat eventful free night somewhere I can’t recall.

Oct26-1 Oct26-2 Oct26-3

Lowe always wants to ride Ouest’s bike now. “How come my bike is not bigger?” he asks.

Oct26-4 Oct26-5

I’m not sure if I ever told this story on the website before or not. I’ve told it to friends a couple of times recently, and today when we spotted this Winnebago Brave it reminded me again.

Back when Ouest was about six months old we were in Minnesota where she was getting laser treatments for her hemangioma. At the same time we were contemplating our next move. We’d looked at a couple of boats by then, but nothing had worked out. In fact, we had gone so far as to make an offer on one, negotiate back and forth, get within two-thousand dollars, and then wake up after sleeping on it and decide to scrap that particular boat plan. Wasn’t meant to be. [Side note: that boat was still for sale well over a year later, and at a lower price. Not even home sellers can beat a boat seller in thinking that whatever they're selling is worth more than it is.]

Anyway, Ali and I had decided instead to buy a vintage (50s or 60s) Airstream. We didn’t have one picked out, but knew of a few eighteen footers out east. So I got on eBay, found a tow vehicle we liked—an 80s Jeep Wagoneer complete with wood paneling and a big V8—and put in my bid. It was in Ohio, so the rough plan was to fly there with all our stuff, get the Jeep, and drive out east to find an Airstream we liked.

We were outbid at the last second.

Three days later Ali found the Spindrift sailboat on Craigslist, and by that night we had verbally agreed to buy it.

All of which doesn’t explain the Winnebago Brave connection at all. Well, during our Airstream search we’d also discovered the Brave. I don’t remember now why we went with the Airstream, but regardless, we have always loved the style of the Brave. And keep in mind, at the time we were only a family of three, so eighteen feet sounded just right to us.

I like telling that story because it reminds me that even if it doesn’t always feel like it, we really do just sort of trust our gut and go with the flow. Somehow things always work out for the best in the end.

Oct26-6 Oct26-7 Oct26-8 Oct26-9

A bit further down the road we followed some rough directions to what was supposed to be BLM land. I don’t know if we ended up in the right spot or not, but we did find a dry lake bed where we were most definitely going to be left all alone.

Ouest jumped out of the bus and squealed with delight when she saw all the “mud pies.” I gave both the kids a screwdriver and set them loose. They dug up mud pie after mud pie, and only narrowly avoided stabbing themselves in the eyes with the screwdrivers.

Once they finished that project Ouest decided that they should grab a bucket and walk around picking up glass. They soon had the bucket full, proud of themselves for saving the environment.

Way back when we were living on the boat in Mazatlan there was a vacant lot next door that we’d walk through on the way to the grocery store. There was also a big shade tree in the middle of that lot where the kids would pick up sticks, or giant zip-ties, or whatever else they could find, and play for an hour.

Anyway, one day Ali brought a couple of big garbage bags and the three of them spent an hour picking up garbage. To this day Ouest tells that story. She explained it to me again today as she bent over to pick up another shard of broken glass. You never know just what will stick in their young minds.

Oct26-10 Oct26-11

The kids were in a good camera mood, so we took the opportunity to get a family shot. You can tell they’re growing up just by the fact that we were able to get a picture with all four of us looking at the camera. Of course there is one tongue sticking out so we’re not all the way there yet.

Oct26-12 Oct26-13 Oct26-14 Oct26-15 Oct26-16 Oct26-17


Spent a nice day at this place near Ventura—just a long strip of road right along the beach.

Refugio State Beach

We’ve said goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa, but not before a walk down State Street turned into some sort of...

Don’t Do That. Or That. Or That.

We went out to a nearby pumpkin patch this morning. The kids have really been wanting to do this, so we waited until the...

Santa Barbara

We boogied down the coast and got to Santa Barbara just in time for our meet-up with Ali’s parents. Somehow Ali...