A blog about living outside, first in my car, then in tents.

Wild Places

Wild Places
Much to my bemusement, this week I have seen more of the the public lands surrounding this small rural community than in all the years since moving here in 2004. I mean, all this accessible beauty has surrounded me all this time, beginning just a mile away, and I’ve explored very little of it. That doesn’t match the image I have of myself, or perhaps it is just different than the person I used to be. I let fear keep me away from southeastern
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Cow Pies

Cow Pies
When I was staying with my friend, my last residence before the car, my dogs had a relatively small fenced yard, so I took them out running every day or two. I discovered a US Forest Service dirt road with plentiful side roads. Signs of old campfires and not-so-old parties were common. So my first night in the car I parked in a spot there. The next few nights I poked around the area, looking for spots that were private, where any partiers or others who drove by road wouldn’t see me. I found a few, including good shade. But what my dogs found was more problematic. Did you know our USFS lands are...
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The House

Since September 2011 I knew I was going to lose my house. The bank gave me a long time. Why, I can’t say for sure. I told them about my declining health, my at-that-time new claim for Social Security disability (declined), and the marketing skills I hoped would help me sell my house. I asked for more time. The bank never said yes; each month I expected an eviction notice. Yet two years passed before the final foreclosure proceedings, and three months more until my deadline to get out. I failed to accomplish anything life-changing in that time. I tried to develop my
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Pets as Family

Pets as Family
I had looked for homes for my dogs on and off for three years, seeing this coming. Although I never thought “this” would include living in my car. I figured I’d end up in a low-rent studio, hopefully one that would take dogs. Short of finding my dogs a good home with someone I could trust to deal with their various eccentricities compassionately and yet firmly, as I do, I would not let them go. I refused and refuse to take my dogs to an animal shelter. I believe that adopting a pet means making a commitment to care for it for its life. Not until it becomes inconvenient. Not until you can no...
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First Week Planning: Showers

First Week Planning: Showers
  My options: 1. Drive 40 minutes to the closest truck stop and pay $9 for a shower, plus get some eggs and hash browns. 2. Drive 30-35 minutes to a state park, pay a $15 camping fee and use the showers legally, or a $10 day pass and sneak in. Or pay $75 for a weekday season pass which does not cover use of showers. 3. Drive 40 minutes to the nearest city, pay $42 a month (plus a $25 registration fee) for a non-contract gym membership. This is what I want to do. It would do me good to start working out again – oh, I just remembered, my old workout clothes...
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First Night In Car

First Night In Car
I’m delaying as long as possible the inevitable “OH MY GOD I’M HOMELESS!” moment, when my new status fully sinks in. I know I am homeless, of course, but most of me wants to deny it. And I want to avoid whatever strong emotion will likely accompany the epiphany. I do know, however, that I am not alone. Apparently living in your car is the latest middle class trend.  
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