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    The Road


July 23, 2016

Saving Cash for an Emergency. . . or a Trip.

A good friend tonight updated their social media that due to a tropical storm, their bank was closed and they had no way to get money. They weren’t going to starve or die or boredom, but it was an inconvenience.

But seriously, how much cash should you put away for a disaster?

Exactly how much cash you should put away for a vacation?

Do both.

Between and during all of my long walks, I would do ridiculous amounts of research on the area I’d be travelling. In my notebook, I would tuck any extra daily cash I had between the pages while writing my notes. (I did not carry this notebook around, obviously.) For the longer trips, I had a series of map books; the Delorme Gazeteers, for each area I would be travelling. Each page had about 3-5 days worth of hiking to cross at a realistic, long-distance pace. As I did my research, I would tuck the money needed for that page into the map. Eventually, I would mail the maps ahead to post offices, general delivery, and would have enough money to finance the next leg of the journey.

So, you want to have an emergency cache of cash or perhaps you want to plan a trip around the world. Here’s an easy way to do both. Read More

March 21, 2016

Aquaman and Ghost Trains – Day 7 – March 18th

Stopping on a trussLeaving town, we stopped for an hour to hit the internet at the library. I posted quick updates on GNN and MySpace. Saw a copy of Steven Levy’s Hackers in the used book bin. Had an email from Bryan and saw that Ed had posted out postcard online. We then stopped on city green, and books on the green, discovering the town was founded in 1992. So much for old town. Bought postcards anyways.

Leaving town, we encountered a span bridge over a fairly busy road, with a plague indicating it had been built in 1905. We stopped for a brief rest and snack, enjoying the first truly gorgeous day of the trip. While leaning against the truss, a hispanic man in knee high rainboots stumbled towards us. Holding a three gallon water jug at chest height, he offered congenially, “Aqua?” as the effort of the task caused him to drunkenly stumble off the side of the tracks as he past us. Feeling introspective, I leaned over the edge of the bridge. Every third or fourth car honked and waved.Aquaman's Secret Base

Welcome to wine country.

Leaving the bridge and heading north, we soon came to AquaMan’s presumed camp or hangout, a well placed tarp amid a mountain of half crushed beer cans.

We paused again at a picnic table on the outskirts of Healdburg to heat up some of our homemade dehydrated Chili. Breaking off to grab a couple of cold beverages, I returned to Ryan sitting next to our camp stove, the dehydrated chili resting/burning dry in the pot at high heat. We all get tired sometimes.

Monroe Under Train TracksEntering Healdsburg we came across another amazing yet decaying truss bridge across the Russian River. In the sandbank below, two boys and a girl sat smoking cigarettes. We shouted briefly back and forth about the trip. Looking back, Ryan was stagger stepping across the bridge curing how she hated it, fearful of it’s immeninet collapse.

We stopped for coffee at a newsstand coffee shop in downtown, getting the familiar mixture of curious and disainful stares as we changed our socks and read the newspaper. Leaving, a near toothless woman asked us about our packs and upon hearing our route implored us to stay off the tracks as she still heard trains every night.

Hidden Camp at Dusk

Yes, there is a tent in this picture.

As we hit the tracks, we began seeing quite a bit of tagging from “Sur 13 El Vatos Locos” which encouraged us to get a bit more distance north before stopping for camp. We made camp about 100 yards south of the Simi winery, able to hide our tent between two small trees with the help of our camouflage ponchos. Knowing it was saturday night, we wanted to avoid attention from any drunk teens who might be out wandering the tracks.

March 20, 2016

St. Patrick’s Day Freedom Dip – Day 6 – March 17th, 2006

IMG_0558After laundry in Santa Rosa and a quick stop at Trader Joe’s for some dried fruit and energy bars we started on the suburban trek to Windsor, the last notable town south of Healdsburg.

The city line of Santa Rosa was palpable; The police line where a shooting had taken place cordoned off an entire corner near a union building. We treked west to the tracks through Coffey Park, a subdivision with creative street names like Espresso, Perk, Arabica and Mocha. Once we got to the tracks and began heading north, the character of our trek changed drastically. Read More

February 14, 2016

Soon, You CAN take it with you.


Off and on over the last decade, I have played with the original content behind Guerrilla Camping. I’ve gone through 7-8 edits, added chapters, added some incendiary comments, and removed a few. I’ve edited some things based on findings on the last long walk.

On March 11th, I’ll be releasing the book!

February 3, 2014

Guerrilla Camping – Introduction

About Guerrilla Camping

Guerrilla Camping 101 was written starting in September 2005, as images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina flooded the airwaves. As most of the 9th ward lay submerged, I began writing after looking at a backpack sitting packed and ready to go by my front door. Unlike most people who have a bag packed with four days of food sitting next to the door, it wasn’t meant for the end of the world. At the time, I was working two days a week in San Francisco, and spending the majority of my time living in a tent.

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May 8, 2013

Thank you….

Thanks to everyone who continues to constantly comment and e-mail me about this blog. Please accept my apologies for being one of those people who pop up every two years saying, I’ll blog more, I promise.

A comment from Theresa on “I wanna rock” made me realize what everyone has missed out on in my silence over the last few years,

You mean you haven’t gone camping or trekking since that rock incident? You must have missed out a lot of the activities. I hope you feel better soon.

I certainly did not miss out on any activities, in fact, the activities have been why I don’t blog anymore.
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December 31, 2011

Have You Seen This Man?

An old buddy from the GNN days was seeking a picture. I decided I would post a few. While going through it, I found this one:

I’m the pale kid in camofluage in the picture, which was taken a few days before I walked out of the city. The big guy in the picture is “Papa”, a vietnam vet who lived in the door way of a closed down drug store near the corner of 7th And Market in San Francisco. I lived a block way in a cavernous basement beneath 6th and Market and when walking home from night shifts papa and I gradually grew to be good friends, spending many late nights and sunny afternoons discussing life and slinging stories.
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November 16, 2011

I wanna rock.

As the weather changes, old injuries come out to haunt. A couple of dislocated knees commiserate with a pair of shoulders who shared their fate. Tingles and pops remind of awesome, decade-old stories, but the fame shines on a point just at the ball of my right foot, where cold weather becomes searing pain and taunts me with the notion that I may have crippled myself away from the very freedom I once swore by.

Yes, five years after the infamous rock in the dark that ended my cross county hike, I still enjoy frequent pains from that damned foot.
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October 15, 2011


Real life is oft a sledge hammer to my promises to write more. Thank you to everyone around the world who continue to send messages of encouragement, particularly those who see the bits that only get posted for a new minutes and who e-mail words of encouragement from the four corners of the globe. Read More

April 20, 2011

You’re not going anywhere.

Most disasters will not require you to get out of town, as romantic as the notion may be. In fact, in the bay area, most disasters will completely strand you as bridges, tunnels and overpasses are shut down for inspections or reconstruction. Not only will this keep you in, it will keep essential services out. In the event of a major quake, you can expect to be on your own for three days to six months depending on the severity of the incident. Truth be told, the following advice will help you even if the tremors you experience are a layoff, an earthquake or the proverbial zombie apocalypse. This is what you need.

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