Recap Road Retrofit

I went to college at the University of Central Arkansas (more to come) and graduated in December 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. Throughout school I worked in restaurants to help pay my way and am continuing to pay off that student loan debt currently (indefinitely). Since graduating I have not had a specialized position within my degree. However, I do believe I have used and do use my acquired education throughout my financial life endeavors.

I relate to the public!

After college joined a band and played music throughout Arkansas (more to come). After being fired from the band, I worked more within the restaurant business doing everything pretty much position you can think of within that institution. Soon a franchise company I worked for promoted me to a managerial position and moved me to a new location to help open up a new store. I was very busy with this new endeavor. It stressed me out, took up all my time, aided in ruining a relationship I was in, and was making me miserable. I had no time to do what Shelby wanted to do. I needed to be outside camping and exploring, not cooped up constantly working my ass off. I was unhappy. So, after an eternity of eight months of this I decided to quit and do something dramatically fulfilling. Firstly, I sold most of my shit. Then, I pulled the back seats out of my car, retro-fitting it with a platform and drawers. When I felt mildly prepared I then set out towards the West Coast from Arkansas in seek of adventure (more to come). One of the best decisions of my life. A decision that helped solidify my constructs about happiness and what I needed out of life. The decision also ended up spring-boarding me into a life of seasonal work. A life of traveling, extended periods of living on the road out of my car, and varied job opportunities with numerous perks designed for people like myself.  A life that was/is currently the most fulfilling to me.

After completion of padding/carpeting. The scaling is deceiving due to perspective. Yes, I can sleep fully extended and comfortably back there at over six feet.

I made it to the West Coast and spent the next few months adventuring through California (more to come). I met incredible people wherever I went. A few of those amazing people I met in beautiful Yosemite Valley. We climbed rocks and shared incredible experiences for a few weeks until I had to force myself to move on from that mountain-less oasis of granite. I had previously made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to spend more than a week in a single location. There are always exceptions to rules and rules are the easiest to change when you are the only one setting, abiding, and being effected by them. Those rad dads¹ I met in Yosemite decided to follow me onward south to Joshua Tree. A destination that holds a very special place in my heart. By the time we had got there we had become more than comfortable in our environments and with our abilities.

A morning solo (rock climbing without ropes or safety equipment) had become part of our regular routine. We would grab our shoes, chalk, and each other and set out into the desert in search of tempting lines etched in the rock. We were so high in so many ways. Not just with effects of the chemicals we were regularly putting into our body but, in euphoria with our dirtbag² existence. Not to mention we were physically on top of elevated rock piles without any leashes to constrain. A feeling without description. However, like all good highs there’s bound to be a crash. While out soloing one day I had my biggest crash possibly to date. I was attempting to mount the top of a boulder I had (almost) climbed when my hands slipped loose of their holds, I lost all traction on the surface, and I fell to the ground.

My tibia and fibula went completely through my ankle joint upon impact with the apparently very sold ground. The bones continued through my heel bone, shattering it into several pieces. I soon found myself again in quite the exciting predicament involving the journey from desert to medical center and then all the way back to Arkansas from SOCAL for surgery. Yet again another tale I will perhaps elaborate on another time. It’s not the point of this story though. The point of this story is one of the turn around points in my life. It’s the point where I went from having a sturdy settled career job to living a few months at a time in different locations. And of course there were other factors involved in the process. It wasn’t until a year-and-a-half later, after healing and another stable job, that I really delved into the seasonal life. This also came with the help of friends into an area with which I was previously curious about. I’m also not saying that if I hadn’t had this traumatic injury that I wouldn’t be living the way I’m living now. But, this experience happened and it helped me learn more than ever about my life. I continue to learn but, I believe I’m doing it so now on more open grounds. I hope I continue to do so.

Now we have a minute insight into a mere fraction of what this is and what I am doing. I hope to continue to share more stories from my past and present. Keep and eye out for more adventures!


¹Dad(s) – One who is a respected friend or companion.
²Dirtbag – In climbing; one who spends so much time outside engrossed in the sport that showering takes a back seat.