Happy Hoboversary! Stats From One Year Later

SONY DSCIt has now been one year since I quit a reliable and respectable job in my field of journalism to travel, write a book, and do more living. I had no idea at the time where I would find myself one year later.

Here are the stats:


Miles Driven: 20, 000
Miles Run: 1914
Longest Run: 52 miles at Zion 100 (DNF)
Total States Visited: 13
Total National Parks Visited: 13

Total Income Made: $5,000 (We be rich!)
Biggest Purchase: Rialta RV for $25,000
Biggest Expense: Food
Savings in Bank: $15,000


Favorite Trail: Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. I hate to pick a touristy spot, but it was actually pretty unbelievable, and I managed to chick Shacky by making it all the way to the top. I’d be happy running that trail every day.

Favorite State: Oregon. I LOVE TREES!!! I had forgotten how much I really, really missed trees and greenery and running through the woods. The trails are much more forgiving than what I’m used to in SoCal, though sometimes I do miss the gnarly, rocky climbs in the desert. But O-EM-GEE the TREES!!

Favorite Wildlife Sighting: The elk at Redwoods National Park. We walked right among them, and they didn’t care.

SONY DSCFavorite Person I Met for the First Time: Cory Reese in Utah. Awesome dude! He took us trail running and we had dinner with his lovely family. Cory keeps knocking out 100 milers and takes amazing photos. Follow him at: http://www.fastcory.com/

zion9Favorite National Park: Sequoia National Park. Again–the trees. My jaw dropped when I saw the sequoias for the first time. Read more about what they taught me HERE.

Most Scenic Drive: Sequoia National Park to King’s Canyon National Park

Favorite Non-Running Pastime: Reading. I am currently reading Jay Danek’s new book Got to Live, and I keep up with close to 200 blogs. You know when you wonder who has time to read all these blogs? Me. I read them all.

Best Meal: Albacore Tuna Ceviche at Multnoham Falls Lodge. They have a lovely restaurant at the bottom of the waterfall. It’s a little pricier than what we’re used to, but the food is simply amazing. Shacky had the prime rib and gave me a taste. It was the softest meat I had ever eaten. It just melted in your mouth. Shacky said it was the best prime rib he had ever had. My tuna ceviche had a great kick and was really tasty.

A close second would be the clam chowder at Pacific Oyster, a little spot along the Oregon coast. It was the day before my birthday and Shacky chose the restaurant. We also did oyster shots there (my first time!) and they went down so smooth… The chowder made me want to hug someone and then go to sleep.

Strangest Drink (in a good way): Wasabi Ginger Ale at Fort George Brewery in Astoria, OR. It was really interesting and strangely pleasant. Shacky loved it. I liked it, but then the taste started building up and it was too much wasabi for me by the end.

Favorite Food Eaten for the First Time: Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese Popcorn. OMFG. The bag is a huge ripoff, yet I bought it twice.

Best Desert: Tillamook Cheese Factory Ice Cream. We came back here THREE times.

Biggest Accomplishment: Writing, editing, and self-publishing The Summit Seeker


Least Favorite State: Kansas (I didn’t get it? I didn’t see anything there, still a little puzzled…)

Scariest Moment: For many of the roads in California (San Francisco area), I had to literally go to the back, lie down, and close my eyes to try to convince myself we weren’t going to die. The narrow roads kept turning and winding and there was so much descent that our brakes started to smell like they were burning. The cat started throwing up and I felt pretty sick myself.

Worst Weather: Hail and snowstorm driving up to Crater Lake National Park. We couldn’t see the lake at all. The next morning, it was crystal clear and we enjoyed some amazing views. I couldn’t believe how fast the storm hit us, and how quickly it disappeared.

SONY DSCBiggest Disappointment: We would have made it to the Copper Canyons Ultramarathon, but instead had some RV trouble and ended up camping at the Volkswagen dealership for more than a week.

Strangest Drink (in a bad way): Buffalo Wings Soda by Lester’s Fixins. GAGGG!!! Shacky said it wasn’t that bad, but it was pretty terrible. These guys also sell Coffee Soda, Bacon Soda, Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda…

Hardest Chore: Writing. Writing is hard, even when you’re “good” at it. I’ve been writing and working on a book every day for a year (now on my second), and it doesn’t get easier. It’s also incredibly time consuming.


With the passing of a year, I have come to understand more fully how incredibly lucky I am to:

a) have the opportunity to travel this way
b) have the support of an awesome partner in crime and a couple furry kids
c) enjoy good health and a strong body

I really hope I can do my time on this earth justice by living to the best of my ability and getting in the most experiences that I possibly can. We are often alone in spectacular places because everyone else is at work, stuck in traffic, or too old and weak because they waited until retirement to travel. I am so blessed to have the freedom that I do, and I need to honor that by savoring every single moment.
SONY DSCYou May Also Enjoy:

Answering the Call of the North

Our First Hitchhiker

Are You There, Running? It’s Me, Vanessa


Check out my book: The Summit Seeker

16 responses

  1. A year!!! Your guys years fly by way faster than mine!!! Enjoyed the highlights!! Makes me want to travel so badly! I am right there with you on those scary thruppy mtn turns in Ca!!! more BIG HUGS!!! you two!

  2. Vanessa, thank you for simply being you. I love reading your stuff… Your courage to journey and share is ULTRA incredible. Your talent with words… your passion for bending them just the right way and splashing in… is always right on time. it’s always an exciting read. You are living the life so many of us runner’s want to… so I’m grateful I can live, at times, vicariously through you… keep dreaming and living it. xo teyana~

  3. I was also in awe of the trees in Oregon. I wouldn’t shut up about how beautiful and green everything was. It feels so alive and the air is so crisp. Ahhh… I can’t wait to go back. Forest Park took my breath away. The Sequoias also blew my mind. Amazing!

    It’s so awesome to see all that you’ve done with this year. It feels like you guys just started this adventure and a whole year has already passed. Time flies! That’s why we need to start living NOW. I’m continually inspired by you.

  4. Vanessa, you have more wealth than Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison combined because you are contented and you have your health. I am inspired to follow by your example. I’d love to do the AT or the PCT one day soon.


  5. You and Shacky inspire the maverick in me! If you’re ever in the New England area (NH) you have a place to stay (dogs too!). We’ll give you food and a hot shower too :)

  6. I’m really glad I stumbled on this now! I sort of maybe set a mid-July quit date for my job, to finally go after my longtime goal of writing, freelancing, and having the freedom to move around. It was a bit rash and likely planned quite poorly, but not having a safety net leaves no space for failure or giving up ;-) Congrats on all of your successes over the past year – I’m definitely going to be going back and reading through them (keeping up with hundreds of blogs is still tricky for me!)

  7. This reading is so inspiring. I too want to quit my regular job and start freelancing and working on my own and spent more time with my family and do more sports.

  8. Hello Vanessa (and Shacky!)!
    I just heard about you through that Trail Runner email article. And then I found your blog and then I ordered your book. You guys are the raddest! Just started reading the book and already very excited about it as it’s making me want to run more! Congrats on your 1-year hoboism. Can’t wait to read backwards through all of your posts. Peace&Love…

    (Oh, and funny small worlderweb, I just met “Hey” Teyana (second commenter on this post) running up on Brown Mountain a couple months ago!)

  9. You have come such a long way. It takes a courageous person to go against the expected ‘norms’ of their culture and society and to follow their dreams. So proud of you! Yes, writing is hard, but don’t stop. You’ve always has a gift for writing since we were in grade 7 when you were drawing and writing works like the adventures of “Van” and “Sims” in music class…

    You have inspired so many people to aim for their goals, and never give up including me. You have also taught me never to stay in a bad situation because we have the power to walk away. It might be scary at first, but our lives are worth fighting for. I am so happy you have found the serenity and happiness you have been searching for.

    Thanks for taking all of us with you on your journey. Can’t wait for the next year ahead! :) Simone

  10. Hey Vanessa, congrats on all your excellent adventures so far. I just found your blog while researching the Los Pinos 50K (which has been resurrected from the dead this year). Your blow-by-blow of the Los Pinos experience is one of the most entertaining and well-written reports I’ve read for ANY race. Clown shoes, freaked-out hornets and an 8-mile killer ascent certainly don’t hurt the narrative — you did a great job just making it off that mountain intact. What trail runner wouldn’t want to have a tale like that to share? Preferably without the “living through it first” part, of course…

    Glad I found your blog (better late than never), and look forward to following your journey from here!

  11. What an amazing journey you two are having. It is a real pleasure to follow along on your travels and read about each new adventure. Hey, there’s a possible title for book number three – The Adventure Seeker.

    I’m so happy for you guys. You’re living the dream. For the rest of us that are stuck in our day-to-day grind, please keep sharing your stories, as they allow us to live the nomadic life vicariously through you.

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