After months of trepidation and wondering–talking and scheming, the day to pick up our new home has arrived. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a bit nervous. Almost all of this is new to me. Everything from setting up a living space the size of your bathroom to making sure that the strain of towing the trailer won’t blow up my engine–it all leaves me feeling like one of those dreams where you show up to work naked.

If you’ve been following the YouTube Vlog you’ll know that I’ve been concerned about the size of the trailer and the sustainability of the various routines that we will have to adapt to in order to make such a small space livable. Picking up the trailer did little to ameliorate those worries. I pulled out of the Scamp dealership and headed south on a 1500 or so mile journey to southwest Utah where our family is based out of–and it was a whole new ball game.

Since I was traveling alone for the pickup, I had to make it back down to Utah in time to pick up Stefanie and Lilo who were flying in to meet me. It made more sense to do it that way than to have them in and out of the single-digit temperatures–but it also put me on more of a deadline. Right out of the gate I was unable to go over 60 mph without really pushing the engine hard–and even when I settled for something resembling a “brisk walking pace” my gas mileage was cut in half.

Support LivingVertical by purchasing one of my photographs:


Thanks to some consultation from a good friend, Darius, I was able to better grasp my limitations and some workarounds. I drove for a couple of days like this making steady progress and then–POW! An unexpected blizzard pops out of nowhere in the middle of Wyoming–which is a pretty desolate spot. The storm hit as I was rolling down a mountain pass just east of Laramie. Wind gusts north of 45 mph combined with black ice and whiteout conditions were not what I was expecting. I thought that since I had escaped the single-digits of Minnesota that I would be in good weather all the way back down to Utah!

I had no choice but to pull off for the night and wait out the storm–WYDOT closed the interstate and so the decision to proceed was taken out of my hands. Feeling very vulnerable and without a solid idea of when I’d be able to get back on the road, I called Stefanie with the news that I wouldn’t be able to meet them at the airport. I’d be there 12-15 hours late at the very least. That news went over about as well as you’d expect.

It would have been a major setback if it weren’t for our friend Chris who lives nearby the airport and offered to make the pickup–replete with a car seat for Lilo. When I got back on the road the next day it was with quite a bit less anxiety.

So as you’re probably guessing, we have the trailer and we are all together in Virgin, UT where we will be based for much of the winter. Now come the next set of challenges–setting up and settling in. Over the coming weeks I want to discuss the following:

  • Budgeting and travel
  • Selecting a good home base
  • The challenges of setting up from scratch
  • Health impacts (my diabetes and medications)
  • Your questions!
  • Our adventures!

I have gotten a ton of requests for videos of the inside of the trailer–and I promise an “MTV Cribs” episode once we have ourselves situated! I really enjoy doing Q&A from my audience so I look forward to that playing a bigger part in our content. While I am continuing to write blogs you will notice that the writing is following the lead of the video blogs or “Vlogs” so for more information be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Have questions or comments? Leave them below for us!

Our first meetup will be March 4-6 in Joshua Tree National Park CA. No cost, no frills. Just action…maybe just a few tasteful hashtags though. RSVP via email: steve@livingvertical.org