WARNING: The Victor Pride Highway articles are the raw and unfiltered diaries from my travels. They are not your standard B&D articles. They are not intended to pump you up and motivate you, they are simply for fun. The next time we speak, you will get a true style B&D article. Until then, relax and take a ride on the Victor Pride Highway…
Wednesday – Durango, Colorado
7 pm – I’m in the mountains 18 miles outside of Durango, Colorado. A small mountain town where the people spend time outdoors mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and river rafting. It’s an interesting town surrounded by small mountains and green trees.
When I arrived around 5, the sky was a dark blue-grey and it was 68 F. I found my camping spot early. It’s right off the highway but very secluded. There are no signs pointing to a campground and there are no camping amenities.
The only reason I know camping is allowed here is because I searched for free campgrounds in Durango online. If I hadn’t have looked online I would have never known I could camp in the nearly wild like I am right now.
One thing I notice in my travels through the southwest is the amount of bums I run across. I don’t just see bums in the big cities like Albuquerque and Los Angeles, I even see them in these cute little mountain towns like Durango, CO.
I see homeless people everywhere these days. I’ll see 5 bums in a 5 minute drive through one of these small towns. I went through a hike in the mountains 18 miles outside of Durango and in the middle of the forest I found a sleeping bag and a full bottle of maple syrup. Clearly this is a temporary home for some of the homeless.
There’s a white trash woman camping near me. I’ve not seen her face, but I constantly hear her yelling obscenities at her blond child … “Sit down! Shut up! F*ck!” every few minutes. Her camp is playing hip hop music nonstop. “Shit!” she just yelled. Even the blond boy is laughing, she’s still yelling at him “Get down Shane!” A few minutes later it’s “STOP!!!”
The weather has cleared up. It is no longer a drab dull grey, but a bright vibrant baby-blue. I can appreciate the beauty of the skies in between the “HUSH!” and “STOP!” outbursts of my white trash mountain neighbor.
The temperature is up to 70 F. The weather is perfect. Soon I will cook a steak on a small portable propane grill and enjoy it under the stars. I am enjoying car camping very much. It’s just so easy to camp. I don’t have to set up a tent at night and then pack up a tent every morning. All I get out of my Tahoe is my grill and my camping chair.
At night I just sleep in the back of the Tahoe on the cot I installed. It’s so easy to travel this way that it inspires to visit all the states I have not yet seen. I have been to Colorado many times, but tomorrow I will slip into Utah, a state that I have never been to. There I will find another free camping spot and sleep under the stars.
Thursday – Utah
9 am – Last night was a half moon. It was fairly bright out but I could still see ten thousand stars. I slept pretty well. I never sleep well in a tent, I sleep a lot better on the cot in the back of the Tahoe.
Last night was dead quiet. I couldn’t hear anything at all. It is still quiet this morning, except for the wind blowing. Today I will make the 3 hour drive to Moab, Utah.
At present I have no desire to eat any food, but I have learned on my travels that it is best to have a protein/fat breakfast before leaving. It really makes a world of difference. I will cook a steak and then head out.
6 pm – I’m writing to you from the mountains high up in Utah. As you know, I’m on a road trip to nowhere on a goal to see everything. My first destination today was Moab, Utah but I got there at 1pm and it was 100 degrees out and there were no trees (no trees = no shade), so I left Moab and continued down the highway.
After leaving Moab, I went all the way northwest to Provo. Provo is a cute little city surrounded by mountains. It is from those mountains outside of Provo that I am writing to you now.
Pardon my language but it was a real bitch driving up here. The road is made or rock and dirt and is very narrow. You have to drive up the edge of the mountain with no guardrail, just like a scene from a movie. If you look out instead of forward, you’re looking down the edge of the mountain.
So just look forward and keep driving forward. Eventually you’ll get to where you were going, but only if you keep going. If you look down too much and decide to turn back, you’ll never get there. That’s why I just go, man. I said I got to go! Where, I don’t really care. I just got to keep moving forward.
I want to see things I never seen before. My attitude is go go go! but with a little twist – do it slow. Don’t be in a rush because when you rush you tend to stumble. But don’t wait around too long because you’ll never start. So go go go but do it slow. Be on the move, just not so quickly. Someone once called it The Way of Always Moving Forward. It you just keep going, you will get there.
I’m in the beautiful green forest right now, which is where I dreamed of being just one week ago. It’s so easy to get to where you want to go, just as long as you start heading in that direction. All I had to do was get into my Chevy, turn on the engine, throw some meat in the cooler and hit the gas pedal.
You can see everything you want to see and do everything you want to do. Just make steps that way every day. Drive that way and don’t look down.
Nobody else is on top of this mountain. Tons of people turned into the forest to go to the picnic areas to have a day party. Damn near nobody made it all the way up the mountain on the treacherous dirt road that winds all the way up the edge of the mountain. Shoot, I’d be happy as a pig in slop to see somebody else up here. I’d know that they went up the same treacherous road I did and didn’t turn around.
Most people don’t have that kind of fortitude to drive all the way up a hard and winding road. You and I know, there are precious few of us in the world. The road up is a real son of a gun. It’s narrow, it’s frightening, and it’s unknown.
Most people turn around to go back to something familiar. Hey, good for them. They get to see the old familiar faces and places every day. But if you have the guts and the nuts to go forward, well, that’s a different story. What awaits you at the top is … well, that’s up to you.
I’m up here in the cool air with 100,000 green trees to keep me company. That’s all I need. Tonight anyways. Tomorrow is a different story.
Friday – Wyoming
8:30 am – I woke up to the sound of something on my vehicle in the middle of the night. At first I was dazed from sleep and couldn't not understand what was happening. Then I figured a bird was walking around in the roof of my car and went back to sleep.
In the morning I found footprints on the hood of my car, as well as on the trunk of my car (going vertical). I still don't know what animal it was. UPDATE: They are raccoon tracks.
This morning I woke up to see 3 deer grazing about 100 feet from me. It was 48 F and too cold to eat breakfast outside so I made the trek back down the treacherous rock road. I wanted to find a picnic spot further down the mountain that had some sunshine.
This forest is so heavily treed that nearly everywhere on the mountain is in the shade. It is truly an enchanting forest, and I had no idea that Utah had some heavily treed forests in addition to their desert/rock climate.
Driving down the mountain this morning I saw many people jogging and riding their bicycles up the mountain. I found a spot near the base of the mountain that has good sunshine so I pulled over to cook my steak here. The sun on my skin felt absolutely amazing.
5:39 pm – I drove all through Utah on my way to get to Jackson, Wyoming. I found a little organic shop in Salt Lake City and stopped in to buy some grass-fed steaks and some raw milk.
The lady behind the counter was super friendly and was very interested in my travels. That is my one and only conversation with a person from Utah. If the rest are anything like her, I’m sure they are a friendly people.
I wouldn’t mind spending some time in Salt Lake City in the future. Northern Utah was mostly farm land. In fact, the point where Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho meet is 100% farmland. They had some nice big farms out there too. At one point I crossed into Wyoming, then I crossed back out of Wyoming into Utah, then I somehow crossed into Idaho before crossing back into Wyoming for good.
My very first thoughts of Wyoming were “it sure is empty.” For miles I didn’t see anybody, then I started hitting the towns which were all similar to each other. They all had an average population of about 200 people per town. The houses were spread quite far apart, nobody was too close to their neighbor, if they even had neighbors. As far as I can see, Wyoming is nearly all farm land.
After about a 5 hour drive I got into Jackson, Wyoming. It’s another cute little mountain town like Durango. The population is 9,000 and surely they get many tourists because it’s a real cute town at the base of the Yellowstone and Teton national forests. So far I've been really pleasantly surprised with Utah and Wyoming. They are nice quiet places with a lot of natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor adventures.
I found another nice free camping spot on the mountains outside of Jackson. Again I had to drive up the side of the mountain on a winding road made of rock and dirt. Again, there are little to no people up at the top.
I am continually being surprised at the quality of the free camping spots I’m finding. The free spots have been a lot better than all of the paid spots I’ve come across. The free spots are usually big and have lots of trees (assuming they’re not in the desert) and the paid spots are tiny in comparison and offer little privacy.
The fee for paid camping is usually between $10-$20 per night. With that fee you get amenities such as bathrooms, water, and sometimes showers. With the free spots you get no amenities, there’s nothing here but a stone fire pit and a dirt road. Also, lots of trees and natural shade.
They don’t advertise the free spots and they rarely even make signs for them. To know that they exist you have to seek out the secrets about where the free spots are. That’s why there are always so few people up in the free spots. They just don’t know about them and never inquired about the secrets.
I’m sleeping in bear country tonight. Wyoming is famous for its grizzly bears. I’ll be safe in my Tahoe, in my cot with the windows rolled up and the sleeping bag pulled up to the bottom of my chin. It got cold last night and this morning, but I'm prepared.
Saturday – Yellowstone to Montana
7:30 pm – Long day today. I drove through Yellowstone National Forest. But let me start at the beginning. I woke up in the forest outside of Jackson. I cooked a steak for breakfast and I drove down the winding rock road all the way into town.
In town I happened upon a local farmer’s market and I bought a local steak for $19. Then I went to the gas station to refuel, check my tires and my oil, because I knew I was getting into a bumpy ride through the forest.
Driving through the Teton national forest, which is just before Yellowstone, is a breathtaking experience. You get to experience wilderness in a way you can never experience it anywhere else. You drive through the middle of the forest and there are no fences anywhere.
It is a breathtaking experience to drive down the highway for hours and never see fences. You are totally open to all that earth has to offer in Yellowstone. You also get to deal with a lot of traffic and tourists. There are more people at Yellowstone than live in Wyoming, I think. All in all, it was a 4 hour drive through the forest and a fun trip.
I got to Bozeman, Montana about 2 hours after leaving Yellowstone. After the scenery available at Yellowstone, Bozeman didn’t have anything to offer. It looked just like any mid-sized city in the US.
I went to a local CO-OP there and bought some amish butter from Wisconsin. This was the first time in my life I’ve seen amish butter. And the amish are known for doing good hard work and making a damn-fine product, so I bought a big old hunk of amish butter and put it in my cooler. The butter only cost $11 dollars, in California I’d paid $16 for four sticks of unpasteurized butter.
My cooler in my car is better stocked than most people’s home refrigerators. I have amish butter, grass-fed steaks from many states, fresh yogurt and raw milk from 2 states, coconut water, some gas-station drinks called Bai Coconut, as well as some of my supplements.
Because Bozeman was so ordinary, I quickly left to Billings Montana, two hours to the east. It is here from Billings that I write to you now. I rented a hotel room here because I do not get service on my smartphone in Wyoming or Montana. I’d needed the hotel room to use WiFi and get some critical work done on my laptop computer.
Even as a traveling man without a plan, I still work like the devil to keep up this leisurely pace. So I rented a hotel for $60 and I buckled down for the night. I asked myself is it worth $60 for a shower and some WiFi? No. I’d rather be in my car under the stars.
It’s been a week, but I’m becoming accustomed to being a mountain man. I’ve already been everything there is to be. I’ve been the rich guy, I’ve been the bad guy, now I’m just gonna be the guy on the highway. Cruisin’ and climbin’. Until next week at least, when I will have a plane to catch.
Sunday – Montana
11 am – Billings makes Bozeman look like Shangri-La. Billings is a dump, to put it bluntly. It’s a small industrial city with lots of poor and homeless. It looks like Wichita if Wichita had hills.
I don’t get smartphone service in Wyoming or Montana. If I had good nature to enjoy, I wouldn't care. But the nature in Billings is not good, and neither is the WiFi. I’ve been to 4 places to try to get WiFi to download some podcasts for my 6 hour trip to Cheyenne today. My hotel, Dennys. Burger King, Albertsons – all had impossible wifi. I ended up at a hipster coffee shop called MoAV to get some decent wifi. It is from this coffee shop that I am writing to you now, as I wait for some podcasts to download so I have something to listen to on the long drive ahead of me.
Tonight I will be sleeping in the woods outside of Cheyenne. I have learned that I really prefer to sleep outside under the stars than I do inside of a motel. It’s hard sleeping inside of a car, and that’s why I like it.
Comfort makes you crippled. I learned this fact after watching Americans on the road. They bring all kinds of creature comforts with them when they travel, such as their own bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen. As a consequence, because everything is so comfortable, they can barely move. Their big behinds are used to sitting in a recliner and they can’t bend down or do anything at all. Comfort has left them crippled.
I see these old folks traveling in a 5th wheel or an RV and they have to use motorized scooters to get around. They can’t even walk anymore. I even heard a 12 year old American boy say he needs a soft mattress because he has a bad back. I told him he has a bad back because he sleeps on a soft mattress. These people think they need comfort because of some ailment they have, when actually their comfort causes their ailments.
People in Vietnam have next to nothing, but they can move. They can squat. They can be human. In Vietnam, because it’s so hot, they don’t have pillows or mattresses on their beds. The humidity would make pillows and mattresses moldy and nasty real quick. So you know what people in Vietnam sleep on? They sleep on a bed made of solid wood with no mattress.
No mattress, no pillows. It isn't comfortable and guess what? They aren’t crippled. They can move. Excuse my harsh language, but these fat pigs in America cannot do anything because they are crippled by comfort. That’s why I’m out here in the wilderness sleeping in the forest in my Tahoe. I don’t ever want to get too comfortable. They day I cannot squat down is the day I have to re-evaluate my entire life.
6:35 pm – Drove out of Montana through Wyoming. Let me tell you something about Wyoming … it’s empty. EMPTY. I drove on the highway for miles and miles and miles without seeing anything. Hour and hours I drove through Wyoming and barely saw anybody or anything. This land is empty. I still have not even seen a real city in Wyoming and I’ve been driving it more than 10 hours.
I ended up at a camping spot somewhere between Laramie and Cheyenne. I am continually delighted at the quality of the free camping sites I’m coming across. I’m in some of the best nature I’ve seen all day and it’s free. And big. In my camping spot I’ve got a huge amount of space.
Wyoming was so empty I would be driving down the highway, looking at nothing and seeing no other cars, and I would wonder to myself why I was driving so slow. Then I would look at the speedometer and see that I was actually driving 95 mph, which is very fast.
Driving fast feels like nothing out in the wild. There’s no other cars and no police to care about it. Say what you want about Montana and Wyoming, but I almost never see police officers here. Actually I just saw police in Billings, the trash capital of Montana. I saw many homeless there, I saw the Montana Women’s Prison there, and I saw just two cop cars there, which is more than I’ve seen anywhere else in Montana or Wyoming.
If you want to be a thousand miles from nowhere, Wyoming is the place to be. Wyoming is the state with the least amount of people in the United States. Even Alaska and Rhode Island have more people than Wyoming. Wyoming has a population of only 550,000. Not even a million people live here. Like I said, Wyoming is empty.
Monday – Wyoming to New Mexico
9:43 am – I am very content this morning. It is a beautiful morning under the pine trees, with the sun shining on my face. There’s no place I’d rather be. Unfortunately it’s time to make the 8 hour trek back to Albuquerque so that I can prepare for my flight. I learned many lessons out here. One is the need for a home base if you want any kind of lasting success.
7:36 pm – Back in Albuquerque. The days drive was an easy and brisk 8 hours. I started from Cheyenne and ended up in Albuquerque, straight through Denver. The drive through Denver was the only unpleasant part of today's trip. I always hear great things about Denver but when I go there, I don’t understand the hype. It’s a huge, industrial city with no mountain views. It took an hour to drive through, and it was by far the most traffic I’ve seen in a week.
Colorado is a very busy state these days. When I was a youngster we would often visit family in Colorado, Where we went, it was as empty as empty could be. In the family home are paintings made by a great aunt. She paints the Colorado farm house her and my grandmother grew up in. The house is out in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles and miles from anything. Just like I was for a week. And there's no place I would have rather been. Many of us dream of getting away, even for a week. That's exactly what I did.