Okay, so let’s get the boring, introductory stuff out of the way: My name is CJ, I’m 37, female, have two Border Collies (hence the pawprints) who go by the names of Cody and Kye, and who are much smarter than most people I know; I swear Cody could drive my truck if his legs were a little longer and he had opposable thumbs. I also have a grey cat called Cinder (short for Cinderella, and yes, she does think she’s a total princess). My rig is a 2000 F-250 7.3l diesel and a 2007 Keystone Springdale 5’er known as Idlewild.
A little bit of back history on me, for those who need some reading material to fall asleep, rather than counting sheep:
I was born in England and have always had the wanderlust gene…oh and I get bored really easily. I moved to the US when I was 18 in 1998 with $70 in my pocket and a bag of clothes, and not really knowing a soul. I do have family in Virginia and the D.C. area, but I was looking for an adventure so the big city didn’t really seem like a good starting point.
I have worked and traveled all over the western US, mostly wrangling on guest ranches in Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming. I have never stayed in once place for more than about 6 months before wanting to move on. Everything I owned fit in the back of my pick-up truck…and I liked it like that. I have even written a book about my experiences on different ranches that you can find here on Amazon. It is called “Life Between My Horse’s Ears” and is a mixture of stories, photography and cowboy poetry.
I wrangled and ranched for the better part of 10 years before settling in Wyoming for a while. My parents (my dad and step-mom) came here on their honeymoon and fell in love with it, bought a house and here I remain, all the while my itchy feet are just screaming at me.
I co-owned a small cattle ranch for a while until my partner passed away a few years ago, but that income enabled me to buy my Sanctuary which I was living in during the summer at the ranch. She now sits at my house while I figure out how to get back on the road…which I am chomping at the bit to do.
It is going to take me a year or two to get the few things fixed or installed on the camper that I want to get done, while I have a full-time income, like new tires, re-sealing the roof, replacing the hideous faucets (I think you know what I mean), adding solar panels and all that entails, and finish decorating the interior to my taste (rather than the bland hotel-room feel).
In between now and then I will still be traveling and doing all kinds of fun stuff to get me on the road. Thankfully I have a job that lays me off for 3 months every summer so I can go and explore the world with my two fuzzy-footed friends, and very few financial constraints (I have no debt). I will be pursuing my passions in photography, videography and horses (of which I currently have 3), camping, creative writing and being free.
Stay tuned for the progress of Idlewild as she goes from [blue] vanilla to Rocky Road, follow our tails and trails as Cody, Kye and I road-trip across Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon this summer in the truck. I’ll take you with me on camping and backpacking trips into the mountains and wilderness of stunning Wyoming. I’ll be trying new gear and products and can hopefully share the good, or bad, results of my trials and errors. All this to keep me occupied until I can scratch that wanderlust itch to get back on the road.