Taking Paleo on the Road This Year!


I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to work from home, or really, from anywhere that has an internet connection. My job is dreamy: educating people about Paleo/Primal living while helping an honest Paleo company grow… from the comfort of my couch.

Last summer, my husband and I lived in my favorite climbing area, Rifle Mountain Park (click here for pics of Rifle), for about 5 weeks out of a tent and our car. It was fantastic, and both of us climbed some hard routes because we were able to dedicate our time and energy to our projects. Not only that, but we were able to spend some much-needed time outside – sleeping, eating, exercising, swimming, reading, hanging out with family and friends, playing…

belly button examinations at the crag
me on “Vision Thing” in Rifle, photo by Brian Suntay

Every fall when the season at Rifle is over, I get ants in my pants to go to Kentucky or somewhere else where it’s still warm enough for my fingers and toes not to freeze while I’m climbing. Then all winter I wish we could be somewhere tropical, lying on a beach. And in the spring when the snow is melting in Colorado, I get strong urges to pack up and go to Las Vegas or Texas, where the air is cool but not bitterly cold, and rocks are still climbable. There are tons of places I’d love to visit in the summer, too, but I’ve always been too focused on Rifle to go to them.

So… last fall I pitched the idea to my husband to move out of our house this year and tour the country, living at different climbing areas and beaches during their best seasons. We both quickly realized this could be a very special opportunity – one we may not be able to have again when we have a kid.

My husband is currently finishing up his prerequisites for a computer science Master’s program, but after this semester he’ll have enough knowledge to go out and build up his portfolio on his own so that he may not even need to get his Master’s. In other words, he can work from the road.

So, in climber bum fashion, we bought a van.

2003 AWD GMC Savanna

But the van wasn’t big enough for us, and it didn’t have enough electrical power for what we’re about to do, so we hired Colorado Camper Van to pop the top 2 feet higher and install a few solar panels.


Now, we just need to finish it out: build a bed, install a big cabinet with a counter, sink and stove, get a little fridge, install a heater, build out some storage cabinets, and we’ll be all set. No toilet – we’ll have to use camping/RV areas and the out-of-doors for that :)

Our departure date is late June 2013. Our tentative circuit will be:

Seattle and Northwest (Index, Leavenworth, Squamish, maybe Smith, etc.)
Canada (Banff area)
Wyoming (Lander, Ten Sleep)
Colorado (Rifle)

Kentucky and Southeast (Red River Gorge, Chattanooga, etc.)

Southern Florida (family and beaches! in the winter)
El Paso, Texas (Hueco Tanks bouldering)

Las Vegas baby (climbing mecca)
Bishop, CA (bouldering)

That’s if we make it that long. And if we do and we love it, we may just keep going!

So that’s our plan, and we’re really excited about it. We’ll probably only end up climbing 2-3 days a week in all of these places because I do indeed have a job to excel at. In the end, we hope to have climbed a whole lot of sport routes and boulders, but also to figure out where we really want to live, be it Boulder or somewhere else.

Along the way, I’ll be setting up Paleo MeetUps all over the place so I can meet you guys! I’m also totally available to do talks at your gyms or wherever if you’d like me to. Any suggestions?

We fully intend to continue eating Paleo on the road, although it will pose more of a challenge, and cost more. We currently have a freezer full of $3.50/lb pork and $4/lb beef, plus our dog’s raw meat which is only $2.30/lb. We’re going to have to pay a whole lot more than that for organic, grass-fed meats or compromise our standards in a lot of small town grocery stores. But we’ll be fine, and it’ll give me a better idea of what people in different areas of the country are working with when they try to go Paleo. I live in the bubble that is Boulder, Colorado after all: the land of Whole Foods Markets and farm-to-table restaurants. Welcome to the real world, Neely.