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
belly button examinations at the crag
me on "Vision Thing" in Rifle
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
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.



  1. Your travel plan sounds amazing! I’ve never been rock climbing (although I would love to try at some point) but I have wanted to do a trip like this across Canada for skiing during the winter. I’m excited to hear more about your trip though, hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two to help me start mine.

  2. Wow! Sounds exciting and an amazing opportunity for you and your husband. I live in the Seattle area, so come our way. The weather is great typically, 2nd week of July – September!!! I am not sure if you can venture up in the San Juan Island area when you are up this way, but it is gorgeous! Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  3. Bishop! OMG my first travel assignment was in Bishop. You will have plenty of amazing jerky and buffalo meat so no shortage there. Not to mention when fishing season starts in the Spring! There is an amazing place in Mammoth that serves buffalo steaks across street from the Mountain. It is open seasonally, forgot the name, darn it.

  4. I’m so jealous!! What a fun and adventurous idea! If you’re passing through Houston on your way to El Paso come on by… Central Texas is beautiful as well, check out Enchanted Rock on your way through. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock Man, I wish my job allowed for something fun like this, chained to a desk can be a drag. I’m looking forward to reading your posts. Happy travels!

  5. What an awesome opportunity! So many people get tied down with a job and never get the chance to see the US. It will be so fun to hear about all the wonderful places you will be staying and how Paleo on the road will work out. Thanks for being so open and sharing your knowledge with the rest of us!

  6. Look forward to hearing about your journey through kentucky. I’ve lived here all my life minus 3 years in WV. Good Luck

  7. We live in Knoxville tn. Please send info on where you’ll be and when your going to be in Chattanooga area! Earthfare and fresh market are great stores here ! Good luck!

  8. That is an amazing idea!! Me and my wife did something similar but for work, we actually met traveling. Its an experience you will never forget, if you are swinging by Orlando please shoot me an email and we’ll arrange a Paleo meeting at my box. Good luck and safe travels!!

  9. I think this is amazing! You’re doing what so many people wish they could but never do. I am in South FL and I can definitely turn you on to a few wonderful places for grass fed meats and nutrient dense food!

  10. My husband and I and our 11 yr old and 12 yr old climb. We are in the Northwest great climbing not real far from Seattle check out Stone Hill just out side of Eureka MT, and Q’Emiln Park Post Falls Id. While in WY also check out Vedauwoo, its not too far from Wild Iris. Passing through Southern Idaho? Twin falls has climbing and you can see where Evil Kenevel tried to jump the Snake River, also City of Rocks!

  11. Sounds amazing! You should contact the admin of the Western Washington Paleo Enthusiasts MeetUp group to see about setting something up in the Seattle area.

Leave a Reply