Investment Help

If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bucket List Item

A few years back, my son David and I made several cross country camping trips. One was to dip our big toes into the Pacific Ocean; another was to reach Carlsbad Caverns.  We pretty much winged these trips, looking for free camping and out-of-the-way sites.  I had a couple of things I wanted to see (Custer's Last Stand) and he had a few things.

I highly recommend road trips to see the U.S. for those who can swing it.  Approaching the Rocky mountains, driving the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, watching the climbers at Devil's Tower in Wyoming, and camping in the Badlands of South Dakota are all memorable, unforgettable experiences.

One evening we pulled into Arches National Park in Moab, Utah--a point of interest for David.  The sign said the campground was full, and we pulled up to the ranger booth to get directions to the next nearest campground.  The lucky star my son was born under shone down, and the ranger said they just had a cancellation in the park and would we be interested.

The reason for the cancellation was quickly apparent as we put up the tent.   No part of it was ever more than a foot off the ground in the ferocious wind.  I had put that tent up many times but never in such a  wind.  Somehow we survived the night without being blown away.  The next day and the day after we hiked throughout the park, taking in all the spectacular scenery.

Only recently I came across an amazing book recommended by a friend  - Desert Solitaire.  In this book, the late Edward Abbey tells of his experiences as a ranger at Arches.  The writing is superb - Abbey was a poet with words - and his views are strongly held.  For example, he was strongly against paved roads into the National Parks.  He believed  you couldn't experience nature looking outside from inside a car. For those who couldn't walk or bicycle in, he was for buses - a la Denali National Park in Alaska.

Edward Abbey
Here is an excerpt from the book where Abbey talks to tourists:

"Where's the Coke machine?"
"Sorry lady, we have no coke machine out here.  Would you like  a drink of water?" (She's not sure.)
"Say ranger, that's a godawful road you got in here, when the hell they going to pave it?"  (They gather round, listening.)
"The day before I leave." ( I say it with a smile; they laugh.)
"Well how the hell do we get out of here?"
"You just got here, sir."
"I know but how do we get out?"
"Same way you came in,  It's a dead end road."
"So we see the same scenery twice?"
"It looks better going out."
"Oh ranger, do you live in that little housetrailer down there?'
"Yes madam, part of the time. Mostly I live out of it."
"Are you married?"
"Not seriously."
"You must get awfully lonesome way out here."
"No, I have good company."
"Your wife?"
"No, myself."  (They laugh; they all think I'm kidding.)
"Well what do you do for amusement?"
"Talk with the tourists." (General laughter.)

My recommended bucket list item:  camp Arches National Park and read Desert Solitaire before you go.


  1. David W says..........

    Tourists are always amusing in some form or another. That is why I always try my best to not act like one.

    And what is this lucky star nonsense? I haven't won the lottery yet so I must not be all that lucky??? Or perhaps I just need to play more?

  2. Some are lucky at finding camping sites others at other things. Finding a spot for tent is a good thing.