Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Category Archives: Hiking

Tired of having a home? The Guide to living the Homeless Lifestyle (the Correct Way)!

I sometimes worry myself about how I can even figure this stuff out…..

Ok, maybe you just can’t handle the whole “owing a house or renting an apartment” thing.  Maybe you are more suited to living in your car or in a shipping crate by the railroad tracks.  Perhaps that is more of your housing style, however, what will you do about showers, laundry, and sleeping arrangements?

Not to worry dear readers, my worthless advice about “How to Be Homeless” will give you all the awesome advice (or perhaps worthless advice) you need to be successful as a homeless person.

In addition, my tips will allow you to save money and become a success in your personal and professional life.  Remember, homeless doesn’t mean you are jobless!  And homeless doesn’t mean not having a vehicle either!  It only means you don’t have a home!

Shall we begin?

  1. Be Clean: Join a 24/7 Fitness Gym with shower facilities that has many locations.  A hot shower, free soap and shampoo, free towels, and a shave?  And you exercise too?  Sign me up!
  2. Dump Your Garbage.  Learn where all the public parks are located at.  Free garbage service and access to some interesting bathroom options.
  3. Learn where all the Starbucks ae located (Just kidding…there is one on every corner).
  4. Hide right under their Noses: Find Fire Stations or Police Stations to park at.  You can certain park your car in the visitor parking lot for a few hours or overnight.  Who is going to check?
  5. Hang out in Plain Sight.  Park your Honda right at the Honda dealership or  Honda Mechanic’s Garage parking lot.  One more care isn’t going to be noticed.  Or if you have a white van, put a made up delivery company logo on your van…your van is now a delivery van.  Park it in the back of a UPS store.  You now look like you below there.
  6. Enjoy Food: Not having a home means your food budget is now huge!  You can eat out all the time or you can eat healthy salads you make in the backseat.  Yum!
  7. Visit relatives/friends during the holidays.  Bless them with your presence for two or three nights.
  8. Find locations off the beaten path that offer free power. Invest in a long extension cord from that rest stop bathroom to your car.
  9. Find 24 hour Laundromats.  Do laundry, drink beer, and watch TV.  Everyone wins here!
  10. Find 24 hour Businesses.  You can park in their parking lot and they will never know.  People are always coming and going and your car will look like an employee’s car.
  11. Get a Post Office Box for your mail.  But ideally, pay everything online.  Have auto deposit and auto pay systems set up.

Enjoy these eleven awesome “How to be Homeless Tips!”  Remember, you don’t have to let society dictate to you on how to live your life!  You can still have a nice car or van, be a clean person, have a good job, and be a productive member of society by using my proven system!

Happy Homelessness!

Do you have some awesome advice?  Well, keep it to yourself.  We want only worthless and sarcastic comments below.  Hmm, maybe you can add a few tips…go ahead…comment below and hit the “Like” button too.

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Summer Camp for Adults? Cash on In!

FullSizeRenderSummer is here and a few years back I read about Adult Summer Camps.  I didn’t pay much attention to the Adult Summer Camp craze because I was too busy being, you know, a parent.  Besides, I’ve done my fair share of camping, backpacking, and attending summer camps as a young Boy Scout and also as a Boy Scout troop leader.  Oh, and don’t forget my trips to various Girl Scout camps with my daughter as well.  So you can imagine, I’m not too interested in sleeping a musty old cabin eating bad food at the dining hall as an adult because we now have an Adult Summer Camp opportunities abound.

So, you see, the idea of Adult Summer Camp doesn’t really appeal to me.  However, I can see that it is a great idea because it already exists and someone is making some money.  However, I believed these “summer camps” are called business conventionsand trade shows and held in places like hotels.  Usually  you have to attend because your job requires you to.  Or you could go for pleasure and attend something like Comicon.  You know, a place where you can dress up in a costume just like you do on Halloween.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is a hobby and hobbies are something you enjoy doing and I strongly encourage you to attend a convention if you want to.  I just don’t understand why someone wants to head out to the woods and go back to summer camp.  I’d much rather head to a hotel and enjoy the pool and spa services.

Of course, I’m a fool for not cashing in on the Adult Summer Camp craze.  I know a number of experts (aka friends) that could assist me in creating a new summer camp.  If someone wants to pay me to attend a summer camp, who am I to stop them?

What courses would I offer?  The list is endless!

  • Lawn Mowing and Lawn Care
  • Complaining & Whining
  • Photography
  • House Painting
  • Blogging
  • Cheap Vacations
  • Car Maintenance
  • How to Fail
  • Drone Flying (and Crashing!)
  • Home Beer Brewing (and its sister course Beer Drinking)
  • How to Be Depressed in Your Life without Mental Illness
  • Boating and Floating
  • Camping Basics
  • Candle Making
  • Wine Drinking
  • Scotch and Whisky Drinking

Pretty much whatever you can imagine, we could offer it as a course.  I could rent some old summer camp, set up some old army tents, get some retired school cook for my mess hall, and we would have our summer camp up and running in no time.  Daily Field trips to the local pub for inspiration would be a must.  Hands on experience (like painting my house) with a touch of reality (see my highly regarded course “How to Fail”).

I know you are dying to sign up.  For only $1499 per week, this summer camp experience can be yours.  You can send me cash anytime.  I promise to save your spot for you.

Have a great idea for a course?  Want to be a part of a winning team (or you need a job for the summer)?  Let me know!  Frankly, I need all the help I can get.

 

 

 

 

Snow…but no snow…

Lately, we have been getting some good heavy snowfalls in the mountain regions of the Puget Sound area. Today we were excited to set off for Paradise (Elevation: 5400 feet), on Mt. Rainier, for a play day in the snow. Do some snowshoeing, perhaps even build a snow cave or even an igloo.

The drive to Paradise isn’t too bad if the road is clear. You enter the Mt. Rainier National Park though the Longmire gate entrance.  However, with the recent snowfall, and then having the temperatures rise back up a bit, plus you add some rain and you have a great situation for avalanches. The park service is pretty good at keeping the road closed if it should be closed (due to dangerous conditions).  The National Park Service (NPS) also requires you to have tire chains even if you have a vehicle with all wheel drive or four wheel drive.

We were just outside of Elbe, when we decided we had better check the National Park Service’s Twitter feed and discovered that the road to Paradise from Longmire was closed. Oh well.  Drive an hour or so to discover you can’t get into Rainier National Park.  But then again, that is the nature of winter weather.

We are hoping to return to Mt. Rainier National Park over the next few weeks if possible. 

 

Colorado Trip July 2015: Day 1

A few weeks back, I managed to escape my domestic lifestyle of Super Dad.   As you might recall, I’ve banked up about a month worth’s of vacation from being a responsible person.  Over the years, my wife has done a lot of “Girl’s Weekend/Ditch the Family Weekends” with her various friends while I’ve stayed home with the kids.  On contrast, my trips away from her usually involve some kind of Boy Scout outing (like summer camp or a weekend camping trip in the Pacific Northwest rain).   Neither one are relaxing vacations. I would say they are like supervising prison highway cleanup crews on a long 4th of July weekend: Your buddies are out having fun and you have to watch a bunch of inmates.

So every once in a while, I get a Guy’s Trip to refresh and use up that “banked” time.  Don’t get too excited; this happens about once every seven years.  (It is quite rare and you should probably note this in your worthless event calendar).  This time, I invited myself to Colorado on my friend’s business trip (so my lodging was free). Luckily, I stayed with my friend (who unluckily was there for business).  While he and his fellow co-workers were stuck in “important” meetings and site visits (they look at buildings and the security of the buildings), I was visiting the tourist sites around Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder.  Don’t worry; I thanked him by charging a lot of nice meals to his room, a bathrobe for his wife (she probably needed a nice gift from him anyway), and a few drinks for the 23 new friends I made at the hotel bar.  All legitimate business expenses if you ask me.

This was my first trip to the Denver area and mid-July was a great time to visit.  Nice, comfortable weather (shorts and t-shirt time)…sunshine and clear blue skies in the morning, turning to thundershowers in the late afternoon and evening.

Day 1: Explored Denver downtown along the Commons Park, 16th Street Mall (basically an outdoor mall with a bunch of chain stores…gee, I could have just stayed home and not seen this crap), the Federal U. S. Mint/U.S. Reserve building (oh, another place where the building is a full of more money I’ll never have), and the Colorado State Capitol and the civic grounds around it (actually it is quite nice pack and landscaped area).  You see, I don’t mind walking, exploring, and people watching.  It’s quite good fun: you walk, check things out, and stay healthy.

16th Street Mall...skip it...

16th Street Mall…skip it…

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After exploring this tiny slice of Denver, I drove out to the Red Rock Amphitheatre (located in Red Rock Park near Golden, CO).  If you have ever been to the Cars ride at Disneyland’s California Adventure Park, this is most likely where the Disney folks got their inspiration from.  It was a beautiful setting.  Great rock formations, parking isn’t bad, and the terrain is fun to hike.  Bad part was the light drizzle of rain that turned into a downpour.  But what is a little rain while you on vacation?  Nothing but a free shower, right?

Driving: While on vacation, I often forget that you aren’t magically able to get from Point A to Point B in a matter of minutes (this isn’t a Harry Potter novel).  What I think is a five minute drive is actually a 45 minute drive.  After my hike, I still had to drive out to Boulder from Red Rocks Park (which turned out to be about 45 minutes away).   Time isn’t on my mind either.  I occasionally might check my watch but I don’t keep track of time.  As long as I’m not falling asleep at the wheel, I’m good to go.

Traffic around the Denver area wasn’t bad at all. Considering how the traffic is in Seattle, everywhere else (besides Honolulu, LA, and New York) is a piece of cake to drive in.

Accommodations: I stayed at the Hotel Boulderado. Well, I rather crashed with my friend in his room paid for by his employer. However, in reality I’m a client at his company so I really paid for my own room. Hmm, in hindsight, I should have upgraded to the deluxe suite. Nice hotel in the heart of downtown Boulder and close to the Pearl Street Mall (another closed off street featuring stores and street artists).

Next post….Day 2!

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http://boulderado.com/

 

 

 

 

Pilot Ridge Hike – 30 miles in 3 Days

This coming weekend I’m headed out on a 3 Day/30 mile Boy Scout backpacking trip outside of Darrington, WA. We will be hiking the Pilot Ridge Hike picked by one of my senior scouts (who runs cross country and is in great shape). So you can imagine, I’m a little concerned about the least fit members of our backpacking trip. I’ve nicknamed it Anthony’s Death March in his honor.

The weather conditions this coming weekend will be sun and showers on Friday, with mostly clear skies on Saturday and Sunday.   I’m not too worried about the weather. I’m more worried about the actual hiking and backpacking. The elevation gain and loss on this hike is quite a bit. The bonus of sleeping outside two nights on the hard ground is also a big draw. Hmm, nice hard ground instead of my soft bed. Gee, I can’t wait.

I’m not too worried about the backpacking part except for my backpack will be much larger than my day pack. You have to carry everything you need for three days. At least it is summer time here so I can carry less of my backup gear. I still carry all of the Ten Essentials…plus #11 Toilet Paper and #12 Duct Tape.

http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/basics/ten-essentials

I don’t have a problem hiking. In fact, I did some high elevation hiking in Colorado in July. But backpacking is a lot different than car camping. You don’t have a nice established campsite with easy access to water and flush toilets. Camping in the backcountry is you, out there in the wilderness, making sure you have enough food and water for your entire stay. You have to be prepared. You need a decent shelter, food, water, a water filter/pump, and a handy dandy Hello Kitty LED flashlight.

When I was younger, I loved to do backpacking and camping. I still enjoy being outside hiking; the backpacking part isn’t as appealing as it once was. I’m older and sleeping on the ground just isn’t that enjoyable.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to doing a backpacking trip with my son. We have gone camping a lot as a family and on numerous Boy Scout camping trips. This will be a fun final trip before he gets his Eagle Scout rank.

Do you have any fun day hikes or backpacking trips planned?

 

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

Happy Mother’s Day! A message from your favorite Worthless Advice Blogger!

A Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms that take the time to read my blog; I do appreciate you taking the time away from your kids to read my words of wisdom (or rather my Blog of Worthless Advice). Of course, by reading your blog you are really just learning how to be an even better mother than before, right?
Well, it probably has been a month since I last posted something; which is just plain awful. I was swamped with work (and still am) so I’ve put a lot of projects on the back burner. Then, when I do have free time, I’ve been working on Boy Scout projects or hikes. In fact, last month we did a service project and managed to get in a hike. I’ve decided to include my Girl Scout troop in on these hikes and the girls do just. Our last hike was on May 2 to Taylor Mountain here in King County. I thought it was going to be between 3 to 5 miles but we logged in 8.65 miles on a wonderfully sunny Pacific Northwest day! You can’t complain when you get a great hike in!
I’m still behind on my work, but I’m fairly confident, I can catch up this week. Of course, this is what I say every week. But again, I think I can do it this week. It’s all about positive thinking, right?

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