Becoming a Dirtbag Darling: The First Days


It’s happened. I have finally started taking steps towards accomplishing one of my biggest dreams in life.

To be a dirtbag.

dirtbag darling, that is.

This story starts with a friend of mine, Tavin, who totally gets the dirtbag dream. He currently lives in his car in Leavenworth and is probably one of the coolest humans alive. I owe a huge shout out to him and probably a lifetime of beers and belays, for this RV is his and in my confession of not knowing where I was going to live and really wanting to live on the road, he loaned it to me “indefinitely.” Don’t worry bud I won’t keep it forever. Well at least that’s not currently the plan 🙂

Dirtbag darling lesson 1: trust the universe, for it always provides.

The story begins with Tavin but the actual journey starts in a field on a rainy night in Graham.

Of course, I waited until 9pm, on the first rainy night in months, to try to drive an RV for the very first time, 45 minutes from Graham to Des Moines. And because I always enjoy a small element of danger, I will insert a few key points. Minus never actually having experience driving an RV, the windshield wipers were less wiper and more sticks that just smeared muck all over the place, the “headlights” I think the quotations say enough there, and the right side mirrors hung in such a depressed position I could watch my wheels spin round and round while I drove, mimicking the thoughts in my head.

Dirtbag darling lesson 2: When deciding to go with the flow of life instead of prepare like a real adult, just take deep breaths.

Thankfully, I had recruited a friend, Hailey, who I would have absolutely been lost without, like actually though, because that right mirror stared at the ground instead of traffic, she had to text me from the lane over when I could merge. She literally had my back as I could not see the damn thing and followed me all the way home to ensure my safety and my sanity.

As I rolled out of the driveway, it hit me. I have no clue how to drive this, no one actually lives in their RV, the tabs are expired, and I can’t see the entire right side of this beast. After having a moment of WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING? We got the wagon rolling and were on our way, deciding gas was probably a good idea. Like I said deep breaths, and prayers.

Here is the other thing about the RV. All the keys are lost in the field where it had been parked, never to be seen again. Including the gas cap key. Luckily, Hailey is from Tacoma and knows a few “tricks,” 😉 she whipped out her knife and with a few well placed cranks, we were in.

Dirtbag darling lesson3: When in doubt recruit your people, especially the ones with tricks.

We gassed up and got back on the road, knowing the highway was ahead, I was a little nervous to say the least. Normally I would say I really hate semi trucks, now I have a new appreciation and camaraderie with semi truck drivers. After lots of prayers, taking up at least two lanes of traffic, and going 50 on the freeway, I pulled to my street, the reality sinking in.

Am I really going to be a dirtbag darling? I have no where to park this, I have no clue how to get rid of all the spiders, I have no idea how scrape the rotted corpse of what I think is a rodent off the bathroom floor, I have no idea what I am getting myself in to. 

Flash forward a week and it’s officially day 1 of what I will call renovations. I have set the spider bomb (sorry fellas I can’t sleep in my home with you living EVERYWHEREEEEE), and I am coming up with the game plan and big dreams via my Pinterest board. Although I know it will probably look nothing like these dream machines, and there will probably still be more bugs than I can handle, it’s mine, and the possibilities are endless.

Most call me crazy, some call me adventurous, my dad would probably just call me an idiot! 🙂 (By the way dad if you’re reading this, I know it is all out of love and I don’t take it personally and I ❤ you).

Being a dirtbag darling to me, though is this feeling, this magnetic pull in my gut towards this life I imagine in my head. It’s ultimate freedom, creative expression, and independence. It’s living in a permanent state of possible adventure. It basically has me written all over it.

Living in an RV is the dream, it is having a home base I travel with. It is roots and wings. It is also a lot of ground work and I really have no idea what I am getting myself in to. This may be a terrible idea, but all I know is that if I didn’t do this, on my death bed it would be the one thing haunting me, that I knew I should have done. So that is why I have this 35 foot hunk of beautiful metal, that needs more work than I know how to do myself, but for now it is my slice of dirty, spider infested, rusted heaven.

Dirtbag Darling lesson 4: Follow your dreams, follow your bliss, make it freaking happen.



Wilderwomen was born out of two women with the same dream; build a community of women who empower one another outdoors. Whether you’re seeking yoga, a get away, a tribe, an outdoor adventure, or just some time in nature, Wilderwomen has it all. We host meet-ups and outdoor retreats in the picturesque PNW paradise that include daily yoga, gourmet meals, outdoor adventures, hot spring soaks, glamping and more! We are building a community of women (and men, and partners, and those who don’t opt to define themselves by a gender) who feel confident in their skin and in their technical outdoor abilities, a tribe of humans who deeply care about the environment and each other, and a collection of outdoor enthusiasts and weekend warriors who are excited to get after it in the outdoors.

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