Wynword Press

A Publishing Company

Wynword Press loves deep literature!   We focus on a few, high-quality titles rather than diffusing our efforts across many titles.  Each title is a book we truly believe in...each of our books has something to offer in addition to a good read.  Whether it's from a best-selling author or a relative unknown, you'll find something here to inspire you, grow you and entertain you.

Joshua Tree National Park

On Thanksgiving weekend, we drove through Joshua Tree National Park. I had thought we might camp there for a day or two, but not only could we not camp, we had trouble even stopping to take photos. The park was so jammed that I had to stop in the roadway in the middle of a parking lot to take some of these pictures. There was not an inch of ground that wasn’t paved with tourists. We were just one tourist too many. Apparently, Thanksgiving weekend is always like this in Joshua Tree.

Joshua trees are shaped like contortionist Hindu gods and goddesses (many arms). They make the skyline of Joshua Tree National Park utterly unique.

The other thing Joshua Tree National Monument has, besides Joshua trees, is rock. This one looks a little bit like a giant sea cow sleeping on the beach.

I was really annoyed that I couldn’t get a picture of this sphinx rock without these road signs in the way. I figure if I can watch imaginary football, you can pretend the road signs aren't there. If there hadn't been so many (other) tourists there, I could have found a better spot for picture taking, but such was not the case.

Mojave National Preserve

After we tore ourselves away from The Big Dune (which, honestly, was pretty boring...it doesn't look nearly as good in person as it does in my photo), we went to the Mojave National Preserve. That afternoon I got stuck in the sand whilst driving off the road to find a camping space. Not just a little stuck in the sand; stuck up to my rear axle in the sand. The whole back of the RV was sitting on the sand. If it had not been for a dear young man who spent an hour or so trying to pull me out of the sand without a tow strap (meanwhile breaking everything we tried to use instead), then drove 10 miles back to the freeway to see if there was anything we could use at the little store that was there, then rounded up another guy who had some tow chains and accompanied him back to my RV, I might still be in the Mojave National Preserve. 

After that debacle, I was too terrified to drive off the road again even though it looked like a bunch of other people had already driven off the road before me, so we spent the night in Kelso on an abandoned basketball court. Kelso is ugly and depressing, consisting mostly of piles of railroad ties and miscellaneous, rusting junk. 

The next day, though, we found a great camping spot and stayed there for a few days. It’s pretty much the only camping spot in the Mojave National Preserve, or at least the only one I dared to drive to. 


Here's what is at the end of the road we are camped beside

The Big Dune

On the other side of the mountains, in a valley kinda sorta similar to the Owens valley (except that it is completely different) we pulled randomly off Highway 95 to camp near The Big Dune. We knew it was The Big Dune because there was a BLM sign that said 'The Big Dune'.  Here is The Big Dune, looking for all the world like a big dune (go figure). 

We got stuck here for a few days because I began shivering and shivered 24 hours per day for four days. I took my temperature, which was normal, so I went around for two days saying “But I’m not sick! Why can’t I stop shivering?”. You can only imagine all the creative scenarios I came up with to explain the shivering -- in fact, you will have to imagine them because I'm not going to tell you any of them. I finally took my temperature again, only to find that it was way above normal. So I stopped stumbling around like a fool and went to bed.


Highway 168

After one night in Owens valley, I tried to avoid the predicted windstorm by taking a teeny little highway across the mountains to the east to reach Hwy 95 in Nevada. At the top of the pass, the road was only one lane. I would have loved to take a picture of it because it was quite spectacular, but there was no place to pull over. Even I, who as we know, prioritize road safety below sight-seeing, balked at parking in the middle of a one-lane road full of blind corners to take pictures. Crazily enough, this road was extremely busy with hay trucks, and I didn’t want to get into a showdown with a hay truck. So I took a picture looking back to the west before I reached the top of the pass.

Owens Valley

So at this point we traveled south to the Owens valley, which is beautiful. We only stayed there one night because there was supposedly a horrible windstorm on the way.  Here is the little brook we camped beside, plus some mountain views. My co-pilot was testing the water to make sure there was no dangerous undertow or submerged hazards. To everyone's relief, everything checked out safely.

Another rest stop

On our way toward the Owens valley, traveling down US 395, we found this very nice rest stop on the west fork of the Walker river. They didn't allow overnight camping. We were discussing amongst the three of us (myself, co-pilot and jr. navigator) the likelihood that we would get caught if we broke this rule, but our morals got the better of us and we only stayed long enough to enjoy the view. At least I think it was our morals. Since two thirds of this conversation took place in a language I can't speak, it's hard to say for sure. There was much wagging of tails and smearing of wet noses on knees, and the ultimate decision was left to me.

Summer Lake

Let us travel back in time to the point where we triumphantly discovered the Cascade lakes. After leaving the lake, we then sped down Highway 31, traveling a good 65 or 70 miles, and then became exhausted from our labors and stopped at a rest area near Summer Lake. This rest area was lovely and peaceful, and there were no trucks. All of these things are unusual in a rest area. Summer Lake, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen, although it looks enormous on the map. Apparently, it has shrunk to a tiny puddle somewhere with a vast expanse of marsh grass around it. Here is the view from the back fence of the rest area:


New Years Day (imaginary football)

We had an amazing New Years Day. My original plan was to uphold the great American tradition of watching football all day. Since I don’t have a TV set, I thought perhaps I might induce my neighbors to participate in a game of ‘skins vs. shirts’ whilst I sat on the sidelines documenting the action. I got up (briefly) to go out and start knocking on doors, but at that moment I realized that we probably had enough rheumatism, arthritis and lumbago between the all of us to disable the entire Chinese army, and it would be more in keeping with the couch-potato nature of the day not to actually DO anything.  Instead, I decided to enjoy a long afternoon of watching imaginary football.  Unfortunately, just after kickoff on the first game, I fell asleep and napped the entire day away. I don’t even remember who was playing. :(

Here are my neighbors:

The incredible vanishing lake(s)

OK, I know these pictures are nothing special, but I simply HAD to post them, just to prove that the cascade lakes do exist. It took me an hour to find a lake even though I was basically right on top of it the whole time. Consulting the map, you see that the road goes right beside one of them, but in fact you cannot see even the tiniest glimpse of water from the road. Nor is there a sign to be found anywhere. So I just started driving up every gravel road I came to until, finally, I encountered the lake. Was it worth all that effort? Not really. 

It appears that a Viking funeral might be taking place on the shore in the background. Of course, I did not SEE a body, but what other reason could there be for lighting a fire by the lake?

I only posted this because it is abstract-looking...two skies?

Sunriver - something sinister going on there?

As we were trying to find the road to the Cascade Lakes in the mountains southwest of Bend, OR, we made the mistake of entering the resort community of Sunriver. It turns out that there is only one way into Sunriver. If you are foolish enough to take this road, you find yourself in an endless maze of circles and winding roads that seem to be going in the right direction, but then twist back on themselves to dump you out where you started. You can't tell any of these roads apart, as they are all heavily forested and lined with little 'cottages' painted the same tasteful green color that is supposed to blend with the surrounding woods. So you are constantly asking yourself: "have we been here before?" and never getting an answer. 

I took pictures of Sunriver, but none of them came out. Coincidence? Perhaps...

After we tore ourselves loose from Sunriver, we found this camping spot beside a river. According to the map, it is close to the lakes, and after the Sunriver debacle we were not in the mood to search for anything else. We needed to kick back, knit, and contemplate our navels.

Farewell Bend

We left in October this year, and, with our usual lightning speed, travelled the 450 miles to Boise in three days.  We stayed at the Farewell Bend state park on the Snake river near Ontario, ID. Or Is it in Ontario, Oregon? 

The most interesting thing about Ontario is that it is the home of the Ore-Ida potato factory, where they synthesize potatoes and chip them up into little flakes to make boxed mash potatoes, etc. We ‘toured’ this factory, with great interest, from the freeway as we raced past at 55 mph. That was enough of the Ore-Ida potato factory. 

As a side note, Ore-Ida potato flakes make excellent ‘snow’ on the Christmas tree.  You can mix them with water if you want them to stick to the branches.

Farewell Bend is quite nice, and we stayed there for three days.


This is my home in northern Idaho in June. We hung out here for four months this summer until it started to get cold, and then we fled for more temperate climes. Of course, it's now all buried under 2 feet of snow, but I'm not there so it doesn't upset me.

I've posted this so that those of you who are living in suburbia can get all envious. You may have modern conveniences such as fire hydrants, sidewalks, and paved roads, but we have lovely clouds. 

Additional Staff

In June, I took on an additional staff member, an Associate Navigator by the name of Shadow.  He looks nice and normal, right?  Negative. He is a maniac. Not the kind of maniac that jumps happily around knocking people over; the kind of maniac who guards his food against his own body parts. Below are some lovely images of Shadow's handiwork. The blood spattered all over the RV resulted from him catching his tail and ripping it open. The bites, of which I've suffered 15 since June, happened when I tried to stop him in the middle of a psychotic episode. The Vagabond Tourist is a family-oriented site, and I should warn you that the gallery contains elements of graphic violence, not suitable for the youngsters.

Vagabond Tourist Has Moved!!

Aren't we all excited? And if we aren't, shouldn't we be? 

Here are the beautiful pelicans at the Salton Sea from VT's old Facebook page. The Salton Sea has many beauties: 1) pelicans, 2) other birds, 3) nice view of mountains across the lake, 4) heaps of jagged dead fish bones cluttering the shore...Oh wait. Maybe that doesn't qualify as a beauty.

I advise you to wear stout shoes when visiting the Salton Sea, because it's not the sort of place where one can caper happily across the beach, playing volleyball and such like. Unless you want your feet shredded.