Friday, March 31, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.8

Hope and faith are the two things that keep me going. When you make as many stupid mistakes in life as I have hope and faith is all that keeps you alive. Admittedly, hoping that I could do things is probably what got me into trouble. But, hope is also what gave me the guts to even try to do some of the things I have done. My faith in God has always given me faith in myself. My faith in God has always given me hope.

I was an over the road trucker for 35 years. You would think that I have had enough of the traveling life. But, truckers will say that once trucking is in your blood you will always be a trucker. After 35 years of driving past, through, or near things that I did not have time to stop and see, I want to find out what I have missed. 

But, my health, age and income has raised a barrier that I may never be able to cross. It is now 2023. I am 74 years old. In 2002 I had a quadruple heart bypass surgery. In 2009 I had to retire for physical health reasons. 

To cut this episode short my future plans are simple and as follows: warmer weather is just around the corner. Spring has sprung, trees are starting to bloom, and birds are more active. I am doing much needed minor repairs on my van. On April 25 I will be in Oklahoma City for a doctor appointment. I hope to stay in OKC for a couple of days at work with my camera. I have already moved out of hibernation and hope to be shooting photos in state parks soon. Hopefully, I will get chances to meet people using the camp grounds and photograph them and their equipment. I should probably start with places in western Oklahoma.


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.7

Photographing the community parks soon led to a desire to explore more of what Nevada has to offer. I soon began to venture outside of the valley and I read all I could about parks and camping. I realized that I was smack in the middle of some of the best BLM campgrounds in the entire country. And, I began to understand that although I had a small circle of friends I was not a people person. I had actually been a loner most of my life. Solitude was my best friend.

At the same time that all of my photography ideas were swimming around in my head the desire to travel led me to hunt for a vehicle to travel and camp in. I wound up with the conversion van I now have. I figured it would suit me fine. I was wrong, but what I had was better than being homeless.


Life happens, and lessons are learned along the way. I now know that my back will not allow me to do a full-time van life in a vehicle I cannot stand upright in. I have also learned that when living off-grid it is impossible to stay healthy without the right equipment. In a 2-year period, I lost 40+ pounds and was so sick and weak that I could hardly get around. I loved the van life. I just was not physically fit to do it.

So, I am now back to living in an apartment, trying to rebuild my photography website, making some repairs and changes to my van, and planning for what will be the best way for me to get back on the road.

Looking south into Death Valley from


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.6

Las Vegas Blvd. at Tropicana Ave.
Yes, I will feed the slots in Vegas. But, I am too cheap to call myself an avid gambler. Luckily, I got shed of the gambling bug on my second WESPAC cruise back in 1971. About halfway thru the cruise, I started loaning money to other gamblers instead of shooting craps and playing poker. That was much more lucrative.

So, why Las Vegas? I was born and raised in a small town in Western Oklahoma and still prefer the open country. But,the only things, still, that there is to do in small-town America are fish, hunt, play baseball, football, or basketball, andget drunk. After that, life is boring in a small town. The lights of the city are a natural calling card for anyone who is bored of the life they live. So, once I entered the over-the-road trucking industry in 1974 it was no wonder that I was impressed with every city that I traveled through, especially Las Vegas. I was captivated on my first visit to this city by the lights coming on at sundown. The people, casinos, shops, and just the street scene, well, I guess I fell in love with the city on my first walk down The Strip.  I guess I left my heart in Las Vegas on my first visit.

I spent several days and nights in Las Vegas over the years, but it was 22 years later that I made my first attempt to live there. It was during the aftermath of my second divorce that I moved to Las Vegas. I had spent 8 months attending a vo-tech school learning to run a printer. I found a job my first full day in Las Vegas, but that job only lasted less than two months. I got nervous when I could not find another job in a short time and headed back to Oklahoma, and I was back on the road driving truck again. It was 16 years later when I retired from my trucking career before I made my second attempt to live in Las Vegas. Since then I have actually lived in the Las Vegas Valley a total of three times in the past 12 years. Each time that I returned to Oklahoma was due to a family situation. Once the problem was solved at home I was soon on my way back to the Las Vegas Valley. I have now been in Oklahoma since November 2019.

It was in May of 2021 that I made my last move to live in Las Vegas. About a week after I arrived I went for a drive and wound up stopping and climbing a small mountain up City View Trail. (You can read an article I wrote about my climb of City View Trail here.) And, this was the beginning of my photographic project and my desire to live in my van to travel and photograph as many national, state, regional, and community parks as I possibly could. It was also another beginning of my learning about myself.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.5


These days I worry a lot about whether I can save or earn the money to do what I want and need to do. At my age, 74, I have a lot of physical and medical issues that will keep me out of the workforce. I have spent a huge amount of my adulthood as a truck driver. I have injuries that include a deteriorating spine and I have recently had eye surgery that now seems to point to the fact that my vision will never return to 100% in my left eye. Right now it seems that my vision in my left eye is at about 50% of normal on good days. And, it seems I also have some problems with short-term memory loss. So, how do I hope to deal with these issues and do what I want and need to do?

Imagine you were a college basketball player that dreamed of turning pro. Imagine you had spent 4 years leading your team to the national championships every year. How would you feel if, when the time came and you were offered a contract, you were driving to meet the people and sign a contract and you were involved in a car crash and woke up in a hospital with only one leg?

It was actually a lifelong dream of mine to become a professional photographer. I will not dwell on the many times, years, and attempts I made to just begin working toward this dream. But, in 2009 I retired from a 35-year career as a truck driver due to health issues. In 2012 I relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada, and spent several months just exploring the city. In 2013 I moved back to Oklahoma, took the plunge, bought some camera equipment, and began shooting at a local park, shooting local sports and other events. In 2015 I lost 140k photo files due to a computer glitch. I have saved the hard drive from that computer and hope to find someone who can find those files on that drive and save them for me. In 2017 I returned to Las Vegas and began shooting on a project that I had become interested in and pushed me to get out and walk for exercise several times a week. I began shooting community, regional, state, and national parks in and near the Las Vegas Valley. Plus, I started getting interested in trying to live in my van, travel, camp, and photograph every park that I could.

Since 2012 I have lived in the Las Vegas Valley three times for approximately 6 years, returning to Oklahoma only for family reasons. I have tried to relocate to the LVV three times since late February of 2021. When the pandemic struck in Las Vegas it appears to me that the LVV housing market went bonkers. I have spent over $6k in these three efforts to no avail.

My next posting I will talk about why I want to return to the Las Vegas Valley. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.4


While I am looking toward what will probably be a long hot summer in Oklahoma for me I am also looking forward to being able to save the money to relocate back to southern Nevada. When I first moved into my apartment 4.5 months ago I accepted the fact that I might have to take 1.5 years or more to accomplish what I need to do before heading west again. Meanwhile, I have a lot of computer work ahead of me.

So, why southern Nevada? Southern Nevada is not my 1st choice, but it is my best choice. Southern Nevada is actually central to the parts of this country that I most want to photograph. And, I already have almost 4 years of a photography project working there, with at least two more years of work left on this project. My work involves photographing parks, preserves, trails, memorials, monuments, and museums. and wildlife. Southern Nevada is where my friends live. Southern Nevada is largely BLM land, campers paradise. I love the southern Nevada weather. But, I cannot afford to live in my first choice, southern California, specifically around Oceanside, California.

All photographs in this article are samples of my work in Southern Nevada.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.3


The Bare Minimum: Jackery 240, Jackery 500, and a Jackery 100 watt solar panel. I also have a Predator 2000 Inverter.


In the past 3 years, sometimes out of necessity but often thru my own desires, I have spent around 30% of my time living in my van. The time in my van, more or less, was a test to see if I wanted to live in my van on a permanent basis or not. I like the life. Currently, my body doesn’t agree with me, but I can be a weekend warrior. And, when Spring arrives I hope to be doing just that.

As a weekend warrior I need enough room in my van for a minimum of clothes, a bed and blankets, storage for food, my laptop, my camera equipment, and my guitar. With this stuff, and a few tools for minor repairs, I am set for a 2 to 4 day outing. I can camp at a fishing hole or pull into a truck stop for the night.

BUT, my plans for the future is that, if I can produce the income, I am currently thinking of either buying a small RV or a pickup truck and small travel trailer. I still have a dream of living rather long lengths of time off grid. Dreams Die Hard.


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Madeira Canyon Park, Henderson, NV.

 My visit to City View Park was 4 days behind me before I had the strength to head out for another adventure. But, that was four days of admiring the views of photos I had taken from the top of that hill. And, I started wanting more.

Just below Black Mountain is Madeira Canyon Park, one of the most beautiful examples of a community park I have ever seen. Gambling and the nightlife draw millions of people yearly visitors to this valley, but the views of the Las Vegas Valley and the mountains surrounding the valley are what made me fall in love with life in the Las Vegas Valley.

Amenities for the park include baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, walking trails, tennis courts, picnic shelters, barbeque pits, picnic shelters and tables, a playground, splash pads, restrooms, family atmosphere, and fantastic views.
Find your way to the park via Maps or Google Maps to:
Address: 2390 Democracy Dr, Henderson, NV 89044


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.2

Short Term Plans

Looking at how bad my finances have become, the condition of my transportation, and how bad my health has gotten over the past two years, I believe it will take every bit of a year, maybe 15+ months to get things done that need to be worked on. 

Also, I have decided that if I keep doing my photography I will need to do things differently. My Adobe Stock site is still leasing photographs almost every week, but there is just not much money in micro-stock. Most of what is being leased from my Adobe Stoke site are photos of community parks in the Las Vegas Valley. where most of my work has been done. Some of my work in Oklahoma is also leasing. I am planning to add another photo specialty to broaden my market. Meanwhile, I am writing articles to go with the subjects I have already photographed for use in marketing them. And, maybe someday I can get back to the Las Vegas Valley to shoot more parks.

My Bucket List Buggy
My van blew its motor on my birthday in January of 2022. Replacing it cost me $6,000. A few month's my van was rear-ended while I was sitting still at a stop sign. My insurance paid me $6,000 to fix the damage. But, I chose to spend that money on 3 more (I had already made 2 attempts to do this.) attempts to resettle in Las Vegas Valley where most of my photo work is waiting. Yeah, sometimes I don't make the best decisions. But, I still have my van, love my van, and hope to find a way to make the money to rebuild it or replace it with a larger RV. So, now I have no choice but to live where I now live, try to get healthy, and rebuild my financial situation. It all takes time. Time is all I have.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Will I Give Up

18-year-old me.


I should be getting new glasses via the VA within a week or so. I will not be doing much photography and computer work until then. If they do not help me, that is, if I cannot work easier and better with my new glasses I am pretty sure I will give up the work I have been doing for the past 12+ years. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Dreams Die Hard.1


Bucket List Buggy

I am posting these “Dreams Die Hard” posts in the hopes that other wanna be van lifers will learn from my mistakes. And, as a review so that I can learn from my mistakes. 

The last week of February 2021 was a game-changer in my life. That is when I left my home in Weatherford, Oklahoma to relocate once again to the Las Vegas Valley. The fact is, I have lived in the LVV for about six of the thirteen years of my retirement from the trucking industry. But, I had returned to Oklahoma to care for an ailing sister that has since passed away. I am still glad that I was able to come back and help my sister and I hate that she is gone, but my time in Oklahoma since her passing has been a mess, to say the least. 

Since February of 2021, I have made five trips to the Las Vegas Valley in failed attempts at finding a place to live. I blame my failures on the Covid Plandemic. (Yes, I am still convinced that it was a planned event that was managed terribly by a corrupt government.) This entire country, Southern Nevada included, lost its sanity during that event. It seems that everyone in the LVV went into a constant state of panic. On each trip, I had made arrangements beforehand with people that were looking to rent homes or just a room to share. Each person seemed reasonable before I got there, and I had good references. But, they all turned into false failed hopes. And, I wound up moving back into the very same apartment that I had left in February 2021. And, I may be here for the rest of my life. But, not necessarily. I am on a one-year lease until November of 2023. That gives me some time to get back on my feet, update and rebuild my transportation, and make preparations to live the life that I hope for.

My 35 years in the trucking industry have made a permanent drifter out of me. I have an urgent need to be somewhere besides where I am. But, I have things to do to be better prepared for the lifestyle that I want to build. Between all of my trips to the LVV a few things happened that destroyed my finances, and the trips out west were very hard on my health. I am doing all I know to do to rebuild my health. And, there are five people that helped me monetarily that I plan to start paying back soon. They may not expect payback, but I expect it of myself. They helped me when my van was re-ended and I had nowhere else to turn.

There is much more to this insane story that I am not of a mind to share at this time. I will say that I plan to do more traveling, and I may still return to southern Nevada to live someday in the future. I will post more about why I want to return to Nevada in future blogs. For now, it is time to fix some breakfast.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Putting Together the Building Blocks

Music*Photography*Travel*Writing: What I do. Who I yam. 
Loving Her Was Easier

It has been a long time coming. Many times I considered giving up the struggle because I just could not figure out how to put things together. I have gone through several company name changes. I have changed photographic specialties to fit my own personality. I have struggled to define exactly what it is I want to accomplish. And, I think I am finally closing in on a way to get the job done.

Better World Media is the primary blog for a growing list of blogs that separate each of my life's passions. BWM is also the foundation for what I hope will be a future media corporation, and a legacy for my family.

By the Spring of 2024 I plan to relocate back to southern Nevada. I plan to spend the next months working with each of my enterprises to prepare them for the direction I plan to take them once this relocation is made. I have been working for the past ten years in photography and music to learn skills that I believe will help me bring every part of BWM together to achieve my goal of multiple incomes. I plan to write articles and work with photography as I travel to perform as a busker. And, since my travels will often land me in many truck stops along the way, and since I have a previous 35 year career in the trucking industry, it seems only fitting that photographing and writing for and about the trucking industry would be included in my plans. It also seems to be the logical and best way to enjoy my life while living in my van. And, I believe these enterprises have a good chance of being of interest to my children and grandchildren.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Allegro Park, Henderson, NV.


This is a small but well-maintained neighborhood park that, although it appears not to be listed as part of the Seven Hills Trails system, seems to me like the actual start of the trail that is an easily walked trail from the park south to the three parks connected by the Seven Hills Trail connects.


Allegro Park is located next to an elementary school and sits behind the offices of a Robert's Realty  company. To travel to the park, and on to the parks of Seven Hills Trail simply follow St. Rose Parkway from I-215 going south, or from I-15 going north to Seven Hills Drive. Turn south on Seven Hills Drive and travel about 2 miles to 1023 Seven Hills Drive.

This is a small and not very busy park. I have stopped there 3 or 4 times and have seen no more than one person. But, it is well maintained, and scenic park with a great walking path from the playground down to a pathway leading south toward Seven Hills Trail.
Children's playground, restrooms, picnic area, barbeque pits, large open grass area

As I mentioned before, I consider this park to be a good start for those who want to explore the Seven Hills Trail and three beautiful, well-maintained, and scenic parks. I am now rebuilding my website. It will contain galleries of all of the parks and include photos from the trail that connects them. You will receive notice when the website is up and running again. Thank your for visiting and reading my blog.


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Slightly Battered and Abused


When I awoke this morning I had but one thing to do before I planned to sit down and write a blog about a Las Vegas Valley community park. All I had to do was go buy some groceries. And, I did that. But, although I did look up some info that I wanted to include in an article about Madeira Canyon Park in Henderson,  that was the end of my plans. I decided I would do that article later on. Instead, I now plan to write about Seven Hills Trail, a 2.7-mile loop that connects three community parks in Henderson, Nevada. But, due to interruptions from neighbors and other people, it will have to wait until tomorrow.


Music heals a broken body.

This song was written on May 2, 2013, by me and recorded soon thereafter. At the time I was living in Las Vegas and recovering from ill health due to over-work, no sleep, and the end of my second marriage. My occupation as an over-the-road trucker allowed me plenty of hours of listening to the radio as I drove, and drove, and drove. I fell into the habit of listening to classic rock and classic country. In November of 2009, I retired from trucking, moved to Las Vegas, bought a guitar and some camera equipment and the rest is history. Music and photography helped heal the wounds of years of abuse to my body.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial on the grounds of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. honoring all who were affected by the homegrown terrorist attack of Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995. The memorial is located on NW 5th Street between N. Robinson Ave. and N. Harvey Avenue.
The outside of each gate bears this inscription:
We come here to remember Those who were killed, those who survived, and those who changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope, and serenity.
This Memorial has an average of 350,000 visitors per year. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial sits on just over 3 acres and consists of the following segments and is accessible day or night.
The Gates of Time: The moment before the blast was 09:01 and is inscribed on the east gate representing the last moments of peace. while 09:03 is inscribed on the west gate to represent the first moments of recovery. are inscribed on the interior of the monument. Between the Gates of Time is a Reflecting Pool.
Other segments of the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial include the Field of Empty Chairs representing the 168 lives lost, the Survivors Wall consisting of several panels of granite from the Alfred P. Murrah Building with the names of survivors of the blast, the Survivor Tree, which is an American Elm that was heavily damaged by the bombing. The Rescuer's Orchard represents the rescuers who came to the aid of the survivors; hence the Rescuers' Orchard surrounds the survivor tree. The Memorial Fence: where visitors' mementos are periodically collected, cataloged, and stored. The trees represent the rescuers who came to the aid of the survivors; hence the Rescuers' Orchard surrounds the survivor tree. The non-native species represent those rescuers who came from outside Oklahoma to help. The Children's Area: is north of the 9:03 gate, on the west side of the museum. Momentos from all over North America can be found there. North of the memorial is the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum, featuring artifacts and other exhibits related to the bombing. Jesus Wept: a sculpture of Jesus stands across the street from the west gate. Jesus faces away from the devastation, covering his face with his hand.
This memorial is one that will live in your mind forever. I have visited here many times. I will be back again and again.
Comments are welcome.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Stand By Me

"Stand by Me" is a song originally released in 1962 by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King and written by him, along with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who together used the pseudonym Elmo Glick. It has also since been recorded by John Lennon and several other notable artists. I figured I should join the crowd. 

Stand by Me - performed by Keith Birmingham.

I expect it to be a slow start but it is my hope that after working the past almost 3 months just to reorganize my computer work I will be posting a photography article to this blog at least once per week. I am also trying to get back to playing music, and if possible I hope to also post a music video at some time during most weeks. Right now I am practicing my music "some" while trying to get the calluses built back up on my fingers. I have lost those calluses in the past three years due to a mess up life, which I will also post about. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

City View Trail, Henderson, NV.

 NOTICE: When I first walked this trail it was open to the public. This trail is now owned and maintained by the Sun City MacDonald Ranch Home Owner's Association and is only open to residents and their guests. It is now used only by the community residents. Unauthorized users of the trail can be fined. It is closed to the general public. For additional information visit:

You can find more info at:

City View Trail was my first nature walk in the Las Vegas Valley, and it nearly killed me, literally. Quiet simply, I was a sixty-eight-year-old survivor of a quadruple heart bypass, and a 35-year over-the-road trucking career with the gut to prove it. I was 10 years into my retirement but only 45 pounds lighter than my top weight as a driver. I was not physically ready for the climb to the top.

This trail is just over a mile in length with more than a 300-foot climb to the top. The third photo on this post is of a park bench that was halfway up the trail. I was literally gasping for air when I reached this bench. At this point, I was already debating whether to turn back, but I guess my military training kicked in. Either that or my Okie blood started boiling. Anyway, I sat there until a young couple passed by me with smiles and giggles. I'm still not sure if the giggles were about me or not, but they kept walking and I soon followed them, slowly.

A view from the top.
It probably took me forty-five minutes to hike to the top. I know that it was just over a mile, and I was mad that there was no bench to lie down on when I got there. But, the views were magnificent. When my website is back up and running I will post more photos, and I will edit them before posting.

Meanwhile, I had to figure out how to get down. Should I go back the same way I came up, or should I take the much less used trail on the back side of the hill? I guess my pride in making it up pushed me into taking the back trail back down. But, I did stop observing the splendid views long enough to say a prayer before heading downward.

I quickly understood why the backtrail was not as used as the trail I climbed up on. The rocks were mostly small boulders with a few spots where I had to step down while making another quick prayer. And, I did land flat on my backside at one point. While sitting there rubbing my backside I said another quick prayer and listened for the possible rattle of a snake in the rocks. But, there was no sound but that of me gasping for air.

I made it back to my car and sat there for twenty minutes before leaving. As of today, I have never been back to City View Trail, but I have made five failed trips to the Las Vegas Valley since February of 2021 in search of a place to live. But, I still hope to go back to finish the project that this adventure started me on. I have photographed over 100 parks, preserves, trails, memorials, monuments, and museums in the Las Vegas Valley. That is about half of them, and I want to photograph the rest of them. It may be some time before I get back there, and I am not positive that I will ever live there again but I am going back. Meanwhile, I plan to keep the apartment I now have and van life in Oklahoma and the surrounding states to photograph and write blog articles about my travels.

Learn to Travel, Travel to Learn

My Better World Media studio website.

Better World Media is my studio website for (link not included until the site is back up) photography. It has recently been taken down for a redesign and update. However, I hope to have it back up no later than March 1, 2023. I also have a blog by the same name ( I use this blog to promote my music and other work in the music business, and to document my travels. A pet project that I have planned for this site is the promotion of “busking“, the street name for “street entertainment”. I also keep a private blog as a record of all of the songs that I have written. I love doing travel, nature, and documentary-style photography, and this is an additional enterprise that is growing from my photographic work.