Welcome to the Written Justification of the Lives of Kyle, Claire, and Joshua Benson.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

There’s this story that gets told where the teller gets to meet an idol and is quickly struck by the frailty and imperfections of the idol. I suppose the moral is that idols are better left as examples from a distance.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

We started this trip in search of knowledge from our idols. We took the questions that we struggled with, and put them in the hands of those who looked to be able to give more wisdom (on just those matters) than we did. Nothing more, nothing less. I was willing to meet jerks, weirdos, funky dudes, zonko brains, and booger eaters just as long as they knew how to feel satisfied as a successful artist.

Not only have we been met with great wisdom, but with endless generosity and kindness. Great community members, buyers of meals, providers of donuts, givers of swag, sharers of all varieties, and overall exemplars of humanity. With each interview, we’ve walked away with just a little more hope in humanity, a conversation about goodness and life, and a new exemplar to mimic.

November 6, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
St Louisey Goosey

St Louisey Goosey

Gettin Goofy on ya’ll here. Get ready. The Gateway Arch was closed cause duh going up gigantic metal elevators to overview large cities from the apex of a gigantic metal arch is for silly Americans who aren’t strong enough to just love America for its abundance of corn available within Missouri and its five surrounding states. So we had fun being grumps with the rest of the altitude hungy oldies.

It can be exhausting to be grumps. Joshua didn’t have a very hard time with it, though. Saves all his stamina for haulin dog rump around every podunk park and being grumpy about not being able to haul dog rump.

The duffus just can’t seem to get into his scull the magnificence of modern engineering. He’s kind of a tough dog though, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he was just masking his emotions.

Anyway. We’re doing great, and we’re not doing bad. We’re still alive thanks to odd jobs, Braeden and Cassi, Claire’s Grandma, Terry and Jaynce, and strangers who offer us showers at truck stops. Seriously, truckers are way nice. You can bet they’ll give you their $12 shower tokens if you look nasty dirty enough. This is a picture of Claire looking happy, as proof.

October 14, 2013 1 comment Read More
How to keep up with us

How to keep up with us

I added a map to this blog so you can see where we are.  If you click on the specific points, you can see photos from each place, as well as a description.  It’s easier to update than the whole blog, so that’s where our news will be for the next few months.

<<<<<<<  Click on the left where it says “Where We’ve Been”

October 12, 2013 1 comment Read More
in Portland

in Portland

There’s a lot of great things about living in Portland.  For example, it’s July and today I wore wool socks because I was cold. COLD.

Also, there are tons of streets that are for bikes only.  Whole streets!

Plus, there’s a dog park every 2 minutes.

Want to know another stereotype that’s true?  This:

No joke.  Something very close to this happened to me the first week we were here.


We are moving on in exactly one month, and we realized we wish we could stay.  But we’re also excited to start touring ‘Merica in the ol’ silver bullet.

July 28, 2013 1 comment Read More
What we’ve been up to

What we’ve been up to


tried to be compact


got into Canada


got a suspicious lump checked at the vet (verdict: not cancer. whoop)



fixed the water heater


removed the 30-year-old furnace


made a bit of a mess while doing so


replaced 2 vents with fans


waved to the crowd



bought composting worms from this cool plant shop (hannah, you would have loved it)


biked (duh. it’s portland)


star trekked (duh. it’s the bensons)


got visited by the mortensens


visited a yurt company




backpacked (sort of ) in BC




had dinner with the missionaries TWICE



portland neighborhood plaza




wish you were here!

July 16, 2013 1 comment Read More
Fir Grove

Fir Grove

Let me tell you about a little ol’ place named Fir Grove. Claire spent the good part of May trying to find a place for us to park the Airstream while we were in Portland but was having little luck until she drove past Fir Grove on our first day here.

Fir Grove is unlike anything I’ve ever been to. It was once an RV Park, but has become a trailer park. People just decided to stick around. But it still has many of the features that an RV Park would have. Here’s an excerpt from an email Claire wrote to our parents about her interview with Fir Grove’s manager:

When I was talking to the landlord about moving in, the conversation went like this:
“So you want to move in. You and your, what is it, boyfriend, girlfriend, roommate…?”
“Husband? You’re really married, for real?”
“Do you have kids?”
“How old are you?”
“You’re 24 and you didn’t get married because you got pregnant?”
“Uh, yup.”
“Well. You are a rare breed here.”

I almost told him “We didn’t get married because we got prego, we got married because we were in LOVE.”
He also told me he has one rule, which is do whatever you want in your trailer, just don’t bring it outside. “I don’t care if you knock your husband around, just keep it in the trailer.”

Needless to say, people are as friendly as they get. Gifts of fireworks, sewage hose, and like kindnesses have been in abundance. Here are some photos that I’m going to allow to speak for themselves.

July 1, 2013 2 comments Read More
San Rafael Swell

San Rafael Swell

Over the last few days, we went backpacking with our Dads in the San Rafael Swell. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the experience:

Tough Dad
Happy Dads
In Awe
The Gang
Panorama 1
Panorama 2

May 2, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
Back to Trailer Life

Back to Trailer Life

For those who don’t know, Claire and I are planning to drive across the country this summer (June-August) and do some fun projects along the way. Now that this abismal winter is over, we’ve found the time to start back up on the trailer. In order to cut costs and stay away from trailer parks, this has been our priority list:

  1. We need to be able to boondock (live without hookups) for extended periods of time. This meant replacing the water pump, fixing the fridge so that it will run off of propane, and installing a battery bank.
  2. Because of the aforementioned documentary style project we’re working on, we would need to be able to charge camera and laptop batteries without shore power. This meant installing two solar panels and an inverter. Much thanks to AM Solar and Stewarts RV in American Fork, for helping provide parts and making sure we don’t kill ourselves with my poor electrical skills.
  3. Because it’s summer and we have a dog, we need to make sure Joshua would have sufficient kennel space and controlled temperature.

Oven Space

We took out the old, nonfunctioning, gas powered oven last summer and replaced it with a toaster oven. The place where the oven was needed construction. Here’s the progress as it currently stands.

Battery Box:
RVs/Trailers having batteries is a rather new thing. So, we had to make space for the batteries (under the dining seat), as well as build a box to conceal and vent the methane that is produced as they discharge.

Dining Seat:
Here are some photos of the reconstruction of the bench up front.

Solar Panels:
Probably the most mentally exhausting part of the whole production.

April 24, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More
College Grads

College Grads

After 11 years of (collective) education, we’re finally graduating.

April 2, 2013 2 comments Read More
Your Invites are in the Mail!

Your Invites are in the Mail!

We’re getting so pumped for the race.

Plus they contain these sweet temporary tattoos of the logo Kyle made.

Click here to register!  Anyone and everyone is invited.


March 11, 2013 Comments are Disabled Read More