Leadville, Baby Doe Tabor and the Farewell trip with the camper


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Like everything else in my life, when I fix one thing, the other side of the rope gets loose, but this time there is no more stretching. It’s time to say goodbye to our beloved camper. What this truck camper symbolizes in my life here in America, has more to do with what I’ve been through than I would like to admit.

The truck was the first somewhat house security I had while living here. No matter what would happen, I knew I had my truck camper. We got it last year, on the Facebook marketplace, in need of a lot of repairs and we took care of it.

The truck camper and the lost arc.

A few weeks ago, the truck camper got stolen from our apartment complex, here in Denver, luckily we were able to get it back. The truck shut off in a gas station. Out of nowhere, my transformer was found and we towed back.

When we got it back, we had some more security repairs to add and then we decided to take it on a short trip to the mountains, not knowing that on the way back we would have to make a decision about it. Sell it, or fix it. Again.

Turquoise Lake? Not yet. First, Leadville.

Last Tuesday we hit the road on our way to Turquoise Lake, about 2 hours away from Denver. We packed everything on the camper and drove into the mountains with our huge truck.

The first shock was the price of gasoline. Since we drive a hybrid car and don’t go a far distance, we work close to the house and take public transportation, we don’t spend much. The price to fill up half of the tank here was about 93 dollars. Half tank.

But first, let me have breakfast.

As soon as we arrived in Leadville we started looking for a place to have breakfast, and we found a restaurant close to the street we parked, called Silver Llama. The cute artsy restaurant has some good and cheap food, with a self-serve coffee station and some art around the place for sale.

After eating we walked around town for a little bit of history, but before I had to stop at a consignment store to get myself a light jacket because for some reason I always underestimate de cold temperatures in the mountains.

Leadville is about 10 thousand feet above sea level and at least 20 degrees colder than Denver. I was not ready.

My card for the youtube video made on Canva.

A few blocks further, we walked into a store to check some books and memorabilia, only to have the entire story of the town told to us, by a very nice lady, who I’m sure was the store owner.

She told us about the story of Baby Doe Tabor and her husband, who got rich with mining, while being a politician, and poor again when the silver was replaced by gold and lost all its value. She told us about the Saloon, built 100 years ago, which is still running.

The Silver Dollar Saloon is a treasure place itself.

There are pictures of famous and historic people, like the unsinkable Molly Brown and baseball players, a fully operating bar, and all the decorations from a long long time ago, including a phone booth. We made videos and you can check it out on our channel!

Everything in Leadville is historically dated to the mining and the gold rush in the late 1800.

After the trip, I rushed to buy the book about Baby Doe Tabor, and I wish I had read it before visiting. It only means I will have to come back for some more information.

The book is giving me a hype to write a script based on her story.  Hollywood released a movie based on the Tabor’s life in 1932 called Silver Dollar, so I guess it’s time for another one. Maybe thats my big break.


After visiting the Saloon, we walked to the The Jewish temple and museum, with artifacts and more histories about the jewish community in town. I wanted to visit the mine museum, but we decided to leave it for next time, since the entire tour would take over an hour and needed to head to the camping site.

The camping site should be the next video I will be working on tis week. We are slowly learning how to film content to make it easier on the editing side.

It hasn’t been easy to tackle all this editing and posting, marketing and sharing, with a full time job. I’m exhausted, but I’m also driven by the need of being constantly busy with side projects.

One day at a time.

Next week also we are going to Las Vegas for a couple of days. I will make sure to film and post it on youtube.

See you next week, with another video and stories about the Baby Doe camping site!

Stay Healthy and Stay safe!




The Dreams are Alive!

“Truth to be told is: My dreams were not taken away from me. They were put aside, while I work on other things. I lived some, I ate great food, I had different experiences that, for sure reflects, on my writing today.”

I’m a writer. I keep repeating this over and over in my head before I self-sabotage myself again.

I see it already happening. I got a job in a hotel, again, and it’s only a matter of time for me to put everything I’ve been working so hard, like creating content, my blog, and food photography aside, to just be another numbered employee. I have lived like this for the past 15 years.

There are days I freak out and cry thinking about the time I lost. I’m already 35, for God’s sake! How did the time go by so fast and where are all the dreams I had when I was in my 20’s?

Self-sabotaging works together with my lack of confidence in doing anything else that will turn out to be something that brings me fulfillment and joy. I love photography, but I’m too scared of turning my passion into a hobby and end up hating the only thing that makes me happy.

The majority of us can’t afford to live our dream life.


Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

As ⅔ of the planet’s population, I cannot just focus on what makes me happy, because I have bills to pay and need food and a place to live. The majority of us can’t afford to live off dreams. I have been using this as an excuse for as long as I can remember.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what happened to my early 20’s dreams and where did life take the wrong exit. About a month ago, I had one of those epiphany moments where you get yourself thinking about your young adult dreams and what happened to them.

One of those mornings before work, I was listening to a horoscope podcast and I don’t know what kind of sorcery was that, it felt like it was saying directly to me, Joana.

“Good Morning, Libra. Today is the day that you will think about old dreams, and try to restore the passions you didn’t conquer from previous years” That was enough for me to spend the rest of the day thinking about my early 20’s expectations I had for the life ahead of me. I had many dreams and none of them were achieved successfully.

In some of my previous posts, I wrote about being raised by a generation that all they knew was to work and pay bills because that was considered a success. You feed yourself and can pay for the roof on your head, everything else is a given from God.

The podcast awakening

On that morning, that podcast awakens in me, the 20 something that had been put to sleep in 2007. Until that point, I had big dreams for myself, I was only 22 and I wanted to be a travel photographer, while I read the Lonely Planet magazine, I imagined myself writing articles and taking pictures of amazing places. National Geographic would work too, I thought, but let’s start somewhere. Time passed and I replaced that dream with the previous one, move to the United States.

While I’d be working in a hotel, I would be able to do whatever I had planned. What I didn’t know was that hotels would crush your soul and will to work on anything else. That’s where my dream got lost. I started to get tired to keep trying as I would have another 14 hours shifts the next day.

I made it to the United States in 2008. For a short period, the financial crisis sent all the foreigners who were working at the ski resort for the season, back home with canceled visas. I packed my bags and moved back home with my mom and dad, in Brazil.

Sometimes you need a setback in order to move forward.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It was such a huge setback in my life, I put all my hopes and dreams aside and focused on moving to Australia, to do another internship in the hospitality business. My grip to leave Brazil for good was intense. My writing at that point or the dream of writing anything significant had been put in a box, on the back of my closet. So did my photography.

At that point, I was more inclined to learn how to cook, for who knows, maybe one day, become a Food and Beverage Manager or Director. In all reality, I wanted to be like Anthony Bourdain.

Disappointment after disappointment with the restaurant industry made me love food, but hate the way people work. I work relentlessly, hours and hours serving tables, working in different positions, I worked in every single job as the front of the house of the restaurant. Hostess, Busser, Food runner, Bartender, barback, Catering.

None of those fulfilled me or made me feel accomplished on anything. You are nothing but a number, a robot, a rusty machine. As you get older, you start to have pain in places you didn’t even know existed in your body. In 2016, after an acquaintance wrote on Facebook “I’d rather be in Brazil and than being a waitress in someone else’s country” Something hit me differently inside of me.

“Am I only a waitress in someone’s else country?”

The question played on repeat in my head. “Why have I become numb and just a working body?” As Josh was going through chiropractic school and shouting around the house that he was going to be a doctor and I was the only one working, I thought “What am I, but a waitress money-making machine?” It was time for a change. I already had my documents, so I proceed for the first time in 10 years, to create a blog about traveling.

If I only knew about blogging what I know now, it would probably be a different story. The blog was going to focus on showing the international students about life in the United States and how not everything is rainbows and flowers. I would travel to different colleges and universities, like cities that are considered “student towns” to show people how cool and different life in America is.

The only place I wrote about was Chicago and Orlando. I couldn’t afford to travel around, neither I would have the time. After 6 months, I deleted the blog. I felt deep in my heart, like once again, I had no right to dream. I had to start another 12 hours shift soon. I was bitter for the longest time, and my marriage was all over the place. Josh’s school offered some free therapy sessions, counseling for married students, so I ask him to set up an appointment.

You are the only person responsible for your happiness. Period.

My photo from 2010, in Broome, Western Australia.

At that point, I knew I need help. 2016 was an incredibly difficult year and 2017 wouldn’t be different. The devil took his place in the presidency. Josh and his entire family voted for him, my soul was nowhere to be found. So I went to therapy. On the first session, the therapist told me “You are the only person responsible for your happiness”

The next Monday I was slowly coming back to my body, got a phone call from Full Sail, and decided to go for it. That brings us back to today. I became a writer with a Creative Writing degree diploma.

“Truth to be told is: My dreams were not taken away from me. They were put aside, while I work on other things. I lived some, I ate great food, I had different experiences that, for sure reflects, on my writing today.”

I would not be writing the way I do today if I had to write 15 years ago. Joana from 15 years ago was naive, inexperienced, has a voice, and learned that sarcasm can take you long away, let me tell you that.

Not all is lost.

Hear me out! This week we are, hopefully purchasing a travel trailer, so I can somehow, make the dream to be a travel writer/photographer out of the box. It takes time, but you will make your dreams come true at some point.

This year, I will “summer” differently. I hope you do too!

Please let me know in the comments what are you working on to live your life to the fullest and how you are building your dreams!


This is my Meditation Video on my new youtube channel called Mindful Edge! I’ve been testing my video editing skills! Subscribe if you like this type of content.

Keeping up with the strangers.

My hands are dry of so much hand sanitizer. I feel like the pandemic hazy feeling finally got me, as lately I have been feeling apathetic and without energy. I’m a person who is moved by plans, short term plans, and simple ones, like saving money for a workshop, a small trip, or a bigger purchase. With the virus going around, all of my short plans were washed away and I constantly find myself in the cloud of uncertainty. The only thing that I’m sure is going to be there are the bills. Those are always certain. It doesn’t matter what happens to me, the rent and all the expenses will be required to be paid. No questions were asked. No one cares about you or how are you feeling. Capitalism for the win. 

During this almost six months, I found different ways to cope and try to stay sane. It’s very hard because you are washed with the news and the social media trolls, always worried about who is going to call you out next. There is no privacy anymore and cellphones are weapons. No one is saved and if a video is well-edited, it’s hard to know who is on the right, and people are quick to judge and find others to support their judgment without knowing what happened. Yes, phones sometimes are used for good causes, but most of the time people trying to show the “injustice” don’t get the whole story or don’t know what happened before. They just assumed based on what they saw and are quick to share. I rarely share a video of someone harassing or being harassed. It’s not up to me to judge, I was not there. 

This virus let most of the population walking around so vigilant on others, they forgot to look for themselves. They look to see what others are doing and worried about filming, the cellphone is always in their hands, like a weapon. Everyone wants instant fame, who knows maybe they will get checks or be praised for someone in the media. Remember that kid, who posted the bullying video and everyone started giving him shout outs, money for his education “count on me for whatever you need in life”. It turned out he was a small person, a 26 years old actor, who created all that to show how media works. No one fact check anything, they just embark on whatever they are being shown on the internet. Next thing you know, the actor is laughing at people’s naiveness for believing everything they see on the internet. Another post I remember was a mom who let her baby lay on the airport floor, while she was on her cellphone. People were quick to judge, and the poor lady, later on, explained she was just exhausted. The worst part is that she had to come through and explain herself. Which she should have never done it. Let the trolls burn. They will find something else soon. The Internet is a land of nobody and I think it should have some laws. Free speech is ok, free trolling for media purposes with a clear intention of damaging other people’s life its not. 

The Truman Show in your hands
Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Remember that woman who was trying to put gasoline in her car, while she while parking her vehicle on the wrong side? People stayed inside of another car, while filming and laughing for a good minute, making jokes. Yes, it’s stupid, but you don’t have the right to make other people’s life your reality show and entertainment. Nobody has empathy this days, it’s all for the show.  Past few years a boom in filming baby gender reveals happened and with that the creativity. People who had just found out they were pregnant doing a blood exam to have a baby gender reveal after being pregnant for four weeks. It’s all for the show and the constant attention-seeking this chaotic situation we leave this time. 

I’m thankful for not having cellphones with cameras during my teenage years. The early 2000s was the golden era of my life. First of all, it would be an embarrassment to come back and watch it later on in life. I still cringe with Facebook Memories from six years ago, I can’t imagine watching dancing videos from when you were 14/15 years old. Ew, no thank you.I cannot imagine the amount of creeping on celebrities I would perform.The Backstreet Boys would definitely issue a restraining order on me. Stalking a foreigner boyfriend and seeing he moved on on Instagram? Hell no, it hurts just to think about it. I think that’s why most of my stories and scripts are based on an era before camera cellphones. It was easier to hideaway.

I can’t fathom cellphones in my hands in the early 2000’s

Life is meant to live and not be broadcast. Privacy is gold and people are losing track of what is real and who they are. It’s ok to showcase your work and your productivity and inspire others, but when you use this tool to promote shame, it’s time to let go.  While you are playing paparazzi, someone’s life is in jeopardy. Go there and ask if they need help instead of filming. 

When I started this post yesterday at the airport, I wanted to talk about the pandemic and the effects thats it has caused on me. I figured out then, that my writing is here to distract me and give me joy from whatever this crazy world throws at me. Writing is how I’m coping.

What kind of joy are you trying to have in your life during this difficult times? I cooked, I intended to clean, I bought unnecessary stuff online. I cried with uncertainty multiple times.

Be safe and stay healthy !

J.G. Snelly

I’m a Libra, my friend.

Last week’s post was a bit sadder than I would like it to be. In all honesty, I live with all that I wrote and I manage my life well. I would not live anywhere else, or change anything except the President and his circus.

On the first of August, I sat down and brainstorm a few possible blog posts for this month. I wrote it on a post-it and stick on my planner. That was the easiest way for me to be organized with my blog posts and not having to come up with something different every week out of my imagination like I have been doing. I wrote four different subjects, one for each week, my only problem so far is that I keep moving the Taylor’s Swift new album post for another week, as I came up with something less neurotic to write. I want to write about Folklore, because the album is dark and intense, not very much Swifty. I pushed again for another week, and me being a Libra, that’s normal. I can’t make up my mind.

I understand if you don’t believe in astrological sign, its fine, but join me while I unveiled all the characteristics I’ve seen in people with the same birth month as me.

1- We are loyal

I’m loyal. If a person does me wrong, they have to make it bad for me to keep them away from me. I’m also a softy and not confrontational, I listen and try to understand. The only problem is when the moon shines on my neck and I become feisty. I don’t accept people mistreating others. Once Libras become a friend, we are friends for life. Unless you did me wrong or tried to be funny when I was suffering. I also have a very good what I call affection memory, I remember things you told me 20 years ago. So, if I’m weird with you, it’s probably because I’m ramming over something you said at some point. I’m loyal to my feelings too.

2 – Libras don’t let things go easily.

We are not revengeful, but we hold our poison on the corner of our mouth, for when the time is right. We accumulate experiences and pile up feelings, to one day become part of our very own show and let it all out at once. I’ve done it many times, especially with my family members, my husband too. He is also a Libra, but he tends to hold things better than I do. I feel like that man will implode any day of so much he holds on.

3- We are very dramatic people.

Exaggeration is the key. Leading everything in life with intensity, either good or bad, we learn a good drama from an early age. When things go bad, we make it sound really bad, we make it sound like there is no way out and we spin out of control for a few hours, until we calm down and find a solution. We are very theatrical. and dramatic.

4- We struggle to make decisions.

Remember what I said about the post-it with the blog arrangements and I’m constantly moving the Taylor Swift post for the next week? That’s what I meant. We can’t make a firm decision at first, Libras will always come up with second or 3rd options, a good example is the Canvas Graphic design website. There are so many options for designing blog posts, cards, Instagram ads, that all I do is to keep choosing new fonts, new colors and it takes me 3 hours to decide. We like this, but we also like that, and that one too, that one would work fine as it is and so on. It’s a constant nightmare. If you ask us a simple question like Muffins or Pancakes for breakfast we bug out like an old computer.

5 – Expectations.

We daydream about a lot of things. Some of us are called planners, some of us are called unstable, I call myself a free spirit. Since my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and we didn’t know what was going to happen, I decided I was only planning my life up to 6 months at a time. Explains a lot why I can never get a house or plan a trip to Japan, that would consume a lot of time. I also hold high expectations for simple things. For example, a few weeks in the quarantine, I got so excited to go to the grocery store, I almost couldn’t sleep. It looked like I was going to Disney. Walmart is the Disney of the White Trash Society Members. I checked my fridge, I made a list, I made space on the fridge. I made going to the grocery store a huge deal. Maybe because I was bored, or maybe because finally being outside of the house was the most positive thing on my day.

6- We are voyagers!

Yes, I’m quoting Moana. All the Libras I know like to take a chance in a different place, outside their comfort zone. We just pack our bags, throw a dart on the map and leave. No hard feelings. See you on the other side. Besides being attached to our families, we are focus enough to take chances and not always be in the same realm our entire lives.

7- Good listeners.

Everyone I know that it was born at the end of September to end of October is a hell of a good listener. We understand people and we sympathized with other people’s struggles. I care a lot about my friends and on the internet days, it’s hard to read between the lines, because people are easily faking a smile, a new outfit, or bragging about some accomplishment. Check on your friend to make sure it’s all real.

8- Great conversationalists.

I have always been the chatterbox of all the groups I’ve been in. From school, to work, to group projects, to family gatherings, I always have something to say. I also unroll the story I’m telling into 3 or 4 sub different stories, so you better keep up. That’s why I become a writer, it is hard for people to listen to me endlessly, so I share all my thoughts on a paper.

9 – A dark sense of humor.

Libras are creative creatures and we lighten up the room most of the time (when we are not in our dark place of drama). Other times we spill our acid sense of humor and a few times we are misinterpreted and get called out, sometimes we hurt people to their core. Because we love to talk most of our conversations end up in some sort of humongous crazy situation that happened to us at some point and we use that to enhance the story. We are always the Ugly Duckling. The misfit. Most of us also carry a burden inside who are never explained to anyone or talked loudly.

10- We are the creatives!

We sing we dance, we write and we are imaginative people. As a child, I loved telling all kinds of stories, playing endless hours with my Barbie, and creating fun plots. I had about 16 different dolls, meaning I had an entire cast to work with. On a psychology class I had during my writing for the entertainment business, the teacher stated that what you enjoyed playing most in your life could have possibly become your career. Kids who played a lot with Legos, grew up to be architect or engineers, kids who liked to play doctors, grew up to be in something the area of taking care of people. It makes all sense that playing with barbies led me to be passionate about writing scripts.

If you know someone that its a Libra and you recognize any of this traits please let me in the comments! All that I wrote is based on people I know, mostly for entertainment, and of course it varies depending on different aspects.

See you in a couple of days!


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