Hobos on Hold

Months had passed since their last entry. The hobos had been extremely busy with school, and with traveling the world. Both had successfully passed their board examinations, something they were very proud of. What sweetened this feeling was that they both found out they passed on the very day that they landed in Thailand to begin a month of adventure abroad. Here is a brief overview of the Thailand experience:

Arriving in Thailand! Just after the hobos learned that they’d passed their boards and were free!

The old AC. If you can’t figure out what that stands for, it’s probably for the better.

This was just after a mishap on a 4 hour bus ride. I’ll give you a hint: Poop on the stairs.

Here, our hobos swam into a magnificent lake cave at Kao Sok National Park. (No guarantee on the spelling there)

Jake didn’t handle the long boat rides too well. SEASICK!

A favorite activity of the hobos, underwater faces.

Sunsets were an amazing thing, especially on the islands in the south of Thailand.

Jake had a near death experience.

But he survived, and secretly spooned with this sleeping Asian.

The hobos ventured into a crocodile pen. It was a terrifying experience, but they survived and even got a crocodile kiss out of it.

One night was spent sleeping in floating, bamboo raft houses. It was beautiful!

The wild hobos tamed this wild elephant by feeding it vast amounts of sugar cane and bananas.

The hobos and their friends rented scooters for a couple days. Unfortunately, there was an incident. Road rash, bruises, and torn knee ligaments. It was brutal but she was one tough cookie.

The hobos also tamed wild pythons on the riverbanks through the jungle surrounding Pai. Another unforgettable experience.

Pug majestically dove into the water every chance he got.

The days of homelessness are coming to an end for the hobos…for now. Jake is using his internet time on a new project (Click the link. Sorry it’s not quite as exciting.) Both have returned to dental school and are currently learning how to be ethical. Thanks for watching!

June 5/6/7/8/9, Livin’ Large

It was Thursday night, and our hobos were trying out a new urban campground. It was above a nice shed in the backyard of Jake’s aunt and uncle. Jake liked to set up his hammock very taught, while Pug preferred the sagging hammock style, so they were able to criss-cross their hammocks in an X-formation for the perfect set up under that shed roof.









The shed came complete with a slide, providing the perfect quick escape into the house, where Aunt Jeni had prepared some delicious breakfast burritos for the boys. They graciously devoured the burritos and packed up. Jeni and Paul (Jake’s aunt and uncle) had invited them to go mountain biking in American Fork Canyon. It was absolutely beautiful.








They biked about 15 miles, and Paul, Jeni, John, and Jordan were nearly impossible to keep up with, but it was a blast. After several harsh climbs, one of our hobos, who clearly wasn’t accustomed to being served such lavish meals for breakfast, wasn’t able to keep his food in, and thus left a present for the wildlife on the side of the trail.  The group rode a complete loop and at one point returned to the gift Pug had left for the wildlife. His inner hobo instincts kicked in as he considered recycling his breakfast in order to acquire a bit of additional energy. After a wrestle inside his mind, he opted to go against his primal hobo urges…for now at least. This ended up being a fantastic decision because after the ride, Uncle Paul bought Jimmy John’s sandwiches for the whole crew. Jake’s cousins also told the hobos about a deal where if you download the isis mobile wallet app on your smart phone, you can get a free jamba juice every time you go into the store. The hobos were very fond of the word free so they took advantage of it. Over the weekend, Jake consumed a total of 5 free Jamba Juices, and Pug snagged a couple as well.


The hobos had split once more. Pug had gone to Las Vegas with a couple of beautiful women, none other than the infamous Ashton and Christine. Pug taught the girls a few hobo tricks, such as sneaking into nice hotel swimming pools, befriending children who had access to unlimited free soda, chicken nuggets, etc. and many other commonplace hobo tactics. It made for a very adventure filled weekend.









Jake spent much of the weekend with family, playing racquetball with the lovely mother, then dirt biking with the splendid father. They had climbed to Francis Peak, which Jake guessed was about 15 miles up with an elevation gain somewhere around 4500 feet. He was shocked to see a few mountain bikers reaching the summit, and committed then and there that he would one day do that ride on his mountain bike.


His little sister, Annie, was also curious about the hobo life (Actually, she just wanted to go camping) so Jake set up a couple hammocks in the driveway between his car and the basketball hoop and got Annie addicted to the freeing ways of the hammocking hobo. Mom even tried out the hammock, but they couldn’t convince her to stay in it longer than a couple minutes. Someday, thought Jake. Someday.













After the fulfilling weekend, the terror came when Jake realized it was Sunday night, and Pug was still in Vegas. This meant that Jake would be flying solo as a hobo tonight. He went to the usual softball field, set up the hammock, and quickly jumped in. The wind flapped against the hammock in such a way that Jake was sure he could hear footsteps coming closer and closer to him. He popped his head out of the hammock like a meerkat, only to find that he was indeed alone. The sound continued, and Jake’s heart pounded as he envisioned a mountain lion sneaking up to him and bear hugging him with his massive paws, then sinking his teeth deep into Jake’s neck. Luckily for Jake, these wild imaginations did not come to fruition and he finally found sleep…only to be again rudely awakened at 6 AM by the obnoxious magpies screaming at the top of their little bitty lungs. He was frustrated until about a half hour later, when he had a rare encounter with a wild jack rabbit. He watched the rabbit for about a half hour, who seemed quite content eating weeds just a few feet from Jake. He realized he had survived the night, and was ready for a full day of studying, and to once again be reunited with his hobo buddy, Pug, who would return later that day. Jake had learned a valuable lesson that hoboing was much more enjoyable as a group activity, than it was if you were flying solo.



June 3/4, Now accepting applications

The boys were adjusting quite well to their new lifestyle. Other than finding a consistent place to shower daily, they had created for themselves a very comfortable and effective routine. The shower issue, however, was a real issue. As each day passed, rubbing a washcloth over your body and calling it a shower seemed more and more acceptable.

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After discovering that the hobos had an extra hammock, a dear half-japanese friend of theirs who we will call Bean, decided that she wanted to try out the hobo life for one night. She came with them to their secluded softball field and they double stacked hammocks, putting Bean on the higher one to protect her from the predators, human and animal alike. The night was colder than average and Jake didn’t sleep very well because of it. Add to that the magpies who perched above the hammocks and screamed like banshees starting around 6 AM, and it made for a terrible night’s sleep. Despite these two inconveniences, Bean seemed to think it was a decent night and began to understand the way of the Modern Day Hobo (MDH). It was nice to have a guest in their hobo home, so Jake and Pug decided to invite any who were interested to join them for a night of hobo-ing. Please contact Jake or Pug if interested. Bean also surprised the boys with a box of muffins in the morning, a delicious breakfast surprise.

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When breakfast wasn’t available, the hobos had discovered another nice secret. If they went to Kneader’s for an all-you-can-eat french toast breakfast, they could stuff themselves with 7 or 8 toasts which could get them through the day if needed. $6/day for food seemed like a reasonable way to go. The hobos understood that this was not the most healthy way of gaining sustenance, but it worked and it was delicious. The school often offered free lunches as well, which they would always take advantage of. In fact, as Jake was writing this very post, students walked in with 30 bags of food from Zupa’s cafe. Since this food was technically for the 2nd and 3rd year students, Jake and Pug and a couple friends snagged a couple boxes of food and disappeared.


It was time for the hobos to fill out loan applications for the coming year of dental school. One of the questions on the application was, “What is your current address?” This struck home. I mean not home. I think you catch my drift. A little while after completing said applications, the hobos were busy studying in their group study room when a member of the administrative faculty walked into the room and questioned them a bit about their adventure. He was very caring, but clearly concerned for their well-being. He lived near the area where they had been setting up their hammocks and shared with them tales of mountain lions and rattle snakes in the area. He told them that his neighbor had security cameras which had caught a mountain lion roaming through his backyard. The hobos were undeterred. How could they turn down such a perfect set-up?!



As a sidenote, the hobos are also casting for the next rudolph movie.


June 1/2, Attack of the Moths

It was Sunday morning and the MDH’s needed a shower. Desperately. Jake asked Scott, a dental school classmate, if he and Pug could visit to use their facilities, and Scott warmly took them in. The boys didn’t know when opportunities for showers would come, so when it happened it was a special treat. After visiting the hot pots the night before, Jake smelled strongly of rotten eggs and sulfur. He felt like a new man after his shower, though still quite tired as can be seen here.


After church the hobos again had separate agendas. Pug set off for his parents house for a family party in Ogden.  A time to celebrate birthdays and continue his ongoing training of his pop’s 1924 Ford Model T.


Jake’s aunt and uncle had kindly invited him over for a nice Sunday dinner in Draper. Chicken Alfredo with salad, bread, strawberries, watermelon, and a whole bunch of other delicious sides.

A free shower AND a home-cooked meal…today was a win for the hobos. That night, Jake was extremely exhausted. He was driving to Scott’s apartment where he’d left his backpack and sleeping gear, so that he could pick it up and go to his usual hobo home. After exiting the freeway, he stopped at a red light with one car in front of him waiting to turn left. After an undetermined amount of time, Jake remembered opening his eyes. The light was still red, but the car in front of him was gone. He realized that he had taken an unintentional mini nap at the wheel. He made the wise decision to spend the night on the couch at Scott’s apartment instead of trying to drive the 10 minutes to his hobo home.

At dinner the night before, Jake’s aunt Jeni had told him of a mountain biking route she really enjoyed, so he decided to give the route a try with a few of his classmates. It was a 14 mile loop with a lot of climbing, and it made Jake realize that the 25 mile ride he had committed to with his aunt, uncle and cousins, was not going to be easy.


After the bike ride, Jake and Pug met in Fruit Heights at Jake’s mothers house, so they could go take their written test for SCUBA certification. They both passed and just needed to get their certification cards from the owner of The Dive Shop, Scuba Bob. In Fruit Heights, Jake took the opportunity to wash his laundry.

That night the hobos found a new hobo home. It was a secluded softball field near the mountain biking trails in Draper. They latched their hammocks to the chain link fence on the backstop of the softball field. It was a nice spot. No screaming kids, no tennis players, no shedding trees. Just a few screeching birds in the morning, which was manageable since the bird screeching came at the hour when they needed to wake up.


The highlight of the morning came when Pug unclipped his pants that were hanging from the backstop. While laying in his hammock he flung his pants over his head in attempt to orient them towards his feet. In the air his jeans seemingly came to life and nearly flew away as hundreds of moths came pouring out of the ends. Pug found comfort in his new found friends. He would soon find that they would linger with him throughout the day. On his way to school one of them flew around inside his enclosed motorcycle helmet, which was quite a surprising treat. An hour later in class he discovered a stowaway moth crawling out the leg of his pants onto his ankle. He wondered to himself where else they may be hidden.

May 31, Urban Camping

The final day of SCUBA certification had finally arrived for our hobos. After waking up in the Wendover motel, they scurried over to the front office for a fancy continental breakfast where the food options consisted of cheerios, raisin bran, and toast. A fancy feast indeed for a couple of SCUBA diving vagabonds. After finishing certification, the boys spotted a majestic, wild antelope in the desert.  It was a good day indeed.


Before giving up their home, the hobos had ordered t-shirts for many of their classmates at dental school and had them shipped to Jake’s mother’s house.  They drove there after Wendover to pick up the goods and deliver them to their fellow dental students. The t-shirts had a picture of a pug dog and imprinted upon them were the words, “Pug Life”.  Many students in the class had agreed to purchase the shirts to show respect for the mighty hobo, Pug.

Later on in the day, the hobos split.  Pug’s family was in town visiting, and wanted to make sure he wasn’t dead, so he elected to spend the afternoon with them. After being reassured that Pug was indeed alive, his family took off at 9 pm. Pug then played a game of parking lot hopping (a hobo classic). Starting off at a brightly lit Best Buy to work on a Sunday school lesson for the next day. Followed by Wal-Marts parking lot to find a drink. Lastly an unplanned nap back at the school next to Jake’s car.


Jake on the other hand, had some friends heading south to the hot springs east of Spanish Fork.  It sounded like the perfect hobo activity so he jumped for it. Upon arriving at the hot springs, Jake and his friends sat in a spring next to a hot pot full of senior citizens. Only after sitting down did the unfortunate hobo and his friends discover that the senior citizens were quite and extremely nude. A different kind of bum was seen that day, among other things. They quickly abandoned the spot and found a more PG rated spring further down the river.


It was a late night and Jake did not return to his “hometown” of Sandy until 1:30 AM where he found Pug asleep in the parking lot of their school.  He awoke and once again they drove to their favorite hobo spot east towards the mountains. After a good nights sleep, the hobos were rudely awakened by 3 separate entities.  First, two quails fluttering annoyingly loudly just a foot or two above the hammocks. Second, two kids playing tennis just 100 feet away from 9-10:30. Lastly, and most hilariously, a group of young children excited to find a couple cocooned up hobos in their neighborhood. The children screamed at the boys, yelling at them, and at one point, one even gathered up the courage to run up to Pug’s hammock and pull on the string.  The children’s parents were not far behind.  They yelled at the kids and asked what they were doing, to which one of the children replied, “We are trying to wake up the hammock bums!” The hobos couldn’t help but laugh at this comment, and they wondered if the parents believed the kids because they never showed up.


After hearing the kids refer to them as hammock bums, Jake and Pug decided that if the day came when the cops confronted them, or rather, WHEN the day came that the cops would AGAIN confront them (Pug had already had a run-in with the cops before the official documentation of their adventures began), they would inform the cops that they were not bums, they were just misunderstood urban campers.

May 29/30, Soup de Jour

Though sleep had gone much better the night before, the boys were very weary, and both had to take a little nap during study time that day.


To truly become one with a hobo, one must begin to think, even act like a hobo. As dinner time approaches many people begin to cook a meal or decide to go to one of their favorite restaurants. For the two hobos in our story, they were to look no further than the very goods stashed away in the trunk of their car. A ravishingly delicious meal all beautifully encased in a tin cylinder was none other than soup de jour. Convenient enough to enjoy while gliding over a smooth sea of parking lot tar on a longboard. This nutrition was just what the two would need for the nights coming events.


It’s not every day that you get to see a traditional hobo break it down, but it was no ordinary day.  Rather it was a cherished friend’s birthday request to have our two scruffy individuals make an appearance.   Some rare live footage of these MDHs (modern day hobos) getting down and dirty (only figuratively in this case, but perhaps literally later in the evening).

After finishing all of the night’s shenanigans it was off to bountiful to find a place to call home in preparation for the next day’s scuba adventures. With a bit of aerial recon (google maps) a remote location towards the mountains (Mueller Park) seemed as though it would nicely provide the required shelter. Upon arrival, a raging impassable river presented itself, perhaps a slight oversight, nevertheless Pug and Jake could not so easily be deterred. Shifting their search to a steeper incline a moment of danger arose as they faced eye to eye a wild animal: none other than the fierce mountain deer. Realizing the deer didn’t stand a chance against our two grizzly men, it scampered away leaving the territory to be claimed for sleeping.


The vagabonds slept a solid 5 hours before waking and rushing off to the SCUBA shop, where they acquired their gear for the final few dives of their certification. They were destroying stereotypes by the minute. I mean, how many SCUBA certified hobos do You know?!

Feeling extremely sleep deprived and triumphant, the boys couldn’t resist the prospect of a good night’s sleep and therefore rented a cheap motel room where each would have his very own bed for the night and a wonderful night’s sleep.

May 28, Shower needed

The first night had been a rough one. It was much hotter than anticipated outside. Add to the heat problem a windstorm, noisy hooligans, and trees dropping leaves and twigs all night, and the hobos had the perfect recipe for a sleepless night. Class started at 8 AM and was about 15 minutes away from camp. Jake woke up around 6:30 and waited for Pug to wake up, which was about a half hour later. They cleaned up camp, and found a spot in a parking lot behind the old, closed-down aquarium to brush their teeth and change their clothes. The plan was to eventually get a $10 gym pass for one month to Gold’s Gym Express where they would be able to shower, change clothing, brush their teeth, and maybe work out every once in a while. However, they had not yet made those arrangements. The hobos rushed to school for their first day of review for the National Board Dental Exam (NBDE). Their professor spent the morning reviewing about a million practice questions in a quick 4 hours. The hobos and their classmates spent the first part of their afternoon adding finishing touches to wax teeth they had made over 6 months earlier, an exercise thought by many to be a huge waste of valuable study time. After completion of the exercise, they spent the next 5 hours in a group study room going over dental anatomy practice questions for the NBDE test. While some students were spending over 12 hours a day studying, the hobos felt that 5 hours was sufficient for them for now.

It was Wednesday night and they had been wanting to check out open-mic night at Wise Guys comedy club in West Valley. It seemed like as good a night as any to check it out, so they invited their friend Chels, who brought a couple of her friends with her. The plan had been just to scope it out so that when they came back the next week they would know what to expect, but with a little bit of peer pressure, Pug caved in and signed up for a spot that night. His performance can be seen here. It was an amazing performance for having not prepared at all. Each act was only allotted 2 minutes, which was a very difficult amount of time to get any flow going, but Pug didn’t have a problem with it.

They went to the gym after Wise Guys to try and get their memberships set up, but the employee asked them to call corporate the next day to make sure no cancellation fee would be applied if they only stayed for a month. Desperately wanting to shower, they texted a classmate, Carlin, and asked if they could use her shower before heading back to their hobo campsite. She was happy to let them and even offered her 2 open couches to them, but they declined, not yet burnt out on the hobo life. After showering and trying to convince Carlin and her roomies to try out open mic night, Jake and Pug left around midnight and set up camp in the same grove of trees as the night before. It was much cooler and less windy. Sleep came easy.

They woke up the next morning at 7:30, and rushed to school. This time they used the school’s restrooms to change clothes, brush their teeth, and get ready for the day.


May 27, The search for a home

After studying on campus for several hours, Jake and Pug embarked on a recon mission with the goal of finding the perfect tree cove.  A place they could call home for the night.  After a lengthy search to no avail, the hobos decided to retreat to a safe haven formally visited by Pug.  It was further than they’d like from campus but it would have to do tonight.  The spot was not perfect but it was sufficient for their immediate needs.  After extensive research, they learned that there was a 10 percent chance of rain showers that evening, a chance they were willing to take.  One question remained, “Would the local children harass them? Would the police confront them?  Only time would tell.


The Story

After 2 of their roommates moved out just a month before school was out for the year, Jake and Pug were faced with three options:

1 – Pay twice as much rent to stay in their apartment.

2 – Find a new apartment where they could stay for just one month.

3 – Move home and commute to school 30 minutes each way every day.

They chose none of the above. It was springtime and the weather outside was nice. They lived close to the mountains and a lot of secluded parks so they figured it wouldn’t be difficult to find a somewhat safe place to hang their hammocks each night. After not a whole lot of planning and scheming, they made the decision to live like hobos for a month. But not just any month. This was the month directly leading to one of the most important tests of their life, the National Boards Dental Exam. (NBDE)

This blog will document their story from sleeping to studying and everything in between.