After a lifetime lived in cities, Dan Dailey is creating an off-the-grid spiritual retreat in the remote desert wilderness of the West Texas mountains near Mexico.

Wandervogel Diary is his narrative of the life experiment he has underway at the retreat, Estrella Vista, aimed at living in harmony with nature–plus anything else which happens to be  on his mind.

The name of his blog derives from a back-to-nature youth hiking movement that flourished in Germany before WWI.

“I named the blog ‘Wandervogel’ in recognition of the large number of young people who pass through my life like ‘wandering birds,’ especially as a result of my youth justice advocacy work,” he says. Since 2005 Dan has devoted himself to helping young people who, as a result of extreme abuse, commit parricide. The website for his nonprofit youth work, called The Redemption Project, can be accessed at:

Browse his daily Diary for short essays on subjects as diverse as family, education, juvenile justice, the economy (from a cycles perspective), earth- and nature-based spirituality, green building and architecture, off-the-grid living, West Texas life and people, etc.

The historical Wandervogel movement–as well as Dan’s West Texas homeland–are described in detail at, a new camping and hiking business Dan is establishing for his kids. You may wish to visit the store website to periodically monitor his progress, which has been proceeding in maddenly slow-motion due to the rotten economy.

All blogsite content (except scraped visuals)  Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012 Dan Dailey

44 Responses to “About”

  1. 1 eric
    June 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I am a big fan of John Well’s and found the link to your site. I am impressed with what I read on your blog.

    I live down here in Corpus Christi, Texas (the wind energy capitol of the world).
    In time I hope to aquire property and go ‘off the grid”. Im sick of ever increasing utility bills. I figure I can go solar and wind energy cheaper and cleaner than any corporation can provide.

    I will check your site.

    Good luck on your endeavors.


    • June 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you, Eric. As admirers of John, we’re both in the same club. I hope the Diary meets your expectations. I welcome you thankfully as a reader.


    • 3 anonymous
      July 27, 2011 at 3:00 am

      Please see this. How can anyone possibly help James Prindle? His X step-father is 34, not 40, and at the time of the crime, the mother of James and her then husband Jefferson Sanders, were separated. She had left him because of his abuse and crack addiction and is now divorced. Why do you believe so strongly James is innocent? Convince me.

  2. 5 dale johnson
    November 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Dan, As always I really appreciate your thoughts and I visit my land vicariously through yours and Johns website. Hoping to make it out there this month or next.

    I have been wondering how I could give you something back and I might have thought of something as I enjoy all kinds of music like you. When I dont want to actively search or pick music I go to and choose an artist that I like and it creates a radio station based on that artists music.

    By the way has Paul had any success with his water witching?


    • November 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm

      Dale, your suggestion about Pandora is excellent, and I hope other visitors will check it out.

      I have been listening to Pandora for more than a year-and-a-half since one of my kids told me about it. It is a marvelous tool for establishing a single song, artist, or cluster of artists as the center of a musical target.

      Using the results of what Pandora calls the “Music Genome Project,” new music is automatically served up which has some relation (genre, artists, etc.) to those selections you’ve placed in the center of the target.

      Pandora is a painless and pleasant way to research new grooves.

  3. 7 Kevin Ryan
    January 4, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Hello Dan:

    It was great Christmas shopping with you on 12/24/10. The stockings were stuffed and in time so were the guests. Jayne produces a children’s play that includes whoever shows up under 16 years of age with whatever talent they wish to present. The plays have moved from inspired works to our most current which was a spoof about the decline in the belief in
    Santa Claus. Our 4 grandsons are the key players and always seem willing to participate. The rest of the event has faded but the play lines still make me laugh when they come to mind!

    I am impressed once again by your latest casting of yourself. Off the grid yet contributing more than most folks including me. I am very much in the grid making the best of a very difficult real estate market in Arizona. I am a member of the Local Kiwansis Club which has a stong focus on children’s issues. I call us “secret agents for good” as many people know the organization name but nothing about the goals. We are good at operations but not marketing ourselves. I enjoy the organization and when asked, I say we are focused on “fun, fellowship and service, in that order.

    That’s it for now. Have a wonderful new year and keep up the good work.

    Your old friend,


  4. 8 Andrew Joseph
    February 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    This is my first time i visit right here. I found so many interesting stuff in your weblog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I’m not the only one having all of the enjoyment here! keep up the great function.

  5. 9 czyszczenie nagrobków
    February 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks a bunch for one more valuable post. Ive been checking this web site often for the past number of months, and its currently one in all my favorite sites! . I work on an internet site that has very similar content, would you have any interest write a guest post on it? Shoot me an email if you are interested!

  6. 10 karen Sulewski
    March 11, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Hi Dan, found you via wells….. what do you need for the kids? Clothes? Books? Shoes? let me know, I have land on the ranch but live up here in New England where there is plenty of thrift stores and free stuff, I can help.
    All the best

  7. July 5, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Hey Dan, just got on to your “about” page & from your photo on that , I see that you are an “old fart” like us (Alex’s Aussie Gang). No shame in that, but welcome to the club and more power to your elbow with the good work that you are doing. Not just for Alex/Amber, but all of these other ones for whom you are caring. Wish we (Alex’s Aussie Gang) were in a position to help some of these others out too, but, God willing, we may be able to do so in the future. Cheers. £ance.

  8. July 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Actually, Im far more confounded that anyone with a straight face could equate the taking of money with the taking of life or liberty. Im far more comfortable with the government taking my money than with the government taking anyones life or liberty and I have far less difficulty reconciling that position than I would ever have reconciling the notion that the government should take your life or liberty, but keep its filthy, corrupt hands out of my wallet.

  9. 13 Coventry
    September 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Big thumbs up – thanks!

  10. 14 Gopos24
    May 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Whoa, i stumbled on to this site and i find it refreshing that someone else also cares about juvenile justice reform in the states, we as a society often overlook this important topic.
    Keep up the good work!

  11. 15 Dean
    May 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I was searching for more about John Lauber which led me to your wonderful diary. Thank you for caring and sharing.

  12. 16 Andrew Rich
    May 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Hi, I have been reading your diary with great intrest after reading about Paul Gingerich being sent to prison, its been a while since ive seen any reports from “inside” guardians and im realy interested to know how he’s getting on with his life at the moment. Forhim being a child it can only be most awfull some of the things ive read already about his life with how he’s been treated, As a child i used to dream that America was a fantastic country and i would love to be there, and now i feel ashamed of how it fails to look after its most vunerable, Its a sin and gives me pain inside to try to feel how it must be there. I have sent an email to him offering my support, i wasnt sure if he would recieve it or not but i included the extra stamp on there if another ear or heart would be welcomed. I was also considering sending a book or two for reading material but im unsure of the security issue, maybe you could clarify this for me?

    Your a very caring guy and your diary is full of great reading so thanks for sharing this with the world, I can only wish that the usa would take some example on how to protect the young children of there country like they do here in england. I feel ashamed to have loved america in my life.

    All the best


  13. 17 Elias ulloa [Shadow squad airsoft team]
    July 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I read this and i have somthing to say,
    schools are not just hostile in the way you portray, but also in two other ways, supressing the right to BE a dreamer and to be creative. Also, its a social wasteland, if school never existed thousands if not MILLIONS of kids would still be alive, without people to tease them they would have never commited suicide and would have lived a full life. School vs humanity, wrong vs right, living vs being. i cant even get my airsoft team strait because schools tell us airsoft is to dangerouse and is a stuipid idea, and they brain wash parents……….

  14. November 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm


    My name is Chris Miller and we met at the storage lockers there last month. You were helping to unload your friend and I was unloading our stuff for our upcoming move down. I didn’t even know you had this blog until today – i’m glad I found it. I just shared a post a couple of days ago on our blog ( about a run in I had on the way down with BCSO. I thought you might find it interesting. You’ll recognize it by the bright yellow “Warning: Police State” image on the homepage.

    Anyway… I look forward to chatting again sometime. We’re expecting to be down full time by February.

    Take care

  15. 19 nila
    July 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Every weekend i pay a visit this site, because i want enjoyment,
    since this this web site contains really pleasant funny stuff too.

  16. September 29, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Is there any news of Alex King? He seems to have dropped off the map!

    • September 29, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Alex is going to be released from prison in December, and we are assisting him with his plans for establishing a new life outside the bars. In the interest of his privacy, we are not elaborating on his plans. However, I will tell you that because he will be leaving prison without any hooks in him, he will be leaving the state of Florida.

      • 22 Janet B
        December 23, 2015 at 11:55 pm

        I’m interested in helping Derek and Alex if possible. I’m glad they are free but I would like to offer small monetary help.

      • December 24, 2015 at 8:11 am

        If you want to help Derek and Alex, please read my December 16th post, “Sheep and Goats,” which will bring you up-to-speed with the latest which is going on with each of them.

  17. 24 Daryl Watton
    October 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog after having just recently viewed “Young Kids, Hard Time” on YouTube. The Colt Lundy story touched me. I realized most references to him online are rather dated as if the world has forgotten about him and this saddens me. I’m not a wealthy person nor do I have any helpful connections but I feel compelled to do something. Would a friendly pen-pal letter from me out of the blue be well received by any of these boys or young men? I’m not a fan nor a member of any religious organization, nor do I have a political agenda. I just feel called to respond and reach out somehow. I’m a professional teacher in Canada who has recently eschewed institutional schooling for ideological reasons. Is there an organization though which pen-pal activity is coordinated?
    PS Is there any update on Colt Lundy (as if it’s any of my business)?

  18. 25 Angela
    February 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Dan, today i saw your link to the David Childress blog you wrote about….share itself around Facebook. I absolutely sorry to say i disagree. I’ve known David almost my entire life. Up to the day i moved in to the day he killed his mother. I understand your blog is an interview to “HIS” side, or his version. But i must say everything he is portraying is not the truth. If you want you can more than contact me. Every other day i saw him around my complex and couldn’t after awhile go outside. He was merely a bad violent kid since he was in elementary. There is no excuse to him killing his mother because he was unloved or a failure of the system. He was more loved than ever by his parents since his sister went off to college and settled down. I was there the day his brother in law and another family friend who lived in the complex moved out the family’s possessions. The dad and sister couldn’t bear to walk in. The tub still having some blood from when they beat her. His room had beyond anything a kid could ask for. He killed his mother for the most pathetic reason…even he stated himself. BECAUSE HE WANTED TO. WHY NOT? and BECAUSE SHE WOULDN’T LET ME SEE MY GIRLFRIEND. He was abusive to his mother. To others. So i hope your time is spent on kids who are really failures of the system who actually hurt other people to defend themselves rather than people like David who claim they were failed and trying to portray innocence.

    • February 7, 2014 at 9:38 am

      No one has a corner on the truth, and the one thing I have learned through this work is that there are many explanations of the same facts. Thank you for your comments, but I would encourage you to maintain an open mind and consider the truth of what a 14-year-old was perceiving.

  19. 27 Alannah
    March 1, 2014 at 12:00 am

    What has been happening with Paul Gingerich and Colt Lundy – you haven’t wrote about them in a long time

  20. July 20, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Greetings from California! I’m bored to tears at
    work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful site!

  21. 29 Cavall
    August 27, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Hi Dan,
    I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to let you know that your writing and sensitivity to so many thoughtful issues are inspiring. I enjoyed reading your posts and will hopefully be able to read some more in the future. I am from Cape Town South Africa. Best wishes for your future writing and plans.

  22. August 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

    It’s an remarkable post designed for all the internet users; they will get benefit
    from it I am sure.

  23. September 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Thank you for the work you do. It is truly amazing and inspiring. When I finish college with my BSN I plan to use it to work in crisis counseling for abused children. Many of these cases should not have gotten to the point they did. It is heartbreaking they did. I have read some of your posts and the way you respond to negative comments has made me respect you.

  24. 32 Christina
    October 10, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Hi, I was directed to your blog a little while ago by a friend who resides in Clemens of whom you have mentioned on here. I applaud you for helping them or at least trying to give them the help they need. One thing you said has stuck with me, that Clemens has been a secret, with many parricides. I have been a pen-pal to a Clemens inmate for quite some time now who has been imprisoned since he was 16/17 for alledgedly shooting his step-mother. He is now 28. It was a nasty case, both very abusive parents and a father who pocketed life insurance after his son was accused and tried for her murder, also remarried soon after while having an affair. If you are interested in talking to him or him mailing you, can you please email me. His is a particular case you might be interested in and I dare say I love him to bits (but I am not trying to persuade you out of my own interests) but if you would like I know he would appreciate it.
    Thank you.

    • October 10, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Dear Christina, I thought I knew of all the parricides at Clemens; I have relied on the knowledge of the parricide inmates themselves to identify them. I am of course interested to reaching out to your friend, especially if he is interested in reaching out to the four other Clemens inmates. In addition to relying on me for support, I think there is a lot the inmates can do for themselves to provide one another with mutual support.

      • 34 Christina
        October 10, 2014 at 10:09 am

        His last name is Marthiljohni, have you heard of him? He is friends with 1 of those you have mentioned previous. I know he would have heard of his friend talking about the site but he’s never mentioned it to me. But he is trying to get more legal help.

      • October 10, 2014 at 10:45 am

        No, I have never heard the name before.

  25. 36 Ethan Self
    November 7, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Beyond thankful for your kind words and offer to help me through this difficult of times.

    Ethan a.k.a. “Captain America”

  26. 37 Jonathan
    November 16, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hello Dan,

    I apologize for posting this here but I am somewhat at a loss on how to proceed.

    I have become aware of Austin Eversole’s story and found his profile on A rather ingenious website idea. I would very much like to send him a letter of support – he seems a remarkable young man, and my blood boils anew at yet another abominable interpretation of justice in American courts.

    My problem is that I live in South Africa, and our postal service is almost an abomination of its own. Thus, I cannot be certain my letter will reach Austin within a reasonable period, or even at all. Strangely, incoming international mail seems to be far more reliably handled than when we try to send mail out of the country.

    Would it be possible that I send the letter in an email to you, for forwarding to Austin via the US postal service? If so, would Austin, should he choose to do so, still be able to send a written reply back to me in South Africa via regular postal channels?

  27. January 9, 2015 at 12:26 am

    H, is there any update on Paul Gingerich ??


  28. August 16, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Dan, I was wondering if you have any updates on Alex King. Knowing the odds, I hope that he beats them and finds happiness. I’m praying and pulling for him.

  29. November 29, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Hello, my name is Natália and Im 19.
    Where can I talk to you about Alex? Just send me an e-mail please, I wanna help so bad.

  30. 42 dale
    November 6, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Dan, this would involve children also so I would like your comments if you would like to contribute. I am open to any criticism or new thoughts.

    I am so tired and wired by the current political climate and want to reach out to others that might feel this way and positively address what I believe is one of our most pressing questions we face as a nation.

    I think one of the most important challenges we face as a nation is how to address the problem of folks that have come to our country outside of the legal immigration process. As a Texan I have had personal experience with a few of these folks and I care what happens to them. Hopefully as a country can start a compassionate and rational discussion.

    1. As a merchant seaman I have never come into a foreign country without having health certificates or being quarantined when arriving. I would suggest that all newly arrived (even illegally) people MUST go through a COMPLETE and thorough health screening and quarantine. I believe this is one of the most important problems facing us.

    2. There should be a way to become a legal citizen even if they have come outside of the legal process. I think it is statistically impossible to deport every illegal person and I do not think practically we will be able to seal off our borders. Of course anyone that commits a felony should be deported immediately and EXTREME, I really do mean extreme punishment for a repeat offender.

    3. I am thinking immediate WORK visas granted for everyone that will register with a 6 year period before citizenship would be allowed. All newly registered illegal aliens would have a misdemeanor on their record and be required to pay a fine and complete a probation period.

    4. All work visa participants must immediately start to pay into medicare and social security. There would be absolutely NO federal government benefits available for 6 years from work visa granting to citizenship. States and cities can determine what services they want to provide.

    5. Some kind of monetary incentive provided for English proficiency.

    6. I have absolutely no idea what to do about bringing in so called refugees from third world countries or the question of their allegiance to the constitution or sharia law.

    7. No right to vote until citizenship.

    8. I do not know how to address the anchor baby question.

    9. I do not know if visa holders should be entitled to bill of rights and constitutional protections before becoming citizens.

    10. This will really be controversial, I would suggest the age of accountability for any one entering the country would be age 13.

    Hopefully I am not being naive. If you are interested in this particular issue I would welcome criticism and constructive ideas. I know that I haven’t addressed all the areas related to this.

    I believe that I might have the ability to bring this to national attention if the candidates wins that I think will, but maybe that is just wishful thinking.

    Like I said I am only brainstorming and there are no right or wrong answers. I welcome your input.

    • November 6, 2016 at 8:58 am

      I am flattered that you should think I have anything to contribute to your thoughts.

      I do have an issue with your point #10. If by accountability you mean that 13-year-olds should be held to the same standards of culpability as adults, I emphatically disagree. As I state in an upcoming post on brain development (2 days), the maturity of brain function depends on biology, and is identical to other childrens’ development despite a child’s country of origin.

      As far as immigration is concerned, I am still developing my thoughts. I tend to think if someone succeeds in getting here, we should make every effort to accommodate them… but I’m not 100% sure about citizenship. I have another upcoming post in development on the subject, but my thoughts are not yet worked out and I make no promises.

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