2016 September
,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,camper,optoutside,trees,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,roadtrippin,stayandwander,camplife,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,exploretocreate,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.30]

this was a slow day.  i went with my friend to town in the morning for breakfast.. we were gonna spend a while at a local coffee shop in town, though had to cut the trip short when we remembered that we had left the neighbor's water running to fill the tank where my friend was housesitting.  back there, i spent most of the day working on the computer and my friend ran a couple of errands.  it was nice to get to use a real shower where my friend was housesitting, though i had to keep it short since their well had run dry or something that they had to borrow the water from the neighbors.  it was a really beautiful area in this part of washington.. the mountain range was visible nearby and there was a rural feel to the homes that were just up the road from town.
,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,park,journal,ontheroad,camper,optoutside,water,liveyouradventure,journey,ferry,bay,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,freedomthinkers,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.28]

i took my truck and camper on its first ferry ride and was on my way to the coast this day.  it was exciting to be heading further west and starting this next part of the voyage.  the ferry ride was nice and saved at least a couple hours of driving over going all the way around seattle and tacoma to the other side of the peninsula.

the town on the other side of the bay looked nice as i drove through.  i stopped at a local park and then made my way over to the dungeness national wildlife refuge before meeting a friend who lived nearby.  it was a really beautiful at the refuge.. i explored and stayed for a little while.  i remember the water making nice sounds as it washed onto and away from the rocks or shells on shore.

that evening i met my friend for dinner and then we went to a oneness meditation.  it was a little crazy that the oneness meditation was being held in such a remote area on the very day i happened to be going there.. just the day before i was curious if there'd be one somewhere along my journey, and i looked online to find out it was going to be practically right next door to where i was going the following day (and was something my friend would be interested in too). it's funny how the divine works like that.  afterwards, my friend and i gathered some firewood for a nice fire and chat back at her friend's place where she was housesitting.
,f150,exploremore,truckcamper,journal,park,water,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,roadtrippin,campground,bay,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,camping,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,fourwheelcampers,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,camplife,travel,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.25]

i was at a campground all day this day, either working on the computer or just taking it easy.  i rode my bike and explored the campground a bit in the afternoon.  it was quite loud at times hearing jets flying.. it looks like there was a naval base nearby.  the campground had nice views of the nearby islands, and there was a little island that you could walk out to if the tide wasn't too high.  i was able to walk out there the afternoon before when i'd arrived, though the tide was higher when i went out this day.  it was interesting to see some people had permanent spots at the campgrounds.  i'd briefly thought about that to have a home base between wanderings, though preferred my own land.
,f150,exploremore,truckcamper,journal,park,water,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,campground,flowers,border,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,camping,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,fourwheelcampers,bay,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,sunset,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,travel,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.22]

it was the first day of autumn.. summer was officially over and i still had a lot more to explore before it got too cold.  i went north toward the peace arch monument at the canadian border this day.  i parked nearby and rode my bike to the park and monument.  i technically walked into canada when i walked around to the other side of the monument.  there were lots of flowers and landscaping at the monument and park, and it was interesting to see that that there was no fence, gate, or anything between the united states and canada at the park.. one could just walk across the field and leave the country if one wanted to.  this was quite different than i'd later see at the mexican border.  it’s funny i went to peace arch this day as the day before was the international day of peace.  i’m not sure that i realized it when i decided to make my way towards peace arch.. it probably just was a “random” coincidence that i ended up on my way there at the time.

i biked back toward where i had parked and explored that area a little bit before heading to a nearby campground.  it was nice to be near campgrounds that were part of the package i had purchased.. in populated areas it certainly was easier than driving far to find a discreet spot to stay the night (especially as days grew shorter). after setting up my camper, i went for a bike ride to the nearby bay to see the sun set.  some days were less exciting than others, though it was interesting to get to see different places in the country.  and being on a trip with no return date and on my own schedule, it didn't really matter if i wasted a vacation day that one might typically try to squeeze a lot of activity in to before having to head home.  my home was wherever i was.
,mountains,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,park,trees,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,cascades,starlapse,getoutside,wanderlust,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,waterfall,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.19]

sleeping under the stars, i woke up at ross lake national recreation area, and began exploring the area.  i found another nice overlook nearby and a waterfall further up the road.  this was a beautiful area that i never knew existed until i got there.  near the visitor center at north cascades national park, i went on a short walk to a spot where there was a view of the picket range.  i read the sign there that said the range was a number of miles away, a trek through complete wilderness.  i stood there in awe for a few moments as i felt a strong, chilling sense of the vast expanse of land and wilderness between where i was and the mountain range that looked like it was just right there.  the peaks didn't appear that far or large at first glance, and what looked like could've been small parts of one larger mountain were really the most rugged peaks in the contiguous united states, miles apart from each other.  this was another striking moment in realizing the vastness of nature and how small we are as humans.  i imagined what it must've been like just to get out to some place so remote without roads (and to the further peaks even deeper into the wilderness that i couldn't see).

afterwards, i headed west a bit and went up a dirt road to a trail.  i hoped to find a clear view of the mountain peaks to photograph, though from a girl i met who was working on the trail, it sounded like this wouldn't be the best spot for a clear shot.  going back down the windy dirt/rock road, my truck read slope angles of at least 11 degrees, or a 22% grade!  from the video clips, i may not have done it this time, though on some of these similar steep declines, i would put the truck in 4x4 low, which really helped to maintain a low speed without having to use or wear down the brakes on the descent.

this day marks a year of owning my truck.  it was nice to be on adventure out west with the truck and camper i had ordered the year before.  i had looked forward to this journey for some time.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #exploremore #getoutside #camper #camping #roadtrippin #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #rv #rvlife #adventurelife #liveyouradventure #adventuremobile #campground #river #fourwheelcampers #fordf150 #ford #f150
four years ago today [2012.09.16]

i woke up on the side of the road in washington and took a short drive toward the campground i'd be staying at for a couple nights.  i got there early so i stopped at an overlook above the river where the campground was.  after checking in at the campground, picking a spot, and setting up my camper, i took out my folding bike and went for a ride to explore the area down the road.

back at the campground, i went for a walk down the trail to the river, and later in the afternoon i watched the sun set behind the nearby mountains or hills.  it was nice to take a little break from driving so much.. it'd been 3300 miles since i left my friend's place the first day.  after pretty much just cleaning myself with baby wipes the previous 9 days, it was also really nice to be able to take a shower and feel clean.  i don't recall what else i did that day.. i probably cooked soup or pasta for dinner, and most likely worked on the computer.
,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,liveyouradventure,journey,yellowstone,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,tetons,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrippin,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,grandtetons,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.13]

having run out of propane in the middle of the night, with temperatures in the low 20’s, i worried about the water pipes freezing in the camper.  i got up at dawn and quickly headed down to a lower elevation where it'd be warmer.  there were no issues.. the inside temperature of the camper was probably over freezing from having had the heat on part of the night.  on my way out of yellowstone, i saw the sun rising and stopped to explore at a spot where i heard strange animal sounds/calls i had never heard before.  leaving yellowstone, i crossed the continental divide and was most of the way to the west coast.

i headed towards the grand tetons and saw it was pretty hazy due to recent fires.  i had breakfast when i got there, and went to the visitor center where i talked to a young park ranger about some of the areas to explore.  when she told me about one of the trails she’d recently been on, i remember her asking if i knew what to do if i saw a bear.. i think i said “don’t run?” and she gave me other suggestions.  i wandered about the park and found some nice lakes with views of the mountains.  it was nice to be in warmer temperatures than the night before.  it was crazy how much the temperature could change in the mountains.  it was in the low 20’s on this morning, when just 2-3 days prior it was 90 degrees, and the following day it’d be 85.  i saw more wildlife and on my way out of the park, went looking for the spot where ansel adams created his famous photograph from.  i met someone else there who said he thought it was just down a little bit from the overlook where we were.

after leaving the park, i crossed teton pass, a 10% grade climb up to a nearly 1.6 mile elevation.. i only got 5.1 mpg driving up it.  i dropped down to 2nd and then 1st gear on the descent, which my truck read as 6 degrees, or a 12% grade.. the engine was loud but i didn’t have to wear down the brakes nor experience the 4 tons of truck and camper quickly accelerating out of control down the winding road.  it was good to know my rig could handle the mountain roads, and fun to encounter drives i didn’t know would be part of the adventure.
blog,camper,camping,devilstower,driving,exploremore,f150,fields,fordf150,fourwheelcampers,getoutside,hike,homeiswhereyouparkit,instagram,journal,journey,land,lifeontheroad,nature,park,roadtrip,rocks,rv,starlapse,stars,timelapse,trail,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wanderlust,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.10]

on this day i woke up just outside of devil's tower national monument.  i think i had seen a photo or something of it not that long before this trip and thought it'd be neat to go out there.  it was awesome to be exploring and seeing these places i wanted to visit.  i went into the park and explored some of the trails in the morning and then headed back into south dakota on the not so direct route to montana via north dakota.  i stopped at a green spot on the map there, just outside of theodore roosevelt national park, where i saw some interesting landscapes.

in a lot of places i visited or drove through, i felt i could've stayed longer and explored more, though i wanted to keep on heading west to stay on track to make it to the west coast before it got colder (as i had begun the journey much later than i originally wanted to). in the future i'd eliminate as many constraints as possible to being open for spontaneity.  i faced a few limitations, like non-existent phone service when a web application client decided they want much more than they originally asked for, having paid a lot for a campground membership that was running out with locations only on the west coast states, and having left when it was already starting to get cold in some places in my journey.  next time, i wouldn't drive as much each day and would see how i feel during the journey rather than sticking to a pretty rigid plan.

i did this a little later for part of the trip and would enjoy doing it the whole time.  life is so much nicer when we're relaxed and in the present moment rather than thinking we need to follow a certain plan.

allowing ourselves to be more flexible and spontaneous opens us up to new opportunities.  the day before this when i was at the tour at wind’s cave national park (which going there wasn’t part of my plan), i recall i was in the elevator with the young park ranger who gave the tour, and i think after everyone else had gotten out, she said something about being hungry (wanting pizza or something).. had i been more flexible and spontaneous, i could’ve asked if she wanted to join me for dinner and perhaps made a new friend.
adventureculture,adventuremobile,blog,camper,camping,cornfields,driving,exploremore,freedomthinkers,getoutside,goingwest,headingwest,homeiswhereyouparkit,homeonwheels,instagram,journal,journey,lifeontheroad,liveyouradventure,ontheroad,optoutside,road,roadtrip,roadtrippin,rv,rvlife,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wanderlust,westward,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.07]

on this morning i woke up on a dirt road surrounded by corn fields.

it felt like it was my destiny to be on this trip.

several years earlier, before i moved to chicago for four years, i had thought of going.  it was almost like a plan on the back burner.. if i hadn't moved up to chicago with friends, i was going to go on a trip west.  a friend ended up getting accepted at a program up there and a few of us moved up to join another friend who had already been there a year.  when i moved out of chicago, i almost made the trip and move out west with my girlfriend at the time.  it never happened as neither of us had the funds to get there, though i started thinking about rv's shortly after that.  nearly two years later, i had gotten my truck and camper.

it wasn’t a simple process, as i had found myself caught up in much research, and looking for ways to get an rv that wouldn’t cost much.. i was completely out of money when i left chicago and had no income due to struggling to start a business the couple years prior.  while having gone through a breakup, business failure, bankruptcy, having no money or income, and living back with family, i was at a low point in life.  i embarked on a journey of personal and spiritual growth that i had begun while in chicago.  less than a year after leaving chicago, i found myself at a powerful course that would change my life.  this workshop would take me through the awakening, transformation, and growth i needed in order to manifest a large client that would bring me much more income than i had ever earned in a year.  most importantly, it would change how i felt and perceived life.  not long after starting the big project, i began looking at the rv options again.  i narrowed down my choices, drove across the country to different dealers, decided on my camper, and placed the order for it to be built.  shortly after, i decided on the truck to carry it and ordered it.  it took the whole summer for the camper and truck to be ready, though it was worth the wait.

going on this journey west almost a year after getting the truck and camper was certainly an adventure i had looked forward to.

an interesting experience i had recently while working on the life on the road films was that i started to lose my sense of time and place.. after staring at the screen practically all day and watching the video clips of my trip out west, i almost began to forget what time of day or day of week it was.. perhaps even what time of year it was, i don’t recall. it began to feel a bit like i was out there on the trip, re-living it. i could somewhat tell what time of day it was as i could see how the light looked out the window in my office, though i think at some points i lost track of how long i was there at the computer working on it. it was nice to begin to live more in the present moment and let go of the human constructs of defining time and location. everything is happening in the now, though when we are thinking of stuff that happened to us in the past or things we’ve gotta do in the future, it takes us away from fully experiencing the present moment. the present moment, no matter what it is or where we are, can be bliss. the more we tune into whatever this present moment is bringing us, the more aware we can become not only of everything that is happening all at once and all the miracles that this moment is bringing, but also of our true nature. we can choose to live from this heightened awareness at all times should we so desire. we’ve simply got to surrender our attachments that are preventing us from doing so. as our consciousness expands, it becomes effortless and natural to do so. living from this deepened awareness will allow us to fully embrace the beauty of the world and experience it with wonder and awe. do things that help you alter your perception of how you’re seeing the world and you’ll begin to step outside of your currently limited paradigms. there is so much to this life, even in the ordinary human experience itself. just look at how many people live vastly different lives. observe the subtle details of how others perceive and experience life.. see what paradigms and perspectives they are living from, and notice how some of these may be quite different than your own. if most people you know have similar ways of seeing the world, go find others who see the world very differently and observe them.. see what you can learn about life simply from observing how differently they see the world. learn to do so with out judgment of what is right and wrong. stepping outside of this judgmentalism will help you transcend duality. there is no right or wrong. these are human constructs of the ego mind. as we learn to accept and embrace it all, we’ll begin to see everything is simply one being expressing itself in different ways. our uniqueness is what allows us to perceive the world through a new lens, though do not let it set us apart or make us any better than anyone else. we each are here to learn, perceive, and experience in different ways so the one being that we really are can understand itself in ways that were not possible had it not decided to show up like it has. anyhow, i’m starting to think too much about this now.. simply allow yourself to dissolve in the presence. whether that’s through meditation, yoga, chanting, a walk in nature, whatever it might be.. do what allows you to feel more present, and embrace the presence.

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

 

i’m looking to meet a sweet girl who desires a relationship, or new friends with similar perspectives on life.

some things i like:
– being outdoors
– exploring new places
– nature
– deep conversations about life
– cuddling, spooning, intimacy
– goofing off
– watching something funny
– peace
– relaxing
– meditation, higher awareness
– photography, creativity, writing
– healthy food, mostly vegetarian
– adventures around town
– romance, falling in love
– enjoying + living in the moment
– inspiration

#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #rv #camper #camping #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #cascades #nature #park #stars #starlapse #timelapse #nationalforest #campground #rvlife #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #ontheroad #optoutside #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander
four years ago today [2012.09.27]

sleeping under the stars, i awoke in the forest to the sounds of the river below with a view of the cascades in the distance.  it was amazing to wake up in such beautiful places in the middle of nature.  this was definitely one of my favorite parts of living life on the road.

after leaving the forest, it was either pretty foggy or smoky.  i headed west and spent a night at another campground before i'd be taking the ferry toward the coast the following day.  i went for a walk and explored the path that went to a creek behind the campground while there.  i had a nice wooded spot in the back, though it was a little loud being right by the interstate.. just a little bit different than the nice morning in the forest.  if you live in a city or haven't been out to nature in a while, make some time to go soon.. it's so calming and healing, and just beautiful and amazing to be somewhere so peaceful, quiet, and natural.
,f150,exploremore,truckcamper,journal,park,water,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,roadtrippin,campground,bay,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,fourwheelcampers,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.24]

waking up on the side of the road, i went for a ride shortly after the sun rose.  there was a nice haze and fog in the early morning.  i parked next to a field for breakfast and then headed over to a nearby park.  i either took a nap or worked on the computer before going for a walk.  after exploring the park and adjacent bridge, i headed over to the campground i'd be staying at for a couple of nights.

it looks like i spent a good number of nights at the campgrounds once i got to washington.. i don't recall if i needed to work a lot and was there for the internet and a place i could sleep undisturbed, or if i wanted to just check out the various campgrounds and see what life there would be like before heading to the coast to explore.  it was probably a combination of both.. when planning my route to the west coast, i was thinking of heading towards most of the campgrounds as i made my way around.
,mountains,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,discovertheroad,park,trees,switchbacks,liveyouradventure,journey,offroad,stayandwander,dirtroad,hyperlapse,wanderlust,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,liveoutdoors,switchback,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.21]

i left the campground and filled up one of the containers of propane for the first time.  it'd be good to have it ready to go so i could easily switch it out if the current one ran out again when it was cold.  i then headed back east towards the north cascades to sauk mountain.  it was a bumpy, winding switchback dirt road up to the top.  i don't remember if the girl i had run into a couple days before told me about it or if i had found out from someone else or just seen it on the map.  it was pretty steep and a bit of journey to get up and down it.  on the way up, i got 4.1 mpg and on the way down 44.4 mpg.  on the way down, i had the truck in 2nd or 3rd gear in 4x4 low so i wouldn't have to brake most of the way.  at the parking lot up top, i could see the peaks of nearby mountains over the top of the low clouds.

i then headed back west and north toward the canadian border.  in the middle of the day i discovered that most of my electrical components were not received power.  it was a friday and i didn't know if i'd be able to get ahold of the camper manufacturer or dealer.  i had just bought a lot of refrigerated food, and ended up drinking a lot of carrot juice that day or the next.  i didn't know what was wrong and if i was going to have to find some place to get it fixed while on my trip.  luckily i heard back from the dealer the next day who said it might be the gfi switch that got bumped.  i didn't even know there was a switch at the bottom of the breaker box, though it did the trick.  something must've hit it on the way up or down the winding switchbacks.  i ended up staying at a rest area a little south of the border, and wrote about my frustrations of being on the road (and life) that evening.  there was certainly a bit of a learning experience to be had when traveling across the country in a camper.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #road #nature #haze #smoke #mountains #cascades #trees #park #stars #starlapse #timelapse #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #discovertheroad
four years ago today [2012.09.18]

after spending a couple nights at the first campground on the trip, i was back on the road.  i stopped at a town up the road, wenatchee, and discovered a nice little local grocery store.  it had lots of healthy and specialty foods that i’d never seen before.  i ended up trying quite a bit and liked most, if not all, of what i had discovered.  there was a really nice girl who worked there that told me about a good hike to lake ann when i mentioned heading over to the north cascades national park.  i didn’t end up going to that part of the park though it was nice to meet friendly people along my journey.

on the way to the park, i saw lots of haze and smoke from recent fires.  when getting up into higher elevations, i began to find some breathtaking views of the mountains, some of which still had a little snow or ice on them.  after leaving an overlook, i kept heading down the road to see what else i would find.  i wanted to stop at a nice spot where i could photograph the stars over the mountains.  i almost regretted leaving the area where i was as i wasn’t seeing anything for a while.  a bit later, i found one spot along the side of the road a little later though it wasn’t quite what i was looking for.. less than ten minutes up the road, i found a nice spot overlooking ross lake just as the day was ending.  i spent the night here sleeping under the stars.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #ontheroad #optoutside #roadtrippin #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #park #rvlife #adventurelife #discovertheroad #hyperlapse #nomadiclife #nationalforest #trees
four years ago today [2012.09.15]

i woke up this day at the rest stop just over the oregon border and explored some of eastern oregon.  i had never been to this part of the state and it was very different than the northwestern part i'd previously seen.. it had a very dry feel to it like the states i had just been in.  perhaps it was due to the drought that year, though there still seemed to be a different feeling in the air.. i recall signs of or the feel of old western culture like i'd seen in some places on the way there.

i drove through a national forest or two, and made a couple short stops there on my way to washington.  the day before i had booked my first campground stay, and i made it almost all the way there after leaving oregon.  i slept on the side of the road a little over half an hour away.  after ten days on the road, it was going to be nice to take a little break the following day.
,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,liveyouradventure,waterfall,yellowstone,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,geyser,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrippin,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,journey,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.12]

i woke up at dawn and headed into yellowstone national park.  i think i was told it'd take eight hours to drive the whole loop though decided to do it anyway.  i think i stopped at most of the main locations around the loop for at least a little bit.  at one of the areas i decided to go on a hike down a trail where i only saw one other person.  part of me was a little concerned as there could be bears in the area, though i had no encounters or issues.  it ended up being nice exploring an area that felt pretty remote as most spots in the park had other tourists.

i made it around the loop and to old faithful around dusk.  someone had said it wasn't going to be that long for it to go off, so i walked around and waited a bit.  it was getting really cold and was pretty dark, though after having waited so long already, i figured i might as well stay as it couldn't be that much longer.  i ended up waiting over an hour for it to go off.  it was pretty neat and went really high in the air.

freezing after having waited so long for the old faithful geyser at yellowstone to off, i spent the night in the parking lot there.  i think there were signs saying no overnight parking or camping or something, and i had seen buffalo wandering in a nearby parking lot, so i kept the top down and slept on the roll over couch rather than the bed over the cab.  i was still on my first propane tank and had wondered how long it would last.  this night, the coldest night of life on the road so far, i found out what happened when it ran out.  in the middle of the night i woke up hearing the heater just clicking every so often like it was trying to start but not igniting.  most of my bedding was up under the closed pop up top.. i only had one small blanket and it was below freezing outside.  i didn't go outside to figure out how to switch out the tank and just tried to stay warm and make it through the night.  the next morning, the temperature was well below freezing, something like 21 or 23 degrees.
badlands,bison,blog,buffalo,camper,camping,cave,driving,f150,fordf150,fourwheelcampers,homeiswhereyouparkit,hyperlapse,instagram,journal,journey,lifeontheroad,nationalpark,nature,overlook,park,roadtrip,rockformations,rv,starlapse,stars,timelapse,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wildlife,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.09]

on this morning i woke up on sheep mountain table in the badlands.  i had spent the night sleeping under the stars with my camera photographing them all night.  i explored the area a little more before continuing on my journey west.  when planning the route toward washington, i decided to zig-zag my way across the map so i could visit all the northern states on the way there.  this day i took a slight detour out of south dakota into nebraska.  i would look for green spots on the map to go visit.  after either having lunch or a bathroom break at one of these green spots in nebraska, i headed back to south dakota on the way towards wyoming.

while in nebraska, i learned that the google maps app on my old phone might know better than me.  i had seen what looked like a shortcut that it wasn't telling me to take.  when i attempted to follow this road, the dirt path went up a pretty steep hill in the middle of what seemed to be a field.  i decided to try to follow it anyway as i had already started going that way.. i ended up having to put my truck into 4x4 low and then go up backwards back over the hill just to get out when i saw there wasn't a road or path on the other side.

i explored a couple places along my route in south dakota and decided to check out wind's cave national park when i saw it on the map.  i took a tour in one of the caves, and then drove up through one of the nearby state parks where i saw some more buffalo that were also right on the road like in the badlands.  i wanted to make my way towards devil's tower to photograph the stars over it, though i recall it being a bit of a drive and i think i was getting tired plus i didn't know if i was going to be able to find a spot with a good view that i could park at all night.  i'm glad i decided to keep going and made it there.. when i arrived, i found a spot along the side of the road just outside the national monument with a clear shot of the tower.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #rv #camper #camping #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #fourwheelcampers #fourwheelcamper #fwc #fordf150 #ford #f150 #driving #road #westward #headingwest #goingwest #freedomthinkers #exploremore #wanderlust #ontheroad #getoutside #optoutside #roadtrippin #writing
four years ago today [2012.09.06]

on this day i was about to embark on a journey across the country, one without a date to return home.  my home would be my pop-up truck camper as i began life on the road.  it was a new chapter in this adventure called life.

summer was almost over.  i had been helping a friend with his startup company since i left florida the end of may, much longer than anticipated.  i wanted to get on the road west weeks earlier to have plenty of time to explore before it got too cold in the northern states.  i planned out the first 10 days from chicagoland to the first campground i'd be staying at in washington, and figured i'd make my way towards the coast after that, though had no other plans set in stone.

i felt i might not want to leave once i got to california.  i had been there once before, nearly a decade earlier.  i recall sensing the beautiful, relaxed feeling in the air when i first arrived.  it was quite unlike florida.. perhaps it was because i was on vacation someplace new, though there was still something about it that felt different.  the nature was quite striking and there was so much of it.  i'd been to washington and oregon a couple times after my first trip to california, and also appreciated the landscapes found there.  i was excited to be heading out west and getting to explore the middle states of the country i'd never yet seen.  something about the wide open land always called to me.

i’ve put together a youtube playlist of all the 2012 life on the road films in chronological order if you want to watch them one after another. here’s the link:

www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYlEKn8xkNmVcJzBPGDznWUqHbu51wGC3
 

to see pictures from my truck camper journeys or read more about the adventure, visit this link:

markmarano.com/what/truck-camper

(you’ll need to scroll past all the videos as they’re also on that same page)
 

see the short one minute videos i’ll be posting on instagram (and read a little bit about each day), look here:

markmarano.com/what/truckcamper+instagram/
 

[from california to florida]

 
,mountains,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,park,journal,ontheroad,camper,optoutside,water,liveyouradventure,journey,nationalpark,stayandwander,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.29]

my friend and i went to olympic national park after heading in to town for breakfast.  on the way up to hurricane ridge, we stopped at an overlook where a number of birds landed on my friend's arm and hand after she fed them pieces of a tortilla wrap.  there was a nice panoramic view when we got up to the top at hurricane ridge.  after taking it in for a little bit, we headed back to the nearby town and my friend showed me a spot by the water before we met one of her friend's.  we had planned to go to a full moon celebration or something that my friend wanted to go to though ended up at her friend's bar for too long, so we went with her friend to visit a couple of his friends and play games instead.  my friend offered to drive during our adventures that day.. it was a little weird to be in the passenger seat of my truck, but nice to have someone show me around the area (and get a little break from driving everywhere).
,exploretocreate,timelapse,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,park,journal,ontheroad,camper,optoutside,journey,nationalpark,cascades,stayandwander,hyperlapse,wanderlust,rv,starlapse,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,nationalforest,vlog,camping,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,liveoutdoors,stars,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.26]

after a couple nights camping by the bay, i decided to head back to the cascades.  the morning was really foggy.. on the way east i went to a park that had an overlook to check out the view of the landscape below.  i made a couple other stops to check out the river and mountain views on the way back toward the wilderness.  i took the road all the way to cascade pass in north cascades national park.  on my way in, i saw a nice overlook that had a view of some of the mountain range over the cascade river.  i thought perhaps i'd stay there for a time-lapse of the stars later.  when i got to cascade pass, i saw lots of snow or ice on parts of the mountains.

i don't recall if there was a sign at cascade pass saying no camping or if i didn't think the angle would be as good for a shot of the stars.. whatever the reason, i headed back to the spot i saw earlier in the forest and parked in the little area that was there on the side of the road shortly before it got dark.  it was a little cloudy at first, though the clouds passed by after a while and i got a nice shot of the stars and moonlit mountains that night.

it was nice to have the truck camper.. it was a landscape photographer's best tool.  i recall some of the times when i'd be all set up at spots like this for a shot of the stars overnight, i'd hear or see cars going by.. they'd still have to be making their way to wherever they were staying that evening and i was already set up for the night and didn't have to go anywhere.  having a comfortable bed and all the basics with me everywhere i went was really nice.. i recall times in the past when i would sleep in the front seat of my car shooting the stars and it was quite uncomfortable (and the only amenities i might have with me would be a drink or snack, if i happened to remember to pack something). i also remember times being pretty tired and making a long drive home at night when i'd rather just be sleeping (and briefly drifting into sleep while driving). some sort of rv or camper is definitely the way to go exploring.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #road #park #fourwheelcampers #f150 #sunset #bay #water #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #rv #rvlife #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #discovertheroad #adventuremobile #adventureculture #roadtrippin #liveoutdoors
four years ago today [2012.09.23]

i left the campground and headed south a bit, exploring some spots along the water and stopping at some parks i found.  one park had some nice trails and an overlook of the nearby area.  after that one, i went down a winding road on a cliff by the water where i found a spot to stop for a nice view of the islands in the distance.  a little later, i drove by some houses that had a great view of one of the bays.

i think i ended up pretty close to the campground i was going to stay at the following day and spent the night on the side of the road a couple miles away.  if this is the night i'm thinking, it was part of an indian reservation (as was the campground), and i had a strange dream that woke me up in the middle of the night.  if i remember, i think i thought that someone or something had come into my camper through the tent material to attack me.. i may have felt this as i was slipping between the dream world and physical world, and that's how i was interpreting the feelings in this reality.  perhaps i was picking up on some of the energy nearby or something.  a couple times like this (and times when i would sleep in places where bears or other large animals might be) led me to think i might be better off in a hard-top camper or van so i wouldn't have to worry about the possibility of anything getting in easily.  it did feel pretty vulnerable spending the night asleep in random places where people or animals might find me.  i often would invoke the divine and surround the truck and camper in white light or blessings before drifting off to sleep, and never had any actual issues during my journey.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #nature #exploremore #getoutside #camper #camping #roadtrippin #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #rvlife #adventurelife #liveyouradventure #rv #campground #river #optoutside #freedomvessel #fourwheelcampers #fordf150 #ford #f150
four years ago today [2012.09.20]

i spent the day at a campground not too far from north cascades national park where i was exploring the day before.  i did some laundry there and probably worked on the computer most of the day.. around this time of the trip i unexpectedly had to do a lot of work for a client who decided they wanted much more than they had originally specified for the web application i had built for them.  it was quite frustrating to have this affect my trip and make me feel rushed while exploring places, though it was really nice to be able to work from almost anywhere i wanted.  i spent a couple nights at this campground.. it certainly was much easier to get work done without having to go looking for somewhere to park that had a usable phone or internet connection.  there were plenty of beautiful, quiet places i could've stayed for a while, though many, if not most, were without a signal.  at the campground, i stayed at a nice spot in the shade under tall, thick trees.  in the afternoon, i went for a walk and explored the creek that ran through the back.. i think this was the campground where i saw a yurt in person for the first time (i'd been told about them years earlier when i became interested in alternative homes or living options).
,f150,fordf150,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,camper,optoutside,ford,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,roadtrippin,campground,exploremore,rvlife,blog,rv,homeonwheels,camping,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,lifeontheroad,river,fourwheelcampers,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.17]

i spent this day at the campground i arrived at the day before.  i most likely worked on the computer or took it easy and rested in the camper.  around dusk, i went for a walk down the path to the river.  i probably cooked soup or pasta or something simple.  living life on the road, i often ate cereal for breakfast (or sometimes oatmeal), and veggie wraps for lunch.  as mini-meals, i would snack on bars, bean chips with salsa, apples with peanut butter, or something else i could easily eat between wanderings.  i occasionally would stop for a sub with eggs and veggies or a veggie taco somewhere.  i don't recall cooking too often, though it was nice to have the burners in the camper and be able to cook something simple when i did do so.

i'm looking back at what i wrote on this day, and it looks like i was realizing how much stuff i had brought with me.  i do recall this first journey of life on the road being a bit ridiculous in the amounts of stuff i had with me.  i honestly didn't know if i was coming back or for how long i'd be gone, so i had pretty much everything with me.  i remember having to step over things or move multiple things around just to find what i was looking for.  the journey the following year was much simpler as i didn't carry as much.  minimalism in life, especially life on the road, is an enormous help.  besides making it easier to find things, it frees up mental space of things you need to think about or take care of.

i know if i were to do life on the road again, it'd be much simpler this time around.. in the technological improvements alone, i'd need much less gear to be able to create the same kind of images and videos i did on this trip.  when thinking about acquiring something new or keeping something old, have a look at how much you'll actually use it and consider if you really need it.  if you're barely gonna use it, it's probably not worth getting or keeping around.  it's also helpful to only keep something that's versatile with multiple uses.  i used to have gear that was only for very specific types of shots that would take up so much space and just sit there for weeks, months, or longer.
,homeonwheels,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,trail,journey,freedomvessel,roadtrippin,stayandwander,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,hike,travel,adventurelife,vlog,lava,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,hyperlapse,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.14]

i woke up on the side of the road somewhere in idaho.  i was on my way to the moon.. i would always joke with my mom and say i was going to the moon when she'd ask where i went or was going.  this time i could really say it on my way to craters of the moon national monument.  when planning the route west, i think as soon as i saw it on the map, i decided i had to go there just because of the name.  i didn't look up anything about the park.. it just sounded interesting so i picked it.  in fact, i think that's how i picked most of the places i went to.. they sounded interesting or were a green spot on the map somewhere in the general direction i was going, so i decided to check them out.  i'm sure many people do a lot of research, planning, and reading up on reviews or tour guides, though it's often more fun to just go with what sounds or feels good.. it's more spontaneous, and is trusting the divine guidance that's been taking us all along this journey we call life anyhow.

just outside the national monument and preserve, i started to see some of the dark landscapes and it was unlike anything i'd seen before.  it was neat to see how diverse the land is.  the main loop of the park was closed as they were paving it or something so i started exploring a path near one of the parking areas that was open.  it ended up being a couple hour hike by the time i made it up, down, and around the craters and back around the loop to the parking area.

i left and headed west toward oregon.  i stopped at a rest area just over the border about 45 minutes before the sun went down and decided to spend the evening there.  it was nice to just stay wherever i wanted rather than have to plan out or go looking for a campground or hotel.  there was no need to check in, check out, carry or unpack a suitcase, make sure nothing was forgotten when packing back up, etc.  at some points in my truck camper journeys it did take quite a while to get out to a rural area where i felt i wouldn't be disturbed, though it was a tradeoff for staying someplace free and being able to get up and go.  my home was always with me wherever i went (or just down a trail).
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #park #land #rocks #canyon #river #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #ontheroad #optoutside #roadtrippin #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #rvlife #nomadiclife
four years ago today [2012.09.11]

i checked out bighorn canyon national recreation area on my way back into wyoming.  near one of the bends in the river, i tried to fly my kite to take some aerial photos, though the winds were too rough and threw the kite all around and onto the rocky ground.  stubbornly, thinking the wind would change, i kept trying and ended up breaking a spar.  i spent the night east of yellowstone near the buffalo bill dam.  i never knew there was a dam or reservoir there.. it was nice discovering interesting places and memorable people along the journey.  i remember the guy who worked at the visitor center being friendly and telling me about the buffalo in yellowstone when i said i was on my way there.

the detour to zig-zag from devil's tower to yellowstone via north dakota ended up taking an extra day and just about a whole tank of gas.  this trip was back when gas was hovering close to or well over $4 a gallon depending where you were.  some may wonder if it's worth spending a whole day driving and nearly $100 in gas just to briefly see an extra state when you don't know what you'll find, though it's all part of the adventure.. yes, perhaps some parts of the trip may not have been as exciting as others, though it's really how we're perceiving it.  one could find beauty anywhere should one allow oneself to.
badlands,bison,blog,buffalo,camper,camping,driving,f150,ford,fordf150,fourwheelcamper,fourwheelcampers,fwc,homeiswhereyouparkit,hyperlapse,instagram,journal,journey,lifeontheroad,nationalpark,nature,park,roadtrip,rv,starlapse,stars,timelapse,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wildlife,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.08]

parked on the side of a road somewhere in a national grassland, i woke up in the middle of the pitch dark night hearing strange animal noises and feeling weird energy, and it looked like the rear window of my camper was broken.  it was pretty cold and i didn't want to get out of bed to look nor to write down the insights i felt.  at some point, i awoke with an understanding of perception.. early that morning i had written "I woke up a couple hours ago with an understanding about the reflection through which we see ourselves being the same transparent mirror through which we’re seeing the world, though can’t quite remember the exact words right now." when daylight came, i saw the rear window of my camper door was intact and the only signs of animals were some cattle up on a hill across the road.

i recall it appearing like a lot of the national grassland was fenced off or being used for agriculture rather than a park or preserve, so i headed west toward the badlands instead of explore longer.  after seeing a lot of the rock formations there, i drove down a dirt road surrounded by hundreds of bison.  i then headed over to another little part further out on the map, sheep mountain table.  it was a bumpy dirt road that led me to a much more desolate area where i only saw a couple other vehicles.  i got out to take some photos and was standing near the edge of the cliff when the wind stopped.  all of a sudden there was no sound at all, no sound of nature or man.. all that was left was complete, perfect silence, the voice of god.  it was a truly amazing and beautiful experience that words cannot begin to describe.  it was only my second full day on the trip and i had already discovered and felt the presence of god.  i looked forward to whatever other peaceful places i might find on this journey.

nearby there was a high clearance vehicle road that went further into the park.  i took it to the end where i set up a couple cameras for time-lapse shots of the sun fading across the badlands formations and the stars passing by.  it was nice to be able to spend the night sleeping under the stars in what felt like such a remote place.

miracles and gratitude.. i wanted to write this the other day so let’s see if i can remember it. a miracle that i’m grateful for is that i made it through the rest of the 2012 life on the road films. i somehow made it! it was a long process to do the 45-46 films that took just under a month of me working pretty much non-stop on it from the time i’d get up to the time i’d go […]

[from california to florida]