#desert
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four years ago today [2012.11.04]

i woke up in the mojave desert this morning.  i had backed into a small area i had seen off the side of the road the night before.  after a little bumpiness getting out, i went further into the desert to explore.  i saw joshua trees and shot a 360 degree rotating video clip like i had experimented with the day before.

i then continued along past the mojave and entered nevada.  i was on my way out of california.  this was day 60 of my journey of life on the road, and i had spent the past 3.5 weeks exploring california.  at some point i decided i was going back to florida.  i'd been wanting to find some land and it was expensive in california.  and the truck camper was feeling too small for full time living.. i think it would've been a big help if i had a better shower that i didn't have to set up each time i used it and wasn't carrying as much gear with me.  i also wanted to be part of a community again and knew people back in florida, including an old friend in need of help.

i had planned out a path zig-zagging my way through all the remaining contiguous states west of the mississippi that i hadn't yet taken my truck camper to.  i had to make it quickly as i was going to be flying to chicago to help my friend with his business after i got home.. at some point on my journey home he ended up pushing back the date as he was moving.  had i known ahead of time, i would've taken a little longer to travel back east.. like the journey west, i did find myself rushing to make it across the country.  some days i drove pretty much all day.

in nevada, i drove down part of the las vegas strip and i think i stopped for a sub after.  i then headed to zion national park.  i'd never been to utah and was excited to check it out.  i briefly passed through arizona on the way there though would be back the next day to explore it.  i made it to zion in the afternoon and explored during the little daylight that remained.  it was really beautiful and definitely one of the places i could've stayed longer.  i found a spot where i had a great view of the stars over one of the rock formations towering above where i was in the canyon below.

[in california]

 
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four years ago today [2012.11.03]

i woke up in palm desert at the campground by the interstate, and continued to explore the desert.  i took a short drive over to joshua tree national park where i spent most of the day.

on one of the roads i noticed an interesting little desert plant with bright yellow arms, the cholla cactus.  i wanted to get a photo or video clip of one.. i missed a couple of them i had seen while driving though didn't turn back, hoping i'd still see more.  not too much further up the road i discovered a spot with hundreds of them all around.  i set up my tall tripod / light stand with my camera and spun it around for a degree video clip of the whole area.  after doing so, i went back to the camper and grabbed the motor i had for 360x180 photos and put the camera on that to get a much smoother video clip.  i went through a few iterations of experimentation and finally ended up with the camera rotating on the motor all the way at the maximum height of the stand with the extension pole on there, 25 feet in the air.  it took an hour to do all the variations of the technique i tried, including a few still shots.  i hadn't really done too much experimentation during the trip.. i'd been so busy shooting video clips and time-lapses for these films that i barely took still photos, 360x180 degree little planet photos, or anything else.  it was good to get to play a little bit with the techniques.

afterwards, i continued driving further into the park and saw the joshua trees.  i explored both of the main roads in the park and left shortly before the sun set.  i then made my way up toward mojave national preserve and got there after it was dark.  i found a spot where it looked like there was an opening or narrow path, and backed the truck into there to spend the night.