#ford
... and the next adventure begins

this van will be my tiny home on wheels during my journeys, wherever they may take me

after a quick bite to eat and a little traffic, the first stop was one of my favorite local parks for some photos

special thanks to everyone at Ferman Ford in Clearwater, especially Nick and Rudy, for all the time they spent helping me as i decided what to order

thank you to @idletheorybus, @wheresmyofficenow, @exploringalternatives, @funforlouis, and many others, for sharing your stories and adventures

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#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.

i recall there being three things i shouldn’t have done here (per the instructions for the rieco titan standard tripod camper jacks): the rear of the camper shouldn’t have been raised higher than the front, the mounting brackets should’ve been screwed or bolted into the camper, and i think the camper shouldn’t have been removed on a slope. i didn’t want to drill holes into the camper for the mounting brackets and i didn’t really have a choice about keeping [...]

 
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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).
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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.
 
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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.
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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.