#fourwheelcamper
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four years ago today [2012.10.22]

i woke up covered in snow this morning.  the girl at the campground had said it wasn't going to stick.  i was laying in bed in the morning not feeling like getting up right away.. although i had the heat on, i think i was still cold.  it felt like i didn't have to rush, though i decided i ought to get up and go outside to see the little bit of snow that was there before it melted.

as i started to explore, i discovered at least several inches of snow covering everything, and it was still coming down.  the top of my camper was bowing down in the middle.  i opened the hatch to try to get some of the snow off the roof and some fell on my bed.  i didn't have a snow brush or anything so i was using my hands which were quickly freezing through my old gloves.  i had forgotten my folding bike outside the night before and had to get the snow off of it and pack it up.  waking up to this much snow certainly was an adventure i hadn't expected.  i couldn't get that much snow off the roof.. when i went to close it, i almost got smacked in the face with the piece that helps you put it up, as it quickly slammed down with all the weight on it.  usually bungee cords help pull the tent material together though the roof slammed down so quickly that they couldn't react and the tent material was hanging off the sides of the camper.  the roof wouldn't budge when i tried to lift it back up to put the tent back inside, so i had to drive with it like that until i got to lower elevation where the snow had melted.  i think i put the truck in 4x4 to help make the way through the snow, especially where it wasn't yet plowed.  the four wheel campers factory wasn't too far out of my way that day, so i stopped by and was told it was probably fine despite the bowing and driving with the tent material out.  gratefully, i never had any issues with leaks or anything after that.. i'm glad the camper was durable.

on my way to another campground, i saw some dark clouds all around.  i rode my bike around the lake at the campground and appreciated the warmer temperature.  it was a bit crazy.. in just a few days' time i had experienced summer, fall, and winter.
 
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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.