#freedomvessel
i met a couple old friends at the arboretum this past saturday.  when i was surrounded by nature waiting for them that morning, i remembered why i got the van.  having a tiny home with me whenever i go exploring, especially to beautiful places, is certainly nice.  it may be small, though being able to go on more adventures and longer journeys is pretty awesome.  i've been so busy lately that i've barely taken it out wandering to new places.  sometimes you just gotta get up and go regardless of whether everything is ready or not.

after my friends left, i took a nap in the van and spent the rest of the afternoon in the arboretum.  it was great to have a comfy bed with me rather than having to drive to one when i was tired.  near the end of the day, it started raining and i got to experience how nice it was to be inside the van and simply be able to hop into the driver's seat without having to run around outside and get wet (like i would've had to do when in my truck camper).

i spent the night in the parking lot at my friend's office, which wasn't too exciting but a place nearby i could stay undisturbed.  sunday morning i decided to go back to the arboretum and spent the whole day there, again until when it closed at dusk.  i drove to a quiet spot that was the furthest from the nearby highways and spent a lot of the day in the van with all the doors open, letting a breeze pass through most of the time.  it was nice to experience having a tiny home in the middle of nature.  i look forward to when i have my own land and a larger tiny home in nature for when i'm not traveling.

#infrared #nature #park #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #trees #travel #journey #arboretum #plants #ir #blackandwhite #bw #adventure #exploremore #exploretocreate #freedomvessel #getoutside #liveoutdoors #liveyouradventure #nomadiclife #optoutside

these are all the star-lapses i shot on the journey i took from chicagoland to california and then to florida, between september and november of 2012

,liveoutdoors,urban,exploremore,wanderlust,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,stayandwander,adventuremobile,rvlife,city,rv,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,road,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,highway,freedomvessel,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.14]

i woke up in the guest room at my friend's home in houston.  it was nice to have more space than the camper and to have a real shower in the morning.  and it was good to see them as i hadn't seen them much after they had moved to houston.  i headed east to continue on the drive to florida.  i drove most of the day and stopped to meet a friend for dinner who was living in lousiana.  we ate at a local place in her town.. it had a nice feel to it and we chatted for a couple hours.  it was good to see her and catch up.  afterwards, i got on the road and continued east to mississippi, where i spent the night at a rest area.

on this day, i had driven to and through all of the contiguous states in the country that were west of the mississippi river.  it had been a ten week long journey by myself, and it was really great to get to see a number of familiar faces on the way home from the west coast.  i was almost back to florida and was looking forward to taking a break from driving so much.
,exploremore,adventuremobile,nature,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,rain,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,stayandwander,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,hills,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,road,freedomvessel,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.11]

i woke up in the rain just west of the missouri border and headed in to explore a green spot on the map before heading south to the ozarks in arkansas on the not so direct route to oklahoma where i would spend the night.  i stopped briefly at a park in the green area in missouri where it was really windy before continuing along the drive.  i was surprised with steep hills in arkansas where i also encountered a lot of rain again.  south of the ozarks, i hopped on the interstate west toward oklahoma and took a road down to a couple of green spots on the map.  i found a wide area to the side of the road at one of the green spots where i decided to stop and spend the night.  just after i got settled into the camper, i saw flashing lights behind my truck.  i didn't really want to deal with being told i couldn't stay there or anything.. luckily they must've been pulling over another car as they left after a little while and didn't bother me.  this is one of the times where i would've preferred to be in a large white van as it'd be less obvious than a camper (and i wouldn't have had to go out in the wet or cold morning either), though i'm grateful for being able to sleep in so many places undisturbed on my journey.
,exploremore,adventurelife,nature,truckcamper,journal,offroad,liveyouradventure,canyon,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,stayandwander,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,homeonwheels,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,adventuremobile,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,liveoutdoors,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.08]

i awoke overlooking the grand canyon.  i recall it being a windy night as i photographed the stars over the moonlit canyon.  as dawn broke, i explored the overlooks and saw the park in the morning light.. i hadn't had much time to see it when i arrived the afternoon before.

i then headed south a bit to sedona, and drove down the very bumpy and winding schnebly hill road.  this rock road was the worst one on my trip.. i had driven it years before in a car (that was bottoming out) and an suv.  i went back to visit as it was such a beautiful area.. though it felt different this time, and was not as exciting as my earlier times there.  i had thought of photographing the stars off the rock road, though there were signs saying no camping and it was forecast to rain, so i headed to town for a meal with cactus fries and then kept going.  i had photographed the stars there on previous trips (while sleeping uncomfortably in a car) so it wasn't too bad to skip it this trip.  i drove north on arizona state route 89a and stopped at the oak creek vista to see the views of the canyon and winding roads below.  it was pretty windy up there and rained when i was back on the road.  i got on the interstate and made my way east to new mexico.  rather than look for a spot on the side of the small road somewhere, i spent the night in a parking lot at a walmart i'd seen right off the interstate.. if this is the time i'm thinking, it was loud with the sounds of noisy diesel truck engines running all night not too far off in the distance.  in the morning, i'd make my way over to taos to check out the earthships.
,homeonwheels,timelapse,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,liveyouradventure,canyon,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,blog,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.05]

i slept in zion canyon under the stars spinning overhead.  i explored more of the park as i hadn't had much time after arriving the afternoon before.  it was a really amazing and beautiful place.  i went on a couple of short hikes in the canyon area and saw trees with brilliant yellow, orange, and red leaves before taking the tunnel east out of the park.  past the tunnel, i was surrounded by nice rock formations on the road toward the east entrance.

i drove back to arizona to check out the north rim of the grand canyon and got there with not much daylight left.  i made it to cape royal and angel's window as the sun was going down.  when i walked out to the first overlook, i remember being struck in awe.  it was so inspiring and magnificent to be there.  it was really silent, the light was beautiful, and there was no one else there.  it was a breathtaking experience.  i took it all in quickly and ran to the next spot before the sun went down.  after i was at the first spot for a little bit, a park ranger came by to say they were closing the main road out in a little while due to the recent fires.

i remember reading one of the signs that really opened my eyes up to how enormous the canyon actually was.  i don't remember the exact numbers it said, though when i read how many miles away some of the features or other side of the canyon was and that the large rock formation that looked like it was right there was also a couple miles away, i was struck in awe just as much as i was (if not more than) by the beauty when i first got out to the angel's window overlook.  it was really amazing how i perceived the sense of scale before and after knowing how far it really was.  i knew the grand canyon was big but wasn't thinking of it when i was memorized by its beauty.  when what looked like was right there was really far away, it meant the canyon and formations were really much deeper and grander than it had first appeared from where i stood.

after it was getting dark, i drove up a little to a nearby overlook where the parking lot was right by the edge, and i set up a time-lapse shot of the stars over the canyon below.
,camplife,adventuremobile,adventurelife,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,stayandwander,desert,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.02]

i woke up at a very crowded campground this morning and got on the road heading toward the desert.  i saw countless windmills along both sides of the interstate.. it was great to see renewable energy becoming more prevalent.  i went to palm desert and ended up in the el paseo shopping district where i stopped for a little bit.  it was nice to step outside and feel the high energy of the desert heat.  the upscale shops in the desert reminded me of when i had visited scottsdale years back.  i loved the warm desert colors of all the architecture in palm desert.  i looked back at what i wrote this day and it looks like it felt really amazing being in the desert.. some of what i wrote was "even at 89 or 90 degrees i wasn’t sweating! the energy here felt really high! it’s like a celebration of the love of the sun!” i think it felt good to relax in the warmth.. i think i was finally pretty much done with the work project that had dragged on for most of the trip too.  after walking around the outdoor shops, i went over to the nearby campground i was staying at and checked in.  the campground was filled with palm trees, lined down all the rows of rv spots, though it was a bit loud being right next to the interstate.  i'd continue my desert exploration in the morning.
,homeonwheels,camplife,adventurelife,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,optoutside,coast,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,blog,getoutside,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,adventuremobile,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,fog,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.30]

i woke up early parked on the streets of carmel-by-the-sea.. i think there was some noise at night or in the morning from a truck nearby, and i had wanted to leave before anyone noticed i was sleeping in the camper on the street.  i got a sub for breakfast and explored a small beach before going to point lobos.  when i got there, they said there was no entrance fee for walking or biking in but one for driving in.  i parked on the side of california route 1 near other cars a few hundred feet up, grabbed my folding bike and camera, and went in to explore.  it was pretty large and i spent a good while there before heading south.

it was a long day of driving and exploring.  i stopped at some spots in big sur.. it was quite beautiful there with many overlooks of the coast.  i saw a number of antique cars drive by when i was at one of them before heading to hearst castle.  the first friend i met in san francisco had told me it was a neat place to check out though the last tour of the day had already started when i got to the visitor center.  something told me to have a closer look at the photos and postcards in the gift shop when i was about to leave.  as i walked around there, my awareness was all of a sudden drawn to the girl at the cash register.  i felt her energy from where i stood and felt like i could feel what she was really communicating when i heard her speaking.  almost the instant i was drawn to her, she ran her hand through her hair to adjust it, and a split second later i decided i wouldn't talk to her and would get going to cambria.  although i didn't see it, something told me she did that to show me her ring.. i walked around for a few seconds before leaving and noticed she indeed did have something shiny on her left hand.  it was amazing to feel the connection and experience how quickly we can communicate at a higher level through feeling.

it was foggy in cambria.. i explored a spot by the water and checked out a couple empty lots of land that were for sale.  i thought perhaps i could get one to stay between my journeys though i wouldn't have been able to stay long term due to a water shortage in town.
,exploremore,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,campground,stayandwander,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,exploretocreate,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.27]

i headed south to pinnacles national park and explored there before going to another campground near the park.  i remember it being warm, in the 80's, during my hiking and exploration of the park.  i went on a long trail around a lot of the park.. it was interesting to wander there and see its unique landscape.  near the end of my hike, i found a cave which was pitch black in some parts.  it was interesting to be walking through and not be able to see a thing, only hearing water running inside and feeling the cool air, as i found my way to the next room/area inside.  it must be an amazing experience to be exploring some of the really large, deep caves in the world and turn off your lights and just sit and experience the silence and darkness in such a remote place.

the campground i went to had a whole section that was empty.  i picked a spot out there and had the whole place to myself.  i'd be staying a couple nights and working on the computer most of the time so it was nice to be somewhere quiet.
,exploremore,adventuremobile,adventurelife,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,roadtrippin,stayandwander,hyperlapse,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,homeonwheels,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.24]

the odometer on my truck crossed 20000 miles on the way to see the giant sequoias.  before the visit to giant sequoia national park, i hadn't seen these massive trees in person.  the trees had a different feel to them than the redwoods.  my heart felt more connected to the redwoods, though i still loved being in the presence of these giants.  exploring the park, i saw a little snow on the ground and on the distant mountains.  at another spot in the park, it was interesting to see little bits of the ground on fire and learn that the trees need the fire as part of their growth (and when the fires were being put out by man, the the trees didn't reproduce or grow like they previously had).

after seeing some of the trees near the entrance of the park, i made my way into kings canyon and took the road all the way to the end.  i explored, saw some waterfalls, and then found a spot to photograph the stars from inside the canyon before it got dark.  it felt pretty remote being surrounded by nature in the canyon.. it was another amazing place to spend the night sleeping under the stars.  i'm grateful for having chosen a self-contained rv that i could use to live life on the road from.  i had thought of lots of different options, such as getting a motorhome and having a smaller car for wandering, or a truck with a tow-behind or fifth wheel camper, though none of these would've made it easy to stay in beautiful places in nature, nor would it have been fun to have to drive all the way back to the campground every day.  with the truck camper, it was nice to just pick up and go from wherever i was.  everything was there with me on my home on wheels and i didn't have to look back.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #city #urban #overlook #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #optoutside #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #roadtrippin #nomadiclife #freedomthinkers #adventurelife #discovertheroad #rvlife #freedomvessel #adventuremobile #adventureculture
four years ago today [2012.10.18]

having spent the night in a suburban area, i woke up before the sun rose and quietly left.  to stay more discreet, i hadn't popped up the top of the camper.. this is one of the times where a plain looking van would've blended in better, though i didn't have any issue.  i explored a little of the east side of the bay and then took one of the bridges back west.  on my way to san francisco, i stopped at a hobby shop to replace the broken propellor for the model i crashed three days earlier.  in san francisco i explored a few of the parks in the middle of the city that had nice panoramic views of the surrounding neighborhoods and city.  i never knew these existed and hadn't seen them during my first visit.  it was neat to check them out and explore somewhere a bit different than the typical tourist attractions.  after seeing a few of them, i headed to a camera shop downtown to check out a used lens before meeting a friend who worked in town.  i checked out the event venue where she worked and then we went to the source, a vegetarian restaurant, for dinner.  while there, i ordered an elixir, divine guidance, and felt like i was receiving the guidance or inspiration during our great conversation.  it was great to see my friend.. it had been years since we'd seen each other before that.  i gave her a ride home back across the bay.. she said it was a safe area so i stayed in the camper on the street there (though didn't pop the top). before getting to sleep (and the next morning), i wrote some insights and feelings i was experiencing.  it was awesome to feel more aware, present, in the moment, and be able to feel and understand more deeply.
,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.
,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).
 
some shots on the journey from florida to chicagoland [2017.07.12 - 2017.07.20]

on the first day of the drive north, i took a detour toward orlando to check out some tiny homes and meet a friend whom i hadn't seen in years. it was nice to see her, meet her husband, and feel inspired to go back to the avatar course in the future. after chatting for a bit, i left to make my way toward my cousin's place just outside atlanta, sleeping in a parking lot between a hotel and restaurant on the way up as it was late and i was getting tired. it was good to take the break, as in the morning i got to see the rolling hill landscape that i would've missed driving at night. atlanta had good food and a nice feel to the city (and neighboring towns/burbs) with winding roads, hills, and many trees that were much more pleasant than a typical city grid.

after spending a few days with my cousin, i visited a friend near chattanooga and met her family. we walked the long pedestrian bridge over the river and checked out part of the city, which also had a nice feel to it. i then stopped by the isha center in tennessee on my way toward chicagoland. when i arrived, i was a little surprised when the girl at the welcome center told me i could go to the meditation/ceremony that was starting soon (i thought i had missed it as i forgot i crossed into the central time zone on the way there.. my phone wasn't getting service most of the whole trip so still showed eastern time). the dinner hall was nice as everyone ate in silence. afterward, i sat by a small garden area and enjoyed the peacefulness of the grounds.

the next day, i discovered a wilderness preserve on my way toward kentucky and explored there for a bit. i also explored around the land between the lakes national recreation area. i was thinking of staying there overnight though i couldn't find the spot i had discovered a few years earlier, and there was still plenty of daylight left, so i headed toward garden of the gods in southern illinois. i was going to stay there, though i was feeling pretty sweaty as it was a hot day and i had been driving with the windows open the whole day. not having plumbing installed yet, i walked a little bit of the trail, took a few photos, had a snack, and decided to drive the rest of the way to my friend's place so i could shower before going to sleep. i also figured there'd be no traffic driving the small country roads up the state at night. by the time i went to sleep, the early morning light of the next day was beginning to show and i had been up for almost 24 hours straight without a nap.

the van build isn't fully complete yet, so the journey was shorter and with less stops along the way than it would've been, though i still decided to take back roads the whole way. i more than doubled the number of miles on the van on the trip up. the trip meter for the drive up read 1547.5 miles with a little over 35.5 hours of driving. per the meter, i averaged 19.7 mpg the whole trip, and i saw right around 22 mpg for the last tank (and when i had cruise control at 57 mph) which i was pretty happy with (though i'll have to determine how accurate the trip meter calculation is).

more than once during the trip i had just enough gas to make it to the next town that had a gas station. luckily that last night something told me to call the gas station on my way there (and i actually had a signal to do so).. they ended up leaving the pumps on a few extra minutes for me to get there as they were about to close. i ended up going a couple miles past the 0 miles range left indicator too. if i hadn't called, i would have had to sleep at the gas station all night until it opened the next morning or risk attempting to drive to the next one miles away without knowing if i had enough fuel to make it. sometimes navigation was a bit tricky without a phone signal to download the map data, though besides not finding the one spot in the recreation area (which i didn't remember exactly where it was anyhow), i managed to make my way pretty much on course until i got enough of a signal to find towns that had gas stations. luckily i usually didn't have to go too long without a signal before i got one where i could start the turn by turn directions (which downloaded all the data needed for my route to the next stop, so it'd continue to work even when i lost a signal). it was also nice that the google maps app was able to provide navigation solely via local roads.
,homeonwheels,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,water,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,blog,gulf,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,sand,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,beach,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.16]

in a parking lot near the gulf in florida, i woke up this morning before dawn and continued driving east along the coast.  i saw the beautiful colors of the dawn sky while driving over a bridge, and briefly stopped at a little beach further up before the road would turn inland.  i then drove most of the day and made it home in the middle of the afternoon.

life on the road was a 72 day long journey and i ended up back in florida when it was over.  it was a fun adventure though i really wanted to have a home base, and after having left a beautiful community that felt like home in the summer, i also had longed for one to partake in.  i felt i'd find this back in florida.

for a long time i had wanted to take a long trip out west and get an rv.  it was awesome to see it actually happen.  it feels good to live your dreams and change your life.  if you're not where you want to be in life, simply change.  you may have to face things you are resisting, though once you feel them and embrace them, you'll see they really are no big deal and you can let them go, freeing up room for whatever is next in your journey.

it feels good to be done with these videos and free up the space for whatever is next in life.  for a long time, i wanted to make these, though something always got in the way, even if it was my own self.  in life we often get in our own way.  the way to stop doing it is to face whatever it is that's really there with an open heart.  we can heal our own lives.. often so much of what's happening in life that's getting in the way is really something pretty simple that we don't want to experience.  all we need to do is feel it, own it, and let it go.  the world we experience is simply a mirror of our own thoughts and feelings.  as we learn to face and experience what we're resisting, we can change how we're feeling.  as we change our feelings, we transform.  as we transform, the world we see transforms.  this is how we create the world we want to see and experience.. by simply changing how we're feeling.  you too can create the life or world you've been waiting for.. it all starts by changing what you're feeling within.
,liveoutdoors,urban,exploremore,wanderlust,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,stayandwander,adventuremobile,rvlife,city,rv,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,road,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,highway,freedomvessel,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.13]

i spent the night in the guest room at my uncle and aunt's home in austin.  after being in the small camper for many nights, it was nice to have a bit more space to move about.  in the morning we went to a local place for breakfast, and i remember my uncle telling me about a comic book project he was working on.  it was nice to see them and chat for a bit in the morning.  i left in the middle of the day to meet a home builder in a town a little east of there whom specialized in concrete earth-sheltered homes.  i saw one of the houses he had built and learned about the technique.

i then made my way over to the houston area where i met a couple friends.  it had been a while since i'd seen them and it was nice to see them on my way back to florida.  my friend showed me his delorean which he didn't have there when i had visited a few years earlier.  it looked great.. he had kept it in really good condition.  he told me a story of how he took it to a drive-thru and was stuck with his arm out the little window unable to get the big drink he ordered in.  we had pizza for dinner and talked or watched tv for a little while, and i spent the night in their guest room.  again, it was nice to get a little bit of a break from the small space of the camper.
,tumbleweed,exploremore,adventurelife,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,driving,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,rural,stayandwander,adventuremobile,wanderlust,rv,exploretocreate,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,country,travel,vlog,roadtrip,blog,hay,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.10]

as the sun was rising, i woke up on the side of a dirt road just off u.s. highway 50 in eastern colorado.  when driving east the night before, i remember going on a continual descent as i was leaving the rockies.  this day was one of the longest days driving.  i drove from the time i got up to the time i went to sleep, only making short stops to eat, use the bathroom, or get gas.  it was a really long drive heading east across the whole state, though i got to see tumbleweed tumble across the country highway.  when i stopped at dusk for the evening, i was only 10-15 miles from the missouri border, and it was almost exactly ten hours from when i had started in the morning.

somewhere in kansas, i got pulled over by a police officer or state trooper.. it was strange as i wasn't speeding (most of the time i'd only drive 50-55mph to get better gas mileage, though sometimes would go faster if i was on a descent or getting tired of driving or something). i asked if i had missed a stop sign or something.. he stopped me as he had read the digits on my license plate incorrectly when he was randomly checking it and thought it was an invalid plate.  luckily it didn't take long for him to check my registration and verify it was valid.. i grabbed a clif bar and had a snack while i waited.  some days on the road i would eat more than one bar or other little snacks to keep me going while driving or exploring and wouldn't really have actual meals.  since i had a lot of time after it got dark early on these shorts days, i probably would at least make a sandwich or cook soup or something when stopping for the night.  it was a little more difficult stopping early as more people would still be driving around as they were heading home from work or errands or whatnot, and i preferred not to be noticed sleeping on the sides of the road.  luckily, i wasn't bothered and not too many people usually went by in the spots i stayed.
,homeonwheels,timelapse,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,offroad,liveyouradventure,canyon,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,blog,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.07]

i woke up in the middle of nowhere.  the night before i had driven into grand staircase-escalante national monument.  i wanted to check out an arch in the park and perhaps thought i could photograph the stars under it.  when mapping my route, i figured i'd go through the park and make my way to arizona.  after driving an hour down a long, bumpy, winding dirt road up, down, and around the park, sometimes right at the edge of steep cliffs, i came to a closed gate in the direction i wanted to go.  i decided to spend the night there and head back in the morning.  it was really cold this morning, in the 20's.  previously having thought i would only have 30 more miles to the highway from where i woke up, i had to back track hours out of the way to get on the route to my next destination.  i found cattle walking up a steep hill on my way out.  close to the entrance i found the arch i hadn't seen in the pitch dark night.

after making it out, i drove through the neighboring kodachrome state park, which was quite beautiful.. i found a huge rock formation that i parked my truck next to for a photo.  i decided to stop at bryce canyon to have another look as it was now on the way back.  after, i drove through the same road i had the day before, and ended up seeing one section three times as i had passed through that area both on my way in and out of the grand canyon.  had i known i couldn't make it through grand staircase-escalante, i probably would've changed the order of my itinerary or where i was going, though the experience was all part of the adventure and it was nice to get to see what i did.  in arizona, i had a quick look at glen canyon dam and i was pleasantly surprised with a really nice view and drive going down echo cliffs via antelope pass.  i made it to the south rim of the grand canyon in the afternoon with enough time to explore a little bit before the sun went down.  i found a spot at an overlook where i could photograph the stars over the canyon.  i remember waiting a little bit to pop the top as other cars were still in the parking lot, though finally did after a while and think others also spent the night there.
,homeonwheels,timelapse,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,blog,desert,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
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.
,homeonwheels,urban,camplife,adventurelife,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,blog,border,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,adventuremobile,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.01]

in the morning i headed to the southwesternmost point of the contiguous united states at international park.  this border park was quite different than the one i'd seen earlier at the canadian border.. there were two large fences that ran along the border and it was very desolate and being actively patrolled.  my family (whom watches the news and lives in fear) had told me about americans being be-headed in tijuana shortly before i was in southern california.. i think this led me to have the thought of what if someone would be shooting across the border from one of the buildings right there.  i was a little worried and afraid as i walked the long road from the parking lot outside the park toward the beach.. it seemed to be a really long walk when i was on the part of the road that was a straight shot south to the border for half a mile.  at some point, after nothing happening, i was totally fine and wasn't worried about anything happening to me, despite being right by the border for a while.  it's funny how one little thought in the mind can make you feel like that, and how social conditioning and negative influences affect so many people without them even realizing it.  as we continue to embrace and let go of our own programming, we discover true freedom and a sense of who we really are.

on the way to the border park, i had stopped to look at a shop that built a specialty camper roof for a couple suv's.  i'd never seen one in person and wanted to check out what it was like.. i had written ahead of time though most of them weren't there and they didn't have a completed one that day so i could only see a bit of their building process.  after going to the border park, i headed north to san diego along coronado island where i stopped for a little bit.  i took the bridge into san diego and explored a garden near the zoo where i saw lots of unique desert plants.  i then went to a park by the marina where i saw the sun set before meeting a friend who lived nearby for dinner.. it was nice to chat and catch up.  after dinner, i drove a while up to a campground close to (or part of) the los angeles metro area.
,homeonwheels,camplife,adventurelife,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,optoutside,coast,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,blog,getoutside,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,adventuremobile,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,fog,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.29]

i was on my way back to the coast this day.  i went up to santa cruz and checked out the little beach area for a bit.  it was nice to explore the coastal towns.. like in oregon, i felt i could just stay along the coast exploring for a while.  i made my way south on california route 1 to pacific grove to meet with brooks, the former owner of the online kite aerial photography shop.  i was purchasing one of his kits and had asked if i could meet him to pick it up as i didn't have a way to get mail on the road.  he was really nice.. we chatted briefly when i met him and he told me about point lobos and a place nearby where i could see the monarch butterflies.  i hadn't known about either.. i doubt i would've found the butterfly sanctuary without him telling me and may not have stopped at the green spot on the map where point lobos was had he not suggested it.

i went right over to the sanctuary afterwards, and then headed over to check out monterey.  i had heard it was nice and pacific grove was right next door to it.  the whole area was quite beautiful, with a coastal feel.  thinking about that, i was just looking at the map and it looks like i drove right by asilomar, where wayne dyer's movie the shift was filmed, and didn't even know it.. i probably was following directions or looking at the map and totally missed it.  i remember wayne dyer sharing the miracle of the monarch butterfly in one of his programs.. it was neat to get to see them in person.

from monterey, i drove along the coast back towards pacific grove to create a time-lapse of it as it was a beautiful drive.  it was very wet from the dense fog there.  i made my way over to carmel-by-the-sea, a quaint little town full of shops.  i went by the beach for a few minutes then found a spot to park in town.  as it was getting dark, i briefly walked around the area with the shops and then spent the night in my camper.  to stay discrete, i didn't pop up the top and kept quiet.  in places like this, especially as the days got shorter, i kept thinking how i'd blend in better and be less likely disturbed in a plain van.. luckily, no one bothered me in the camper.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #rv #driving #road #campground #camping #camplife #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #optoutside #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #nomadiclife #adventurelife #discovertheroad #adventuremobile #rvlife #freedomvessel
four years ago today [2012.10.26]

i woke up less than ten miles outside of sequoia national park, and was gonna start to make my way back towards the coast.  i had found a spot behind a large rock formation just next to the road.  it was nice to see the early morning sunlight on the nearby foothills on the drive west.  i saw a field of cotton and parts of the state i had never been to.. there was so much open space and land in california.  after driving through the middle of the state, i went to a campground not too far from the coast.

that morning i had stopped in fresno to check out the sportsmobile factory.. in thinking it'd be good to have much more room if i were going to stay on the road permanently, i thought about doing a custom conversion of a full length sprinter van.  it was nice to get a tour of the factory and see a little of how they made the vans into rv's or campers.

at the campground, i found a spot along the edge of the large area that was shaded by a row of trees.  it was nice that a lot of the campgrounds weren't full so i usually had a choice of where to park and would go look for something far from others so it'd be quiet, private, and more natural.
,lifeontheroad,homeiswhereyouparkit,truckcamper,journey,travel,roadtrip,journal,vlog,blog,f150,fourwheelcampers,camping,exploremore,getoutside,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,liveoutdoors,stayandwander,homeonwheels,liveyouradventure,roadtrippin,nomadiclife,adventurelife,discovertheroad,adventuremobile,campground,camplife,rvlife,freedomvessel
four years ago today [2012.10.23]

this morning i woke up at a campground and wasn't covered in snow like the day before.  it was nice to have experienced once but isn't something i'd like to do regularly.  one of the reasons living in chicago was tough for me were the long winters that lasted about half the year.  having lived half my life in florida, i certainly had a preference for what i enjoyed.

this day i went to have a look at a powered paraglider.  i didn't get to take a test flight though got a feel for what was involved.  the video they'd put together of why they fly was inspiring.  i'd been thinking of getting some sort of flying machine for a while and this was one of the safest ways to fly.  i didn't end up getting it as i didn't really have the room to be carrying it with me and it was pretty expensive.  i'd thought of putting it in front of the truck though he recommended otherwise.  i haven't thought of it in a while though still would be interested at some point in getting something.  i love the view from above and the open feel of flying in the air would be pretty amazing.

it was neat that i was able to easily check out things i was interested in along my journey.  so many of these manufacturers were out west making it impractical to go have a look at everything before living life on the road.  on this day i stopped at an rv dealer to check out a sprinter van rv as i had some time and was almost at the campground i'd be staying at.  i had thought about it as it would give me more room and i wouldn't to pop the top or run out in the cold weather to get to the camper every time, though i'd lose the 4x4 the truck had.  more recently i've thought about getting a van if i were to live life on the road again.  mercedes now sells the 4x4 sprinter in the u.s. too, so i'd have that as an option if i wanted to explore places where i'd need it.

i went to check out the river behind the campground i stayed at, and saw the sun set shortly after i'd arrived.  it was nice to have access to campgrounds along my exploration of california.  it was much easier to stay at one than have to go looking for a quiet spot in the middle of the night to stay.
,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,water,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,roadtrippin,ocean,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.02]

back in the united states after taking the ferry to canada the day before, i headed toward the coast.  i'd seen a sign somewhere pointing toward the northwesternmost point and decided to follow that.  when i got to the parking lot and started hiking toward the coast i saw a sign warning of bears or another potentially dangerous animal that could be wandering the area.  i felt a little concerned briefly as there was no one else there, though i invoked the divine and kept walking.  by the time i made it to the water i had forgotten about the sign.  it was quite spectacular to have made it to the pacific coast and neat to be at the northwesternmost point in the country.  it was pretty foggy and wet there and nearby.

i headed back inland a bit and then made my way to explore some other natural areas, some of which were part of olympic national park, and found a couple spots with nice views of the pacific ocean.  as it was getting dark i found a quiet spot to sleep off a small road that was part of the national park.  i think there were warnings of the possibility of bears in the area though i didn't have any issues.  it was good to find less traveled spots to sleep especially as the days were getting shorter and i'd be there longer during the night.  it was nice to stay in a unique spot and not have to check in or out of a campground nor book a reservation.
#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).
 

this is a compilation of all 72 days of the journey i took from chicagoland to california and then to florida, from september 6th to november 16th in 2012. this is running at 5x the normal speed (otherwise it’d be around 19.5 hours long). it includes all of the following parts:

– from chicagoland to california [a five week adventure]
– life in california [three and a half weeks]
– from california to florida [just under two weeks]

[...]
,homeonwheels,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,water,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,blog,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,gulf,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,sand,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,beach,nationalseashore,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.15]

i woke up at a rest area in mississippi, less than 15 miles from the alabama border.  i headed east and stopped when i got to the florida welcome center.  i was going to be meeting a friend who lived in pensacola though was early so i waited a little while at the rest area.  a while back, another friend had told me they serve orange juice at the welcome center.. i may have gone in to see if they had any though i don't remember.  after meeting my friend for brunch at a local restaurant, i headed over to pensacola beach and the gulf islands national seashore.  it was really beautiful to explore the beach on the seashore.  after experiencing so much cold weather out west, i really appreciated the warm florida sunshine.  the water and bright sand was really nice, though it was a bit loud from the naval planes flying overhead.. they flew in formation like i'd seen them do at air shows.

i headed east from the national seashore to check out a really big monolithic dome home.  i had just discovered these domes for the first time a couple days earlier in texas when i spontaneously decided to check them out, and there happened to be one on my way home in florida.  this home survived hurricane ivan in 2004 while the adjoining houses on the beach were destroyed.  after seeing the dome, i was going to take the road on the island to the next exit or all the way to the next town if possible, though it was closed so i had to head back to the peninsula.  i made my way back and then headed east along the coast, taking u.s. highway 98 or the smaller local roads when they existed.  i passed through seaside as it was getting dark.. it would've been nice to stay there though there may have been signs with parking rules or i didn't want to draw attention to the camper.  i drove for almost two more hours and spent the night in a parking lot near the mouth of st joseph bay.  i still had a day's worth of driving ahead of me before i'd get home, though was glad to be back in florida.  my truck drank much less gas driving on the flat land compared to the mountainous terrain out west, and i enjoyed the beauty of the warm sun and gulf coast beaches.
,homeonwheels,urban,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,blog,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,adventuremobile,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,domes,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.12]

i woke up on the side of the road in oklahoma.  it'd be another long day of driving.. i was going to meet friends and family who lived in austin.  driving south of dallas, i noticed a lot of domes on the other side of the interstate.  i thought of stopping to check them out but didn't decide quickly enough to take the exit that was right there.  still wanting to have a look, i got off at the next exit, less than two miles up the road.  i'd been thinking of building a geodesic dome or other unique or earth-friendly home, and it was awesome to see these monolithic domes right off the interstate.  i explored one of the little cabins they had and then went to the visitor center.  a girl there took me on a tour of one of the homes.. it had been built a while back and had older styling inside, though was great to learn how resilient the domes were (with a lifespan that was measured in centuries). and it was funny to see them as i was going to be meeting someone else the next day to look at concrete earth-sheltered homes he built.  the girl who gave me the tour had a really interesting energy.  it felt quite alien, unlike anyone else i'd met.. i'm not sure if it was a texan vibe.. it seemed to be more of something in her level of awareness.

i headed south and stopped for a short break at a rest stop before meeting a couple friends who had moved to austin.  it'd been a while since i'd seen them, and i didn't realize they had broken up when i had written a message to both of them together.  they were still friends so it was okay, and the way their schedules worked out, most of the time only one of them was at the restaurant at a time.  it was great to see them and catch up.  we had some great conversations, especially with one of my friends whom i connected with about consciousness, spirituality, and higher awareness.  it felt great to open up and connect with someone i had known before my spiritual journey who understood and got what i was talking about.  after leaving, i contacted my uncle and aunt who lived nearby.. they were still awake so i went over to their place and we chatted for a bit before getting to sleep.
,earthship,exploremore,adventurelife,truckcamper,journal,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,blog,gorge,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,nature,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,dunes,sand,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,rainbow,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.09]

after waking up in a parking lot, i got on the interstate and headed towards taos.  i was excited to go check out the earthships there.  i had first seen one in a book a number of years ago, shortly after i had moved to chicago i believe.  i had a bit of a drive ahead of me as i was still west of albuquerque.

i stopped at the rio grande gorge bridge just a little west of the earthship visitor center.  there was a nice, unique feeling in the air.. perhaps it was due to being a pretty high elevation, near 7000 ft above sea level, or it was just the energy of the surrounding land.  i went to the earthship visitor center and explored for a little while.  the girl there was nice and offered to show me one of the smaller simple survival models had i been staying around, though i had to get on the road.  had i known i didn't have to go up to chicago until later, i would've been able to take my time on the journey back to florida.  it would've been nice to check out the other earthship and connect with the girl who worked there.  this is another time on the trip where needing to stick to a rigid plan prevented me from being spontaneous and making a new friend.

after leaving, i headed north and saw a couple of rainbows to the east before crossing the colorado border.  i was on my way over to the great sand dunes national park and preserve.. i never knew there were sand dunes in colorado until i found it on the map when i was looking for places to explore in the state.  there was an interesting, unique feeling to colorado.  perhaps it was the high elevation and the low angle of the sun.. i recall the light appearing quite unlike anything else i had seen (perhaps it was that it'd been a long time since i'd been up north in the winter, and this rapid change in light over just a couple days appeared more drastic).

i got to the park where i explored a little bit, got some photos of the dunes and clouds, and saw another rainbow as i was leaving.  i was going to meet a friend who was living in the middle of the state though he ended up being unavailable, so i headed east to continue the journey to florida.
,homeonwheels,timelapse,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,liveyouradventure,canyon,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,blog,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.11.06]

i woke up at the edge of the grand canyon before dawn.  i headed over to another nearby overlook to photograph the sun's rays lighting the canyon as it rose.  i then went over to point imperial where i discovered a beautiful view of the canyon.  it was filled with fog or smoke from recent fires, and the formations in the canyon seemed to go far off into the distance.  before leaving, i went to bright angel point, and found the whole canyon there filled with thick smoke from the fires.  i had to wait a little bit to leave the park as the rangers made sure the road out was clear.

on my way to bryce canyon, i headed back to utah and stopped at some rock formations i saw at the side of the road in the dixie national forest.  it was nice to find beautiful red rocks on my way to the national park.  the landscape of the west was so nice to drive through.. each little bit was unique in its own way.  i made it to bryce canyon in the afternoon and quickly explored all the overlooks before the end of the day.  there were lots of tourists at some of the spots.. i had seen professional photos of bryce canyon a long time ago and always thought the shots were taken somewhere remote or after a hike, and discovered most of the overlooks were very close to the parking lot with the spectacular views right there.  the light was really brilliant and soft after the sun went down.. the colors in the sky and canyon below were magnificent.

i remember thinking of photographing the stars at bryce canyon though i didn't think i would be able to get the angle or shot i wanted from where i would've been able to set up the camera on top of the camper.  i know i could've set up a shorter shot without plugging the camera into the camper, though it was getting pretty cold even at sunset, and i don't think i had a jacket or coat with me on the trip.  i headed over to grand staircase-escalante national monument instead.  it was a dark, bumpy, long, and winding dirt road, sometimes right at the edge of cliffs.  early in i encountered water on the road and almost wondered if i should keep going as i’d seen a warning about flooding at the entrance.
,exploremore,adventuremobile,nature,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,cactus,desert,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
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.
,urban,exploremore,camplife,adventurelife,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,coast,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,homeonwheels,stayandwander,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,freedomvessel,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.31]

i woke up at a campground in the mountains near santa barbara.. it was a winding drive down a dark road the night before.  when i got up i saw there was a horse ranch on the grounds and a different feel to it than the other campgrounds i'd been to.  i made my way back to the coast and headed south on california route 1.  when i got to santa monica, i headed inland toward i-5.  i stopped for a few minutes at a park on a palm tree lined street in beverly hills.. one tree at the park appeared exotic with purple leaves.  i then made my way out of the metro area, and headed south to encinitas to meet richard rudis whom i had purchased a small tibetan singing bowl from.  i had difficulty getting it to sing and met him to exchange it since i was passing through the area.  they were able to play it right away when i arrived and he showed me a lot of other sound healing instruments he had.  i was most interested in a gong and ended up getting that.  i was a little concerned about it making the long trip with me when i'd be on bumpy dirt roads though it was totally fine.  if you’ve never been to one of his gong baths, they’re definitely worth checking out.. i went the following summer to one and it was very powerful.  after i left, i went to a campground not far from the mexican border.  following the gps on the way there, i actually past a u.s. border patrol station before getting to a road that didn't exist and having to turn around.  it was strange that the station was so far inland.. the guy there was nice when i told him i just passed by and was looking for the campground.  he pointed me to the next road that went right there.
,exploremore,camplife,adventurelife,truckcamper,journal,optoutside,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,homeonwheels,campground,stayandwander,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,exploretocreate,camping,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,fourwheelcampers,freedomvessel,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.28]

i experienced an earthquake for the first time.  i spent the whole day at the campground working on my computer.  this was the one time i used the large disk array i had been carrying with me through the whole country.  i was backing up and organizing the video and photo files from the trip so far.  the whole journey ended up taking up a lot of space, some 763+ gigabytes.. i don't recall what i was doing with the files along the journey, probably keeping them on my laptop and portable hard drive.  it was good to get the footage backed up with redundancy so the files would be safe.

i didn't really shoot a lot of footage this day.  these one minute videos i've created for instagram are essentially the full length videos i made but with the time adjusted so it fits in a minute.. this instagram video is actually a little longer than the normal length video i had created this day as i had shot so little.

when i was sitting in the camper this evening, i felt it shake for a few seconds.  i was used to feeling it shake sometimes when the wind blew as it was just sitting on the bed of the truck, though this time there was no wind.  i wondered if it had been an earthquake that had caused it.  i looked it up, and sure enough there was a magnitude 3.9 or 4.0 earthquake that happened about 8 miles from the campground, close to pinnacles national park where i had been the day before.  it was a fun surprise to get to experience a small earthquake.. i didn't expect to actually be in one during my trip.
,homeonwheels,tunnellog,exploremore,adventurelife,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,nationalpark,blog,hyperlapse,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.25]

i woke up under the stars in kings canyon and explored more of the canyon on my way back to sequoia national park.  there were many beautiful spots to stop and take it all in.  these parks were another place i could've stayed for quite a while.. most national parks felt like that.  i could've gotten lost in them for days, weeks, or months.. i would think if i could just live in a national park, that'd be perfect.  living life on the road i technically could stay in nature indefinitely and only go to towns or urban areas on my way to the next park or forest.

the giant sequoia trees were so massive.. they are the largest living thing on the planet by volume.  i took a photo of my truck and camper in front of one of the trees and it looked so tiny.  after exploring the other side of the park for a while, i found a quiet meadow path to walk before going to a tree that you could drive through.  my truck and camper barely fit but it cleared by a little bit.  i remember a couple of european guys who were visiting the park being shocked when i drove through.  i was a little concerned going through the first time, though i probably had looked up the clearance height beforehand.

after that, i found a spot a little further up the road with a nice view of the land below.  i hiked to the dome nearby, moro rock, where the panoramic views of the high sierra and canyons were breathtaking.  in the late afternoon light it was beautiful to see the layers of the mountains in the distance and the long winding road below.  the winding road out of the park was under construction and i waited at the longest stop light i'd ever been at.  as the sun went down, i waited 20 minutes for the light to turn green (and most of the time cars weren't coming from the other direction). when it turned green and i headed down, i saw how much of a massive project it was to re-pave the road.  after the wait, it was a long winding drive down, taking me over an hour to get out and find a place to stop less than ten miles outside the park.  if i knew it'd be that long, i might've stayed in the park instead, though was glad to find a place not too far away.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #city #urban #bridge #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #optoutside #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #roadtrippin #nomadiclife #freedomthinkers #adventurelife #discovertheroad #rvlife #freedomvessel #adventuremobile #adventureculture
four years ago today [2012.10.19]

i woke up and drove across the bay to san francisco to meet a couple of other friends who happened to be visiting san francisco.  it was overcast and foggy that day.  we went to eat at the vegetarian restaurant i'd been to the day before, the source.  afterwards, we went to explore the piers and saw the sea lions before going on a ride to see the golden gate bridge.  we left the bridge welcome center, drove by the coast a little, and then went down lombard street.  it was nice to spend time with them when we happened to be in the area.  we had a good conversation about group thinking and i remember one of my friends saying how i didn't really conform to any group.  after we parted ways, i drove east and spent the night at a campground between sacramento and lake tahoe.

the next day i wrote something about how it was funny to think about the city as a meeting place.  it was neat that i met friends from both florida and chicago when i was out in san francisco.  two lived there and two were just passing through.  i thought of how it was similar to how we all happen to be on earth at the same time and show up in each other's lives.  perhaps we all had decided and planned these meetings long before we even showed up on this planet.
,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,roadtrippin,park,water,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,freedomvessel,lifeontheroad,stayandwander,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,ferry,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.01]

this day i left my truck and camper behind as i boarded a ship to spend a day in canada.  my friend had told me about the ferry that went from the nearby town to victoria and i decided to check it out.  i got up at dawn and made it just in time to board before the first ship left.  i think i was a little worried leaving my truck and camper all day in the middle of a town i didn't know.  i literally was leaving the country and leaving everything (except one camera and my phone) behind in the truck camper.  i had all of my data with me as i had carried it to chicagoland for the summer.. pretty much my whole life was in there.

when i got to canada and handed them my passport, they pulled me off to the side for a minute to check it before stamping it.  perhaps i looked strange as a guy entering their country alone, carrying nothing, and being so far from home.  i walked a little around the downtown area in victoria and then made my way over to beacon hill park where i could see the olympic mountains back in the united states.  at this park i remember overhearing or speaking with a girl who worked there who had a nice canadian accent.  i then found a local restaurant and had lunch before going back to another park on the water.  i explored there and circled around along the water back to the port to wait for the next ferry to arrive.  after taking the long ferry ride back to the states, i got back in my truck and camper and headed a little west to find a spot in or near olympic park where i could park for the night before it got dark.
,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.