#mountains
i spent last friday night and saturday morning on the blue ridge parkway south of asheville. it was nice and clear with plenty of stars above, and besides some cars occasionally passing by, very quiet. i remembered one of the reasons i got the van and how i really enjoyed exploring. the couple long days of driving no longer mattered when i found myself in the beautiful midst of nature.
#nature #park #stars #homeiswhereyouparkit #vanlife #campervan #ford #transit #van #fordtransit #tinyhome #lifeontheroad #homeonwheels #travel #journey #roadtrip #blackandwhite #infrared #ir #night #lookingdown #poleaerialphotography #elevatedphotography #mastphotography #aerial #fromabove #parkway #trees #mountains #autumn
,mountains,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,park,trees,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,cascades,starlapse,getoutside,wanderlust,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,waterfall,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.19]

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

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

this day marks a year of owning my truck.  it was nice to be on adventure out west with the truck and camper i had ordered the year before.  i had looked forward to this journey for some time.
 
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four years ago today [2012.09.29]

my friend and i went to olympic national park after heading in to town for breakfast.  on the way up to hurricane ridge, we stopped at an overlook where a number of birds landed on my friend's arm and hand after she fed them pieces of a tortilla wrap.  there was a nice panoramic view when we got up to the top at hurricane ridge.  after taking it in for a little bit, we headed back to the nearby town and my friend showed me a spot by the water before we met one of her friend's.  we had planned to go to a full moon celebration or something that my friend wanted to go to though ended up at her friend's bar for too long, so we went with her friend to visit a couple of his friends and play games instead.  my friend offered to drive during our adventures that day.. it was a little weird to be in the passenger seat of my truck, but nice to have someone show me around the area (and get a little break from driving everywhere).
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #road #nature #haze #smoke #mountains #cascades #trees #park #stars #starlapse #timelapse #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #discovertheroad
four years ago today [2012.09.18]

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

on the way to the park, i saw lots of haze and smoke from recent fires.  when getting up into higher elevations, i began to find some breathtaking views of the mountains, some of which still had a little snow or ice on them.  after leaving an overlook, i kept heading down the road to see what else i would find.  i wanted to stop at a nice spot where i could photograph the stars over the mountains.  i almost regretted leaving the area where i was as i wasn’t seeing anything for a while.  a bit later, i found one spot along the side of the road a little later though it wasn’t quite what i was looking for.. less than ten minutes up the road, i found a nice spot overlooking ross lake just as the day was ending.  i spent the night here sleeping under the stars.
 
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four years ago today [2012.09.21]

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

i then headed back west and north toward the canadian border.  in the middle of the day i discovered that most of my electrical components were not received power.  it was a friday and i didn't know if i'd be able to get ahold of the camper manufacturer or dealer.  i had just bought a lot of refrigerated food, and ended up drinking a lot of carrot juice that day or the next.  i didn't know what was wrong and if i was going to have to find some place to get it fixed while on my trip.  luckily i heard back from the dealer the next day who said it might be the gfi switch that got bumped.  i didn't even know there was a switch at the bottom of the breaker box, though it did the trick.  something must've hit it on the way up or down the winding switchbacks.  i ended up staying at a rest area a little south of the border, and wrote about my frustrations of being on the road (and life) that evening.  there was certainly a bit of a learning experience to be had when traveling across the country in a camper.