#nationalseashore
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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.
 
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four years ago today [2012.10.17]

i woke up in a parking lot on the point reyes peninsula and began exploring at dawn.  it was quite stunning to be somewhere so beautiful and experience the early morning light.  i wandered about the national seashore as the sun rose and discovered parts of it i never knew existed.  living life on the road was incredible when waking up in such magnificent places.. yes, there were challenges to living out of such a small space, though to get to stay in unique places and be right there during the most brilliant times of day was awesome and inspiring.  this world is really incredibly beautiful and filled with so many majestic places.. you only need to go wander and allow yourself to discover them.

after leaving point reyes, i followed california route 1's winding drive south on the cliffs.  i made some stops to take in the beautiful views on my way to muir woods.  while at muir woods national monument, i hiked a long trail past where all the tourists were and ended up at the panoramic highway before turning around.  on the way out of muir woods, i drove the panoramic highway the long way back to route 1, and then made my way toward sausalito and the marin headlands.  i barely fit the truck in the one parking spot i found on the street in sausalito and walked down to the shops and water for a bit.  at marin headlands, the golden hour light on the city and bridge was really nice as the sun was setting.

i then crossed the golden gate bridge and passed through san francisco on my way to meet a friend for dinner in alameda.  it was many years since i last saw him in college and he had grown and transformed quite a bit.  when it came up in the conversation, i liked how he described it as when he "found himself". it was great and inspiring to see him and learn of his success.  he'd been loving life in california and suggested places to check out.  after dinner, i drove to a nearby green spot on the map in hopes of finding a quiet place to park for the night.  it seemed to always be a challenge finding a spot when it was dark, especially in or near urban areas.  i ended up on the side of the road near homes and kept the top down.