#ontheroad
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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).
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four years ago today [2012.09.26]

after a couple nights camping by the bay, i decided to head back to the cascades.  the morning was really foggy.. on the way east i went to a park that had an overlook to check out the view of the landscape below.  i made a couple other stops to check out the river and mountain views on the way back toward the wilderness.  i took the road all the way to cascade pass in north cascades national park.  on my way in, i saw a nice overlook that had a view of some of the mountain range over the cascade river.  i thought perhaps i'd stay there for a time-lapse of the stars later.  when i got to cascade pass, i saw lots of snow or ice on parts of the mountains.

i don't recall if there was a sign at cascade pass saying no camping or if i didn't think the angle would be as good for a shot of the stars.. whatever the reason, i headed back to the spot i saw earlier in the forest and parked in the little area that was there on the side of the road shortly before it got dark.  it was a little cloudy at first, though the clouds passed by after a while and i got a nice shot of the stars and moonlit mountains that night.

it was nice to have the truck camper.. it was a landscape photographer's best tool.  i recall some of the times when i'd be all set up at spots like this for a shot of the stars overnight, i'd hear or see cars going by.. they'd still have to be making their way to wherever they were staying that evening and i was already set up for the night and didn't have to go anywhere.  having a comfortable bed and all the basics with me everywhere i went was really nice.. i recall times in the past when i would sleep in the front seat of my car shooting the stars and it was quite uncomfortable (and the only amenities i might have with me would be a drink or snack, if i happened to remember to pack something). i also remember times being pretty tired and making a long drive home at night when i'd rather just be sleeping (and briefly drifting into sleep while driving). some sort of rv or camper is definitely the way to go exploring.
,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,liveyouradventure,journey,yellowstone,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,tetons,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrippin,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,grandtetons,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.13]

having run out of propane in the middle of the night, with temperatures in the low 20’s, i worried about the water pipes freezing in the camper.  i got up at dawn and quickly headed down to a lower elevation where it'd be warmer.  there were no issues.. the inside temperature of the camper was probably over freezing from having had the heat on part of the night.  on my way out of yellowstone, i saw the sun rising and stopped to explore at a spot where i heard strange animal sounds/calls i had never heard before.  leaving yellowstone, i crossed the continental divide and was most of the way to the west coast.

i headed towards the grand tetons and saw it was pretty hazy due to recent fires.  i had breakfast when i got there, and went to the visitor center where i talked to a young park ranger about some of the areas to explore.  when she told me about one of the trails she’d recently been on, i remember her asking if i knew what to do if i saw a bear.. i think i said “don’t run?” and she gave me other suggestions.  i wandered about the park and found some nice lakes with views of the mountains.  it was nice to be in warmer temperatures than the night before.  it was crazy how much the temperature could change in the mountains.  it was in the low 20’s on this morning, when just 2-3 days prior it was 90 degrees, and the following day it’d be 85.  i saw more wildlife and on my way out of the park, went looking for the spot where ansel adams created his famous photograph from.  i met someone else there who said he thought it was just down a little bit from the overlook where we were.

after leaving the park, i crossed teton pass, a 10% grade climb up to a nearly 1.6 mile elevation.. i only got 5.1 mpg driving up it.  i dropped down to 2nd and then 1st gear on the descent, which my truck read as 6 degrees, or a 12% grade.. the engine was loud but i didn’t have to wear down the brakes nor experience the 4 tons of truck and camper quickly accelerating out of control down the winding road.  it was good to know my rig could handle the mountain roads, and fun to encounter drives i didn’t know would be part of the adventure.
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four years ago today [2012.09.07]

on this morning i woke up on a dirt road surrounded by corn fields.

it felt like it was my destiny to be on this trip.

several years earlier, before i moved to chicago for four years, i had thought of going.  it was almost like a plan on the back burner.. if i hadn't moved up to chicago with friends, i was going to go on a trip west.  a friend ended up getting accepted at a program up there and a few of us moved up to join another friend who had already been there a year.  when i moved out of chicago, i almost made the trip and move out west with my girlfriend at the time.  it never happened as neither of us had the funds to get there, though i started thinking about rv's shortly after that.  nearly two years later, i had gotten my truck and camper.

it wasn’t a simple process, as i had found myself caught up in much research, and looking for ways to get an rv that wouldn’t cost much.. i was completely out of money when i left chicago and had no income due to struggling to start a business the couple years prior.  while having gone through a breakup, business failure, bankruptcy, having no money or income, and living back with family, i was at a low point in life.  i embarked on a journey of personal and spiritual growth that i had begun while in chicago.  less than a year after leaving chicago, i found myself at a powerful course that would change my life.  this workshop would take me through the awakening, transformation, and growth i needed in order to manifest a large client that would bring me much more income than i had ever earned in a year.  most importantly, it would change how i felt and perceived life.  not long after starting the big project, i began looking at the rv options again.  i narrowed down my choices, drove across the country to different dealers, decided on my camper, and placed the order for it to be built.  shortly after, i decided on the truck to carry it and ordered it.  it took the whole summer for the camper and truck to be ready, though it was worth the wait.

going on this journey west almost a year after getting the truck and camper was certainly an adventure i had looked forward to.
 
,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,park,journal,ontheroad,camper,optoutside,water,liveyouradventure,journey,ferry,bay,exploretocreate,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,freedomthinkers,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.28]

i took my truck and camper on its first ferry ride and was on my way to the coast this day.  it was exciting to be heading further west and starting this next part of the voyage.  the ferry ride was nice and saved at least a couple hours of driving over going all the way around seattle and tacoma to the other side of the peninsula.

the town on the other side of the bay looked nice as i drove through.  i stopped at a local park and then made my way over to the dungeness national wildlife refuge before meeting a friend who lived nearby.  it was a really beautiful at the refuge.. i explored and stayed for a little while.  i remember the water making nice sounds as it washed onto and away from the rocks or shells on shore.

that evening i met my friend for dinner and then we went to a oneness meditation.  it was a little crazy that the oneness meditation was being held in such a remote area on the very day i happened to be going there.. just the day before i was curious if there'd be one somewhere along my journey, and i looked online to find out it was going to be practically right next door to where i was going the following day (and was something my friend would be interested in too). it's funny how the divine works like that.  afterwards, my friend and i gathered some firewood for a nice fire and chat back at her friend's place where she was housesitting.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #ontheroad #optoutside #roadtrippin #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #park #rvlife #adventurelife #discovertheroad #hyperlapse #nomadiclife #nationalforest #trees
four years ago today [2012.09.15]

i woke up this day at the rest stop just over the oregon border and explored some of eastern oregon.  i had never been to this part of the state and it was very different than the northwestern part i'd previously seen.. it had a very dry feel to it like the states i had just been in.  perhaps it was due to the drought that year, though there still seemed to be a different feeling in the air.. i recall signs of or the feel of old western culture like i'd seen in some places on the way there.

i drove through a national forest or two, and made a couple short stops there on my way to washington.  the day before i had booked my first campground stay, and i made it almost all the way there after leaving oregon.  i slept on the side of the road a little over half an hour away.  after ten days on the road, it was going to be nice to take a little break the following day.
,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,liveyouradventure,waterfall,yellowstone,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,geyser,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrippin,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,journey,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.12]

i woke up at dawn and headed into yellowstone national park.  i think i was told it'd take eight hours to drive the whole loop though decided to do it anyway.  i think i stopped at most of the main locations around the loop for at least a little bit.  at one of the areas i decided to go on a hike down a trail where i only saw one other person.  part of me was a little concerned as there could be bears in the area, though i had no encounters or issues.  it ended up being nice exploring an area that felt pretty remote as most spots in the park had other tourists.

i made it around the loop and to old faithful around dusk.  someone had said it wasn't going to be that long for it to go off, so i walked around and waited a bit.  it was getting really cold and was pretty dark, though after having waited so long already, i figured i might as well stay as it couldn't be that much longer.  i ended up waiting over an hour for it to go off.  it was pretty neat and went really high in the air.

freezing after having waited so long for the old faithful geyser at yellowstone to off, i spent the night in the parking lot there.  i think there were signs saying no overnight parking or camping or something, and i had seen buffalo wandering in a nearby parking lot, so i kept the top down and slept on the roll over couch rather than the bed over the cab.  i was still on my first propane tank and had wondered how long it would last.  this night, the coldest night of life on the road so far, i found out what happened when it ran out.  in the middle of the night i woke up hearing the heater just clicking every so often like it was trying to start but not igniting.  most of my bedding was up under the closed pop up top.. i only had one small blanket and it was below freezing outside.  i didn't go outside to figure out how to switch out the tank and just tried to stay warm and make it through the night.  the next morning, the temperature was well below freezing, something like 21 or 23 degrees.
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four years ago today [2012.09.06]

on this day i was about to embark on a journey across the country, one without a date to return home.  my home would be my pop-up truck camper as i began life on the road.  it was a new chapter in this adventure called life.

summer was almost over.  i had been helping a friend with his startup company since i left florida the end of may, much longer than anticipated.  i wanted to get on the road west weeks earlier to have plenty of time to explore before it got too cold in the northern states.  i planned out the first 10 days from chicagoland to the first campground i'd be staying at in washington, and figured i'd make my way towards the coast after that, though had no other plans set in stone.

i felt i might not want to leave once i got to california.  i had been there once before, nearly a decade earlier.  i recall sensing the beautiful, relaxed feeling in the air when i first arrived.  it was quite unlike florida.. perhaps it was because i was on vacation someplace new, though there was still something about it that felt different.  the nature was quite striking and there was so much of it.  i'd been to washington and oregon a couple times after my first trip to california, and also appreciated the landscapes found there.  i was excited to be heading out west and getting to explore the middle states of the country i'd never yet seen.  something about the wide open land always called to me.
 
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four years ago today [2012.09.27]

sleeping under the stars, i awoke in the forest to the sounds of the river below with a view of the cascades in the distance.  it was amazing to wake up in such beautiful places in the middle of nature.  this was definitely one of my favorite parts of living life on the road.

after leaving the forest, it was either pretty foggy or smoky.  i headed west and spent a night at another campground before i'd be taking the ferry toward the coast the following day.  i went for a walk and explored the path that went to a creek behind the campground while there.  i had a nice wooded spot in the back, though it was a little loud being right by the interstate.. just a little bit different than the nice morning in the forest.  if you live in a city or haven't been out to nature in a while, make some time to go soon.. it's so calming and healing, and just beautiful and amazing to be somewhere so peaceful, quiet, and natural.
,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).
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #park #land #rocks #canyon #river #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #ontheroad #optoutside #roadtrippin #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #rvlife #nomadiclife
four years ago today [2012.09.11]

i checked out bighorn canyon national recreation area on my way back into wyoming.  near one of the bends in the river, i tried to fly my kite to take some aerial photos, though the winds were too rough and threw the kite all around and onto the rocky ground.  stubbornly, thinking the wind would change, i kept trying and ended up breaking a spar.  i spent the night east of yellowstone near the buffalo bill dam.  i never knew there was a dam or reservoir there.. it was nice discovering interesting places and memorable people along the journey.  i remember the guy who worked at the visitor center being friendly and telling me about the buffalo in yellowstone when i said i was on my way there.

the detour to zig-zag from devil's tower to yellowstone via north dakota ended up taking an extra day and just about a whole tank of gas.  this trip was back when gas was hovering close to or well over $4 a gallon depending where you were.  some may wonder if it's worth spending a whole day driving and nearly $100 in gas just to briefly see an extra state when you don't know what you'll find, though it's all part of the adventure.. yes, perhaps some parts of the trip may not have been as exciting as others, though it's really how we're perceiving it.  one could find beauty anywhere should one allow oneself to.