California

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]

[...]
,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.
,exploremore,stars,adventurelife,nature,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,liveyouradventure,journey,roadtrippin,stayandwander,adventuremobile,fallfoliage,wanderlust,optoutside,homeonwheels,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,lake,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,tahoe,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.21]

sleeping under the stars at lake tahoe, i woke up in the morning to explore a little before making my way to a campground not that far away.  it was windy that day with small white crests on the lake’s water.  along the highway to the campground i saw more yellow-leaved trees.  it was nice to get to experience a bit of the fall weather after just having been in summer temperatures a couple or few days earlier.  when checking in at the campground, the girl said we'd be getting a little snow though it wasn't going to stick.  being that it'd be near or below freezing, i didn't leave my water hose hooked up overnight.  the spot i stayed at was interesting.. it was a big parking area next to large rocks.  i went for a bike ride to a pond at the campground and recall it being pretty cold.  i don't recall what else i did.. perhaps i worked on the computer or just stayed inside the camper for warmth.
,bridge,exploremore,adventurelife,truckcamper,journal,trees,coast,freedomthinkers,journey,seashore,roadtrippin,roadtrip,wanderlust,exploretocreate,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,nature,vlog,ocean,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,liveyouradventure,lifeontheroad,redwoods,nationalseashore,writing
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.
,timelapse,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,roadtrippin,trees,coast,freedomthinkers,journey,blog,hyperlapse,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,talltrees,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,liveyouradventure,lifeontheroad,redwoods,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.14]

i explore the avenue of the giants when i woke up this morning.. it was really amazing and beautiful.  i felt a connection to the trees when i hugged one, and was sad as i neared the end of the avenue of the giants.  the giant redwood trees were so magnificent.. it's really sad that 96% of the trees that once stood are gone because of logging.  i'm grateful that more people are becoming aware of the negative impact humans have had on the planet.  as more of us learn of the harm that has been caused to nature because of society's need to continually consume more, we'll start to see great changes in how people are treating the environment.  it's already begun to happen as consciousness has increased and more of us have started to focus on sustainability, collaboration, and simplicity over consumption, competition, and greed.

i headed south and got on california route 1 where it began at u.s. highway 101.. i took the long, winding road up, down, and around the hills toward the coast.  somehow i made it the whole way when my truck was just about out of gas, and the gas station just before getting on route 1 had some issue.. either the pumps weren't working, they were out of gas, or i saw that it was a no name station and i didn't trust the quality of gas.  it was a bit nerve-racking driving to the coast.. i didn't know how many more changes there'd be in elevation on the way there, and the truck drank a lot of gas going uphill.  i don't recall how many miles the truck was saying were left on the tank.. it may have been in single digits or zero.  i stopped at the first gas station on the map, a little community mart that happened to have one pump.  it was the worst spot i ever got gas from with an ancient pump that was really dirty and may have been rusty.  it had handwritten signs on it with the price and instructions.  at $5 a gallon and 24.982 gallons, it was the most i ever spent on gas.  i know i didn't have to fill it up, though i either wanted to see how low it really was or didn't really worry once i started the pump.  on the coast, i saw nice views, explored a couple of spots, and spent the night at an overlook.
,mountain,exploremore,adventurelife,truckcamper,journal,roadtrippin,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,homeonwheels,blog,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,freedomthinkers,nature,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.11]

i woke up in california with the view of mount shasta out my window.  it was exciting to have made it there after five weeks of life on the road from chicagoland.  i got in my truck and headed towards mount shasta.. i took a road i saw on the map that looked like it went pretty well up the mountain.  i stopped on the way up at a spot with a great view of the top of the mountain, and then headed a little further to the parking lot at the end of the mountain road.  unlike some of my other mountain road experiences, this one was smooth and paved all the way to the top.. where it was wide open with a nice view.

i spent the day up there, just drinking in the silence and beauty.. at one point, i flew my kite for a bit but the wind died down so the flight was short (and it may have taken a while to clean up the mess of kite line if i recall). i moved my truck to the parking lot a few hundred feet down the road where i set up a time-lapse of the sun fading across mount shasta and the stars circling overnight.  it was nice that there were signs posted saying it was okay to camp for up to 72 hours.  a couple people in a vw van were also spending the night there.  it was really beautiful and serene being up on mount shasta.  it was a great first spot to visit in california.

this was another place that i hadn't heard of until a couple years before going on the trip.  it was there on the back burner or bucket list waiting for me to go on this journey across the country.  living life on the road or going on an extended road trip is a great way to see the country.  so many people go on short vacations and a lot of that time is wasted planning, packing, getting ready, waiting for flights, getting a rental car, going to a hotel, finding somewhere to eat, etc, etc.  traveling long term on the road can eliminate all of that and save a lot of money while allowing you to see so much more.  with today's technology, you could work online while traveling or find work on the road if you don't have enough saved up for the entire trip or want to continue longer (or permanently). it's totally doable and could be the adventure of a lifetime.

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

there’s such a beautiful feeling in warm weather! i was driving and walking through palm desert and it felt really amazing. i love the desert colors, and how architecture matches the warm colors of the area and sun. there’s just something about the warm temperatures, the clear sky, or the bright colors [or a combination of all of these!]. it was in the 80s and still felt really nice. the breeze from driving with the windows down felt cool. even […]

Wow, I love increased awareness and sensitivity to feeling! It’s funny how it can come when you least expect it. I was just over at the Hearst Castle visitor center, and glanced over at some photos in the gift shop as I was about to leave. Something told me to go to the photos and postcards as I almost didn’t go have a closer look. I went into the gift shop and was walking around for a little bit, and […]

woke up early this morning.. must have been a couple hours ago, perhaps more! couldn’t get back to sleep, so laid there in bed, trying to fall asleep, thinking every so often.. wayne dyer talks about some teaching saying don’t go back to sleep. though it seems i’m pretty conditioned to go back to sleep. what am i gonna do up this early? it’s too cold, i left the heat off, i don’t want to go out in the cold. […]

 

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

,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.
#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,coast,water,liveyouradventure,journey,seashore,waves,ocean,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,stayandwander,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,freedomthinkers,nationalseashore,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.16]

i woke up at my first campground in california this day.  for lunch, i headed to town for a sub before making my way back toward the coast.  i remember it being nice and warm as i sat outside eating.  it was really great to get to experience some pleasant temperatures after all the cold days i'd been in earlier in the trip.

i made it over to point reyes national seashore late in the afternoon.  i remember visiting there when i first went to california nearly a decade earlier.. it was so amazing to experience what felt like thousands of miles of waves and wind hitting the coast.  i went back on this trip to explore and experience it again.  it was extremely windy near the lighthouse area and somewhere out there i lost the wind screen for my microphone.  when i realized it, i took a few steps back to look for it before deciding it was a lost cause with so much wind.  i drove to and explored parts of the seashore i hadn't seen the first time there.. it was all really beautiful.  it was getting dark so i spent the night in a parking lot and would explore more in the morning.
,exploremore,adventurelife,nature,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,trees,liveyouradventure,journey,nationalpark,roadtrippin,hyperlapse,wanderlust,optoutside,stayandwander,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,blog,talltrees,freedomthinkers,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,redwoods,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.13]

i woke up in redwood national park today and went for a short drive up the road where i found a nice grove of trees.  i had seen the tall trees once before and was struck in awe by their beauty and presence.  i was excited to get to see them again, and at a new place i'd never been before (and one that wasn't crowded with tourists either). walking in the woods that morning was really nice.. the light, cool rain added to the experience of being in the forest of giant trees.  after exploring for a bit, i hopped in the truck and went to check out some of the neighboring park areas and then head south along the coast.  my truck got pretty dirty that day when wandering through one of the parks on a wet dirt road.  after finding some nice spots along the coast, i continued along u.s. highway 101 as it went further inland, and spent the night at a rest area just outside the avenue of giants.
,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,offroad,water,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,roadtrippin,cape,ocean,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,stayandwander,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,blog,dunes,sand,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,beach,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.07]

i took the path down onto the beach and drove up to the large dune at cape kiwanda state park this morning. i parked the truck a little bit aways and decided to go hike up it to have a look from there. this was one of those times where i wasn't really thinking or planning, but just continuing to explore while i was there experiencing the beauty of the place. the whole hike ended up being a couple hours and i probably didn't have any water with me. i just kept going further as i saw how much there was to explore. it was really amazing to see the views from the dunes and cape. after being gone for a while, i started to worry a little about my truck.. i had parked away from the water though didn't know if the tides would be rising and how much. i preferred the salt water stay far from it. i didn't have any issues but it was something that crossed my mind after realizing i was gone for a while and didn't know how much longer it'd be 'til i got back (especially as i couldn't see the truck most of the time i was up on the cape). afterwards, i drove north a bit on the beach to the next spot i could get on the road, and found someone stuck in the sand at the exit. i got out of my truck and helped give some direction as to which way to turn the wheel and whether to go forward or backwards, and they got out after a little bit. i then headed south and explored more of the coast on my way to the next campground. one of the parks i wandered through had some nice winding dirt roads through the hill or mountain.. some parts were pretty narrow and i decided to turn around (after having to drive backwards to the closest fork in the road) when i saw the path getting narrower with a log up on both sides of the road. from where i sat, it appeared like the log might rub against the truck and i had already heard some branches scratching against my truck or camper on the way in and didn’t want to risk any more.. luckily there was little to no damage from the branches.

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

this is everywhere i’ve been when traveling in my truck camper since i got it. a couple of places (mostly around florida) may be missing as i didn’t track it all in the beginning, and some routes might be slightly off as some gps data was missing [the lines on the map that are straight without any curves probably aren’t the exact route i took, but rather the average from one point to another further away when the gps location was saved].

 
,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.
,f150,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,roadtrippin,fourwheelcamper,liveyouradventure,journey,blog,cold,getoutside,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,homeonwheels,homeiswhereyouparkit,fourwheelcampers,adventurelife,vlog,snow,roadtrip,stayandwander,fordf150,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,travel,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.22]

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

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

on my way to another campground, i saw some dark clouds all around.  i rode my bike around the lake at the campground and appreciated the warmer temperature.  it was a bit crazy.. in just a few days' time i had experienced summer, fall, and winter.
#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.
,lifeontheroad,homeiswhereyouparkit,truckcamper,journey,travel,roadtrip,journal,vlog,blog,nature,coast,ocean,kiteaerialphotography,waves,timelapse,hyperlapse,exploremore,getoutside,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,liveoutdoors,stayandwander,homeonwheels,liveyouradventure,roadtrippin,nomadiclife,freedomthinkers,adventurelife,discovertheroad
four years ago today [2012.10.15]

waking to the sounds of the pacific ocean waves crashing into the rocks and cliff below was nice.  i had breakfast and took some shots of the waves before continuing south to explore the coast.  before stopping to explore a state park, i saw really beautiful rays of sunlight coming through the tunnel of trees that surrounded the pacific coast highway.  at the park, i attempted to fly a radio controlled powered parachute model though only got it in the air for a few seconds before it crashed.. i was having difficulty hand-launching it and when it actually took flight, i think i quickly cut back on the throttle so it wouldn't go too high or far, and it went right into a tree.  it was a bit disappointing that i had yet to have an actual flight (let alone get any photos with it) after having spent so long researching and building it.  i had hoped to have an alternate option to kite aerial photography for when there wasn't enough wind to fly (this was before quadcopter drones were readily available).

after leaving the park, i found more spots along the coast to check out and saw whales in the distance from one of the overlooks.  the coast was really beautiful.. i could've spent much more time there, though was going to my first campground in california that evening.  on the way inland, i took a long, winding road through the hills in sonoma county.  it was quite beautiful and desolate, yet also another fun drive with plenty of steep inclines and descents (and countless curves).. some of the slopes measured 7 or 8 degrees (a 14% or 16% grade). at times the truck was all of a sudden rapidly accelerating down the curves at near 60 mph.. the serene drive could quickly turn into one needing focused attention to keep the truck under control.  near the end, i found a park with a view of lake sonoma where there was a lot of wind, so i grabbed my kite for a quick aerial photography flight.. having launched from a small lookout tower with no room to walk down the kite, i recall it being difficult to bring down with winds pulling so hard.  afterwards, i drove a little further and spent the evening at a campground near cloverdale.
,mountain,exploremore,adventurelife,truckcamper,journal,roadtrippin,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,homeonwheels,blog,exploretocreate,wanderlust,optoutside,adventuremobile,starlapse,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,freedomthinkers,nature,writing
four years ago today [2012.10.12]

i awoke in the middle of the night on mount shasta.. i had a dream where it felt like someone was coming into my camper through the tent material and attacking me or something (or perhaps this was the dream that woke me a couple weeks earlier in an indian reservation.. whatever the exact dream on mount shasta was, i do recall it being strong and feeling like it was happening in real life and i woke up). i suppose the high energy of mount shasta was helping me work through my fears.. or i was picking up on the energy of those sleeping at the other side of the parking lot.  earlier, i had heard one of them talking about some fears or energies they were facing.  i got up, stopped my time-lapse, and drove to the spot i had seen just down the road on my way up.  i'd thought of photographing the stars there (and may have wanted to wake up to move) so it all worked out that i was able to do so.  in the morning, i shot a time-lapse of the sun revealing mount shasta before leaving.  on the way down to lower elevation, i drove into the clouds.  it was awesome to be sitting above the clouds while on the mountain.. it was sunny there and cloudy in the town and area below.

after stopping to check out some crystal bowls in town, i headed south and stopped at a trader joe's in redding.  i remember the cashier being nice.. i didn't have lots of interactions with others on the road and it was good to encounter nice people when i did.  i then headed west toward redwood national park.  it was a long winding drive toward the coast and part of it was under construction.. i took a short cut through a narrow, winding, bumpy dirt road over the hills in an indian reservation.  just outside there was the edge of the park.  i was going to go down a road to part of the backcountry i'd researched, though the gate at the entrance was locked.. it looked like i had to have called ahead to get a key or code, or the hours/days open had changed or something, so i went to a nearby overlook.  it was going to be dark soon so i parked on the side of the road a little further up and spent the night there.  i'd be seeing the tall trees in the morning.

[from california to florida]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

this is a map of the journeys i’ve taken in my truck camper in the first year, month, and week [minus a day] that i’ve had it. the yellow stars are where i went in the first year, and the red line is where i drove the following 5 weeks. now, i just gotta take it to tennessee, kentucky, and the northeast to have gone through all the continental us!

Wow, I experienced an earthquake. It wasn’t that bad at all. The truck/camper shook a little bit (only for a few seconds). I’ve experienced it shaking/moving due to high wind in the past but this felt different and I didn’t hear any wind. I googled earthquake and it says one occurred 10 minutes ago in Central California. I clicked on the map and it was a magnitude 4.0 and the pointer shows up about 8 miles southeast of where I’m at. Didn’t think I’d actually experience one when here! Who knows, maybe I’ll see a tsunami while on the coast!! Here’s a link to the earthquake on the map: maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=36.5920,-121.1990(M4.0+-+Central+California+-+2012+October+29+04:25:16+UTC)&t=h&z=8&iwloc=A [update about an hour later: it’s now labeled as a 3.9 magnitude.. click here for updated map]

it’s funny to notice the repeating numbers at certain times/events in life. [i noticed the last post i made had the number 11551, and when stopped at certain places in sequoia national park a couple days ago, i noticed repeating digits on my odometer]