Monthly Archives: August 2012

TRAVELOG: The Oregon and Washington coast – Take Two (Electric Boogaloo)

Although I’d visited the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic peninsula last year, I hadn’t gotten the chance to drive south to check out the Quinault Rain Forest – a situation that I made sure to remedy this August…

[more here]

TRAVELOG: Rainforests, Beaches and Capes

I headed out from my friend’s house in Idaho shortly after work thursday afternoon. I ended up taking a long weekend for this particular trip, because I really wanted to immerse myself in my exploration of the forest as much as possible. Idaho has it’s beauty, but I was really eager to get out to the Washington State coast. It was about five hours from Post Falls, ID to Snoqualmie Falls, WA, my intended stopping point for the night…

[more here]

I don’t know when I became a wanderer. At a young age I left the home I grew up in early to live with my mother. I’ve been moving at least every other year, it seems, for most of my life – never really finding a place to settle down. I have a fair amount of friends that would love to be able to do what I’m doing, but I’ve also met many who would rather have their eyeteeth pulled out than throw caution to the wind and live the life I’m currently engaged with.

Throughout the course of this trip, I’m finding that it’s difficult to stay for more than two weeks in any one place. I think I’m allergic to routine. There’s something in my psyche that keeps pushing me to go out and experience new places, and I find myself wondering if I’m going to end up scraping together the money for a full-on RV at the end of the trip, or whether I’m going to actually find a house or apartment in a location that I would love to wake up in every morning. In the end it doesn’t matter – it’s the trip, not the destination.

I’ve been told that I’m inspiring people, and I’m really happy that others are getting as much out of the experience that I am.

This continues to be a tremendous learning experience, and I’m delighted at the changes in myself; in the way I see and interact with the world the more I travel. I’m finding that I’m a great deal more self confident than I used to be, which is HUGE. I’m not second guessing myself as much. Sure, there’s still self doubt at times, but it’s nowhere near as overwhelming as when I was back in Virginia, just surviving and not really doing much of anything. I wonder if this trip will inspire me to write more at some point. I think it’s still new, big and shiny, and that’s keeping me from hunkering down and beginning a large project. I wonder if I’ll get back to writing music at some point, or actually get the stones to audition to sing for a jazz/blues band in the future, which is one of my big dreams. I’m getting closer to being able to do it, though. I can feel it.

I crave new sights, new terrains. I’m more excited than I can say about getting out to the Olympic Forest this weekend. I’m fairly jumpy about it. What I wouldn’t give to be able to live in a small cabin deep in the woods amongst enormous tree trunks and thick wooded areas covered in ferns and moss. The operative issue would be power and internet service, however, which are the things that keep me from moving too far away from ‘the grid’.

I love my life, and I love who I’m becoming through this experience. Thank you to all of you for your support; to all who keep reading and following my adventures. It means more than I can say. I only wish I could take you with me for some of it.

TRAVELOG: Mountain Lakes, Waterfalls and a bigbadaboom Volcano

This is it. One of the larger reasons I embarked on this journey; to see the Pacific Northwest in all its glory. Many forms of media have led me to my current deep and passionate appreciation for thick forests overgrown with moss and giant ferns. So many images exist, in both print and various movies – and none of them can hold a candle to experiencing the real thing live. The forests and coastline of Oregon were mindblowing and spectacular, but I really have a strong yearning to see primordeal forests, hearty and full of lush blankets of green that seem to cover almost everything…

[more here]

It’s not all Unicorns and Rainbows… the Down Times.

In between weekends of supreme joy and adventure, there have been times where I just needed to take a break to gain a little perspective. Many times up to this point, I’ve come very close to stopping entirely – but that would mean going back to the life I was living before I decided to gallivant around the country in a conversion van. In my mind, and my heart, that isn’t an option. I can’t go backwards. Self doubt and fears creep in, whether I want them to or not, and begin to eat away at everything I do; my motives for the journey, the work I’m doing along the way, all of it is questioned on a fairly regular basis. Being a nomad over a long period of time can be exhausting, and not always knowing where I’m going to end up staying for the night is extremely stressful. This being said, it’s also hugely rewarding – afterwards, when I can look back at what happened.

Adventures will never go exactly the way you want them to, but that’s the entire point, isn’t it? Within the experience and travel, I’ve find out more about myself than I ever expected. Not all of it has been pleasant, but it’s stuff that I’ve needed to be aware of and deal with. I’m finding that I’m adapting to and overcoming possible negative situations more quickly, which I’m hugely thankful for. It’s a very large bonus, in my eyes, and was one of the things that I was hoping to attain in myself on this trip. The only other choice is giving up and going home, to wherever that ends up being. I’m not ready for home to be static yet, so onward I press.
When it’s been a particularly overwhelming weekend of experiencing the sights, sounds and people that I’ve encountered, at a certain point, my emotional system seems to shut down and becomes no longer capable of processing joy and awe. It gets to be too much, and I end up just wanting to sleep, to let my system rest to restore it so that I can continue on the journey fresh the next time I head out. Several times throughout the journey, I’ve broken down in tears and complete exuastion by the end of a travel weekend. And sometimes, I just tear up looking at some of the amazing sights I’ve seen, because they were almost too beautiful to be true.
The ups far outweigh the downs, and the feedback that I’ve been getting about the trip reports and the pictures has been very much appreciated. There have been people that have invited me into their homes after just meeting me, and that just blows me away. I do my best to honor that trust as best I can, and to be an impeccable houseguest. The ritual of set up and tear down from place to place is becoming much more compressed and efficient as time goes on.
I’m working on uploading the pictures and doing the trip report for the adventure this past weekend, and should be able to post them soon.
I want to thank all of you for following this blog, and hope that you’re enjoying my adventures with me. I’m really happy that I’m able to share them.