For the first time in almost four years, I finally got out my spray paint supplies and actually sat down outside and started to make pieces. Im not going to lie, it was a lot to take in and I seem to remember the movement but I have forgotten the techniques. It's gonna take some time to get used to it and to remember the steps necessary to make the art that I love making. It's daunting but also rewarding to know that I can make that art again. Of course, I'm excited to make these art pieces on Cavas's again but for now, they are being made on poster board so that I don't waste the material if the piece doesn't turn out ok.
Of course, with that being said I will also be selling the posterboard pieces if anybody is interested in having them. I think they have turned out interesting and some are rehashes of older pieces I made. They will be posted shortly and anybody interested may purchase them.
I don't know what kind of pieces I will make with this art form and I'm hoping to make many this summer and get back up to where I was before.
With that being said I appreciate all of your support in this journey and I can't wait to share my art with you all.
Cheers to this art form and finally getting back into it after a very long delay.
We made it home. It was earlier than planned but we made it back. Originally we were gonna be home on May 1st but Gimli started making very unfun sounds and I didn't feel like going to a mechanic to spend more money on things that may or may not fix it. So with little time to spare, I made the decision to head home from Rapid City, South Dakota. From there it is over twenty hours to get home and it was quite the journey to get back. It took us roughly three and a half days to get home and the last leg of the trip took nearly ten hours to get back. It was a journey and I felt like death once it was over. Not only did we drive but I stopped a few times to work and I also found a place to run 4 miles with Lylah before sitting in the van and hauling ass to get home.
We arrived at three in the morning and needless to say, I Was excited about a hot shower and to be clean before I hopped in my bed and passed out. The next few days have been a whirlwind of getting things together. I've been cleaning out the van, tackling a mountain of laundry, and have been going through my belongings from in the van and putting them in boxes for the time being.
There are things that I have been mentally sorting through. A lot of them are small thoughts about the items I brought with me this time around. I'm configuring what I want to have and not have for next time. I used almost 90% of what I brought which is impressive and I'm very happy with that number. The 10% that I didn't use I'm ready to filter out and not bring it again. Even small adjustments can really help out in the future.
I also have a plan for this living space and because of that I have one more configuration I want to tackle before the van is just as close to perfect as it can get. I'm excited, nervous, and ready to tackle the long list of things I want to do this summer and I hope you all are ready cause it's going to be a lot. We're getting set up for success (hopefully) and I'm ready to see how things play out and see if all this work is something I can sustain over time.
Of course, with coming home I brought back Beer and something a little fancier for Dad as a thank you and as a pre-payment for the frustration of teaching me vehicle lingo over the summer. I need to learn but I also know that I can get frustrated easily so I'm hoping that doesn't happen too often. I'm sure in the end I will be grateful to learn what I need to for a more successful trip.
Here it is. My thoughts on Stanley Idaho. Enjoy the intel
There's nothing quite like learning something new, the hard way.
On March 16th I made my way from Casper Wyoming to Gillette Wyoming to 1)get away from the cold. 2)to get away from the wind and 3) to gain some ground on our journey back home. I've been through Gillette Wyoming before so I knew that the Walmart there was good for overnight parking and so parked in the back of the lot near some grass so that lylah can use the restroom and only travel a short distance.
So we get things set up, have some dinner, work a little bit, and then head to bed per usual. Morning comes around and per routine, I put the keys in the ignition and turn it on and, with that Gimli sputtered to life and started to work his hardest to get warm. In the meantime, I grab Lylah and put her E- Collar on, and open the door on the driver's side. To get out I had to flip open the latch on the door and then give the door a little kick to pop it open to the outside. Of course, when I did this I must have, half awake mind you, somehow bumped the latch on my way out. In the cold, I made sure Lylah hurried to the grass and stood there while she paraded around for five minutes to pee. She's not a fan of small grassy areas and because of that, she takes her sweet time to do something that should take a few seconds.
With her bladder now empty I sleepily make my way back to the van and get to the door we came out of and give it a tug. Nothing.
The door doesn't budge. the handle moves but the door stays in place. Frowning I give it a good yank. Not even an inch of the door moves. Instantly panic sets in. No.****ing.way.
I go to the driver's door and give it a yank. Nothing. I make my way around to the back, then the passenger side, and come a complete circle to the driver's door. Meanwhile Lylah is practically dancing at my feet. She doesn't know what this change is but she is kind of excited about it. Meanwhile, I go into full panic. How the hell is it locked? I opened the one door to get out and I know it was unlocked....so...how..
Taking a few deep breaths and realizing my phone was also in the car and hearing the alarm go off I realize one of my nightmares is happening. I'm locked out of my vehicle, with Lylah by my side, and my phone is locked in the van...while it's running. Go figure.
Thinking about how I'm going to get into my van I make a rash decision. I decide I'm going to find a way in through the side window. Now, these windows are almost impossible to get into because of the latch and they only open up so far when the latch is undone but the thought was, if I can get the window open, rip a hole in the screen, and get a long enough stick then I can get to the power window.
So I get to work. Luckily I parked next to this area in Walmart that had these decorative rocks so I started off by collecting small, thin rocks and I propped the corner of the window with that. Then I reached my fingers into the latch to pop the latch and open it up. With the window popped open I then proceeded to take a stick and make a hole in the bug screen. Slowly working the stick around I got big enough to get my hand inside. From there I used rocks to try to prop open the side of the window that was opposite of the latch but not too much to crack the glass. Then I proceeded to take the stick and put it through the hole and wiggled my arm inside until I was almost to my elbow. With that, I could actually get the stick to the button. I could literally see the stick touching the square.
I swear you guys, I was on the verge of tears. It was touching it so why wasn't it doing anything? I tried time and time again to get the pressure right to roll down the window but nothing happened. The freaking van was on and the window would just WORK I could get inside and everything would be fine.
My thoughts were flying a hundred miles an hour and I was desperate for it to work. During this process, I even had one truck driver that stopped by. He told me that he had been watching me struggle and offered to call a locksmith or maybe he could use his crowbar. My face was on fire and I was so embarrassed. This guy had been watching me for almost an hour in between his deliveries and for some dumb reason, I turned him down. Maybe it was my pride or maybe it was that I could taste my hard work going down the drain if he called someone. I have no idea. But with reassurance, I told him I was fine and let him be on his way.
Let me say, I will never turn down help like that again. I should have taken it because for another 30- 45 minutes I tried everything I could (from breaking the window) to get into the van. I tried with every ounce of my being to will it to work. It just had to work one time, even a little bit to get the stick in the window to then roll it down all the way. Something, anything!
Sadly It was all for naught. In the end, I was able to track down a stranger. I stalked people and waved before finally just running up to this black ford and waving desperately for help. She rolled down the window and I told her the situation. She had this little dashound with her and while that dog barked madly at me she let me use her phone to call a locksmith. Luckily I got someone on the line and they headed over and were at my van in less than 10 minutes.
The guy was kind and I watched in fascination as he used this little pick gadget to work his magic and get my door unlocked. I paid the man and we were back in the van. I thanked the stranger over and over and she told me that everything was fine and asked if I needed to go get Gas since the van had been on for two hours at this point. Luckily it still had a quarter of a tank left so I told her I was ok. Then proceeded to go get coffee and food and calm myself down.
Lessons were learned this day.
Im not going to lie, im grateful for this one stranger helping me and I'm grateful that this was somewhere in civilization. This could have been a whole lot worse if we had gone to the dispersed site I looked at before settling into the Walmart lot.
Oh Joy, Oh joy.
Remember how I said that things happen like Dominos in van life? Well here is the dominos. As I stated in a previous post I had to change out the oil in the van and also the battery. It was due time for the oil but the battery decided to kick the bucket sooner than I would like. It happens and it sucks but I paid the money to change it out and things seemed fine. Until Yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday I took it easy with work and focused on my mental health as well as my physical. This job is demanding and you get yelled at a lot by angry people and sometimes you need to take it easy to not go crazy and explode on people. Of course, people that call don't care and think you have no feelings because you work in a "call center" so, of course, they can yell and scream thinking it doesn't affect you but, it does. So with that said I took the time to chill out a bit. I work a few hours in the morning and then Lylah and I went for a 4-mile run in the park. It was super windy but we managed to get the 4 miles done and did a cool-down walk. Lylah was ecstatic of course because she wants to get outside as much as she can. I don't blame her and I was glad to move my body and push it a bit.
Once that was over I went to planet fitness and stretched and took a long shower. Afterward, I put everything away in the van and started him up, and then...it happened. This awful sound. It sounded like a chuf of some sort. I sat there in the van listening and frowned. This was a first. Listening close I put him in drive and went to Walmart to hunker down for work and for the evening. Once parked I turned the van off for a second and the a/c and listened. Inside it sounded like something grinding almost. I popped open the hood and got out and took a look in while everything was working.
Just glancing at it I had no idea what was going on but I could hear the sound coming from somewhere in the middle and I made sure to record it. Getting back in the van and listening to this noise while messaging my Dad and SOS message along with the video. The issue is I don't know what the sound is and it's new to me so my knowledge is Zero. After a bit of chatting, it became clear that there are several things that could be making the noise and all of them are like ticking time bombs. It could be the tensioner, the water pump, a bearing in one of the fans, or the alternator. All of them are things I don't have experience in and all of them sound like a pain to try to learn about on the side of the road.
While sitting there chatting the noise died down after the van warmed up and today it even stopped completely but that doesn't mean that the problem isn't there. We may be going home early and I'm planning to listen close and feel it out. If anything I have two weeks left and will be home in April instead of May which is fine. If that is what I have to do then I will make the sacrifice. This summer I may be learning a lot about the van and how to fix certain features since there is quite a list already.
Just pray I get home in one piece and that Gimli will make it back before anything else goes wrong.
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