Travels
Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography- Category [Travel/Stories/Tips]

Here we are once again. Back in the van redoing bits and pieces for the final time. 

In retrospect, we should have done some of this from the beginning but at the same time, I am glad that we waited to do these last few touches. 

The very next day after I got home I gutted out the back of the van and took out the bed frame and mattress. Along with taking out the Mattress I got all the loose items, threw them in a laundry basket, and hauled them all into the guest room to make a pile. The idea is to get a count of everything I brought with me on this trip, go through it and decide what I do and don't need for the foreseeable future. Of course, there will be things added to this list as well but this was the start of seeing what I have already and eliminating what I don't need to make room for what is needed in the van. It's a process but once I got all the belongings out and organized I went back outside and tore out the bed frame. 

When it was initially put together (for the second time) I used pallets to be the main structure with a secure metal frame on the top and then the mattress. This worked well with the low income that I was (and still am) working with but after this second trip, I realized two things.

1) I would love more room under the bed if possible. 

2)I want cabinet storage by the bed. 

With this realization, I started to imagine how to make that happen and put it in my mind that I wanted to have this completed as soon as I got back. For me, I have to imagine it, hold onto it, and talk myself through it to then start the process. WIth being home (and after weeks of imagining and pondering) I immediately got to work. Getting the mattress and initial frame out was easy and then we got a little deeper. Panels started to come off and cords were falling all over the place. As it turns out there are a lot more wires than initially thought. See this van had already been upgraded from a regular van into a wheelchair-accessible van and then sat that way for most of its life. When it was converted, as it turns out, someone did some very shifty things with the wiring. I have never seen so many wires spliced in so many ways and going in so many different directions.

 

It was honestly astonishing to watch as my dad snipped away at wire after wire after wire and in the end, it was a hefty amount of wiring that ended up being useless and was snipped away. The relief that I felt once that was completed was unimaginable. For the last two years, I have had some wirings hanging down towards the back of my bed (I did the best I could to get it out of the way with clips) and now I didn't have to worry about tangling my feet up in that mess. 

 

With that being completed we came up with a game plan for the storage and now it's just a matter of getting supplies and getting it done. I'm excited and ready to have this be the last time I make changes like this. We're almost there. 

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We're almost home.

We should be back later today and once I am back I will be redoing some parts of the van. I have decided to take off in September after the Mackinaw race and I am overly nervous, and excited but also interested in how this will play out. After seven years of planning, renovating, and just overall excitement I finally decided to give it a try. I think initially I was hoping for a better job so that I would have more funds and I thought that if I waited something else would happen and that life would magically take hold and I would just "be" a part of this dream that I was longing for. 

Of course, that's not how life really works. Traveling in a van isn't all rainbows and sunshine and I know that I will run into problems along the way. I also know that loneliness is a part of that journey and I think over the last few years I have been hoping for someone to come along that will just join in and be a part of this great plan to "live life" the way I see it. This has failed twice already and in the end, I realized that I'm wasting my time (yet again I had this realization) and being too hopeful about the idea that others want this amazing dream I have to also be theirs. (I blame Instagram for that thought really)

So with that being said I finally decided to say **** it and just do it. I'm going to be 26 in September and what better way to contribute to my life than to really just jump all in butt ass naked to the world and just try and be this person I claim to be. I've adventured all over the U.S, I've been to five countries, made countless friends, and have seen wonderful things that will forever impact my life. This next journey will be scary, new(ish), and completely unknown but I am hopeful. If this works out I will be so glad that I finally did what I have wanted to do since I started my traveling journey and I have this feeling that I will run into something that will forever change the course of my life. I don't know what it is yet but I am ready to receive whatever comes. 

With that said I appreciate each and every single one of you for supporting me and for sticking around. I know that it's been a long time coming and we are finally coming up the large hill that I have been battling for so long. 

 

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Sadly Zion did not happen. The reason being is that my friend that I was supposed to go with gave himself a concussion that night before. As sad as I am I was more worried about his overall health since he does work for the Army. He texted me and told me that he is ok but the doctor advised that he needed to stay inside and rest. With that being said I told him to get better and we plan to do that hike in the spring when it's nice and cool and not too crowded. 

With those plans foiled, I decided to go ahead and start making my way home. Currently, I'm in Colorado and I am hoping to make it to Kansas before I stop again. I am still working so I am doing 5-hour days in the morning and then driving as far as I can until I am tired. Ideally, I would like to be home by the weekend so that my dad and I can start tearing out the bed frame in the back and redo the frame itself to have more storage and a more secure sleeping arrangement. Really there isn't anything wrong with what I have now but I do want to get the storage figured out so that I can have my belongings have...well a place. 

Not only that but it could potentially make for more room under the bed which is always a plus. 

So yes the journey is coming to an end and I am ready to get some things done. 

For those that have purchased art pieces and are waiting for them, they will ship soon. Only a few more days. Thank you so much for your patience. 

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This trip has taken a fun, unexpected turn. I will be going to Zion the day after tomorrow to meet up with a good friend of mine. We met in Florida at a climbing gym where I used to work and he used to be a member. He's a great guy who is tall, funny, and just all-around gives me good vibes. I'm excited to see him after almost two years of not seeing one another. we have so much to catch up on and with this trip, we will be visiting the Narrows at Zion National park which has been on my list for almost two years. 

The great thing about this hike is it does not require a permit to go check it out. It's a nine-mile trip and it's through the water. yes, water. So getting wet is part of the fun and as you venture through the Narrows you get to have some time to stare up at the wonderful cavern around you and interact with those that are on the same journey as you. This hike doesn't really have a view at the end but rather it's about the experience of going through the narrows that's attractive. 

You get to hang out with who you came with and you get to experience going through these waters with someone and just be a part of the moment with them. Normally I do hikes for the view at the end but every once in a while I like to do a hike just to ease the mind and my sanity. I like to have an experience and what better way to have an experience with someone than to go through the narrows with them. 

I don't really know what to expect and I have no idea how this little side trip will go but I am ready to see my friend and share all the details of our lives. Sometimes it's nice to have little adventures, have a drink, and talk for hours on end. For me, I think that's the real way to connect with someone. Adventure, drink, and Talk, usually in some order or another. Although I prefer to not drink before an adventure but, I guess that depends on what you are doing that day and what you would classify as "adventure". 

Oh, how exciting. I can't wait. 

Of course, stay tuned because I can't wait to let you know how this hike really is. Of course, it will come with photos and I'm sure a story or two. (Hopefully, I don't drop my camera this time)

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I'm not sure why people like traveling in the Summer. Especially to places that are mostly advertised all around. For example, Zion has been advertised widely as well as Yellowstone, and yet in the summer, they are both terrible choices. Maybe early summer, like May or VERY early June but the rest of the summer is terrible timing for all. Why do I say that? Well, the main reason is the heat. I hate the summer because of the heat. It's hot and sticky, and you get dehydrated so quickly and it just makes for terrible business when people get sick or dizzy. not only that but the parks are terribly overcrowded. 

Sure the time of the year is nice, in theory. It's green, lush with wild animals and beautiful green pasters but other than that what's the difference? Not much really. I'm sure a good portion of this decision is because of school which always has an impact on what people decide but personally, I would just wait till I'm done with school or out of it to go visit in the fall. It's cooler, the parks are less crowded and you don't have a possible chance of hitting monsoon season (we saw what happened in Yellowstone ) which is dangerous and can leave you stranded somewhere you don't want to be. 

When I started this journey out west last month I thought it would be a quick out and back and then I realized that I can just live in the van for a bit and travel and I am very glad I did it. I'm still out here traveling a little bit. Currently, I'm in Salt Lake City and I'm going to be spending a few days here to climb, run and just take a moment. Then ill go further south for a bit before heading home. 

The problem with heading south is the heat. It's always the heat. I hate it more than anything. It's part of the reason I hated Florida. You would think growing up there I wouldn't mind the humidity and heat but I actually spent most of my summers inside loathing the outdoors. So for 3/4s of the year, I was what I like to call an "indoor cat". Never ventured more than 20 feet outside of that. if I did go outside it was at night and even then it was ****ty. 

So here I am. A heat-hating person in Utah, sitting in my van hatting the heat. I chose this of course and yes I am happy I'm out here.....but even with that said I still hate it. I cant wait for the fall 

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PURCHASE TODAY 

 

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