Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography- Category [Life Stories]

Let me tell you guys, getting this van back together is such a frustrating event at the moment. With the van installed we finally were able to get the headliner cut and in place but the man was cutting that headliner a bitch. We had to screw in the back part of the headliner into the top of the van and then sit on a stool and cut the hole exactly to the size of the fan and then made adjustments once it was cut. The problem? We only had a hand saw and the headliner was made out of this terrible (but sturdy) material. With the fact that the saw was used for mainly drywall, we were there for a couple of hours switching out and cutting away. Once we got the hole in place we had to make adjustments and then fight this heavy ass headliner to get in in place and then screw in a piece of pine that we purchased to hold the headliner up. 

This process took us a total of 6 hours or so and it was dark when we were finally getting things in place and just when we thought we were almost done....the screws were too short. We ended up calling it a night and stopped trying to force something that wasn't going to happen. With much frustration and talk over the plan, we decided to pick it up the next day on my break. After all, we had was to get the pieces up, screw the pine in place, and then we had until Thursday to figure out storage. 

So my break comes along and we finally, finally get the stupid headliners up and screw in the pieces of the board we purchased. This was to make sure the structure is secure and so the middle part of the headliner doesn't come down while I'm driving while also covering the other hole we had which in turn supported the light that used to go in the same space the piece of wood was going. With that in place with putting the side panels in to hold the headliner up and to check the side storage areas and figure out a game plan for that. The idea is to get as much of this done as possible so I don't have to take it apart again because taking it apart and putting it back together for this big construction project was a royal pain and I really don't want to do it again. 

But the good news is that we are steps closer to having this van finished and im excited to see what else we can do with it. 

Stay tuned for a new video of this construction. It's a big update for this van and it took a while to finally get this update finished. 

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Your girl is going to sign up for another half marathon. Maybe two. One of them is a definite the other one is a giant question mark. As some of you may know My Dad went ahead and signed up for the Tetons half and some of you thought he was crazy because of the fact that he just got over covid. Well, let me tell you he's doing just fine and it's not until next Summer so he has plenty of time to get back to where he wants to be for this race. Not only that but it's not supposed to be strenuous (unlike the Yellowstone one which was strenuous and pretty difficult) and is supposed to be relatively flat. 

In turn, I am also going to sign up for the Tetons here in the next few weeks. Considering that I told myself last time I wouldn't do it again I think maybe the distance has gotten to me a little. Doing 13 miles and training for it is a feat in itself and when I finished the Yellowstone half I actually felt good about it. My feet were destroyed from the terrain so I will definitely be investing in trail shoes for this next one just in case so I don't have to face months of recovery for my feet and only my feet.  

In terms of recovery from Covid and getting ready for this race, I think it just depends on how you handle the recovery. When I got covid I wasn't fully adjusted to the hills in the area so it took more time than normal for me to run and feel good about it again but within about three weeks not only had I gotten past the difficulty of the hills but also recovered from Covid completely and was seeing improvement again in my time. In turn, I think that this race is going to be amazing and I think that my Dad and I will do super well in this race despite the fact that we both caught the virus and had some trouble with recovery. 

Plus I mean it's the Tetons. How can you complain about a view like that for the entire race? I'm certainly excited to take part, push myself and just have a fun time out in the west.  


Also, make sure to click on the link here to go check out my art gallery. If you like what you see purchase a piece. All purchases help out with my adventures. 


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The other day we finally got the fan installed in the van (say that three times fast) and in honesty, It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be to install. We first had to figure out placement which turned out to be farther back than we originally thought. Once that was figured out we got the power situation under control and now have an idea of how we are going to wire it to a battery. From there we then took out a sharpie, drew out where we were cutting, and set to work. The thing that really made this job a little stressful is that it has to be exact on placement because of the inside of the headliner. There are two ducts that go towards the front and they were exactly 14 inches apart from each other. That means that we have to perfectly cut it in the roof and then cut it in the headliner so that it matches. Talk about a doozy of a job. 

After setting up the initial cut we got the saw out and started chipping away. The only thing about this kind of job is that we had to go from the inside due to the fact that the roof wasn't really a good place to crawl on top of and since it had to be exact we had to go inside to make sure that we didn't end up being off by any amount. With fiberglass flying, we slowly got the roof cut. It took some trial and error but we eventually got it to where the fan fit perfectly inside. Once the cut was made we set to make sure to clean up top with rubbing alcohol. This way we can ensure there isn't any debris or water. If anything is left under there it could lead to leaks in the future and that is never a good idea. 

With it cleaned up we then moved forward to setting it with water sealant on the edge, placing the fan, and screwing it in. Once the fan is screwed on top of the sealant you put another layer on top (even the screws) to make sure that no future leaks can occur. Of course, I didn't know that water could come in through screws but the more you know right? Finally, with that being set in stone we cleaned the inside and called it a day. The next project is getting the headliner cut out exactly with where the fan is which I'm sure will be a bitch of a job but that's part of any conversion. you have to make sure things are done right or it could lead to future problems. Of course, if there are any problems then I know how to fix them and luckily this van seems to come apart without too many difficulties. In truth, it might be one of the easiest vehicles to make changes to give seen. 

Once the headliner is cut we will also be making storage changes. Turns out I can double the amount of storage in the van and that would be helpful for future trips. Honestly, I'm excited to see what I can do and to expand on the inside. Stay tuned for more updates. Gimli is coming togehter. 

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This weekend I'm going camping up in Obed which I'm not going to lie...I am SUPER excited about it. With the van currently out of commission (mostly because I have it in pieces for the fan install next week) we will be doing the old-fashioned tent camping and I am ready. Were going to get there, have a fire, watch some stars, and of course play with the cameras I will be bringing. I'm honestly really excited about that. I've been wanting to go camping for a while now and I'm ready to get outside and enjoy some peace and quiet. Of course, during the day we are going climbing and I cant wait to take photos out there and then share them with you guys. NOt only that but I'm bringing my spare camera and my friend will be taking photos as well (for fun). It's nice to see the other side of things and what other people's perspectives are. 

The week after that we may try to go star chasing and see what we can find out here. I'm not sure what the chances are of getting good shots but I like to practice when I can and I may have a friend join me in the chase. 

Along with this trip, I am also planning my Birthday. As you may recall I went on a ten-week road trip last time to celebrate my life and being on this wonderful planet. This year I have absolutely NO clue what I am doing. For the first time in years, I am struggling with deciding what to do. The U.S Is so big but I also think the idea of being restricted is throwing me off. I want to go everywhere and I think I'm overwhelmed and at the same time underwhelmed? It's weird to try to describe it but I feel like If I choose something I'm missing out on other options. It honestly is driving me crazy with the decision. Of course, I will do SOMETHING and I will have an amazing time but, the choice is so hard. 


Right now I have west Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, and possibly going to see Boston or New York City. I don't know what I will choose but I'm sure Ill make up my mind soon. I'm just ready for more exploration and time to "turn off." I am also looking to make more pieces soon for you guys and to let my inner 25-year-old inspiration make some artwork. With the way life is right now, I am sure that the pieces I will make will be amazing. I'm ready to get dirty, pour some paint and show you what I make. If you want to support my birthday and travels click the link here to go check out what I have now. I know it's not a lot of options but Stay tuned for more artwork coming to you in the next week as well as a new Youtube Video. I'm excited to finally get the progress out there. 

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2021-08-23 13:55 by Sarah Denninger
in Life Stories , 94 references

Not going to lie to you guys being here has been crazy. Being in Tennessee has been such an interesting but bewildering adjustment. I've been making friends here, going on adventures, climbing, and just loving the freedom I feel. I love being able to go somewhere at any moment and I love the idea of being outside as much as possible. It's crazy how much being outside on a regular basis can change you in so many ways. It changed my diet, it changed my mood and it changed the way I look at myself. 

If you guys follow my blog you know by now that I am generally an outdoorsy kind of girl. I always try to do what I can to get outside and that could be for a run, a walk, a hike, to climb, or just to sit and enjoy the sounds of nature. The problem with that in Florida is that there is none of that there. Not a single thing. Maybe climbing but that's if you go to a gym or if you want to drive 6-8 hours to get somewhere decent and even then it's a stretch. 

In turn with changing my lifestyle, also has given me a chance to think about my life and the next steps that I want to take. I want to travel more so I am currently working on the van and making progress on it being more livable. If you saw my Twitter post I showed the underside of the roof and pointed out where the fan install will go. Just today I went ahead and ordered the fan and it should be here by next week. Once that is done we will be making modifications for the storage space since we realized that there is SO much more room than I had anticipated. So many changed, so many things in play and I am so excited for what is to come. Of course for my birthday this year, I am looking at what openings I have since I'm currently not able to do too much at the moment. Really I'm excited. It may be a chill year of exploration and it may be the big 25 but I feel like maybe it's good to take a step back and appreciate what I have. 

Of course, I say that it may not be very big but we will see what happens. I'm keeping an open mind for this one. 


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