Sometimes all it takes is one small action to get the ball rolling. Having graduated a quarter earlier than I originally intended and whilst figuring out what to do next with my life, I decided things were a little too stagnant for me. I'd fallen into these daily routines where sometimes I'd be productive and sometimes you wouldn't be able to pry me out of the house other than for a skate down West Cliff.
That's when I figured it was time to just do something fun - I spent a day scavenging the town for milk crates that were no longer in use and collected 6. The next day I drew up a sketch and did some measurements, cruised over to Home Depot and got just a few pieces of wood, and the rest of the afternoon was spent putting together a bed in my truck camper.
Without really acknowledging it out loud to myself or making any real plans, I was committing to try something new - however small of a challenge it seemed at the time. Shortly thereafter I called up some long time friends in Seattle and told 'em I was planning to head North, and that if they'd enjoy my company I'd love to see them, but that I had no real sense of plan or direction, other than going up North.
Two days later and I'm on the road. I'm so into the idea of being on the road that I have minimal idea of where I'm going to stay for the night - maybe 2 or 3 quickly-scouted online locations for free truck camping and a Rand McNally atlas in the back seat.
It wasn't until about 3 hours into the drive, once I'd made it North of the Bay Area and started into some less-crowded spaces, that I realized what I was doing. It had always been a dream of mine to say fuck it and pack a few things into my car and just go drive. Now was my chance to pull over whenever, lay in the back and make a sandwich, enjoy some tunes down by the river bed, or whatever I really needed to do to be honest.
My main point being that all it takes is trying something small to have a fresh experience. For me, it all started with some milk crates.
I'll spare the stories of getting lost and then getting chased out of a trailer park in the absolute middle of nowhere by some not-so-friendly folks, but will share how terrified I was of the journey. Each leg of the journey entailed picking a destination for the night, finding a spot to call home for the night, and then filling the rest of the next day with activities other than driving. All of that when I was out of cell signal so much of the time and alone in a part of the country I'd only really visited once or twice on a very different journey.
All I can say is that I was blown away with how satisfying it was to be on the road. I was gone and I was lost, but still finding a way - finding a way to make it happen and live with some stories. I'm a big fan of stories. I think we should all have a time worth sharing the story of, whatever that entails to you.
I saw some of my best friends across 2 cities (Seattle and Portland) and also got to shoot Samuel H. Boardman State Park in the fog like I've wanted to since first picking up a camera a little while back. Everything else on the trip was just an excuse to explore as well, but most of it was just life kind of happening. Of course there was control over what to do, but none of it felt forced and I got to run around for a week and experience it for what it was.
As I made my way back down to Santa Cruz at the end of the next week, I felt a huge sense of relief for having taken the small leap into not knowing where I was headed and also felt myself wanting so much more. More of that. So, finally seeing that it all started with an idea of wanting to make a bed in my truck and get on the road, I simply told myself this wouldn't be the last trip, that there was so much more of summer left and that I needed to get out. Good thing I've got some neat-ass friends who rarely say no to adventure, because I've been on the road more in the past 2 months than I ever have in my life.
Over the course of 12 days on the road alone, I covered 1,921 miles from Santa Cruz -> Seattle -> Portland -> Santa Cruz. From the day I got back to Santa Cruz until today (August 2, 2018), I've been to Tahoe, Yosemite, Yosemite again, Mono Lake, Zion, Moab, Arches, Aspen, Huntsville UT, Salt Lake City, to Tahoe again and totaled a very close estimate of 2,760 miles of driving. Did I mention my truck bed is 5'8" and I'm 6'2" ?
For now, it's time to stay in Santa Cruz and figure out what comes next, which most likely entails leaving Santa Cruz for now. All it takes is one little step towards new and some exciting things could happen - hopefully good things, but always stories nonetheless. If you've read this far, I appreciate you taking the time and hopefully you'll enjoy some of the photos. Cheers.
This last set of photos is all shot on my Minolta SRT 101 with FujiPro 400H and Kodak 200