So, I had this idea of driving across country again basically after I got back the first time in 2015. I saved up bought a van, tricked it out, then I sold it to a friend. I loved the van life but the places I like to go require a 4x4. So, I bought a 2007 Tundra and made a little home out of the back with my dad and brother in law, eventually adding a mini wood stove to it. The set up is sick. It's 4 wheel drive, has a 5 gallon water tank up top and a thule box for surfboards and anything else extra. The bed set up is a wooden L platform with a 6 foot drawer underneath for all my gear. Plus, the wood stove provides heat and a place to cook on. The whole nomad lifestyle over the past few years has blown up #vanllife #roadlife you name it and I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. The photos glamorize it and the people do too and that's what I fell for. It's awesome living so simply. I love it, but I learned quick it can be extremely painful and stressful at times, especially when your plan doesn't go the way you wanted it to. So, you have to adapt and I adapted the best I could. These are my 1000 voices from road, as honest and open as possible.
Flounder and I left on the 18th of January, we drove to a rest stop outside of Nashville, Tennessee and crashed. We slept soundly for 7 or 8 hours then headed towards a Walmart in Amarillo, Texas. We arrived and it was cold and blowing up to 40mph so I cranked up the wood stove and we watched a movie and ate popcorn. I was stoked! This was what I was looking forward to. We slept for 4 hours then I decided we'd head to Monument Valley in Utah. That was the worst call I've made in a while and where my plans went south. I should of looked at the weather before I even left home because I would have waited a few days. The whole south west was getting hammered for days with snow and rain and I didn't know that until I got to Monument Valley. Anyway, I got there and was super excited but also bummed at the same time. I had no one to share that excitement with, sure I had Flounder but it wasn't the same. I think it was then I realized how experiences are so much better shared especially ones likes these. I didn't stay very long as I had checked the weather and things looked really bad. I had planned on staying in Zion National Park and a few places in the Arizona. But the weather ended up pushing to me San Diego which was supposed to be last on my trip. So, It was either get stuck in snow and rain for days or charge it south to San Diego. I ended up driving 20 hours that day. It took a serious toll on me as I drove through one hell of blizzard in Flagstaff, winds gusting up to 40-50 mph, then pouring rain more south, then rain and fog with little visibility the closer I got to San Diego. I'm not kidding here but the last 2 hours of that drive I started hallucinating bad. I swore I saw a purple elephant and trucks with hands coming out them. It was so dangerous and weird and nope I wasn't on mushrooms or acid. I drove from Maryland to California in 2 days on about 12 hours of sleep.
Eddie is an awesome friend who lives in El Cajon. He let me crash for a bit until the weather cleared out. It was even raining in San Diego. So, I took my truck over to the Toyota dealership for an oil change and they ended up finding 3 recalls and fixing 2 of them, one of them is where the accelerator gets stuck. They couldn't fix that one for some reason but they installed something in the computer where if the accelerator gets stuck and I hit the brakes the motor shuts off?? Not really quite sure about that but I'll figure out the rest once I get home. On one of the clear days, I met my sister's friends Jeremey and Jill. Two awesome people and I'm glad to have met them. Jill and I took her Prius to the Salton Sea. We intended on hiking that day but we saw this huge body of water from a view point and I said you wanna go there? She said yeah! Pulled up the map and it was the Salton sea. So off we went. We took her prius as my truck probably would have ran out of gas on the way there. Nothing for miles except good conversations and a couple trailers out in the middle of nowhere. It looked like something from Breaking Bad. We got there and it was a strange place, smelled of death. It turns out the salinity in the sea rose too high and killed off everything living in it. We were walking all over dead fish bones and barnacles. I imagine that's what Mars would be like. Thanks for driving Jill!