Sunday, July 29, 2012

Making Friends With Chipmunks

I took the most beautiful drive the other day on highway 212 in Wyoming. It was amazingly beautiful. Each turn had something new to look at. If you have the time, this by far is one of the most beautiful drives I've ever been on. At the top, you get a stunning view of bear tooth mountain.

On the way down towards Montana, I stopped at another viewpoint and the chipmunks were the friendliest I've ever encountered. They were all too eager to ham it up and be in my photograph. One looked like he took pleasure in photobombing my shot! It really was a beautiful drive and I would recommend making a trip if you've never been.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meeting Neighbors Along The Way

During my travels, I enjoy getting to know the locals in the area. The other night in Spokane, I took my bike out to see if anyone was out and about on that beautiful summer evening.

I approached "C.J." as she was sweeping her walkway with a hand broom. We started chatting and she told me all about the area, the history of the neighborhood and about her travels. She wasn't shy about asking me questions and we bantered back and forth for a while. When I approached her I told her that I wanted to meet people in different neighborhoods around the country since I think it's important to know our neighbors.

She told me that she has lived in Spokane all of her life and in the home behind her for the majority of it. I then asked her is she knew any of her neighbors and she got quiet and said "no."

Friday, July 20, 2012

4th of July in Chico

I just realized that I haven't blogged since Max and I went to Yosemite!  I will try to keep you posted here on my travels as much as possible but sometimes it's difficult when you run around without internet and the van is too hot to leave Max inside.  If you would like to see photos from our journey every day, I post them on the instagram app under my user name, "alisontravels."

After we spent time in Yosemite, we traveled North and visited with good friends, Kristiana and Greg and then up to Chico, CA to hang out with my old college roommates, team mates and now lifelong friends, Rose and Heide.  I spent the 4th of July with Heide's family and the rest of the time with Rose.  I took Lucy (the name of my bike) out and towed Max behind in his trailer around the park. Chico is a great college town in the middle of Northern California with lots of space to ride your bike and get lost in the park.  Back in the day, I used to be a lifeguard at Sycamore pool, otherwise known as the one mile pool.  It was fun to go back and watch the kids swim around with their families in the usual hot summer heat.

I will try to blog more often and share experiences on the road here.  If nothing else, I will post photos along the way.  Here are a few from my visit in Chico, all taken with my iphone.  More soon!

P.S.... The first round of postcards are in the mail!  If you signed up, you should have yours... if you didn't receive one and want me to send you a postcard from the road, see the right side of the blog for details. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

French Marie Claire Magazine Feature

I was honored to receive an email from a photographer researching women who travel the "American open road." He found me online and read my story and thought French women would be interested in an American who quits her job to wander around the country.  That pretty much sums up my life for the past few years.  At first, I thought it was a joke.  I researched the photographer to see if he was the real deal and then wondered why he would be looking for me instead of a writer?  I pushed the doubts aside and kept an open mind.  He asked me if I knew of other women doing similar things and I immediately thought of my friend, Kristiana Spaulding!  She designs beautiful jewelry and knows a thing or two about Airstream trailers.  In fact, she towed her trailer up this steep hill in Big Sur for this photo!

I don't know what the article says since it's in French, but I am sure it has something to do with women taking it upon themselves to travel solo.  For that, I am happy to participate to hopefully inspire other women to do the same!  The photographer and writer kept referring to Kristiana and I as "Thelma and Louise" so we started fighting on who was Thelma and who was Louise.  I suppose you can call us that without the breaking the law and suicide part.  I know... spoiler alert!  Because I love camping so much, I started a facebook camping page a while ago just for women who enjoy camping.  You can participate in the conversation HERE.

Kristiana and I met in Big Sur to camp three days before the actual photo shoot to give us time to hang out and relax.  Well, little did we know that there wouldn't be a shower in sight.  One night we drove for miles to find one with no luck.  So what you see here is the real deal... three days of camping with no shower.  Not the best way to get ready for a photo shoot but that's how we camping girls do it! 

If you are in France or by a fancy news stand that carries the French version of Marie Claire, it's out now...the August edition.  The image here is a screen shot of the website. There's a preview online but will not show the entire article and I have yet to figure out how to translate it.  You can see it HERE

I am honored to be featured in this article and it makes it even sweeter that I get to share it with my good friend, Kristiana!  She makes beautiful jewelry that you can buy on her website

More photos I took during our Big Sur adventure can be found on my Big Sur blog post.

I hope you take the time to get out and explore, ladies!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yosemite National Park

I am now living full time in my van with my dog, Max.  I don't like good bye's and it was especially difficult this time around since I really don't know when I will return.  Even at this point, I don't know exactly what I will do, where I will go, or when I will get there.  I like it that way.

A few days ago, I left my home and decided to try to beat the heat and get up in the mountains so the first destination was Yosemite National Park.  Most people told me how crazy busy it would be and I was pleasantly surprised when there were several campsites to choose from.  Max and I chose a site and took it easy the first day.  

It was so beautiful waking up in the forest however, "campy" will take some getting used to where sleep is concerned.  Max growled at every sound and he wasn't too happy when deer would pass through our campsite.  I agree that it was a bit rude of them to walk right through, but since they most likely were there first, I let it slide.  As I sipped my coffee in the morning inside of the van, I watched my neighbors fold up their tent and then it hit me... I have become one of "those" people.  For years, I camped in a tent and it was a bit annoying when people in RV's would sit in comfort and watch me and now, there I was watching the tenters.  Let me tell you... it was NICE!  

We explored the park for the day and didn't stay too long.  I love all of our National Parks and I look forward to visiting them throughout my journey.  

I am glad to be on the road and I look forward to what adventures await Max and I.


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