Back in California

Day 214 / Mile 24,315

My stoke is high, and so is the needle on the engine temp gauge. "Stay with me... Come on ole girl... We're almost home, baby...", I say out loud. Actually, home is wherever I'm parked, since my destination in San Diego is really just a storage unit. It's crazy to think I haven't slept in my real bed in exactly a year. I've adapted well to life on the road: making meals in my van's kitchen, showering at truck-stops and campgrounds (sometimes a river), having deep conversations with Siri, camping in more Walmart parking lots than you knew existed, turning cafes into my office, discovering amazing music playlists on Spotify, turning off route against my Garmin's advice, and having the time of my life. I won't lie though, I'm ready to get a place to post up at and enjoy all the modern luxuries Americans consider normal.

 I still can't believe I just drove through every state in the contiguous US!!

I still can't believe I just drove through every state in the contiguous US!!

 Felicity, CA has a big ego. It's near the California/Arizona/Mexico border and claims to be the 'Center of the World'. I had to see what it was like with such a bold claim.

Felicity, CA has a big ego. It's near the California/Arizona/Mexico border and claims to be the 'Center of the World'. I had to see what it was like with such a bold claim.

 C'est bonne!

C'est bonne!

 I emailed the owner/mayor in advance asking for permission to cautiously climb this in order to make a creative self-portrait and support tourism to his city, but there was some classic line about liability... 

I emailed the owner/mayor in advance asking for permission to cautiously climb this in order to make a creative self-portrait and support tourism to his city, but there was some classic line about liability... 

  This pyramid houses the self-proclaimed 'Center of the World' point. Nobody was around to unlock the door, oh well close enough.

This pyramid houses the self-proclaimed 'Center of the World' point. Nobody was around to unlock the door, oh well close enough.

 They pushed up this 'Hill of Prayer' for the church to sit upon.

They pushed up this 'Hill of Prayer' for the church to sit upon.

 Down the road a couple hundred miles is a wild art installation that I visited once before, but wanted to experience again.

Down the road a couple hundred miles is a wild art installation that I visited once before, but wanted to experience again.

 How much would it take for you to make this as your daily driver around town?

How much would it take for you to make this as your daily driver around town?

 There was a wedding photoshoot going down, so I only stayed a few minutes.  Click here to see my fashion series  of pics I produced last year.

There was a wedding photoshoot going down, so I only stayed a few minutes. Click here to see my fashion series of pics I produced last year.

 Okay, how much time do you have?

Okay, how much time do you have?

 Back in the 60's the Salton Sea was a hotspot for water recreation, but not many will even go near it these days. 

Back in the 60's the Salton Sea was a hotspot for water recreation, but not many will even go near it these days. 

 I came here in 2005 with Quiksilver clothing for their catalog photoshoot; I was a pro snowboarder for them and pretended to be a model sometimes. The area lot has changed since then, but there are still some greatly bizarre locations if you are brave enough to seek them out.

I came here in 2005 with Quiksilver clothing for their catalog photoshoot; I was a pro snowboarder for them and pretended to be a model sometimes. The area lot has changed since then, but there are still some greatly bizarre locations if you are brave enough to seek them out.

 This may be a beautiful picture, but the stench here was nearly unbearable. If you're unfamiliar with this area,  read the story Vice wrote a couple years ago  to find out why.

This may be a beautiful picture, but the stench here was nearly unbearable. If you're unfamiliar with this area, read the story Vice wrote a couple years ago to find out why.

 Netflix killed the video store.

Netflix killed the video store.

 I camped out for the night at a casino parking lot. I was kinda more  scared than Detroit , there's way more tweakers here. These coyotes were running around like they were on meth.

I camped out for the night at a casino parking lot. I was kinda more scared than Detroit, there's way more tweakers here. These coyotes were running around like they were on meth.

 I like the detail of the arrow within the silhouette of an anchor. The craft of sign making is a lost art these days, too many easy made vinyl banners in use now.

I like the detail of the arrow within the silhouette of an anchor. The craft of sign making is a lost art these days, too many easy made vinyl banners in use now.

 Some sketchy dude was eyeing my van from across the street while I shot this photo. I didn't stay here very long.

Some sketchy dude was eyeing my van from across the street while I shot this photo. I didn't stay here very long.

 Possibly inhabited.

Possibly inhabited.

 LIVE THIS LIVE. LIVE A GREAT STORY. ...h aha, classic motivational hipster graffiti. I love it because I'm a hipster too.

LIVE THIS LIVE. LIVE A GREAT STORY. ...haha, classic motivational hipster graffiti. I love it because I'm a hipster too.

 When cooking a batch of meth goes bad.

When cooking a batch of meth goes bad.

 It smelled like DEAD INSIDE. 

It smelled like DEAD INSIDE. 

 A few decades ago this was a premium vacation spot.

A few decades ago this was a premium vacation spot.

 Hopefully this is the last Wally World parking lot that I ever sleep in. I bet I've camped in about 100 of them over the last 215 days.

Hopefully this is the last Wally World parking lot that I ever sleep in. I bet I've camped in about 100 of them over the last 215 days.

 When getting back to Encinitas I drove straight to my local beach, Beacons.

When getting back to Encinitas I drove straight to my local beach, Beacons.

 This was an incredible feeling. I hadn't seen the ocean since  Acadia, Maine .

This was an incredible feeling. I hadn't seen the ocean since Acadia, Maine.

 Treat yourself to a good time once in a while, you deserve it.

Treat yourself to a good time once in a while, you deserve it.

All said and done, 215 days / 25,000 miles. I remember when it all was just a thought, and now I've done it!

I've had a few people ask how much I spent along the way, and fortunately I know exactly how much using a budget app for every purchase. I was extremely frugal, lived off a lot of sandwiches and ramen, and only got 3 hotel rooms during the whole trip:

  • 1995 VW Eurovan Camper (w/ upgrades) - $24,500
  • Auto Expenses - $1,180
  • Auto Fuel - $3,255
  • Eating Out - $2,805
  • Grocery Store - $1,260
  • Utilities (phone/insurances/storage) - $3,400
  • Project Expenses & Other Misc - $2,200
  • Total to do the trip (minus cost of the van): $14,100

My next goal is to turn this into a coffee table book. I'll probably make a kickstarter campaign since I just spent my entire life's savings on the project.

I want to give a big thank you to my wingmen for their marketing support: Arnette, Coal, StanleyMizu, Mica, Ninja Suit, Ambig, Goldcoast, & Poler. Hugs and kisses to my friends who let me sleep on their couches along the way too!

Stay tuned for more, I'm addicted to the adventurous life and don't want rehab...