Staring Into the Sun

This past weekend we stopped in Sedona on our drive up to the Grand Canyon. This place was new to us all and we spent a lot of time driving around trying to figure out what and where is the best spot to get an elevated view of the red rocks. We where advised to go to the airport lookout to catch sunset and the place was swamped with people. This photo was taken at the airport lookout but facing the opposite way of the red rocks with a long lens zoomed through trees straight into the sun. It's at times like this when I wish that I have done more solid research on the places that I travel too because usually when you get to the destination you'll have slim to none cell service. The next time you end up where everyone else is looking, soak it in because it's probably beautiful and called a lookout spot for a reason. But don't be afraid to try something different and or experimental. Life is good, make it interesting.

50,000 Miles

As my love for the Volkswagen Bus never ends, I have finally accepted that the vehicle I drive now will get the job done. I began to be intrigued with the VW Bus while on our yearly beach house trip to Balboa Island in the early 2000's. There were so many driving around the beach city of Newport, CA that I fell in love with them year after year that we did the Balboa trip. 

When I got my license at age 16, my dad was letting me drive his 2003 Ford f-150 to and from school everyday. I used to hang out on the bed of the truck in the parking lot of my high school before 6th period baseball. My Dad ended up getting a new car for himself so driving the truck ended up being my full time vehicle. So not having to purchase my first car turned out nice. Not to mention that I wasn't paying for gas at those early stages in my driving career. As the memories with the truck stacked up, so did my relationship with the F-150. 

As I sit here now, I have been driving the truck for just about 6 years and it has become apparent as to why I was never able to sell this thing on craigslist. For the past 3 years, I have been trying to get my hands on a VW bus so badly and I was sure that it was going to increase my love of camping and traveling around the US. I mean who wouldn't want to go on road trips in these things? They have enough room to sleep 4 people, a stove to cook inside and have the ability to camp in urban areas. They even have an app similar to AirBnb which enables people to rent other peoples vans for camping trips. That being said, I was "trying" to sell my truck on craigslist for about 2 years off and on. But I was putting it up for way overpriced and I didn't really put to much elbow grease into finding a buyer. Now looking back at it I can tell that I never really could let go of my first truck. I would get busy with school, go on random camping trips with friends to places like Joshua Tree and Yosemite and the memories just kept adding up. 

I forgot to tell you that my dad purchased the Ford F-150 new in 2003 and drove me around in it till I was old enough to drive it in 2010. My dad put 146,000 miles on the truck and I have racked up another 50,000 miles putting it at 196,000 today. Now that I am older and have a bigger perspective on things, I see what this truck really resembles to me. It holds my childhood all the way up through my graduating months of college. I no longer want to sell the truck for the vanlife. I'll be just fine with the trucklife. 

My attitude on nostalgia is strong. I really cherish the energy that it brings to the table. It keeps me focused and motivated to give 100% in what ever activity that I am doing. I have recently purchased a camper shell for the truck and have been in the process of making it has close to a van that I possibly can. It's starting to look like a van to me.

 

Image: Taken in the hills of Calico Ghost Town, February of 2016

Author: Ryan Valasek