So it's been a month and a half since I started this journey and committed to #VanLife. And in the spirit of transparency, and because it's been an insane ride, I'm going to share all the bumps, bruises, and mud baths my van, Rocky, and I have gotten along the way. 🚐
It all started on day one of my trip, not even 100 miles outside of my starting point in Illinois. The car in front of me swerved to the right and all the sudden, there was a large, round traffic cone in front of me, off center. It made contact with my driver's side mirror and smacked against the window, loudly shattering.
I sighed and refused to make this a bad omen for my trip. After all, I had thought to pack a small 360 mirror "in case of emergency". So I Gorilla Tapped the small mirror to my shattered wreckage of a mirror and sought out the nearest Auto Zone for a temp mirror. I found a temporary mirror (cut to fit style), and of course cut it the wrong way (hello blondness).
The next day, while driving through Iowa, I was clocked going 8 over (by an aircraft). I was pulled over, but the previous owner had gifted me the "support the troopers" license plate cover, and the officer asked me about it, I was able to tell him that my Pops was a correctional officer for 27 years. WAHLAH, no ticket (shout out to my Pops!).
Still, I refused to feel like a cloud was hanging over my trip. ☁️
Since then, a rock has hit my windshield, chipping it (apparently welcoming me to Alaska with what locals refer to as the 'Alaskan Windshield').
And we have gotten VERY dirty (pictured) as we went through the bumpy and rainy dirt roads of the Top of the World highway (WORTH IT!).
Lastly, we had a small accident in Anchorage about a week ago.
While turning right on a red light, as I waited for a motorcycle to pass, I was hit from behind. Luckily the damage was minimal and the driver was a mechanic who popped my bumper off and hammered it back into place! 😂
Rocky was okay, and I was only sore for a few days afterward.
*whew* It's been quite a ride, but honestly it's to be expected when you are driving so much and living out of a van.
Everything has turned out alright and has helped me make new friends and maintain a positive perspective in the face of obstacles. And yes, I am learning to be more and more careful.
#VanLife isn't all about beautiful pictures in breathtaking places. It's still real life and there are still bumps and bruises along the way.
But for me, it's all worth it.
Considering #VanLife? Tell me about it in the comments! 😊
Ever wonder what a Fjord is? Or even a Glacier?
Well you're definitely not alone! I had no idea until yesterday!
So I asked a lot of questions and here's what I learned!
A Fjord (pronounced Fee-YORD) is when two cliffs come together with an area of sea between them that is caused by glacier run off. Think of two big mountains with water between them. Sometimes a big chunk of ice right at the top between them. They're usually flat on the top because they were covered with glaciers are one point.
Glaciers are massive iceberg like structures that are super dense. They're a blue color because they don't have much air in them (less than 20%) so the only color they can reflect is blue. It's like a toilet bowl with that blue cleaning agent in it.
They grind up rocks as they form, melt, and fall which releases minerals called Rock Flour into the water, making it a bright blue.
When ice breaks off the glaciers, they are called icebergs, unless they're small then they're called bergies (bergy bits) or growlers (less than 3ft).
They can be bigger than a house, or as small as a tennis ball (or smaller).
It's called calving when they fall off.
It's insane. I saw two huge pieces calve.
One was as big as a house, one was car size.
First you hear an eerie cracking, then it starts falling and you hear the ice scraping then a huge crash as it hits the ocean and other ice bergs.
Want to hear what a calving glacier sounds like?
I actually captured one on this episode!
Yesterday, Rocky and I hiked to the top of our first mountain!It was ROUGH. It took 2 1/2 hours, it rained the whole way up and was slick the whole way down, I fell 3 times and my knee with a torn ACL gave out once.
But Rocky had a fantastic time. She was running ahead the whole time!
I just kept repeating a mantra in my head, in line with my steps "one foot... In front... of the other..." Until WA-LAH, we were there! The summit was jaw dropping! Mountains as far as the eye could see!
The temperature had dropped substantially but it stopped raining while I journaled the moment.
I took in the moment and felt my heart swell with gratitude and fulfillment. I even recorded a bit of audio for a potential future episode.
And then, one foot in front of the other, we descended.
And our van was the first vehicle we saw at the end! I was SO relieved but I felt charged, refreshed, excited for what lay ahead!
Just keep one foot in front of the other, my friends.
Who knows where the trail will lead. 😊⛰️