To My Grandkids,
First rule of camp: You always have to have a flower in your hair!
This past week has been the best of my life. I have driven through Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and now California! I have met so many amazing people, and have tons of wild stories already!
When we first pulled in to California, we pulled over to camp for the night, and it turned out to be the best couple days of my life so far. We were parked right on the beach, so my front door opened right to the ocean! Throughout the 3 days we stayed there, I met the most amazing bunch of people. There ended up being a group of 15 or so people that came through our camp, and each and every one was so special. We would all sit around the fire together for hours, playing guitar, dancing under the stars, and sharing our stories. We had group meals, and would come together around the fire to eat. There were people of all ages, life paths, and from all over the country- all were welcome. Some people were musical, others were listeners, some were adventurers, others were observers. We were all so different, but at the same time, the same.. When we needed to shower, we would walk into the woods to a freshwater creek and wash our hair together. At one point, Bryanna and I went back to the creek with our lovely fairy friend, Julie, and just like in Montana, we stripped down and took a leap into the COLD COLD water! Once again, EXHILARATING! As a group, we learned so much not only about each other, but ourselves as well!
At the end of each day, we found ourselves gathered around the fire, laughing, sharing, learning, enjoying, and EXPERIENCING life in the purest form. My lovely friend, Tysun, was showing us his tattoos, and when asked why he had a campfire, the answer was simple, but so special; community. At first, I was like oh yea cool- but then I thought about it, and truly, it is one thing that never fails to bring people together. A simple campfire that brought us all together at camp, and presented me with memories and stories I will always cherish. A simple campfire that provides us with meals to share, warmth to sit out under the stars together all night, playing music, and sharing what makes us all who we are. A campfire that connected strangers at the right place and time- a simple campfire that built a community.
The last day we spent together, we started the morning with a group meditation, standing in a circle together, opening our hearts and being grateful. We gave hugs, and started to say goodbye, but its never that easy to leave the ones you love, so it didn’t end there. We traded crafts, gifted special items, and exchanged contact information. There was a lovely man named Cameron, who I gifted a special item of mine, and he hand crafted me a bow and arrow. It was so special, and my heart feels full every time I look at it! After saying goodbye to the other half of the group, only a couple of us stayed at the beach. We were with a very special River Godess (to say the least!) named Sari, and she made us pancakes before we hit the road. When it was time to part ways, we ended up not being able to leave each other right away, so we stayed together for the night, and then Sari and I spent another night off on our own. What an amazing, beautiful soul she is.. I could go on and on, but I’d have to make another blog to express how much I enjoyed my time with her! (I will!)
The whole time we were there, none of us had service, which at first was a bummer, because I’m a teenage girl who’s guilty pleasure is social media- but it turned out to be the biggest blessing ever to not have technology for a couple days. Since none of us had our phones, we were creating much more in depth relationships, and getting to know each other face to face, soul to soul, rather than being distracted by the internet and social media.
It was seriously the best couple days of my life, and the most simplistic. It doesn’t take material things to be happy, and it sure a hell doesn’t need technology. This world is always changing, evolving, and getting more advanced, and a lot of us get caught up in the new trends, latest technology, and temporary fixes.. Try and remind yourself to BE HERE in the present moment, because it is the only moment that ever truly exists, and you can never get it back. Put your phone down (or your flying cars by now) and get outside to experience first hand for your own eyes!! You will have the best time of your life that way, and make the most meaningful relationships!
Go make a campfire and see what happens :)
Even though I’m only 19, I’m still looking forward to meeting you someday! Trust me, we’ve got lots to talk about!
Granny J :)
To My Grandkids,
Wow, life is crazy! I've got a lot to update you on, so here's a little thought-dump.
In the past week, my friend Bryanna flew to Montana, and we moved into my van, Rosie! I had the blue one at first, but it needed some work, so I sold it and got a new one! Her name is Rosie, and she is a 1991 Dodge Ram Van, just like the other one, except it's a little smaller, and it is pink and white!! We have it all set up inside like a mini home, and it is AWESOME!! The past couple days, we have parked by Glacier National Park in Montana. GNP isn't actually open right now cause the world is still closed down from the virus, but there is a bridge called Belton Bridge that we found a pretty awesome campsite by! When we wake up there, we are overlooking the river, have mountains on all sides of us, and we are right by the train tracks, so we get to watch it go by! The stars out there at night are UNREAL, they are so bright!
For our kitchen, we have a mini camping grill that we light up and cook on, and we have a water jug that hangs from the ceiling as our 'sink', (we actually have 17 gallons of water around the van, and we get it from all natural spring spouts off the mountain!) and we have plates, bowls, utensils, seasonings etc etc. (everything that you would need to cook!) Our closet is under the bed, its just a bunch of drawers that have our stuff in it, and we have a shelf in the middle of the van (aka the living room) that holds everything else like books, shoes, chargers, seasons, food, etc.. For a fridge we have a cooler that sits in the front, and we have a powerstrip that plugs into the car so we can charge everything on the road. We also have my guitar and ukelele that just float around the van.
For 2 girls living in a van, we've got a pretty awesome little set up. We also use the roof of the van as our "upstairs" aka the kitchen and second living room, where the guitar jam out seshs happen :)
For now, we are still in Montana, waiting to hit the coast. We're waiting for our license plates to get in , and then we're off to the beach!
Yesterday, we ventured out across the hungry horse dam and we ended up finding a boat dock that had a bunch of tree stumps around it. We were laughing, singing, dancing, and when I walked out to the water, it made me fall silent. It was so gorgeous and peaceful out there. Everything was still and calm, reminding me to be still in the moment and appreciate how great it is to be ALIVE. We walked to the edge of the water, climbed up on a tree stump, and looked out across the water, admired the mountains, the lush green everywhere, and snow at the top. Everything was beautiful. It was pretty chilly out there, and I jokingly asked Bry if she wanted to jump in, but we we're like nooo it's way too cold.. Actually... The fear of the cold made me want to do it even more.. So, we stripped, and took a leap without a second thought. IT WAS SOOO COLD, but afterwards, I felt EXHILARATED!! Honestly, that is the best feeling ever, instead of backing down, standing up to fear and doing what scares you.
That's when you feel most alive.
The best things in life live on the other side of fear.
I can't wait to keep you updated with all the crazy stuff we get into on the road. We are gonna meet so many people, and have so many amazing stories to tell.
It's only day 3 and we already have tons. We're also ready to have group camp outs- we have room for a few people in the van, a 3 person tent, 2 hammocks, and mats to lay out on the roof if they're really wild haha.
It's gonna be great.
Even though I haven't met you yet, I'm thinkin about ya kid. I'm so excited to sit around a fire with you and your friends one day and tell you all the wild times of my teenage years :)
I love you always,
Your barefoot runnin nana J :)