MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip


Whitney Lauritsen just kicked off her sixth cross-country road trip, and by all indications, it was one heck of a ride. In between stops at some of the most iconic national parks from Nevada to Minnesota, Whitney and her dog, Evie, went through a whole host of experiences, ranging from seeing the cutest marmots in the wild to being ripped off in a charging station in Nevada. In this episode, Whitney talks about the places she stopped at, the people she met, the good and bad experiences she had, and even some random reminders she encountered that teach us a lot about life. Join this exploration with her and experience some of the transformation she felt in the moment!

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Heart Open, Road Ahead: The Transformative Power Of A Cross-Country Road Trip

This episode is all about my road trip cross-country. If you have read the episode I put out not long ago, this got a little bit delayed because I got COVID. I told my whole COVID story in the last solo episode. A little update on that is that I feel recovered from it. I had a sore throat. I had fatigue and all sorts of fun things during that experience. It wasn’t fun.

It was on day eight of officially having COVID, I went down to Philadelphia and attended the Natural Products Expo. I continue to wear my mask throughout the whole show and take a lot of precautions. I will be telling the story of Philadelphia as well as New York City in a separate episode because the reason I went to both cities was to attend trade shows. I went to the Natural Products Expo in Philadelphia as well as the plant-based World Expo in New York City. Stay tuned. That will be the next solo episode, which is coming out soon.

This episode is my travel from Los Angeles to Massachusetts where I’m doing this episode at my parents’ house. I do this every year. This might be my sixth cross-country trip altogether. My first one was in 2012 with my sister. However, for that trip, I drove one way from San Francisco to Massachusetts. In 2013, I did a roundtrip cross-country trip with my former co-host, Jason. We drove out of the Ford Fiesta. I was part of this project for Ford and I got a car for 4 or 6 months. I did a bunch of YouTube videos about that trip. It was fun.

When I got my Tesla in 2018, I was very curious about what it would be like to drive an electric car across the country. I started in 2019 with a shorter trip going to Colorado. It went so smoothly that in 2020, I decided to try driving the car across the country. That’s when these trips became a big thing for me even though I had done a few in the past. In 2020, it started to become an annual trip in my electric car.

I have episodes from every year. I will probably do another episode this 2023 about my trip back to California. What I will share is where I went and what I did. I will share some details about things I ate in the car and any type of gear I got. I love talking about travel gear and outdoor recreation stuff. I will mix that in, too. I’m doing this episode in the private Beyond Measure community, which is free and open to anyone who wants to join. I do the solo episodes within that community because it gives me an opportunity to make it interactive.

Speaking of YouTube, I have not been posting to YouTube mostly because it’s so much work. I record videos for every single episode and I intend to put them all on YouTube, but it hasn’t been a big priority for me. If you would like to see videos of the solo episodes, those are all within the Beyond Measure community since I started in February 2023.

It’s cool because if you want to come and chat with me, meet other readers, and meet other people who are passionate about health, wellness, travel, and all of the things that I love, that’s within Beyond Measure. You can come and join. If it’s not for you, you can leave. Hopefully, it is for you. It’s been evolving for several years. That also started in 2020. I wanted to create a space that wasn’t connected to social media. If you didn’t know this about me, I do almost no social media work of my own. I don’t post on social media anymore. That’s the other purpose of this episode. For all the people who have asked what my trip was like, I can tell that full story here on the show.

My Sixth Cross-Country Road Trip

Let’s get started with no further ado. It is September 27th, 2023. I started my trip on August 9th, 2023. It’s been quite some time. I’m very glad I have lots of photos and videos because there are a lot of details that are easy to forget. Documenting is so beautiful. It’s almost like having a visual journal. When I was growing up, I used to journal every single day. I rarely journal, but I consider the show a bit of a journal. These solo episodes are personal and raw. They are documenting life. They are sharing with me and with you.

Documenting is so beautiful. It's almost like having a visual journal. Click To Tweet

Even though I don’t do much on social media, I still take a ton of photos and videos. I contemplate a lot if I will go back to social media posting. It’s certainly not a permanent decision to not be posting on there, but I want to take a step back. That’s why I don’t share things like this. There’s an element of it that’s nice, too. Social media can feel like a journal for yourself and others, and I miss that.

The first image that I have Evie, my dog. She turned fourteen. She has continued to be an amazing companion. She’s been traveling almost her entire life. Since she was a little puppy, we traveled on the plane. I have taken her on buses, canoe rides, and ferries. I’m trying to think of a form of transportation we haven’t taken together.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: Evie has been traveling almost her entire life since she was a little puppy.


She has this whole setup in the backseat of my Tesla. I got her this little mini fan because in August, California’s hot. The whole trip in August was hot. This 2023, I bought this little fan that I can hang from the little clip that most cars have where you can put a coat hanger. This fan that I got on Amazon is so great. It lasts 6 or 8 hours. It’s all USB powered so it’s easier to recharge. I faced it at Evie and it brought the cool air from the air conditioning in the front seat to the back. Almost every product I mention is not going to be specific to a Tesla. These things are universal. That fan can be used in a tent. It can be used on your desk. It’s so cool. It was $18.

I also have a system in the backseat. I have a crash-tested harness that connects to the seatbelt. I bought that in 2022 and it crash-tested. Maybe that one’s not crash-tested, but it’s the same company that makes the booster seat so she’s rigged up there. In previous years, 2020 and 2021, she used to sit in the front with me in a booster seat, and then I realized it wasn’t super safe. She’s got a much safer system in the back, but it’s a little sad. I wish she was next to me so I could reach over and pet her more often. That’s the little setup she has.

Plus, I have a few different window covers. There is a brand that makes wonderful window covers for Teslas as well as other cars. I have mentioned them before. I got them in 2020. They are called Quicksnap. That helps, too, with keeping the sun out for your dog, yourself, and kids. I have learned over time all of these different things. How to pack up the car has been quite the adventure, too.

I started my journey driving through LA. I use this cool app called Autio. This is something I highly recommend if you do a lot of driving even in an area where you live. You might not even consider it a road trip. If you are going somewhere new or curious about where you live, Autio is a neat app to check out. I am an affiliate of Autio. They don’t pay me beyond that, but if you do sign up for them, I get commissions with them. Content creators can make money from recommending products. That’s not why I am recommending it, but I like to be transparent that I will get a few pennies often, which is usually not a lot, or a few dollars.

I started using Autio in 2022. I thought it was so cool. They appeared on Shark Tank, one of my favorite TV shows. The way the app works is it will play you these audio tracks about the area that you are in. They have stories. Most of them are very historical, like what happened, how the city was established, what it’s known for, and sometimes all these little tidbits. It’s been such a cool tool to use. I swap it out with audiobooks. I love Libby. I use that to get free audiobooks through my library. I’m always torn. I’m like, “Am I going to listen to an audiobook or am I going to listen to Autio, the app? It is so cool.

The one downside is that it’s hard to do both like listen to an audiobook and then pause and switch over to here. When you are driving, Autio will automatically detect your location and let you know when there is a new audio clip to listen to. They are usually pretty short, maybe 2 or 3 minutes. Some of them are on the longer side, maybe 7 to 10 minutes. I have learned so much about the country through this app.

It’s still great even if you are not traveling far. I have used it in Massachusetts where I grew up and I’m still learning new things. I heard a good one out here about Paul Revere. There was some stuff about Paul Revere that I probably learned as a kid and completely forgot about. It was interesting to hear it as an adult.

In California, the little spot where I was at was near Rancho Cucamonga. I was driving out towards Nevada. I take photos of snacks and things that I eat. I don’t know if I have a picture of it in this collection, but I have this amazing refrigerator for my car. It is also not something specific to a Tesla. Anybody can use this as long as you have one of those adapters. They are called 12 volts. Some people call them cigarette adapters. I keep that in my front seat.

It’s from this company called Setpower. It’s around $200. You can plug it into any outlet including one in your car so that you can enjoy refrigerated snacks or even frozen things. One refrigerated snack I had on this trip was a vegan buffalo dip from Trader Joe’s. I got some cucumbers. That was satisfying. I like to keep my cold-brew coffee in the refrigerator. I will have my plant-based milk in there. I will have various drinks. Having a refrigerator is a game-changer for a long road trip like this.

I have a video that was demoing my trash setup. I have this cool little collapsible trash can that I got for camping. It starts with a C. It collapses down to a small size, and then it pops open to be a bigger size. It’s great for campgrounds. It worked well folded up because I could put little pieces of trash in there. You can zip it up so it will keep some of the smell out. It keeps everything contained. It’s got a great material, so if you have dirty stuff in there, you could easily empty it. Creating a trash system on a road trip is very important. This might not work for everybody, but it worked well for me. I love finding things that I can use while camping as well as in the car. I have a pretty good system there.

I drove through Las Vegas. I did not stop. I did stop at a few casinos on this trip, but not in Las Vegas. I will generally go into a casino if I’m charging my car at one and play $5 on a slot machine, but I did not stop in Vegas this time. Mostly, it’s a bit of a pain in the butt. There are some good Tesla superchargers in Vegas, but it’s a bit of a hassle to try to charge and then find the time to go play a slot machine.

A fun fact about me, I do enjoy Las Vegas. I have another cute picture of Evie by the fan. I also bought a couple of different cooling mats for her. She was lying on one. I have tried various cooling systems because it gets so hot. There are days it was over 100 degrees. The cooling mats are great not just for the car, but they are wonderful for camping and at home.

If you don’t have air conditioning or maybe you don’t want to turn it on, having a whole system, like a fan and a mat that will keep your dog cool, is such a great thing. It works well for a variety of pets, too. I’m sure it’d be nice for cats. She was lying on this blue cooling mat in that picture. Coupled with the fan, the air conditioning in the car, and the window covers, it all helped make sure that she didn’t overheat.

Speaking of casinos, I have a picture of the outside of a casino I went into. It was somewhere outside of Vegas. It was still in Nevada. I went in there, and I don’t think I want any money. Oftentimes, I treat the slot machines like they are video games. I always spend a small amount of money for fun and to get that little adrenaline rush.

I have a cute little video of Evie at one of the Tesla chargers walking around. Some of the Tesla chargers have grass areas or little dog parks. It’s a nice way for us to both stretch our legs and get some fresh air on long days. I took a series of cool photos. I have some in Utah. I took photos of the beautiful skies when I was driving through all these different parts of the country. I’m always amazed by the landscape.

First Stop: Baker, Nevada

Speaking of landscapes, my first stop on the first night of this trip was in Baker, Nevada because I went into a national park the next day. I went to this RV park. This is where some problems started. The trip was not all smooth. I will share a number of obstacles I had to face. It started here, unfortunately, on my first night. I pulled up and the owners were there of this little RV park. They told me that I couldn’t use the RV space that I had booked. Some RV parks will allow Teslas to park in the RV spots. Every once in a while, they won’t. This particular place was resistant to it. I will share the solution I found in a moment.

What was cool about this place is it was this small town in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing around. This was the only place I could find that I could charge my car. I remember pulling up there with a very low charge. This is an issue a lot of people love to hear about when it comes to driving cross-country with a Tesla. Depending on the route you take, it can be very easy. If you want to go to the national parks like I do, that’s where it can be challenging. I always plan ahead of time where I’m going to charge my car so I don’t run into a problem.

When I pulled up here, I had a very low battery. When they were all concerned about charging my car, I got concerned. Before I dealt with that, I thought it was neat that this place had this food truck. It had gluten-free and vegan options, and they made everything fresh to order. I did not try any of it because it ended up being quite an expensive RV Park experience.

That’s the other thing. Some RV parks are expensive. Others are very cheap. This place was one of the more expensive of this trip that I was on. If you are curious why I don’t stay in hotels, hotels are also expensive. I have so much stuff packed in my car that the whole night, I’d be worried about someone breaking into my car. I sleep in my car or I sleep in my tent next to my car to save money and also to make sure I keep an eye on all my stuff.

This place is called the Whispering Elms Motel. They did have a motel, but they are mostly an RV park. I pulled up here and realized that the button to put down my driver’s side window was broken. I rolled my window down and I realized the button was broken. I couldn’t roll my window back up. The switch itself broke. That was frustrating because I had taken my car in and gotten it serviced. It’s out of warranty so I have to pay everything out of pocket. On the first night, something broke in my car after all the repairs I had done gave me the worst feeling. It was not the way that I wanted to start off the trip, but I will share how I resolved that.

The good news is it did get fixed. A little heads up, which I will get to in a little bit. There are two parts of the story. In one photo, you can see my windows down. A great benefit of the Tesla is that it has a mobile app. I was able to roll the window up through the mobile app. If I hadn’t had a mobile app and some of the features that the Tesla has, I would have been stuck with the window down and I probably would have had to tape some plastic bag to it or something.

The disaster was averted, but it was such a pain in the butt because the app would only work when I was outside my car. If I was driving and put my window down, I had to wait until I parked. I would have to get out of my car and use the app to put the window back up. That became a problem at a few points of the trip.

The photo also represents the solution I found at the Whispering Elms motel. While they were resistant to me having the RV park spot that I booked, they did happen to have chargers there, so I was able to charge my car. They said, “We will charge you a low rate. We will let you do a tent spot night.” If you have never been to an RV park before, the way the pricing works is very dependent on the spot that you get. A lot of RV parks do allow tents. They can be inexpensive, like $15, compared to a hotel, which is probably going to be at least $50 a night for something super cheap. If you have a tent, you can go to this park and spend a very small amount of money.

They tell me, “We will charge you for the tent spot.” I’m like, “That’s great,” because the RV spot was $40 or something. It’s still not bad compared to a hotel, and that would allow me to charge the car. I pulled over and they said that I could sleep in my car and I can charge over at the charging station that they had installed. I’m thinking, “This sounds like such a great deal. I will take it.”

I go over to this, I plug my car in, and I see on the screen the amount of $35. For some crazy reason, they have this set up. The minimum amount you pay to charge your car is $35. If you don’t have an electric car and not a lot of experience with it, at a Tesla supercharger, usually, the highest amount I pay to charge my car is $25. The average I spend to charge my car is $17 or $20. It was outrageous to pull up and be charged $35 to charge my car. That is a full charge.

If you want to know the details, my car is a long-range battery and it gets up to 300 miles per charge. A lot of people who have gas cars think that that’s a good deal. I think it is, too, but still, it was almost double the amount I would have ever had to pay before to charge my car. They did not tell me this upfront so I was bummed. I had to pay $50 for the tent spot plus $35. There was a trickle charge so it was probably $36 by the time I left. I ended up spending $50 to charge there when I thought I was going to pay $40.

It was not a huge deal, but it was my first night on the trip. I had set out this whole budget for myself. On top of that, my window situation happened. I had no idea how much that was going to cost to fix. This first night that I was looking forward to this trip, I felt like things were starting to go wrong. My anxiety peaked.

I started to feel like, “There are all the unexpected issues and unexpected charges at the very first night. What else is going to go wrong?” That’s the way my brain works and the anxiety that I experience. I start to panic. I started to feel like, “Is this worthwhile? Why am I doing this?” It was this sense of like, “What else could go wrong? How much is this all going to cost? I worked so hard to plan and budget.” It’s common on a trip for issues to happen. It’s a great reminder to always have extra room in your budget and your schedule for things to go wrong. I sadly had to start dealing with that on night one.

It's common on a trip for issues to happen. Always have extra room in your budget and your schedule for things to go wrong. Click To Tweet

However, it was beautiful there. I had to focus on the positive. I had to focus on the fact that I had this great trip planned and I was excited, the fact that I’m fortunate to travel, and the fact that I have this car. I don’t take the Tesla for granted. I know it’s a huge privilege to have. It’s a privilege to have the money to buy a Tesla, to begin with. I started to have to list out all the things that were going right and all the things I was grateful for and breathe through it. That’s how I made it through these beginning inconveniences.

I have a picture of the charging station. It was through Rivian. I’d never charged through Rivian before. It gave me a sour taste in my mouth. Why they charged $35 as a starting price is beyond me. It felt like a complete rip-off. I have a picture of the little motel that they had. It looked nice. I took Evie for a sunset walk. This was helpful.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: I took Evie for a sunset walk.


If you haven’t checked out the episode of my road trip in 2022, I faced a bigger issue when I got a speeding ticket. I was pulled over by a cop. I was further into the trip, maybe by 4 or 5 days into the trip. It was a similar situation in a way where something disappointing happened, frustrating, something that was going to cost money, or some issue I had to resolve.

I remember also after I got my speeding ticket in 2022, I took Evie for a walk. That helped ground me, being in nature, something beautiful, and reminding myself why I’m doing something. Also, the act of walking and moving your body can help move through literally and figuratively the anxiety, the stress, and the frustration, and allow yourself to process it. That’s something I can keep coming back to over and over again.

Just the act of walking and moving your body can really help you process and move through anxiety, stress, and frustration. Click To Tweet

We walked around outside the visitor center for the Great Basin National Park. There are all these little bridges, streams, and beautiful plants. It was nice landscaping. I also always take pictures and videos of the bathrooms at these parks. I love writing reviews for products wherever I visit accommodations. In a video, I was using a neat product called SYNKBIB. I also got this on Amazon. You can buy it directly from them. I saw this probably through TikTok or something a while back. It’s a bib but it’s designed for the sink. Thus, the name SYNKBIB.

You put it around the faucets and it creates a clean space for you to put out all of your toiletries. It’s also great if you are doing your makeup, brushing your hair, drying your hair, curling your hair, or any type of styling because the material that it’s made of will keep the counter clean but also keep your stuff clean. It’s nice when you are in a public space like an RV park that’s not always super clean.

Also, if you have any heating tools for your hair or other styling that you are doing, it will protect the counter from them. It’s been awesome. I have used it at a variety of different places. I have a little tote bag I carry around. I have all my toiletries in a little bag I got from L.L. Bean a few years ago in Maine. I have multiple quick-drying towels and special towels for the showers. I carry it around in this little bag, which is handy for the RV parks.

I have a video of another cool little gadget I got from this company called Klymit. They make a variety of camping products. One of my favorites that I bought is this little light. It’s inflatable. You blow it up with your breath and plug it into a USB charger and it turns into this cool light that is great and intense. It’s great for outdoors and in the car. In the Tesla, I fold the back seats down, and then I put a mattress on there.

This 2023, I used a newer mattress that I bought for camping from this brand called Exped. I don’t know if I have a good video of it, maybe somewhere. I will come across it. I got that for camping and it’s amazing. It’s this blow-up air mattress with memory foam in it that works so well. It fits pretty well in the car. That company, Exped, also makes mattresses specifically shaped for the Tesla. I don’t know if they do it for other cars. There are a ton of different mattress brands out there for all different camping and car sleeping experiences.

I also have a mattress from TESMAT, which is also a Tesla mattress that I used for a while. This 2023, I want to try the Exped and compare it. I like it a little bit better because it is thicker. The TESMAT folds up nicely and is memory foam, but it’s still a little on the thin side. The Exped is great because you feel like you are on a soft memory foam mattress. It’s not just memory foam, but it’s air-based. It lifts you off the car bed a lot. That worked well.

I have some shots from the morning. I got up early every morning. It was probably 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning, watching the sunrise. It may be earlier. Maybe it was 6:30. What I would do on this trip is look up the sunrise times for every place that I stayed at and wake up at sunrise so I could start my day nice and early. I got to witness all these beautiful sunrises.

Part of my camping system for the car is I have a giant storage bag that you can put on top of your car and drive with it on. I don’t do that because having anything on top of an electric car reduces the range. Meaning, the wind will slow your car down or create resistance. That impacts the battery range, which not only involves stopping more often to charge your car, but it costs more money the more you stop. I keep this storage bag in my car during the day while I’m driving. At night, if I’m camping inside the car instead of a tent, I put the storage bag on top. That creates more room. It’s part of the system that I have developed over time. There is a variety of them out there. The specific one I have is called FIVKLEMNZ.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: Having anything on top of an electric car reduces the range. The wind will slow your car down or create resistance, and that impacts the battery range.


I have a picture of little Evie lying in the car and me walking into the bathroom in the morning to brush my teeth and wash my face. I have more beautiful sunrises, looking out over all this land. I use a separate camera to take photos at night. The night before that morning, I took star photos. I have them saved on my computer somewhere. Baker, Nevada, and the Great Basin National Park are part of international dark sky areas of the world. There are a few designated places that are so dark you can see the stars, the planets, and the whole sky lit up in such a beautiful way. It was beautiful. I have some photos of the bathroom that are not that glamorous. Some RV parks have nice bathrooms. I take them to post reviews because I always love to know details. I go on to Google reviews, Yelp, and some camping sites and I will post the photos of it all to give other people an idea of what to expect.

Great Basin National Park

After I left the RV park, I drove into Great Basin National Park. This place was pretty but not the most exciting national park. A lot of people don’t even know about this one. Since I’m going to all the national parks in the United States, they are all important in some way or another, but this one is known for its cave system. I didn’t get to experience that this time. I was on a tighter schedule. It’s also hard to visit caves when you have a dog because dogs aren’t allowed inside. In the past, I have left Evie in the car. One thing I love about the Tesla is that it has dog mode. It is a feature that will keep the air conditioning on for your dog. I will tell you more about that later.

Great Basin National Park is really pretty, but it’s not the most exciting national park. Click To Tweet

I didn’t go into the cave at Great Basin National Park. I drove to the top. It was very pretty. There was barely anyone around. It was super early in the morning. One thing I would have loved to have done is to hike up to the top. In one photo, you can see the top of the mountain. There was some awesome hiking up there.

I have a picture of the Setpower refrigerator. If you are curious about what it is like, it’s jam-packed with stuff. I would often pull over and take breaks. I take out my cold brew and whichever plant-based milk I have. One of my favorites is called Sprout. It’s a pea protein plant-based milk that’s a little hard to find for some reason. With what the inside of my fridge looks like, I have all sorts of snacks, produce, coffee, and milk in there.

I made myself some coffee while I was driving through Great Basin. There are all sorts of neat trees there. That’s what I was learning. I was using the Autio app again. It’s great in the national parks. You can also use the National Park app for free. Their Autio tour is built into that, too. They will tell you all these little details about the park.

I wish that I had gone hiking because up at the top, there are beautiful views and different landscapes. The Autio tours that I did of Great Basin would walk you through how the higher you get an elevation, all of the plants start to change. In one photo, you can see the tree line. There’s a certain point in elevation where the trees don’t grow anymore.

In this park, there are trees there that are some of the oldest in the world. On certain hikes through the Great Basin, you can go see some of these super old trees. I don’t remember how old they are, but it was some astonishing factoid there. With national parks, there are different types of experiences you can have there. Sometimes, you are limited if you have a dog with you if you are doing the car, or if you are limited with time. My hope is one day that I will go back to some of these parks and experience the things that I missed.

There are sometimes cool little placards that you can see. One was for Stephen Tyng Mather who was part of the National Park Service and helping establish the policies for it. It’s pretty interesting to look back over the years when all of these national parks were being developed. I have developed my appreciation for it because you get to see so much beauty in the country.

One thing that’s important to me on these trips is making sure I wear sunscreen. My favorite sunscreen is Alba Botanica. I like the Sheer Mineral Fragrance-Free formulation. That is what I use on my face. They also have a great spray. I put this on every single day. I make sure it goes on my face and my hands when I’m driving because you can get sun damage by driving your car.

This is another reason I use those screens that I put up in my car windows. This is because they will block some of the UV rays. Be mindful, whether you are driving or even when you are flying in an airplane, it’s important to wear sunscreen because you are getting exposure to UV rays. I started taking that very seriously as I do all this traveling.

Before I left this little area of Baker, Nevada, I stopped by the cutest store. A couple of neat things happened there. This is where I was able to overcome a lot of my anxiety. It still lingered the frustration I had of spending more money than I expected, but also having to deal with my car window, which as of August 10th, 2023 of this trip had not been resolved.

I was reminded of something peaceful, meditative, and a good perspective on the sign in this little store that says, “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” Even reading that out loud, I’m like, “It’s such an important reminder to hold on to important things and to let go of the challenges.” Traveling teaches me these things. It reminds me of these important lessons, and it helps me practice them. I was grateful for it. I have a picture of the cute little store. It had all this vegan food in there and natural products. This is seemingly in the middle of nowhere. They had a cafe there. There were all these kind people. They had great little trinkets. I could have spent all day in this little store.

Life is a balance between holding on and letting go. Click To Tweet

What was also interesting is that they had this book American Prometheus, which is about J. Robert Oppenheimer. I did an episode back at the beginning of August 2023 after I saw Oppenheimer. I loved that movie so much. I saw it a second time in the theater when I came out to Massachusetts. I went to see it with my parents.

I walked into this store, saw this book, and decided that I was going to listen to the audiobook. I ended up downloading the audiobook on Libby and listening to almost the entire book. It is thirteen hours long. The book itself is pretty thick. It’s a great listen. You can hear and understand so much more detail than is covered in the movie. Having seen Oppenheimer twice and listening to the book in between, there is a lot that the movie doesn’t go into great detail.

If you are curious about the Manhattan Project and more about Oppenheimer’s story, this book is wonderful. It was because I happened to go into the store and happened to notice this book that I ended up reading. It was also so sweet. The employees of the store had written all of these little notes to help you buy books. It was one of those cute experiences. I was very grateful for it.

Utah: A Scenic Drive

I continued my driving in Utah. The next place I went to, I had been to before but I wanted to go see again because it was stunning. In 2019, I drove through Capital Reef National Park. It is one of the most beautiful drives I have done in the country. The photos do not do it justice. In Southern Utah, especially, all the national parks in Utah are magnificent. The photos can barely scratch the surface of what it’s like to see in person. They are called mesa or buttes, these beautiful rock formations that are these intense shades of red. You can drive through that for free. You can also enter Capital Reef National Park and see more.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: All of Utah, especially all the national parks, is magnificent.


From the park, you are driving through and past all of this beauty. You can get out of the car and go on hikes and see marmot. There are different animals around. That was one of my favorite things about going to national parks. It is seeing all the wildlife, which I have some pictures of that. There was a rainstorm starting here and all these signs saying like, “You do not want to be in this park during any rain because it can flood easily.” That made it an interesting experience.

I rushed through this drive because I was afraid that there would be a flood. There are also some cool buildings here that you can stop by and visit. It was lovely to return there. Not very far outside of Capital Reef National Park is one of my favorite camping sites that I have ever been to. This is part of Green River, Utah, which is a little outside of Moab.

I heard about this campsite in 2022 when I was in Colorado. I met this man at one of the national parks. It was the Great Canyon or Black Canyon of the Gunnison. He was raving about this campsite he went to called Swaseys Beach. It’s a first come, first serve. For those of you who don’t do a lot of camping, this is all new to me. I’m learning so much every time I travel, but first come, first serve is what it sounds like. Meaning, that you don’t get to reserve a spot and you show up. They tend to be expensive, $15 a night. The downside is that you never know if it’s going to be full or not. I drove to this campsite not knowing if there would be a spot for me. Luckily, there was.

I got there as early as I could. It was a little around 5:00 or 5:30. I pulled up and there were plenty of spots there at this cute little beachside campground. The beach was alongside this river. I don’t remember which river this is, but maybe it’s called the Green River. That’s the name. It was beautiful. The river was moving so fast you could hear the water in the campsite. It sounded like white noise.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: The river was moving so fast, you could hear the water in the campsite. It just sounded like white noise.


They have a little beach on the side that you can go down and get into the water. I decided to set up my tents and my hammock. I bought a little hammock earlier this 2023. I talked about that in an episode I did of about the camping trip that I took with Roland and a few other people in the Sequoia National Forest if you are curious to read more about that.

I set up the tent and decided to sleep in the tent instead of my car that night because it was so peaceful there. Evie was panting. It was interesting. It was 90-something degrees out. It was humid. The whole night, it was hot out, which was an interesting experience. The car has air conditioning. The tent doesn’t. I could use that little fan, but Evie was a little overheated. I was grateful to have that setup with the cooling mats and all that.

She doesn’t like to swim. I took her down to the water and she wasn’t interested. I had to spend a lot of time keeping her cool. I got there at 5:30 and didn’t leave until 7:00 AM the next day. I had a lot of time at this campsite, so Evie and I walked around. We went down to this river, which was so beautiful. The photos and videos do not do any of this justice. Being there in person was stunning because of the sounds, the smells, the feeling of the air, and the way that the rock formations looked.

I had never stayed at a campsite quite like this before where there were these giant buttes and formations all around. There were a couple of families there so I felt nice and safe. A lot of people like to ask about what it’s like to camp as a woman by myself as a solo female traveler. Sometimes, I feel safe. Sometimes, I feel a little unsure about where I’m at. What I do is I research locations in depth before I go. This is part of why I like to contribute photos and reviews of sites. It is to help other people make decisions.

I always read other reviews. I heard about this place from someone else so I felt good about it. When I got there and saw there were families, I felt very comfortable. It was lovely. I hung out in the hammock a little bit. It did get very windy. The wind was pushing my tent around. I used a number of rocks to keep it secure. I put all this stuff in the tent.

The tent I have is from a brand called Ozark. I bought it from Walmart because so many people had raved about this tent. It’s a five-person tent. It’s huge. You can stand up in it. You can very comfortably sleep three people in there. That’s the most amount of people I have ever slept with in my tent so far. You could technically fit five people lying down. I usually camp in there by myself, so it is a lot of space for me. Evie counts, too. I’m not fully by myself. It’s a lot of space. I learned the hard way on this organic not fully by myself that it is not great for wind. I will tell you more about that in an upcoming experience.

I did use the wonderful hammock a lot. That’s from this brand called Covacure. It’s very well made. I have used it a ton. It has a mosquito net, which is so great for not just mosquitoes, but also for flies and other bugs. I also wore around my little sandals. I carried around this quick-drying towel, which was great because I went swimming in the water. I got this little bathing suit. It’s a tankini. It’s a two-piece bathing suit with shorts. This has been so great for camping. It dries quickly. It’s super comfortable and easy to put on. It’s from this brand prAna. I might have mentioned it before.

I started using a lot of gear when I was at this campsite. It was so cool going in the water here. It was a little unnerving because you couldn’t see the bottom of the water. It was all sand color, like red. The water was full of that sand, but I went in anyway because I saw all these other families swimming in there. It was the perfect temperature. It was so nice.

I took some great star photos when I was here, too. I couldn’t stop taking pictures because it was beautiful. I have a picture of the whole camp setup that I have. Evie has her own little pop-up dog tent that I will put her in during the day when I’m setting things up, making food, building a fire, or all of that. She sleeps with me inside the tent.

I have also, speaking of bugs, been trying out a lot of insect repellent. This brand called BUGGINS has great reviews. It’s supposed to repel gnats and no seams. I learned the hard way about this when I was in the Sequoia National Forest. I have to say it smells amazing. I don’t know how well it worked. I had a big issue with bugs throughout my whole trip I eventually resorted to buying some bug spray with DEET because I was getting eaten up by mosquitoes. I’m still determined to find a natural bug spray. I would recommend trying this one. It’s a vanilla mint rose scent. It smells amazing and feels good, but the jury’s out for how well it works. I am still experimenting with it.

Another snack I like to eat on my trips is roasted seaweed. You can buy this at Trader Joe’s. I have had a ton of it throughout the trip. It’s become one of my go-to. I also had videos of bats. In one of my videos, you can see a bat flying. I lay in the hammock and watched bats fly around me as the sun went down and looked at these rock formations. It was so cool. episode

The next morning, I got up and tried not to rush too much. I wanted to soak it in. I did not want to leave this place. I sat in the hammock a little bit more and then packed everything up to hit the road again. Another snack I enjoyed was Hu Hunks. They make these chocolate-covered nuts and are cashew and vanilla bean. I highly recommend it. They say it’s keto-friendly. It is very low carbohydrate, but I don’t know if I would consider it keto.

I went into one of my favorite stores for the first time. I know it’s my favorite because I shop on their website, Sierra. I buy a lot of gear from them. I put it on my schedule to go into one of their physical stores for the first time in Colorado. I ended up going to four Sierra stores so far, so I will probably talk about them more.

Mount Evans, Colorado

In Colorado, I went to Mount Evans. Evie used her backpack a bunch because she, sometimes, as a senior dog, doesn’t feel like walking. I forgot the name of these backpacks. It’s something canine. It’s the best backpack for my senior dog. She looks cute in it. She did walk a little bit. We walked around the lake at the bottom.

We then drove up to the top of Mount Evans, which is the highest point in the United States that you can drive up to. It’s the highest paved road. It was so incredibly cool. It was cool in two ways. It was neat, but it was also cold up there. I still had not fixed my window. It started raining, and I had my window down because I wanted to take in the fresh air and could not put my window back up until I stopped my car. This was one of those frustrating moments. This is on August 11th, 2023. Two days later, I still had not gotten my window fixed. One of the most frustrating parts was driving up here in the cold and rain and not being able to put my window up. That was fun. It was all worth it because Mount Evans is incredibly neat.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: Mount Evans is the highest point in the United States where you can drive up to highest paved road.


I also learned the hard way that you need a reservation to drive up there. It’s free if you have a national park pass. The Interagency America the Beautiful pass is highly worth it if you are doing a lot of road trips. This was included, but you have to make a reservation for a specific time. That was something I did not learn until that morning.

I did get into Mount Evans and it was wonderful. One of my favorite parts was seeing marmots. I love critters. I love wildlife. I have a little bit of an obsession with marmots. If you are watching the video, how incredibly cute is this thing? I wish I could have a pet marmot. They are adorable. If you don’t know what a marmot is and you are not watching the video, they are in the rodent family, like prairie dogs, marmots, and gophers. I feel like I’m forgetting another one.

They are a giant rodent. They are so incredibly cute. They make cute sounds. They were so laid back here at Mount Evans and abundant. This is the most marmot I have ever seen in one place in my life. There are tons of them. They are also specific, like yellow-belied marmots or something like that. I have a lot of pictures of them. I was thrilled to see them. This was before I got my new iPhone, so none of my pictures came out that great.

The other animal that was up there that I saw on this trip were mountain goats, which I also think are so adorable and beautiful. They are all white. To see them in the mountains is so cool. I have seen them when I went to Montana. There were baby mountain goats running around. They are casually hanging out all around the top of Mount Evans. It has an elevation of over 14,000 feet. It’s part of a national forest. It was beautiful up there. I would have spent more time, but between the rain and the cold weather, it was 57 degrees. It was not that cold, but when you were up that high of an elevation in August, I wasn’t prepared for how cold it was.

When I drove away, the mountain goats were blocking my way. They were standing behind my car. They are all over the place. That was fun. I saw more marmots on my way down. I got out of my car and walked up to them. They let me get right up next to them. I could have hung out there all day around amongst the marmots, but I continued my trip.

I don’t have a video of this because it happened so quickly. Right before I got back on the highway, two moose ran across the road. It was a mother and a baby moose. It was cute. I love moose, too. Shortly after that, when I did get on the highway, there was a beautiful double rainbow to enjoy on my drive to Boulder.

I went and stayed a few days at my friend’s house in Boulder. Her name is Melissa Schwartz. She was a guest on the show. She was talking about her amazing body pillow and face pillow that she makes. She also is a very talented photographer. We did a photo shoot, so I have all these new photos. I have a photo of my other friend in Boulder named Rebecca. She runs a dog training business called Lazy Acres Dog Training. We hung out and went to a coffee shop. I got a gluten-free bagel there. WoodGrain Bagels had great coffee. It was amazing. They had gluten-free bagels and vegan cream cheese. That was exciting.

We did a hike in an area within Boulder. It was the South Boulder Creek Trail. It was beautiful. Boulder is one of those places that I would consider moving to one day. Every time I go to Boulder, I feel so happy. Walking for miles next to the Rockies was awesome. Evie had a good time. She did use her backpack but walked a little bit as well.

I met up with my friend Caren, who was one of my, if not the first, guest on the show. Her name is Caren Baginski. She is a very talented yoga teacher and book author. We met up in an area called Golden Colorado, which is cool. We were sitting by the river where people were tubing. We sat on these rocks and watched people float by in their tubes. It was so cool. It was a warm August summer day. It was a wonderful experience. I loved being in Golden.

I also met up with another guest. I saw, in Colorado, three different people that have been on my show. Scott, who was a guest, I don’t have any pictures of him, but we met up for coffee in Golden. It was wonderful to meet him in person. He wrote a book called Surf the Seesaw. He and I had such a great conversation on the show. I told him when I came out to Colorado, we’d meet in person. It was lovely.

On August 13th, 2023, my friend Melissa’s friend came over and helped me reinstall a new button for my car window. It took four days, but I ordered this piece on Amazon. Part of the learning experience was figuring out how to fix things in my car. Lo and behold, you can order the buttons for replacement and replace them yourself.

I got some help from a very kind person and he helped install the new buttons. It wasn’t super easy, but the three of us figured it out. We all got together, used the instructions from some YouTube videos, and figured out how to reinstall these buttons so that I could finally control my window again. It was very satisfying. If I had gone to Tesla to get this fixed, it probably would have cost me 3 or 4 times as much as buying the part. That all worked out.

I left on August 14th, 2023 to drive up to Wyoming where another thing went wrong, but it was not that big of a deal. I wanted to go to Wind Cave National Park. As the name implies, it is another cave system. I had a reservation to go do a cave tour because you can’t walk into caves at these parks. You have to go with a tour guide. The exception to that is Carlsbad Caverns where I didn’t have to be on a tour.

I went to Wind Cave National Park and they had shut down the caves because they had to fix the elevators. You walk into these caves, but for accessibility reasons, they have elevators. They closed all of the caves down. I went to this park and drove around, but it ended up being beautiful. I went into the visitor center. They had little pieces of the caves there so you could see some of the rock formations.

The visitor center was neat. There was this wall where people posted little descriptions of what made them feel like explorers. I took a picture of a few of them. One person said, “I feel like an explorer when I let go of my need to know and open my heart to what is right in front of me. Nature speaks her language and I am filled with awe.” How beautiful is that? This was some random person who wrote that and put it on this wall in a visitor center. What a beautiful reminder of nature.

Another person said, “I feel like an explorer when I’m trying new things, gaining new life experiences, exploring cultures, and creating life memories and personal stories.” For me, that sums up exactly why I do these trips and why I love to explore. It was wonderful to see that in somebody else’s words. Evie and I went on a little hike around the Wind Cave visitor center, too. That was nice. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies and clouds. It was lovely.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: This sums up why I do these trips and why I love to explore. It was wonderful to see that in somebody else’s words.


My favorite part was seeing a herd of buffalo or bison. Bison is another animal that I can never get enough of. They are dangerous. It was interesting because I pulled over on the side of the road to take some pictures of them and they started getting closer. There was no barrier. These bison are walking around and you, as the visitor, are in their territory.

It was mating season because there was this one bison that was herding around another bison and making all these loud noises. It was cool to see but also a little nerve-wracking. The photos make it look like I’m farther from them than I was. Practically, I could have stood next to a bison, but they are so dangerous. There are always stories in the national park of tourists getting injured.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: Seeing bison up close is really cool but also a little nerve-wracking.


There was a story of a woman who was killed by a bison. She was walking around this area in Yellowstone. A bison came out of nowhere. She tried to get away from it, but the bison ran at her, and using its big horns, rammed into her body. She didn’t survive. I had already heard this story, but I remembered that story while I was at Wind Cave. I got in my car. The bison started getting closer and closer and I was like, “I better get out of here.” They were right outside my window again. It was very cool but also a little scary. That was a fun highlight.

There were also lots of prairie dogs there. They are adorable. I don’t like them quite as much as I do marmots, but they are quite cute. A lot of areas around this part of the country have what they call prairie dog towns. They are big sections of land where prairie dogs live. You will see hundreds of prairie dogs. They make the cutest sounds. Some of them are comfortable with you walking up to them. Other times, you can observe them from a distance. It was cool.

Devils Tower, Wyoming

I went to an area called Devils Tower in Wyoming. This is a national monument. It’s still part of the national park system, but there’s a difference between parks and monuments. I don’t know the difference off the top of my head. They are protected areas. You need a pass to go into them. I camped at Devils Tower. It’s also a first come, first serve campground. I got the second to last spot at this campground, which was a little nerve-wracking, but I was so grateful to get a spot there. It was a cool place.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: Devils Tower is really neat.


It is also one of my favorite campgrounds, especially on this trip, because it was so laid back. I had these big spots to myself. It costs maybe $20 to camp there. The trash can I mentioned earlier, I hooked it up outside my tent. Devils Tower is neat. There’s nothing of its size around, so you are driving up to this cool rock formation that has all this history with the Native Americans who lived around it. I recommend looking up the story of Devils Tower and what Native Americans or indigenous people believed it to represent to them.

I walked up there. I didn’t take a lot of photos, but you can go and walk around Devils Tower. You can even get a pass to climb it. Professional climbers will go and climb up it, which I did not do, but I got close enough to it. It was beautiful. There were also wild turkeys running around. I have one of those videos. That was random. It was a group of turkeys running around outside a Devils Tower.

It might have been an International Dark Sky park because I got some incredible star photography when I was there, too. Before I went to bed, I happened to go down to a different campground. There were multiple campgrounds there. I went over to one to try to get some firewood and saw that they were doing a free outdoor screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a Steven Spielberg movie. The reason they screened this movie there is because that movie takes place at Devils Tower.

If you have never seen it, it’s a good movie. I had never seen it all in its entirety, so I sat and ate my dinner outside. I had this lovely soup from Amy’s. It was this Thai coconut soup. I used my mini stove to warm it up and ate some seaweed, too. I sat and watched this movie with a bunch of strangers. It was cool. Devils Tower was right in the background. It was an amazing little experience. I camped in my tent that night. It was peaceful. I felt safe and super happy.

Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

There’s so much to share in telling these stories. Thank you for sticking with me through such a lengthy, detailed story about this travel experience. This next day might have been one of my longest drives. I believe that I drove for thirteen hours the next day from Wyoming to Minnesota. I was charging my car and this guy pulled up in his truck and started talking to me. I don’t know if he was flirting with me or if he was dangerous, but he insisted on giving me half of this pastry that he had.

There are so many stories to share. Click To Tweet

It was a weird experience to have a stranger come up. He was extremely nice, but as a woman by herself, this was one of those weird moments where I felt very vulnerable. I was in this parking lot and there were tons of people around. It was the middle of the day. I felt safe, but I couldn’t tell if this man was a nice guy in North Dakota. Was he innocently wanting to share a delicious pastry with a woman or was he trying to be weird? I don’t know. I took a picture of the pastry because it was one of those moments where I was like, “This is an odd story.”

The reason I was in the parking lot was also to go over to Burger King. Believe it or not, they sell the Impossible Burger. I went over and got one for myself. I was hungry. I didn’t feel like making anything with my camping setup, so I got a burger patty with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles. I’m gluten-free, so I couldn’t eat the bun. I put it in a little bowl and ate the Impossible Burger with my fork in my car. It was delicious. I’m very grateful that some of the fast food chains have vegan options like that.

The next fun thing happened on August 15th, 2023. A rock hit my windshield and caused a big crack. I had to deal with more stress and anxiety as a result of it because I had my windshield replaced a month ahead of time. I was so disappointed to have this rock hit it. I have had to replace my windshield on my Tesla multiple times. I have lost track. Maybe I have done it three times. I have also had to have cracks filled in multiple times. There’s something about the Tesla windshield or the aerodynamics of the car, or maybe bad luck, I don’t know. I have been on road trips where my windshield has not been damaged at all, and this was not one of them.

It was a pretty substantial crack and it spread. I didn’t have time to go get it filled in, so it ended up spreading across the windshields. I will eventually have to get it replaced. I was disappointed. It was another one of those moments of frustration because getting your windshield fixed is not an easier, quicker process. I didn’t have time that day. I had all this driving to do. I was only halfway across the country at this point. It was an inconvenience.

I can tell you over a month later I still haven’t had it fixed or replaced. What I have learned over time about cracks is usually, they will spread out over a certain point of your windshields. You can get them filled in. For most cars, windshields are very safe even with a crack. I decided I’m not going to get it replaced. Hopefully, I can wait until I get back to California. As long as the crack doesn’t block your view, most people say it’s okay to have a crack in your windshield without replacing it. It’s still annoying and frustrating. That was a pain in the butt.

That night, I stayed in Minnesota for the first night of multiple nights at a private property through this website called HipCamp. HipCamp is like Airbnb for campers. HipCamp, like Airbnb, you can stay on people’s properties and camp. I stayed at this cool farm in Minnesota. I got to try out my Thermacell, which is part of my mosquito repellent. Thermacell, in general, has a lot of controversy around it. I’m not going to get into that. I’m a little on the fence about it, but it is a cool tool for keeping away mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are bad in Minnesota, so I tried it out and it worked well.

The reason I was in Minnesota was because I went to another national park. I stayed the night here and the next day, I got up and drove up to International Falls. I drove out of Minnesota and back into it as part of this adventure. I went all the way up to the Canadian border of the US and Canada in this area called International Falls. I charged my car a little bit, walked around with Evie, and then drove into the Voyageurs National Park.

This was a very interesting experience. At Voyageurs, most of the park is on the water. In order to experience the park, you need to go do water activities. They have boat tours you can go on. You can rent kayaks and canoes and also camp. After lots of research, I decided to camp on an island in Voyageurs. To get there, I hired this wonderful man from a company called Rainy Lake Charters. I’m completely blanking on his name, but he was so kind. He runs his own private business. He took me out on his boats and dropped me off at my campground. I was the only one camping on this little island. Voyageurs has 500 islands on it or something like that.

MGU 477 | Cross Country Road Trip

Cross Country Road Trip: Most of Voyageurs National Park is on the water, so you need to do water activities to really experience the park.


I was so excited about this. It was the most expensive camp experience because it cost $150 to have this man drop me off and pick me up. It was the round-trip price. I did so much research and that was on the cheaper end, $150. You pay for the campground, which was around $30. It was almost $200 to camp here, but I wanted to do it. I wanted to experience the national park. I thought it would be cool to camp remotely like that. I never camped in that sense.

It happened to be awful weather. I was in my rain jacket, which was also a big investment for me this 2023. I bought a Patagonia rain jacket. It was $150 also. It’s a top-of-the-line raincoat. I wanted one that I could have for the rest of my life ideally. I got to use it at this park because it was pouring rain. He dropped me off in the rain and I had to set up my tent. Luckily, it stopped raining long enough for me to get my tent up and everything nice and dry.

Here I am at this campground, super excited to do something adventurous. There was nothing to do there except be in nature, so I thought it would be awesome. It was awesome to an extent until the wind started. I happened to be there during this intense windstorm. Since I got dropped off on this boat and wasn’t scheduled to be picked up the next day, I had to ride out the wind by myself. I didn’t have a lot of options because of the way the campground was set up. There was a tent pad there where you were supposed to set up your tent. You are not supposed to be somewhere else. You are going by the rules of this campground.

I set up my giant tent here and the wind got up to 30 miles per hour. If you had asked me before what that wind was like, I could not tell you off the top of my head, but I can tell you from experience it was a lot of wind. Those were the gusts. The actual wind forecast was 15 to 20 miles per hour, which is still pretty intense. The wind gusts, meaning the moments where it would randomly blow hard, were up to 30 or maybe even 35 miles. It was a lot. It was awful.

My photos make it look like I’m having a great time, which I was. I was trying to savor it and trying to enjoy it. I was excited to use my new sleeping bag and the sleeping pad I told you about. I managed to make meals. It was beautiful. There was a beautiful sunset. When I look at my pictures, it looks like this wonderful experience, but the wind was so unpleasant. I don’t know if any of my videos do it justice. I don’t think so. Nothing does it justice.

It was so unpleasant because I got there around 3:00 and I didn’t leave until around 10:30 or 11:00 AM the next day. The wind was the entire time. There was nothing to do there, so I ended up sitting in my tent. The wind got so bad that it was loud, so I couldn’t sleep very well. At times, the wind was picking up the bottom of my tent and moving it around so much. I didn’t know if my tent was going to make it through the night. I thought it might rip. I thought the poles were going to break. I stayed up the entire night hoping that I would have a structure to protect me from the wind.

I ended up leaving the island early. Luckily, I had cell service. The guy came and picked me up earlier than scheduled. I was going to leave at 12:00 and he came and got me at 10:30 AM. I wanted to get out of there and felt so sad about it because I had looked forward to it and planned it so much. That’s one of the big lessons that I have learned about traveling in nature and going to the national parks.

I have a super cute photo of Evie and the wonderful man. I wish I could remember his name, but Rainy Lake Charters is his company. It was the kindness of a stranger like him. Even though we had chatted a lot before the trip and I got to know him, his kindness was so wonderful and such a great thing to experience after a stressful time.

Nature’s unpredictable. You can plan all you want and have all of these random things go wrong. Given where I’m at time-wise and how I have to move on to something else, I’m going to pause there and I will do a part two. I know this has been a long episode, but there are so many details that I would like to share and tell the stories of the remainder of the trip. I had to do the same thing in 2022. That’s how I do this show.

Nature is unpredictable. You can plan all you want and just have all of these random things go wrong. Nature has her own language. You just need to listen. Click To Tweet

I will pause there. The moral of the story from August 9th to 17th, 2023 of this trip was that things are going to go wrong, that nature’s unpredictable, and that there are a lot of kind people out there that will help you. There are kind people who maybe don’t have the best intentions like that guy that gave me the pastry. I don’t know. Was he being nice or was he being creepy? To be determined. The friend of my friend who helped me repair the issue with my car, how kind is that? All the beautiful animals I saw and respecting them knowing that they are unpredictable, too. I don’t know what those bison would have done if I had gone any closer to them. It was about noticing nature.

I want to go back to some of those quotes that I read to remind you of those, especially the quotes that I read within Wind Cave. The notes that those people wrote are also a reminder of the ripple effect that we can have on each other’s lives. I wonder if those people who wrote those little notes about being explorers if they thought they would make an impact.

This one especially applies to my experience, “I feel like an explorer when I let go of my need to know and open my heart to what is right in front of me. Nature speaks her language and I am filled with awe.” I’m filled with awe despite all of the issues I had, despite all the things that didn’t go as planned, the things I didn’t expect. You can plan all you want, but nature speaks her language.

What I have learned from these trips is to listen. Listening can be hard when you are sitting up all night waiting for somebody to come pick you up and rescue you from the island that you are on. I’m trying to end the episode, but that was an extremely challenging night for me, sitting in my tent and not knowing whether a branch would fall on me or whether a tree would fall. That weather was scary. To be all alone going through that was very unpleasant, but in hindsight, I am filled with awe. All of those experiences helped me open my heart. I feel like that is something I’m deeply grateful for.

I will end there. I will come back with a part two. As promised, I’m also going to tell you about my experiences at Plant Based World as well as Natural Products Expo East in Philadelphia. There are lots more to come plus amazing guest episodes. I queued up with another incredible explorer in more ways than one. A man named Cason is coming on the show. We recorded a little while back, but I queued up his episode. October 11th, 2023 is the date his episode comes out. It’s one of my favorites. I can’t wait for you to read it.

Stay tuned. There are lots coming your way. Thank you so much for tuning in. There are lots coming your way to support you with your travels or even your curiosity about my travels. With that said, I will wrap up. I would love to see you on Beyond Measure if you are interested in connecting. If not, you are always welcome to reach out to me via email. You can even try me on Instagram. I don’t spend a lot of time there, but it is a wonderful place to message. If Instagram is your preference, go ahead and find me. Connect with me. I’d love to hear from you. I wish you all the very best with all the adventures that you have. Hopefully, your life is filled with some awe as well. Bye for now.


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