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Making A Movie About Our Life On The Road.

The last couple of days we’ve been staying on the coast of Southern California. Specifically in Newport Beach, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano. We left the deserts of Arizona back to the coast because we are involved in a little video production project with a company we’ve been working with this past year. They are very supportive of our life on the road and we are grateful for their support. When they told us about shooting a short little video of our family and our lives, we were happy to oblige.

Let’s rewind a few weeks back to our week in American Girl Mine BLM land outside of Yuma Arizona. We ran into Jeff and Deb Spencer, AKA Rolling Recess. They were the folks who originally suggested us to be a part of this project. The timing of us leaving Arizona and coming back to LA for a few days worked perfectly so we made the commitment to come back out here.

We have spent a fair amount of time at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California. As all California campgrounds, it is pricey and crowded. But it is right on the beach and near some of our old friends from college whom we get to visit while we are back on the west coast. We found out quickly though that it is not the ideal place to make a little short film. The weekend crowds make a lot of noise and having a crew there with a bunch of equipment does draw a fair bit of attention.

We managed to get some good footage of us hanging out at the beach but called it a day and decided to reconvene the next day at a new, hopefully quieter location. We have been told that a nearby regional part a little inland from San Juan Capistrano was a bit of a local secret. Of course most people prefer the beach when they are this far west so we thought it could be a good bet for us as a shooting location. Going to a park just for day use is actually one of our regular full time activities. Usually when we are moving quickly across a state we like to find nice parks that we can spend the day at for next to nothing and put some miles under us after dinner. Our day there pretty much simulated one of those days.

Caspers Wilderness Park is an 8,000-acre regional park minutes away from a densely populated southern California neighborhood. You wouldn’t know it being there on a Monday afternoon. We had pretty much the whole place to ourselves. We set up shop at a day-use gravel parking lot, rode bikes, cooked hot dogs and shared our lives on the road with the camera.

We had a couple of long days but it was a great experience over all. We want to thank Jeff and Marty especially for spending their days with us. They worked a couple of long days getting this project to work out the way it did. We won’t see the final product for a few months but we feel great about the time we spent together.

Here is my little vlog from those couple of days and hopefully gives you a little behind the scenes look of how this all went down.

Dan

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Why You Need ND Filters For Your Drone

Do you ever wonder why your videos aren’t quite as ‘cinematic’ as the videos you see in the movies? Well, there are a lot of reasons for that. I can’t teach you all of the tricks. Mostly it’s because I don’t know them all. However I will try to teach you at least one here today. It has to do with ‘Neutral Density’ filters.

Neutral density filters are essentially sunglasses for your camera. It is important because photography and videography has everything to do with how much light enters the iris of the lens. Most cameras with manual controls will let you change 3 settings that control how much light is absorbed on the sensor of your lens. Or if you are a cool hipster, you only have 2 settings along with the speed rating of that vintage film stock you found at Goodwill.

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Faria County Park, California.

We were actually here at Faria County Park a couple months ago with both our truck camper and the Casita, which is our current set-up. The reason that I point that out is because it’s the first place that we camped that actually didn’t allow for us to have “two camping units in one camp spot”. We knew that our set-up could cause an issue at campgrounds with a million rules but we did not expect it from our teeny home town county campground. Rules smules.

Even though we didn’t pop up the truck camper, it was still illegal for us to be parked in one spot. Our option according to our warning ticket was to get rid of one camping unit or pay for two sites. There was no way we were going to pay for two sites nor get rid of one. Lucky for us, there was free parking on the frontage road between certain hours so by setting alarms and moving our truck around, we somehow avoided getting a ticket. It was a pain in the butt but worth it.

Blog Faria State Beach California

 

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Where we’ve been hiding our Airstream.

Some of you many be wondering where our Airstream has been these past two years? But more realistically, you must be thinking where the heck have WE been! Haha.

Somehow life got in the way of documenting it all… between homeschooling all three kids, downsizing to the pop-up truck camper for 18 months, adding a Casita trailer to the mix to help Dan have a separate office space, adventuring with new and old friends, driving everywhere from the eastern tip of Canada to the bottom of Mexico and everywhere in between the past two years. I’m not making any promises for the blog nor for the VLOG except that Dan and I are both trying to make an effort this year. Hopefully that answers some questions.

So back to the Airstream…

Our Airstream at Caravan Outpost. Ojai, California.

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Nevada City and Oroville, California.

After our time spent on Highway 395, we had no idea where we’d end up next. Our goal was to head toward the coast eventually so we pointed west and ended up in a city we’ve never explored, Nevada City, California. We heard good things about this place so we found a spot at the Elks Lodge that was pretty close to town.

Blog Nevada City Oroville Mother's Day 2017

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Boondocking at Mono Lake, California.

Blog Mono Lake

After Mammoth and June Lake, we decided to creep further north up the 395 and spend some time on the BLM land surrounding Mono Lake. We’ve visited Mono Lake several times since living on the road but have never actually camped there. There is one large camp spot that has gained popularity over the years and guess what? It was taken. Which I guess isn’t very surprising given the popularity of the area.  Continue Reading →

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Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.

Every year we make a broad travel goal for ourselves. In 2007, we bought a T@B trailer to test out camping with a baby (Ava). In 2008 and 2009, we bought the Airstream and were taking long extended trips in it (while pregnant with Mila). In 2010, we spent more time in the Airstream than out & traveled cross country to Florida Keys for the first time. In 2011, we explored the west (while pregnant with Luka). In 2012, we went back to the south east (as a family of 5). In 2013, we traveled up to western Canada. In 2014, we explored the north east. In 2015, we traveled to Alaska. In 2016, we bought the truck camper to spend the year in Baja, mainland Mexico and Atlantic Canada. And now in 2017, with 49 US states, all Canadian provinces, Yukon territory & most of Mexico under our belts, we have decided to visit all of our old favorite spots in the West while purposely finding new ones.

Blog Lone Pine California

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Joshua Tree National Park, April 2017.

**Hi there! So I’ve been thinking. My new plan is to blog our current locations and sprinkle in the old international traveling we did throughout Mexico and Canada in 2016 since that never got done. So here we go….**

We just got back from another stint in Baja which took us all the way down to the town of Loreto. We got to spend time with old friends, make new friends, eat cheap tacos, drink even cheaper beers and the kids got to do something they didn’t do last year…. touch gray whales. It was a trip to remember for sure and now that cant complain that the adult touched baby whales and they didn’t. Haha.

Luka's 5th Birthday

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Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

(No, you are NOT seeing things. The blog is back baby! We are over a year behind but that doesn’t matter. Memories are memories. We are catching up on the blog and the YouTube vlog and everything else too. Thanks for still following along!)

After the craaaazy drive out of Puerto Agua Verde, we needed to settle into a spot and take a break from dirt roads for the week, plus there is something called a J-O-B that needs to done Monday thru Friday.

Blog

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Puerto Agua Verde, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

While camped in Loreto, we met a family from Northern California that told us about this dirt road that will take us to a slice of paradise in Baja that most people do not visit. The dirt road is treacherous, they said. The mountains will be like if Sedona met the sea, they said. To get to the road to Puerto Agua Verde, turn left when you see a mule tied to a cactus, they said.

Blog

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