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“It is when you leave everything that is familiar, and venture into the unfamiliar. This is when you find your truth”. -Melissa Jennewein
After four of the most profound, challenging and exciting years of my life backpacking around the world, I have found myself back in ‘Merica, and at a seemingly vulnerable and almost comical time in history as Obama gives his farewell address, and messages from the new president are received via Twitter. After years abroad carrying the greatest backpack in the world, I imagined it might be time to visit the family on this continent, and do things a little differently again. Enter Samsara. The newly acquired early 90’s Ford E250 Conversion Van. And what would become the greatest test of my patience, my creativity, and my ability to surrender.
Some of you know that I have a semi permanent case of wanderlust, so in order to satiate that need, I chose to remodel and live out of this conversion van for some time this year. I just wasn’t really prepared for what I had gotten myself into. The van I chose had to be gutted. To the core. Completely.
This process was slow and painful, as I tried to see if anything could be salvaged. However, as I gently pulled her apart bit by bit, it became obvious that everything had to be tossed. Starting empty and fresh however, allowed creativity to flow abundantly in this tiny home on wheels and allowed me to really look at how I intended to play with her and to design accordantly.
Designing and building a 19 by 6 foot space that is light, comfortable, clean, and as efficient as can be has been challenging, but rewarding. Gifts of custom hand paintings can be found in the bathtub, the cabinets, and over the engine cover giving her a unique quality. The astroturf grass growing below the driver and passengers seats provide a particularly interesting look and a stimulating feel for your feet, as the many LEDs cast shadows in the few corners untouched by their light.
I have yet to embark on the journey around North America with Samsara as she is now receiving the finishing touches like a bathroom (seriously), cloud curtains and trim, but I have a feeling that right before springtime we will be ready to take our maiden voyages into the new together. I imagine long slow days in the forests, catching sun on beautiful beaches, hiking in the mountains, and camping in the deserts. I can see myself playing card games with grandma, reading, writing, creating, and daydreaming in my favorite tent hammock. I also imagine visiting festivals and taking friends old and new on short trips into the wild and not so wild spaces. Exploring this mobile and minimal way of living together, and being of service and in the flow of whatever surprises await along the way.
If you are interested in backpacking, van dwelling, or just the nomadic lifestyle in general, do subscribe to the One Nomad Woman blog and receive special offers, new videos, and tips and tricks on ways this can be done. The conversion and journey of the van itself will be shared in DIY videos coming soon to inspire a different way of living!
You are also welcome to share your experience and knowledge with us by using the comment section below!
Most of us know that dreaded feeling of not having much motivation to cast our lines into the water on a good weekend out, and the biggest cause for this bland feeling is called BOREDOM.
We head out to the same old spots, season in and season out, just for the sake of getting out there and staying active, but the real reason we love fishing, has a lot to do with the thrill and adventure that goes along with the whole enchilada, right?
Luckily, we’ve rounded up 3 seriously lesser-known, yet sensational, fishing spots that will put a smile on just about any angler’s face. We’re hoping that you’ve never even considered the following spots, but if you have, we know you’ll rate it just as highly recommended as we do.
Look: We don’t care if you love saltwater or freshwater fishing, or perhaps you’re the kind of angler that loves to get his fly-fishing game on, whatever tickles your fancy, you’ll probably be able to find a sweet spot within one of our three recommendations.
Why? For BIG fish and a laid-back atmosphere in town.
Mountain Home is a scenic little country escape that lies peacefully tucked away in the Ozarks, and the great thing about this spot is the fact that it offers anglers a super chilled-out experience that won’t break the bank, and it’s one of the most beautiful natural spaces in the area. You should definitely consider checking out Bull Shoals Lake, but don’t take North Fork Lake out of the equation. On offer here is the opportunity to catch some massive trout, which might seem obvious once you lay your eyes upon the some 170-mile cold water river network that forms one of the world’s most sought-after trout fisheries.
Why? It’s perfect for freshwater anglers.
If you’re looking for a fishery that consistently delivers opportune waters for fishing, things don’t get much better than they do up in Traverse City, Michigan. Between the months of May and October, diversity is what sets this spot apart from the rest. On the one hand there’s salmon and steelhead lurking in the Lake Michigan waters, and on the other there’s smallmouth pockets and its impressive carp flats, tucked away in the Grand Traverse Bay. Oh and as a bonus, anglers that visit these parts are treated to a royal picking when it comes to bass, pan-fish, and trout, thanks to the abundance of natural lakes and rivers that occupy the landscape here. Polished yet very budget-friendly, Traverse City is a nature aficionado’s paradise, and with all its changing faces and color schemes as the seasons shift, there’s always something to see and do here.
Why? You’ll be in fly-fishing heaven.
So this one is here for all you fly-fishers, because we know that you’re always looking for a natural miracle, and you’ve found it right here! Tucked peacefully into the Tetons, Driggs is renowned for its brilliant natural scenery, one of the most impressive in its class! Driggs is a fly-fishing haven, but most other river-born towns are. The really cool thing about this small town spot is the fact that there’s a lot more on offer than just some exceptional fishing! From hiking to mountain biking and hunting, there isn’t much that you won’t be able to do. Surrounded by rivers such as Henry’s Fork of the Snake, South Fork, and Teton, Driggs can be as challenging (and rewarding) as you want and need it to be. Avoid the summer peak season if you’re not an angler that deals well with the crowds and “seasonal fishermen”, but be warned that the Driggs experience might just sway your vote for the best fishing spot ever!
Wrapping Things Up
As you can see, we’ve shown you three underrated, yet amazing, fishing spots around the United States that’ll put some new swagger into the way you cast your lines. All you need to do now is pack that tackle box, make sure you’ve loaded it with enough bait, and then head out to these truly unique gems! We hope that this post has been useful and that you are now armed with interesting ideas that you can use to plan a rocking fishing trip for your next outdoor escape!
This article was a guest post written and shared by John Schips.
About the Author: This piece was contributed by John Schips, a Primary Contributor for www.flannelfishermen.com.