The Happiness Project – setting a positive mood for 2018

With it being a new year and all, the tradition of setting myself goals, targets, and new projects invariably raises its head. Come on, we have all at some point gotten on the resolutions bandwagon and then inevitably failed to stick with at least half of them by the time we hit February.

With that in mind, last year I began my Happiness Project, and I wanted to share that experience with you today.

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My blue collar job – Amazon CamperForce

The past few months have seen me take a break from writing and constant travel in order to don a new hat for a while, that of a small town blue collar American worker. It seems that almost a traditional part of the full time RV lifestyle involves some form of ‘workamping’ – putting in a day’s work in exchange for room and board and hopefully a wage of some sort, if you are lucky.

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There have been times this year, fleeting moments, when my homing instinct kicks in.

A particularly cold snap in the weather that makes you inhale sharply. A low granite grey overcast sky in the morning. Soft green grass that I can run my hands through. Watching Doc Martin on TV and hearing familiar tones and lilts in the characters voices. Eating custard cream biscuits.

I see or hear or smell or taste things that instantly transport me home, just for a second. And it makes smile and I am happy.

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The final leg

In the past year and a half of our full time travels, Loops and I have managed to visit 29 National Park Service locations. They have varied in type, from historical sites to recreation areas, scenic trails to monuments, lakeshores to parks; each unique in their offerings.

When we pull in for a two day stay at North Cascades National Park though, it somehow feels further removed even from the other National Parks we have visited.

We find ourselves situated at the base of rugged mountainous terrain. There is a glacial river flowing through the park, ice cold to the touch and almost biting enough to freeze you just by looking at. The land is forested by pine, perfectly suited here in the harsh and wintery landscape.

North Cascades National Park

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The Washington Coast

As we enter Washington I feel in a state of discombobulation, but I can’t quite put my finger on the reason. I can’t decide if it’s just me in an emotional flux after a disagreement or two with Loops recently, that I’m feeling the pull of home but also feel the added stress of the responsibility with AJ’s upcoming wedding and housesitting, or just that I’ve enjoyed being in Oregon so much that I am not really sure what it is that Washington will have to offer.

Whatever it is, I feel out of sorts.

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Portland and Personalities

Ainsworth State Park proves a useful and peaceful location for us, hosting us for four days, before we head over in to Washington.

Loops and I decide to be active in visiting a couple of the waterfalls nearby, for you cannot visit an area renowned for its waterfalls and then simply ignore them. How rude would that be?

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Cheese, Lewis and Clark and rather a lot of waterfalls

Busyness abounds here in Oregon. It seems there is plenty to see and do without even really trying much, which suits us very well. After having spent half the year driving massive distances to reach out of the way places, it’s great to simply be able to drive a single day and end up seeing so much along the way.

This is Mount Hood, clearly visible from the road – love it!

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