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  • Writer's pictureAlyce Bender

Monthly Review: September 2018

Wow! What a month. First month I have been traveling full time and it did not disappoint.

The month started out with me landing in Iceland for ten days of solo campervan exploration. A bit of a mixed bag with amazing high points and some very low points. I experienced weather from crystal clear blue skies to wind storms that would classify as Cat 1 hurricanes in the U.S. Captured a portfolio worthy sunrise at the iconic Vestrahorn and broke a lens in half when trying to do the same at Kirkjufellfoss a few days later. The campervan was a good vehicle and I feel like there should be some sort of patch or metal for those who get through a week or more without a flat tire. Thankfully, I did not get one but everyone else I met seemed to have some sort of vehicle issue. For me, my story had more to do with the rental agency vs the actual vehicle which, really, I'm ok with as an office dickering is much safer than having to deal with mechanical breakdowns, especially in a place where it can easily be 60 or more kilometers between one public stop (service station, store, or cafe) and the next. My location guide for Iceland will publish tomorrow, so be on the watch for that!

From Iceland, I joined up with the amazing guys from Photog Adventures, Aaron and Brandon, along with the local knowledge expert and photographer James Kelly to explore the Faroe Islands. Such an awe inspiring place where between the airport and our lodging, we were given the first of several opportunities to catch the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. This place rivals Iceland for the number of waterfalls and the changing weather. However, it doesn't have the hoards of tourist (yet!) and James did a fantastic job of making sure we got off the beaten path much of the time. Lets just say I enjoyed it so much that I have jumped at the opportunity to go back for more next month when James is leading another Faroe Island adventure workshop. If you are interested in going, check out the Photog Adventures workshops they have going next spring and fall! 2019 Faroe Island Workshop

Once I finally hit the states again, it was time to pick up the RV and head out on the road. Unfortunately, winter seems to have set in a bit early this year and Banff already had several inches of snow before I even left Vegas. That made me very sad as it means I had to scrap my plans of heading up there this season. As a first time RVer, I am willing to deal with a bit of snow if I have to to get out of a location, but to head directly for it, I feel would be a mistake on my part. Also, Glacier National Park had to be cut from my itinerary the moment I purchased a vehicle longer than 21 feet as much of the park has vehicle size limitations.

So after a couple days of loading the RV, making sure everything was ready to go and the dogs were hail and healthy, off we went. To stay out of the freezing temperatures, since I have not yet winterized the water system in the RV, I am splitting my time between several of Nevada's State Parks. Currently, I am writing from Cathedral Gorge State Park, several hours north of Las Vegas. Its a quiet area out in the middle of nowhere, with very interesting geological features, dog friendly and with a good campground. Perfect for getting caught up on writing while having photo opportunities just out my side door.

Next month I am planning to visit more state parks, go back to the Faroe Islands, and then start branching out into neighboring states depending on the weather. Anyone going to be near the Oregon coast in early November?


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