My Story





My Story 

   The further I travel, the closer I feel at home. It isn't about getting attention, it's about self exploration.

   You could say I came back a different person, but most wouldn't see the changes on the surface...

   July 2nd, I took off from Arkansas. I packed up everything I needed to be on my own for two weeks with a a friend of mine. $200 each worth of food, several gallons of water and our camping gear.

   Every one told us we were crazy, they were probably right. I think you have to be a little crazy in order to leave the comforts of home for the open road. My friend had a "schedule" for what we would be doing day by day, but that went out the window.

   No schedule or timeline can be kept out there. It restrains you from pursuing opportunities that arise on the road. This is about spontaneity and meeting people who take you on new paths. Speaking of which,I was informed of an opportunity to work in Glacier during the summers while enjoying the midnight stars at Flathead Lake by with a guy I had met.

   Throughout the journey, our tent had been soaked with rain and we only showered 3x within 14 days. We survived off of Clif Bars, bagels smeared with cream cheese, dry cereal and sandwich meat. We even slept in a parking lot once we crossed the border of Montana. 

   She drove straight through Yellowstone when we found out we couldn't stay the night the due to "not having the proper equipment" (Hardshell camper). We met a bison, a few mountain goats, a couple new faces, and swam in the frigid waters of Flathead Lake. 

   Our hair began to knot into dreadlocks and the smell of campfire smoke became our new cologne and perfume respectively.

   I saw the ocean for the first time on my 19th birthday at Second Beach, WA. We were soaked by the time we arrived back at the car that day. No, it wasn't the prettiest of days. It was raining steadily with a heavy overcast but that's what made it the best experience.

   We were bitten by several mosquitos as we hiked up Crater Lake, OR. We also climbed up a steep wall of snow with our KA-BAR's to reach the rim. We also had a snowball fight when we were sliding back down that wall and it was only early July.

   She later surprised me by taking me to the Grand Canyon which had always been on my bucket list. We visited Mt. Rushmore during the early part of our trip at night as well as that next morning. I cautiously  crossed a fallen tree to perch on a large log of driftwood at Lost Lake, OR.

   We even saw a pair of glowing eyes 50 yards from us as were were hiking into a trail to hammock for the night at Wrinkled Rock Campground, SD. It's safe to say we ran our scared little asses back to the car with our KA-BAR's drawn and ready for attack. 

   The hardest part of it all wasn't being away from home, but rather leaving the places that we came to know as home. The smell of pine, the freezing but crystal clear water, the wildlife and sense of wanderlust. Places only we could dream of, we saw with our own eyes still beckon us to return.

This was the catalyst for creating The Lost Journal. 

   The Lost Journal is my personal journal of life's lessons and experiences. Regardless of the minimal showers and the less than pristine living conditions, it's all worth it. Having a close relationship with mother nature rewards you like nothing else ever will.

   Nothing can take away the memories of the travels we embark upon. Traveling isn't just something for college students to enjoy while they have minimal responsibilities. It's for those who understands the meaning of roughing it in the gardens of the wild.

I thrive for the pulse of being lost.

I invite you to join me on my journey.

My only goal is to inspire the rest of the world to stop living as a walking zombie. Get lost and discover who you truly are. 

Andrew Plauger,

Creator of Real American Dreamers.