Forrest Mankins - Uncommon Adventurer

A Life Alive – We’re headed to Alaska (part I)

My name is Forrest Mankins. I’m a 25 year old photographer from Oklahoma, and I’m on an adventure. It’s always been a dream of mine to travel; to pack a bag, a map, and a camera, and to see where the road goes. To follow it to new places, new people, and to experience a different side of life. I’ve traveled the U.S. a fair bit in the last year, something like 40 states, and as time passed that little dream in the back of my mind began growing. What if I actually packed up and left? What if I took a chance and followed my passion? It is a great uncertainty to leave comfort, steady pay, and normality to wander, but there is great freedom that comes with a full tank of gas, an open road, and an open mind, and I chose that freedom. On December 7th, 2014, I packed up my 1984 Toyota Landcruiser and left home. This is my adventure; this is my dream.

What I’m doing
A Life Alive is a call to action. Everyone has a dream; you have a dream, and I think it’s worth pursuing. It’s easy to postpone our dreams until “Someday,” but the reality is that we aren’t guaranteed any time in this life, and we deserve to pursue happiness. This is about overcoming and realizing the power that we all hold to take control of our lives. We can accomplish anything if we put our mind and our hands together. With the help of Always Empty Creative, we are creating a documentary about the trip, its purpose, and the people and experiences along the way. It will be as close as we can get to letting everyone come along with us.

When we arrived in the Pacific Northwest I teamed up with Adventure Ready to make some upgrades to the truck and travel ina little more comfort and style with a new roof rack, tent and awning from the folks at ARB. This is the first part of my next journey.


My good friend Garrett and I had just finished a four-thousand mile drive in my 1984 Toyota Landcruiser and came to the conclusion that the only thing to do was keep heading North. To Alaska.

Forrest Mankins - PNW Selfie

We decided to spend a day in the North Cascades of Washington State to rest and relax before hitting the road again. We drove 5 hours from Oregon to our campsite and set up our ARB rooftop tent and awning in absolute pouring rain. This was the first night not sleeping in the back of the truck, and with plenty of leg room and a real mattress to sleep on we slept well and long part way into the following day.

Forrest Mankins - A Life Alive - North Cascades, WA Forrest-1-4_web

For the next day and a half we explored the area, driving the old highways seeking sights. The sky continued to dump on us and increased the second night. But even with 72+ hours of continuous rain we stayed warm and dry in our new gear. This was going to be a much more comfortable journey from here on out…


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