Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quick Update, from Moab, Utah!

Yo! We're here in Moab, Utah now, and have been since Monday afternoon (Apr 15th). As we haven't even been on the road two weeks yet this is the longest amount of time in one spot. The Jeep breakdown and lack of open camping/rv sites in Colorado didn't help. But we found ourselves captured by the landscape, availability of camping and things to see here in Moab, so here we have stayed.

Hiking near our campsite at Ken's Lake, just South of Moab, Utah
Rumi, the wet wilderness wolf dog, enjoying her hike with us.

Double Arch

Rae in Turret Arch

Devil's Garden

and flying in it!


Me on top Double O Arch

Rae on top Double O Arch

sitting inside the Double Arch taking photos
The arches in Arches National Park are pretty amazing. The hike distances and difficulties ranged from easy 1/2mile strolls to 4 mile climb-over-slick-sandstone-and-down-into-sandy-ditches kinda shit. But all of it was worth it. We saw almost every arch listed on the park map, minus a couple further out on the already 4-mile hike nearing sundown. If you haven't visited, you should. The whole "desert" thing is really downplayed for us since we came so early in the season and the weather has been cool. Last night was our first "comfortable" (meaning above 45 degrees) night of sleep without aid of electric plugin. We awoke later than usual, with rain tapping on Scampi. It was a perfect beginning to our last day in Moab. We are leaving here tomorrow morning for Arizona. Probably going to take our time, see the Grand Canyon and then head toward California for some Mojave Desert camping. I think I'll be ready to get to the wet ocean air when the time comes...

Side note: Moab is such an outdoor/active location - sky diving, biking, hiking, running, zip-lining, ATV and 4x4 (this is where everyone brings their Jeep to play). I feel like the kid who thought he was a part of the club until one day he noticed the club was on the other side of the playground. And he was sitting on the swings. I've been sedentary for a while now. Letting myself be lazy with my body, focusing more on my creativity and freedom (and we all know how freedom in contrast to discipline can lead to less action, in so many forms.) So now I am remembering all the days when I was the one receiving those "are you fucking CRAZY?" looks while halfway through practice during the passerby's morning drive. I'm craving action again. Sore muscles, tired lungs, moving, burning, going. I can feel it bubbling beneath. Something will come of my physicality again soon.

I'm still in the process of processing of processing of processing more will come at the next update! Till then...cheers!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Greetings from Cortez, CO

We have been on the road a week today! woo-hoo!!!

Taos Valley RV Park

So far we have traveled approximately 896 miles (not including driving around town and scouting camping spots). We are in state numero four, although I don't really think we should count Oklahoma or Texas.

We have only spent $67 on overnight RV parking - two nights at an RV park in Taos ($30/night) and $7 for a night in the Wild Rivers camping area in the Questa/Cerro, NM area over the Rio Grande/Red River Gorge. The other four nights we parked for free at Wal-Marts, free public parking and an auto shop.

We're eating mostly from the food we brought but occasionally (like this morning) we splurge on coffee and breakfast for the wifi and a chance to update/charge. We keep a pretty strict budget ($400/month for food, about $13/day). So far it balances out eating in Scampi and eating out.

Yesterday was a particularly hard day as we found that all the camping spots in Colorado are closed until May 1, two weeks away. We didn't find any RV parks we particularly felt like paying for, and our backup plan of parking in Durango's Wal-Mart fell through when we pulled in and saw the signs everywhere warning that RVs parked overnight would be towed. Awesome. We used the last of our daylight to hightail it to Cortez (where we could get to another Wal-Mart). The Jeep was worrying us after the thousands of feet climbing elevation pulling Scampi. I was in a bad mood, I made Rae in a bad mood, and we arrived in Cortez frazzled and ready to fly to Seattle.

Our quest for beer began. Wal-Mart only had domestics, the liquor store closed an hour earlier, and the bar we went to was closed on Sunday. (We thought we left the Midwest?!?!) We walked a couple stoplights up the road and found a little restaurant with sign boasting "micro brewery" so we praised the heavens and stopped for a couple Fat Tires and food. The owner struck up a convo, then offered the back lot under the security lights for us to park overnight, gave us a free round of drinks and info about campsites at our next stop. Lovely to find hospitality like that after such a day.

Major plus - I have cell reception here in Cortez! I haven't had it since we left Las Vegas, NM last Wednesday. That's not very long, I know, but navigation is so much easier when you have an interactive map and internet in your hands! Travel through the mountains will remain navigated with paper, though.  :)


Taos Valley RV Park

Taos, NM

Our fave coffee shop in Taos, World Cup

Hiked to the bottom of the Red River Gorge, Questa, NM

Red River, Questa, NM

Red River, Questa, NM

Wild Rivers camp site on the top of the Red River gorge, Questa, NM

Wild Rivers

Wild Rivers

In the Wolf Creek area, CO. Not sure how much Rumi enjoyed this....

Where we are updating/charging/planning from this morning - Spruce Tree Coffeehouse in Cortez, CO

Friday, April 12, 2013

On the Road!!!!!

We are now on the road!  I intended to write a week (or a day, or an hour at least...) before we left Oklahoma, but you know how things go. I used every last second for purging belongings, packing, seeing loves, etc.

We rolled out of Oklahoma City on Monday, April 8th. We made it all the way through the (seemingly neverending) Texas panhandle and into Las Vegas, New Mexico just after dark. Our Jeep was having some trouble so we boondocked (parked for free overnight) in the Wal-Mart parking lot and woke to the Jeep's check engine light. Awesome. We made it to an auto shop, where we parked Scampi in the back salvage area and stayed for 32.5 hours while our wheels were repaired. Not the loveliest start to the trip, especially since we weren't hooked up to electric and the night temperature stayed around 12 degrees F. But we made it, and the Jeep needed to get that final tune up before attempting our uphill climbs.

The mountains just North of Las Vegas on our way to Taos were absolutely gorgeous. Snow flurries floated around us as we ascended and the sun met us upon descent. Here we have been for a couple days...I'm not interested in exacting my times as its fun to get lost in the days. And speaking of, that's enough of the boring details. I'd rather show you things...

Before we left I photographed and videoed the Copperheads show at Kamp's

Clementine's crepe myrtle

content girl

warm rainy sunset in the Clem backyard

reflection, calming

neighbor s'more party, break from packing

The redbuds were just beginning to bloom! I'm glad I got to see this...

Driving out of OKC

playing in the snow in Las Vegas, NM

Rumi remembers her bite game from protection school

Snowy drive through the Carson National Forest
Door in Taos

Rae in downtown Taos

We stayed at the Taos Valley RV Park, this is the view looking North

taking Rumi for a walk, this is looking South back toward the RV Park

Taos, NM

I feel I should add, yesterday afternoon/evening I felt my first pangs of sadness. Missing "home," which actually isn't home at all but just a place where all my loves live, the area that is familiar. I am my own home. Rae, Rumi, our space together inside Scampi. But my chest was heavy with missing my family and friends and the vicinity of closeness. I know this is just the beginning of such. I know I'll not be ready when it fully sets in, there's no way one can be. You just feel it, hold yourself close.

My ex-husband, who I am still good friends with, texted me the day we left with a wish. It's a quote from Anthony Bourdain, whom we both adore...

"I wish that you will travel, see the world. That traveling will leave its marks on you, that it will change you. That you'll love much, discover yourself, become a more and more strong person, live your dreams, become the person you dream to be, and live a full life."

Those may be my favorite wishes among all that I have received before leaving on this journey. And so dear to me because we both had that wish for so long and nourished it alongside one another. But it was never time until now. And now is so, so right.

I will update again soon when we are connected again... Cheers, friends!