One of the wonderful benefits of living life on the road is the ability to be spontaneous and make decisions on a whim. We have some destinations in mind, but the days, routes, and pit stops along the way are flexible. On the flip side, life on the road also means we need to be prepared for the unexpected, and ensure that hiccups and kinks in our plans don’t disrupt ourflow. Naturally we learned this lesson the hard way several times on the very first day of our trip.
The first disruption was that we had to leave a day late because even after transporting two pickup truck loads of our stuff into storage (thanks Katie and Danny!), we still had WAY too much stuff. So we spent all day Saturday cleaning and packing, and stuffed the teardrop full of items to be stored at Andrew’s grandparents’ house in San Clemente (thanks Barb and Garry!). The back of the truck was also jam-packed, so Zephyr had to ride shotgun with Andrew. Imagine a 6’2” man holding a 95 lbs. husky mix on his lap. Yes, it was hilarious, although I do think Zephyr would ride the entire trip that way if given the chance.
Even more hilarious was when, less than five minutes away from our house, we heard a loud crash behind us. Andrew yelled, “Stop! Stop! Stop!” and I quickly pulled over, not knowing what had happened. Andrew jumped out of the truck barefoot and ran around the street in the middle of the night picking up the detritus of road life that had tumbled out of the teardrop when one of the side doors popped open. Note to selves: always double-check all doors and latches before embarking. I sat in the truck, exhausted and overwhelmed, and laughed hysterically at the absurdity of it all while Zephyr eyed me suspiciously.
The next day we drove up highway 395 in the Eastern Sierras. Our first stop was Bishop, where we met our friends Jill and Amy and took an impromptu trip to the Tri-county fair. This was where I experienced my first (and hopefully not last) demolition derby. We had a great time, but something told us we should leave early to make sure Zephyr was ok in the truck. This was our first day after all! As we walked back to the truck we discussed how we were going to install grates on the windows in the back to make it extra secure since Zephyr is an escape artist. Literally in the middle of this conversation Zephyr comes running down the street toward us, wet and anxious. He had busted the screen out and made a break for it. We don’t know where he went or what he saw, but I like to think he needed his own solo adventure to start the trip off right. And yes, we did install those grates!
Many of my readers were at our wedding and so are well aware that it didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. Andrew’s pants split down the crotch during our pre-ceremony photo shoot, we were an hour late to the ceremony (leaving our guests sweating in the sunny Joshua Tree heat), and our photographer’s digital camera ate some of the photos (aint technology grand?). In this case it is only fitting that our grand adventure started with some minor inconveniences. After all, when things don’t go according to plan, it’s best to lower your expectations, and lowered expectations allow us to marvel at all the small wonders we encounter along the way.
In light of this, our first night in the teardrop was phenomenal. We parked out near a hot spring that was crowded with partiers for the Labor Day weekend. We were exhausted so we avoided the crowd and passed out with the nearly full waning moon illuminating the ghostly shrubbery and mountains around us. Our bed is incredibly comfortable (although Andrew would say it’s a bit on the small side). We stacked two down blankets on top of the futon mattress for padding, and have a down blanket on top, and down pillows. It feels like sleeping on a cloud. It was chilly enough that I closed my window and cuddled up to Andrew and slept like a baby.