Bookish Tour: A Band Of Gypsies We Go Down The Highway Road Trip
I think in a past life I was a wanderer. Some brand of nomad traveling and exploring distance. A good road trip puts me right when I’m stagnant, down or feeling bleh. I’m an RVer. Well, I’m not because I’m in a little pop up, but at heart I’m an RVer. All I need is wifi and a shower. And a coffee….I need coffee.
As talk of another trip started, I was keen to plan it. A little thing called February happened. I slipped and broke my ankle but good. Never accuse me of doing things halfway. I’m all in. Remember, I spent three weeks on the road in my little pop up last year. The honeymoon phase passed at mile 1500. Also, I experienced equipment malfunctions. I had a grand time on that trip, but upon return home, I sighed with relief.
Broken ankle. I broke my wrist in ’03 in a car accident. It required surgery, pins, and almost six months in some cast or another. But that was 11 years ago and I could walk. Ankles are complex mechanisms. Also, you need them to walk. I’m working to recover 100% of my mobility and my physical therapist keeps telling me I’m doing well. Thinking about a road trip that prescribed putting up a tent trailer and taking down a tent trailer gave me pause.
Aside from the physicality of the trip, my daughter is in the real world now, so she couldn’t go. The teenage boys were lukewarm at best and didn’t rally to the idea we’d be gone three weeks. Understand this was a tribe of wanderers that I’d schlepped all over the western U.S. After the divorce, (the ex hated to travel) I tossed the kids into the car and drove. Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Utah. Family, friends and my folks.
The art of a good road trip, especially with three small children, is room. I scrounged up a couple grand to buy a 1989 GMC Suburban. It was a whale. It allowed one kid to a seat, very important when traveling long distance. I stocked up on car games, art supplies and yes, legos. Okay, I grew up without seat belts and I know there’s a rampage on ‘safe’ parenting, but every once in a while I’d let the kids unbuckle and play on the floor. That truck seemed almost as big as our apartment! Good music that included John Lithgow and at the time they liked my music. Of course, no road trip was complete without Son 1’s cowboy collection, particularly Junior Brown’s Highway Patrol. Road trips meant the tribe.
The tribe is grown and I’m being phased out as a parent. That’s a tough one for me. In my head, this road trip represents the last time and I seemed to be the only one excited about it. Enough whining. In my head, I fantasized about a new full size SUV and a newer camper…with a toilet and shower. Didn’t manifest. I’m just getting my bearings again after the ankle and I wasn’t taking my dogs. Sorry, whining again….so rather than jumping into this trip with both feet, I was willy nillying about the water.
I didn’t pack. Not like me. I didn’t prepare. Not like me. The morning of departure found me scrambling around getting ready to leave. Not like me. My brain balanced in limbo. I drove with a teenage boy, but my heart wasn’t in it. Somewhere midway on the 350-mile drive it clicked. I love being on the road. I like the space and the vista. I like the meditative process that settles within me. I don’t like arguing with grumpy teenager, but he came around.
We setup camp, took a swim, played a game and I opened the wine. We’ll tear down camp…after coffee and hit the road. Tonight we camp in Lamiolle Canyon…to hike and hang in the little Yosemite of Nevada. I’m headed toward great friends and family. Morning is cool and the sun will heat things up. There might be a bit more disagreement in the truck, but for now I’m on the road again.