To be continued…
It’s hard to believe Topher and I have traveled to 10 States and two Countries already this year and it’s only May! We’re averaging roughly 2.5 States a month and, wow, life has never been more busy! Where to even begin…. I guess I thought since I would be sitting in the aRtV, while Topher drove from destination to destination I would have a lot of time to write, but I was mistaken. What fun is driving through beautiful country you’ve never seen if you’re staring into the screen of your laptop the entire time? Although I’m disappointed I haven’t written more, I think in some ways it’s a good thing.
After our trip around the Southwest, and another trip through the southern Midwest, we’ve finally settled down for a few weeks living life in Bertram, Texas, a small town outside of Austin. Although it’s a little far from our friends and family, I’m finding out it’s a perfect place to sit and think among the horses and goats and a perfect location to digest our travels, turning what once were fragmented thoughts into complete sentences, that someone like yourself might care to read.
Our trip out West was the first big trip in my life that was completely unplanned. At first I was pretty anxious, but by the time we were on the highway I felt a wild sense of freedom like I’d never felt before. Almost like the feeling you get your first night at college, where there’s no one telling you what to do or when to do it, no real plan except going where the wind takes you… except this feeling was much better. Seeing the endless stretch of road and the vastness of the desert and country, encountering colors I've never seen before, inhabited by plants and animals I've only read about was quite an amazing feeling.
By day you could find us singing along to noises coming out of our broken RV speakers and by night you could find us hanging out at the local truck stop or rest area, (most of which are much nicer that I had imagined! Not to mention free!). Day one we started our long journey West. Late that night, we stopped to get gas at the Circle Bar Truck Stop in Ozona, TX, and although this was only our first day of our first big trip in the aRtV, I got to experience something I had't before. This is where I saw my first ever tumbleweed! I knew we were heading west when that bad boy rolled across the gas station parking lot.
We knew getting out of the giant state of Texas in day one was just not possible, so we went as far as we could and at 2:30am we finally rolled into the I10 West Rest Area. Packed with sleeping truck drivers and tired families on their way home from vacations, we slipped into the very last spot and tried to get a good morning's sleep.
On day 2 Topher and I finally made it out of Texas after parking the aRtV in the back of an El Paso strip mall. We walked to the nearest tap house, Bricktown Taphouse and Kitchen and after a couple drinks, wings and salad, we were back on the road to New Mexico. We stopped for the night at a gorgeous Rest Area in the middle of nowhere, San Simon Rest Area.
Day 3 we woke up to gorgeous mountain views and started a very long day of driving. After crossing into Arizona, and driving so long in the hot aRtV, we were feeling a little ripe. We had our first truck stop shower at the Flying J, (one of our favorite chain travel centers/truck stops), in Yuma, AZ. To my surprise, the showers were very clean and you could take as long and as hot of a shower as you want for just $7. (Plus they let us shower together, so that was a bonus!) That night we stayed at the Rest Area off I10 East.
Day 4 we put the petal to the metal to try and get to San Diego before sundown. The drive through the mountains was brutal and bumpy, creating even more noise than usual with dishes clinking together every few seconds. It was dark when we arrived at our parking spot and upon discovering a broken battery cable we realized we had no working lights. Topher, being the man he is, fixed the battery cable in a matter of minutes with two old pennies and electrical tape. (What a guy!) Once that was taken care of, we started our walk on the cool, refreshing sand headed towards the bars and restaurants.
This was my very first time in California and it was literally exactly how I had imagined it. The beaches were scattered with hippies in drug rugs, bonfires, slack liners, yoga enthusiasts and, of course, the sweet smell of marijuana. Our first destination was Ocean Beach Brewery where we sipped on delicious local brews and reviewed our three days of travel. From the flat, wide-open spaces in West Texas, to the bumpy drive through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we had driven over 1,300 miles and it was only day three! We got back to our aRtV, full of tacos, burritos and beer and spent the night alongside the other hippies living in their vans and RV’s, just a few feet from the beach. Everyone we met and spoke to were very friendly, though we did wakeup to a notice on our door warning us that we could not park overnight, (even though some people had clearly called this parking lot home), and we could not take up two parking spaces or we would get a ticket. Not the best thing to wakeup to, but at least it was just a warning and not a ticket! So, after a walk along the beach and breakfast at the Ocean Beach Pier Café, (a family owned café on the longest concrete pier on the West Coast), we continued on to our next destination, Palm Springs.
Our trip to San Diego was much too short! We plan to go back at some point (hopefully sooner than later!) There were many things we didn’t do and didn’t see, but for now, our one-day adventure around Ocean Beach will have to do.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading!
Sara & Topher
We are a working artist couple based out of Austin, TX. This blog chronicles our life and artistic ventures, as we work to make the world and environment a little better every day.