I’m going on a road trip. Today. I’m at the airport right now.
Many months ago, my friend Claus planned a 4-week trip through the American west. He would hit Rushmore, he would hit Yellowstone, Tahoe, San Francisco, and many points in between and beyond, ending at the edge of California. He would then turn around and head straight back to Chicago. We talked about me joining him, but I do not desire — nor do I have the ability, schedule-wise — to go west for four weeks. I’m a clean linen, coffee-in-the-lobby gal. I like showers.
But what if I joined the trip for ten days or so? Maybe I could do that. Maybe it would be fun. What if I hooked up with Claus in Salt Lake City and did the San Fran, Death Valley, Tetons, etc. part? Maybe I’d stay on through Berkeley. For the first time in a long, long time, I have two weeks without travel for work. I believe people do summer vacations, don’t they? Interesting concept.
And so, after much deliberation and anxiety (I have different bathroom needs than most people and there is some camping involved over the course of the trip, which puts a great fear in my heart) I decided that yes, I would add a woman’s touch to the “Go west, young man” thing.
I’ll be checking email and blogging, though there may be a few off-the-grid days. Claus thinks I should leave my laptop behind but a strange rash appears all over my body when I think doing about that. I can’t make sense of beauty (example: Ano Nuevo California State Reserve) or pain (example: middle-of-the-night trip to a campground bathroom with a flashlight)* without writing it down. So the journal comes with and the laptop comes with.
Also coming with: Wet Ones wipes, a bandana, a hoodie, books, sunglasses, sunscreen, sneakers (you actually cannot wear heels in Death Valley, I hear), deodorant, and my favorite snacks that will surely be gone by Day 2. I’m really, really excited now. I see a lot of this country with the work I do, but I’ve never been to Yellowstone, I’ve never seen the Grand Tetons, I’ve never camped in California.
Let’s do this. Let’s have an adventure. I board the plane in ten minutes.
*I may possibly have lost my mind.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: I stayed on the trip for three weeks. Posts to follow explain and detail.]