in march of 2010, we commemorated two important milestones: on march one, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of this nomadic life. yup, one year chock-a-block full of camping, skiing, visiting old friends and family, driving, chasing ufos, trainspotting, swimming, practicing yoga, playing, rollerskating, laughing, eating delicious food, gaping in wonder, meeting new friends, dreaming, dancing, sailing, bickering, processing, and occassionally stressing out about the future. one year of traveling by truck, train, trolley, sailboat, subway, ferry, steam engine, canoe, taxicab, bicycle, quad skate, monorail, airplane and, oh yeah, on foot.
it is a remarkable thing, how easily a human being can adapt to new and challenging circumstances, and this past year has been a clear demonstration of this fact. we may not own a bed or a refrigerator; we may not have regular access to hot showers or flush toilets; our choices may have led us into surprising and sometimes frightening scenarios, but we have continued on, learning, healing, and expanding. i now know how to make apple turnovers over an open fire and how to rig a tarp that will survive 5 days of unceasing rain. i now know how to navigate portland’s bike lanes and washington dc’s metro. i can now feel, more strongly than ever, the web that connects me to each and every one of my friends, binding us together in a single swirling chaos of dance.
more than anything else, however, this past year has taught me to not simply live with uncertainty, but to actively embrace it. we have no way of predicting the future; we have no way to force our way into an imagined life. all thoughts and beliefs that tell us otherwise will ultimately disappoint. if you had asked me five years ago what my life would look like today — or at twenty-one, what my life would look like at twenty-six — my answer would have been laughably naive. to believe that my vision of where the next five years will lead me has any validity seems to me to be the definition of foolhardiness. and while this might be frightening or disorienting, there is not much i can do but to keep on following the path unfolding before me. there have been many days when tim and i had no idea where we were going to sleep or how we were going to get there, and whether we stressed out about it or not, whether we fought or disagreed or simply relaxed into it and had faith, somehow it always seemed to work out. as i have written before, we may have less, but we have been deprived of nothing. in fact, my life after one year on the road feels richer, more textured, and more vivid than ever. what a beautiful planet this is! what poignant creatures we are! i can’t wait to see what happens next!
on march 9, we reached another,more prosaic milestone. the odometer on tim’s truck, the loyal and dependable rainbow frontier, finally hit the 100,000 mile mark. thank you old girl; long may you rave.
the one year anniversary of the wonder caravan found us in los angeles, ca, just about as far from northampton, ma as you can possibly be while still in the continental u.s. on the way to socal, we passed through new hampshire, vermont, maine, new york, massachusetts, pennsylvania, ohio, michigan, indiana, illinois, missouri, kansas, colorado, new mexico, utah, idaho, montana, wyoming, oregon, washington, nocal, nevada, nebraska, iowa, virginia, west virginia, maryland, kentucky, wisconsin, minnesota, and north dakota.
apart from the railfan extravaganza that brought us from martinez, ca to washington dc, the past year was spent heading west, towards the pacific and the setting sun. it makes a kind of sense, then, that the beginning of our second year on the road marks a literal turning point. we’ve stitched our way down the western coast, from washington’s san juan islands to santa monica, ca. we’ve walked along the edge of the continent and seen land give way to endless hecatombs of ocean. now it’s time to turn our faces to the rising springtime sun and head east.
the beginning of our eastward journey began with a return to hemet, ca, where my auntie made us a delicious dinner of arroz caldo.
and for desert, purple yam! we stayed at her place for a few days, decompressing from los angeles and waiting out some cold, rainy weather, and then made our triumphant return to joshua tree national park.
it is always a joy to sleep out in our tent, especially after an extended visit to the big city. there is something re-grounding — comforting, even — in being completely surrounded by the natural world, even when the nights are cold and the spring winds are blowing hard enough to bend tent poles and send aluminum stakes flying. every task, from cooking breakfast to building a fire, to filling our water jugs, feels strangely empowering; if we can survive and thrive with just these basic tools, we’re capable of handling just about anything!
next time: stories from the road to las vegas.
Posted by Wordmobi