Hi! We’re back in California. Oh, we didn’t really want to be back in California, but it turns out that’s just where the travel nurse jobs congregate. This means that after 10 short weeks, we had to turn our obnoxiously red truck around and drive back across the country. Here’s our recommended course of action:
Stop 1) Rochester, NY.
Bike the canal path! Visit with family! Drink coffee, then seltzer water, then wine on a sunny porch! Decide to repaint the entirety of a rental property you own! Ahh, isn’t vacation great?
Stop 2) Chicago!
The best ab work out of your life is waiting at a BYOB sushi spot where your friends will make you laugh until you accidentally snort some wasabi! Borrow lots of books from your friend who takes meticulous care of his books. Promise that, somehow, as you drive 2,500 miles and live out of the back of your truck, you will not smudge or bend a single page.
Stop 3) a tent in a state park covered in butterflies in Iowa.
Stop 4) Fort Collins Colorado!
Retrieve your trailer, which is miraculously in tact and stench free! Hike a canyon with dear friends. Solve the worlds problems around a backyard fire. Eat dinner with cousins. Sniff out mountain lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Stop 5) Utah.
Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce, choose one or two and commit. Don’t forget to buy a milkshake from Milt’s in Moab. Drive up the mountains and into a snowstorm. Wear your wool socks to bed.
Stop 6) Reno and Tahoe.
It’s okay to sleep at a gas station. It’s okay to eat popcorn for dinner. It’s okay to call it a day after 5 miles of hiking. Aren’t we at an elevation? We are. We’re at an elevation. Wear a fleece on top of another fleece.
Stop 7) Cal.If.Or.Nia.
sweat your face off. Unpack the real wine glasses and go for a tasting at the vineyard around the corner. Listen to news of Florida flooding. Listen to news of Puerto Rico flooding. Smell the ash of 140,000 acres burning just north of you in Napa. Take out a map of your honeymoon and mark the vineyards you biked to with a highlighter. Are they gone now? They’re probably gone.
The country is so big. We’ve only been scheduled to be at this post for 8 weeks (although since I started writing this we’ve extended), and in that time one or both of us will cross the country 6 times.
The trip is tiring by plane, never mind by travel trailer. While on the road, I work using our hot spot and listen to the news. NPR on repeat sounds similar now no matter your zip code. It’s like all our journalists and all our representatives and elected officials are playing some terrible game of telephone. No one can hear each other or else no one is listening. It’s no wonder they can’t hear, the country is just so big, and we’re all so busy averting the crisis right in front of us. It’s so much more exhausting to stop and listen.