“Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
Current Location: Lake Powell, Arizona
Date: I think it’s Thursday, but I haven’t checked
Soundtrack: Third Eye Blind
Our Adventure began on April 10th when we woke to the shrill consistent buzzing of an alarm set the previous night for 6am. Untangling from the blankets and sheets and shaking off the quickly fading dreams that settled the previous night, we clumsily began to pack. There was a halfhearted attempt at organization that was short lived and vastly overshadowed by the excitement in the air and the urge to flee. Windows were closed, switches were flipped, the refrigerator unplugged, and the front door locked. We were ready, we were going, we were gone.
Scene: Vortex Springs, Ponce De Leon, Fl
80 degrees, Wednesday April 10
“Gin Clear Water”
Maybe it’s because it was a Wednesday or maybe the apocalypse started while we were too busy to give it any notice, an email moved to the spam folder without a second thought containing nothing less than the fate of mankind. The park was empty of people excluding a group of 5 steadfast partiers alternating between gyrating to loud club music and swaying to soulful country ballads when the whisky took hold. As promised the water was clear as gin and felt cold as sin. We sipped wine from cans and watched from afar as the now intoxicated spring breakers threw their sunburnt bodies down long dry water slides. Shuddering every now and then when hearing the inevitable and unmistakeable sound of flesh sliding against the dry cracked plastic.
Natchez State Park Mississippi
80 degrees Thursday April 11
“If the gators don’t get you, the ticks will”
Driving up to this park we sent up a quiet prayer to whoever was listening that these ruddy backwoods roads were not leading us to our death. I know that I have said this before but I will say it again. You will never learn more about a person then when you have to check them for ticks, it is the equivalent to a trust fall at a work retreat. Of course there is much more skin but the same feeling of fear and trepidation and of relief when it is over. Love life aside, Mississippi was exactly as imagined, air heavy with mosquitos and the sky thrumming with the wings of unseen things. We ate Ramen noodles and listened to the rain pounding on our roof.
Wind Point Texas
Friday April 12 – Sunday April 13
75 Degrees, Severe Storms, Tornados likely
It was Texas in the beginning of April at a place called Wind Point, we should have known that there would be tornados. We spent our days here faces pressed against windows only pulling away long enough to clear the fog that our warm breaths created, looking for the tell tale funnel cloud with fear and excitement. We grew up watching Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt chasing twisters, we had been preparing for this since 1996. We spent restless nights here listening to NPR and sifting thru our DVD collection for any type of distraction. At night there was a thick haze over the lake that turned out to be swarming insects and in the mornings you could make out the shadows of deer watching lazily through the brambles.
Wichita Falls Texas
Sunday April 11, 80 degrees
“There were Geese”
We had a few minor inconveniences on our way to Wichita Falls including the rubber roof coating on top of the RV peeling off and flapping in the wind like a white flag of surrender. On the plus side I had the opportunity to feed a pair of Canadian Geese and we got pizza delivered.
Monday April 15, 75 degrees
I forgot about this place until looking back on our reservations
The entire drive to New Mexico we were assaulted with gusts of wind up to 40mph of hot dry air. Past the towering oil pumps and spinning wind turbines in the heart of BFE you find Tucumcari. We stayed at a KOA and blew thru our laundry money drinking red wine and playing pool in the clubhouse.
Tuesday April 16, 81 degrees
Home of the Chupacabra
Eyes to the skies we pulled into Albuquerque, I was sure that if we were going to see a UFO this was the place. My neck is still stiff from constantly scanning the horizon while visions of the movie “Mars Attacks” danced through my head. We hiked over desert terrain at Petroglyph National Monument and marveled at the etchings left behind from a long ago long gone people. With a new perspective and fresh sun burn we shared beers at a local brewery whilst discussing the pros and cons of running into the infamous Chupacabra. We camped next to a man in a van who was clearly running from something and awoke to a desert storm.
Lake Powell Arizona Wednesday April 17- Thursday April 19
Just hold your breath and we’ll stop time
With looming canyons and perfect climate I imagine that if there were an afterlife it must resemble this. Nothing makes you more cognizant of the shifting sands of time than the well worn canyons of Arizona forever standing testament to the power of wind and water and bearing the layers and secrets of our planet. We plan to spend our time here drinking too much white wine and getting more than our fair share of sun. I could never find the right words to describe the world, this alternate reality that we have tripped and slipped into. If given the chance to visit do not hesitate or let the opportunity pass you by. Our days are filled with dirt biking across the ancient terrain segmented with the occasional fall to keep things interesting and lounging in the early spring sun watching the world wake up.
I have learned a lot about our country and its inhabitants on this trip. From the Homo Gluteus, the elderly man who chose to forgo underwear and whose pants subsequently slip a good six inches every time he bends to adjust his bearings. To the Homo Maximus, the guy with the 50ft RV pulling his 2019 lifted Jeep and refusing to leave the sanctuary of his AC and satellite TV regardless of location. It has been a very humbling experience to leave everything we know behind and travel across the country. I have never felt so small and I have never felt so alive. With 2 cats, a dog, and a handful of bad ideas and good intentions we do what we always do, we carry on.