Currently writing from a KOA in Goodland, KS. We’ve been meaning to say hello for the last few days but the time zones keep changing on us almost unexpectedly and even though we’re gaining more hours as we head west, our minds feel a little tired from the last couple of weeks of travel and weddings and we find ourselves going to bed earlier than usual.
Perhaps its the constant change of sleeping scenery or the slight slant of the motorhome (we’ve yet to level it… who needs a fridge anyway?) A night in a Walmart Parking Lot in Grove City, PA, a couple nights in a bed in Leesburg, VA, a few nights in a bungalow outside of Richmond, a night in a park in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a couple nights on the Douglas Dam in TN, a few nights in a driveway in Nashville, a night at Little Lost Creek Forest in MO, a few nights in my aunts driveway in Kansas City, and finally a night at a KOA in Goodland, KS where we now sit and type this.
Time has become something of an illusion these past 18 days. It feels like we just left our home in Buffalo, NY seconds ago. Yet, the missing of family and friends has already settled in as if we haven’t seen them in years. As we’ve traveled, every time we see a familiar face, (or meet a new face that soon becomes a familiar face), we feel ourselves warm up inside. It’s mostly in the bigger cities we’ve been able to see people and explore beyond our camper. For the rest of trip, thus far, we’ve spent driving between camping locations, setting up shop for a day or two, and then packing up to get to the next location. With the dogs, we’ve needed to stay fairly close to the camper but as we start to reach cities where we can spend more than a couple days, we’ll be able to wander a little further and we’re excited for that as much as we’ve been excited for the slow life of living in a camper with not much to do.
The day to day of camper life is something of this sort: wake. turn propane on. make coffee. feed dogs. let dogs out. drink coffee. check e-mail and respond to clients. map out next part of trip. make oatmeal. eat oatmeal. discuss how cluttered we’re feeling in this small space. try to declutter. mini argument about decluttering our stuff and where it should go. stop arguing and reorganize camper and discard unused items. decide to leave soon. brush teeth. perhaps walk to nearest shower and shower. change clothes. pack up everything. sweep out camper. spray down counters. empty water tank. unplug (if we’re lucky enough to be plugged in). hit road. drive for two hours. fill up gas. drive for one hour. stop to pee. drive for one hour. eat granola bar. look up new place to stay. drive to new place to stay. walk dogs. start fire. make rice and soup. eat rice and soup. walk dogs. read a few chapters of a book. pour wine and beer. drink. tell campfire stories. put fire out. tuck dogs in on lower bed and climb into top bunk and go to sleep.
And while it might seem mundane, simplified, and slow it feels nothing of the sort. Well. It feels slow, that’s for sure. But in a refreshing way. Every small task that is completed feels like such a big task, one that requires extreme concentration to complete as if we’ve been taken off auto pilot and every moment has to now be recognized as a new and important.
Last week someone asked us the purpose of our road trip. We didn’t have a good answer, “Just responding to an urge to get on the road and travel.” For the past 18 days, we’ve managed to created purpose by photographing a few weddings, setting up a few portrait sessions and visiting with friends and family but other than that, our trip is admittedly, seemingly purposeless. A purposeless trip across the country in an old motorhome that is growing older with every mile we travel.
Somewhere in the middle of Kansas our awning unexpectedly detached and flew off the side of our motorhome, crashing into the side of the road. After realizing what had happened, we pulled over to the nearest gas station and Brian spent an hour unhooking the rest of whatever was left of the awning, both of us feeling shaken up and grateful we were in the far right lane and we didn’t hurt anyone else driving behind us. A near miss, reminding us of how each second teeter totters between circumstance. Even if we had this big, thought out purpose, somewhere between Silina and Goodland our whole world may have shifted on a split second of chance.
Full of purpose or not, the next week will be spent in Denver, editing weddings, photographing a few engagement sessions and family sessions, exploring the surrounding area and dreaming up the next few weeks of travel. It’s looking likely from there, we’ll head south to New Mexico, cut through Arizona and then head to California.
Thank you again for following along and especially to those of you who have helped us along the way: finding us places to stay, people to connect with, and the voices of encouragement along the way.
and lastly, we leave you with this song. the perfect road trip companion.