Solo Road trip- Day 1 + 2: California, Nevada, Utah
“No one you have been and no place you have gone ever leaves you. The new parts of you simply jump in the car and go along for the rest of the ride. The success of your journey and your destination all depend on who's driving.” -Bruce Springsteen
I’ve always believed that traveling is good for the soul. Just as strongly, I believe that being alone is good for the soul. Put the two together and it’s straight up meditation.
Three days before I left for my road trip is when I came up with the idea to take it. I was planning on heading to Arizona to be with Ramsey but then I stopped for a moment and thought to myself- if I’m going to be traveling with him all summer for baseball; why not do something for myself first. I needed this.
I needed to do something for me. To go somewhere only I choose to go and for no one to tell me otherwise.
I left San Diego on Friday night, May 25th. I said goodbye to the college house to which I had called home for the past two years of my life. I was so over that place that could not find it hard at all to say goodbye. I do not miss that house or the memories that happened inside it. Perhaps I will someday.
I drove north up 5 Freeway- the usual weekend trip up to Los Angeles. I spent the weekend getting a few last-minute photo shoots in in the afternoons and re-watching Californication on Netflix every night until 5am. I left the city Monday around 12. I ate a late lunch in Las Vegas and may or may not have stolen some earrings from Urban Outfitters.
I left the mall and continued on the road to Utah. I continued on for another few hours until I was 10 minutes away from my Airb&b, a cop pulled me over for "swerving out of my lane". LIKE- I'm SORRY officer but SPRINT SERVICE IS SO BAD I NEED TO FUCK WITH MY PHONE FOR 10 MIN TO GET A SIGNAL TO GET GPS. Luckily he let me go with a warning and I continued on my way.
I got to Cedar, City around 11pm. I got the key to the Air&b out of the lockbox and went into the apartment. I slept pretty easily there despite seeing a spider right when I walked through the door.
I woke up the next day much later than I had planned. Perhaps the nextflix binge-watching probably wasn't the best pre-game before a week long road trip. I got on the road by 11:30 for Bryce Canyon National Park. Just the drive to the park itself was gorgeous. The road through Dixie national forest.
At some point I tried changing CDs but then my Bruce Springsteen CD got stuck in the CD player of my car coincidentally the same day my speaker charging cord breaks. My car is too old for an aux cord so I’m stuck listening to my favorite singer for the entirety of the trip- I’m not complaining.
By the time I got to the park, around an hour and a half had passed since I woke up to the chilly Utah morning. It was already getting pretty hot out so I changed out of my cute lil checkered pants and into shorts. :(
I tried to befriend this cute lil' bird but I don't think he liked me very much.
According to google, that bird is a raven and in Greek mythology, ravens are said to be a symbol of bad luck, Greaaaaaaaat.
I decided to hike along the trail near the edge of the canyon where I saw some of the most beautiful views of the canyon.
Looking out at the canyon and not right in front of me, I walk directly into a tree and it slices my arm! Fun!
Despite the minor inconvenience that this tree caused me, I continued on my hike.
After I got out of Bryce Canyon I knew I needed to head to my next air&b before it got too dark out to be driving. Being myself- I like to take backroads to get to each place. Major freeways can get you places faster- but you get to really experience the culture, geography, way of life if you are going through small towns and roads seldom traveled.
These backroads in utah are littered with cow crossing signs. It turns out, there are many open ranges in this area- so the signs are nothing to take lightly. Luckily I didn’t hit this family of cows who stared at me from across the road.
Continuing on to Capitol reef National Park- I saw an abandoned mill on the side of the road and decided to explore.
The road east from Bryce went right through another national park; Capitol Reef.
Sitting in the car for the two and a half hours it took to get to the next national park meant I needed to get up and stretch. I decided to go for a run on a 3 mile round-trip hike, up and down a mountain.
The view from the bottom was beautiful, so beautiful that I was doubtful that it would get any more beautiful as the run went on...
And man, was I wrong. WOW. If I believed in heaven, this is what I'd imagine mine to look like.
It was another 2 hours to Thompson springs. There I was spending the night at a bed and breakfast that once was a hotel in the 1930s when Thompson Springs was a railroad boomtown. I was the only one staying in the hotel and there were eight empty rooms next to me. A bit creepy but I’m in love with historic places so I felt right at home. The woman who ran the place reminded me so much of my grandmother. She even had the same name. Judy. We talked for about an hour over a cup of tea. I learned that she had been to all 50 states, and lived in many different ones throughout her life before coming back to her hometown in Utah- I aspire to be like her.
These first two days felt like one long day but at the same time it felt like I had been on the road for weeks. Out here time is different. It moves slower. Time is told by the miles and the mountains and whatever Bruce Springsteen track is on .
So far this trip has assured two things for me; the first being that despite the political chaos and that fact that I’m not the biggest fan of the president-I love living in America. The second being that some future version of myself is 100% investing in a motorcycle, and doing this all over again.