An update after two years. And reflection.
Posted September 22, 2017 by Bailey Mareu
We are back in the midwest and will be until sometime in December. We’re still traveling and living in our pop up camper full time. We plan on getting a bigger travel trailer very soon (!!!) and I don’t see a time in the future where we aren’t traveling via RV for at least a couple months of the year. Even if we eventually “settle down” and have a regular home. So two years in still feels like a very short amount of time in this alternative life stye we have chosen. But I am already remembering things from the last two years on the road with alarming nostalgia.
The sun as we drove on Interstate 10 in Arizona fleeing the freezing weather of Kansas as we finally embarked to new places our first winter traveling full-time.
The sun setting on the Pacific Ocean as I stood on the San Diego beach barefoot in January.
The yellow and pink blooming flowers on the succulents that filled the green spaces in Aptos, California. I still don’t know what those flowers are called (I’ve spent a good chunk of time trying to figure it out, too). That stupid, ugly, tiny RV parking lot in Aptos that was actually perfect because we could hear the ocean waves hitting the beach at night and we could walk everywhere: that beach, the coffee shop, the library. It was the most perfect spring weather imaginable. In February.
Even that moment in Bakersfield when we set up the tv outside, drank beer, and watched the KU game. We were in dumb Bakersfield at the worst RV park known to man. But it was a beautiful, perfect afternoon anyway.
The sea lions barking and the continuous fog horn in Crescent City. The fog blurring the line between the California redwoods and blue ocean. The sun and fog constantly battling.
I can, just now, even remark fondly on all the ridiculous month of Sundays we spent driving on California’s Highway 101. In the rain. For hours.
And another rainy Sunday in April on our way out of California into Oregon: we took the most winding highway ever through the Redwoods, along the blue-green rushing Smith River (we ended up driving it two more times two months later).
The first time we drove east on Interstate 84 and entered the Columbia River Gorge and our jaws dropped. And every other drive through the gorge that we will never tire of. A month of drives south on highway 35 to Parkdale, Mt. Hood growing bigger and more majestic. Leaving parts of our hearts in Oregon.
Our second trip to Grand Marais with the camper. We were experts now. We knew what we were doing. But we somehow ended up having to sleep in the 4Runner in the Wal-Mart parking lot south of St. Paul. The road of life never stops teaching you things.
I will forever and always remember the moment when Phil and I were playing cards in the camper and our Grand Marais neighbors knocked and told us the Northern Lights were out. We scrambled outside. Our neighbors remarked that they weren’t very strong when we told them this was our first time seeing them. It didn’t matter. It was one of the most incredible things I had ever seen and tears fell down my cheeks.