It was inevitable. After 3 weeks of sweet, exciting days in the sun we met our first storm and had a bad day or five. Talking about the not so perfect aspects of life on the road is tricky but I believe critical. We are still fresh in our pursuit of becoming road warriors, we are more like road apprentices, where each day is a lesson and the tough ones have the most meat, they stay with you.
When you end a stint of inspiring adventure at a location called Point Sublime you are destined to have trouble recovering a normal outlook. It had been 21 days since we left our home in Colorado and the horizon of our bliss appeared to stretch without interruption. Naivety.
We had decided to squeeze in some rest days before getting onto our next series of adventures. We were going to sleep in, watch movies and recuperate before going big again. We posted up in Kanab, Utah which is known as the epicenter of some truly magnificent parks including Escalante State Park and Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. Knowing this, it was strange we chose it as our place of respite.
The RV park we blindly chose was a small tightly packed parking lot and we were the winners who got to shack up next to the check-in. This meant that the handful of owners and caretakers were outside our windows smoking and chatting in their lawn chairs all day. Intrinsically I have no issue with this, I mean do your thing, except that we like to do weird stuff outside of our trailer i.e. yoga, calisthenics and hand stands. Spending time outside was going to be awkward.
With our first chance to breath we ended up bursting like a balloon. Our trailer finally felt small and in a moment of frustration I hallucinated the walls folding in on themselves, trapping us in forever and ever and ever. What goes unnoticed when life is fast paced, can become unbearable when all there is, is time.
Feeling stuck in our trailer our team began to fall apart. For me, downtime is staying home, organizing and reading. In a trailer though this has a sloth like feel since there is barely enough room to roll over. For Matt, he likes to get out, peruse the town or go for a walk. This was not exactly ideal in Kanab.
The result of these glitches were some grouchy folks who felt without resource to find a solution and not just because we didn’t have internet. You know what I mean, it’s hard to tell a grouchy person to seize the day or turn that frown upside down.
In the impatience of our minds that pleaded for a quiet space to absorb the last few weeks, we had chosen the wrong location. In moments of weakness, poor choices are made. This led to our next mistake. After a few rough days in Kanab we hurled in the opposite direction and chose to spend a few days in Las Vegas. We figured after having a rough time we could spend a little money and stay at a park with a pool and a gym.
This though never met our original need for quiet and space. Rather the lights of the city, the noise and the bustle only intensified the urgency to get away and be still. A nail to add, was the diagnosis that our transmission would only chug and rumble for a few hundred miles more. We faced spending big money or taking big risks in the desert.
Fortunately, our trip did not die in the desert, like so many things do. We took a chance that our 4Runner “Hueona” would make it to our next destination in Tahoe, California where we could get her mended. Here we too would mend and gain strength, finally getting the space we needed and settling back into our flow. Even with a fistful of bad days there was no loss. What we had was 3 weeks of overflowing beautiful memories to represent the start of our trip followed by a huge lesson learned. So here it is:
If you want to grow; to see your weaknesses up close; to rip away the veil from your true self, hit the road. Here there is no room for you to hide your bullshit. In the moments where you must fight to stay sane, you will see clearly how you can improve; how you can be a better partner; how you can be a better friend and family member. You will learn what the true helps for your heart are rather than the quick fixes. Quick fixes will drown you. You will either shape up and grow or you will not be able to continue. Word.