Well I’ve technically been on the road a week now.
Let’s see how it breaks down so far.
- Miles travelled: 539
- Top speed: 70 mph
- Lowest speed: 6 mph
- Highest elevation: 4,613 ft at Sheep Hole Pass
- Times burst out crying uncontrollably out of happiness: 5
- States traveled: 2
- Sunsets seen that were too beautiful to capture: 5
- Mornings I’ve woken up to watch the sunrise: 4
- Times I’ve felt alone: 0
Setting out from Long Beach last Friday morning I made it to San Bernardino all by myself. (My mom and I previously traveled the Santa Monica to San Bernardino Route 66 stretch, if you happened to catch that in my Instagram stories back in July, I think.) Instant Instagram friend Ian, seasoned Route 66 traveller who happens to run the End of the Trail Route 66 Store on the Santa Monica Pier, caravanned with me from Devore all the way to Amboy. Truly couldn’t have done it without him, Betsy was struggling pretty bad up the Cajon Pass there. We had an incredible long lunch at Emma Jean’s Holland Burger in Victorville, saw the Bottle Tree Ranch, Barstow Train Station, and Amboy Crater by the glow of a full moon.
I had to say a proper goodbye to my desert family before I left California, which of course meant staying there longer than I originally planned. I helped plaster a Wonder Dome in Wonder Valley, with red clay we dug out from the ground ourselves. Lindsey, the brains and spirit behind the Wonder Domes, taught me to make fry bread which we ate for three days straight.
I stayed at Super X Ranch, my once a month desert pilgrimage and home base for the past year, for probably the last time in 2017. My dear friend and name twin, Alice, helped me sweat out the bad stuff by doing Bikram Yoga for three days in a row with me. She also figured out a way to help keep my camper locked up and safe when I’m sleeping or have it parked. I stocked up on non-perishable food items for the trip with Alice’s help as well. I have a solid menu of beans, ramen, tomato soup, instant mashed potatoes, almonds, tuna and crackers, and Miller High Life, the champagne of beers to last me for the whole trip, I bet!
Just a couple miles up the road at Blackbird Ranch, Dan, artist and gear head extraordinaire, helped turn Betsy into a bonafide mountain climber. To people that know what they are doing, everything is always a simple fix. Remember this the next time you get stuck on a project. Seek help from people that know WAY more than you. Never stop asking questions. Easier said than done however.
Yesterday I crossed into Arizona and it all really hit me how real it all was all the sudden. The countless hours of crying and banging my head on the wall out of frustration because I didn’t know if Betsy was ever even going to run again all paid off at that moment. I know I still have over 2,000 miles ahead of me but everything from now on is going to feel like a down hill ride.
Well, maybe after Flagstaff it literally will be.