~Tuesday, January 11, 2022~
Day 576 (Travel Day)
As we head back out on the road with Billie Jean (the trailer) and Hank the Tank (the truck), I realize just how eager I am to get back out on the road. I really didn’t think I’d miss it as much as I have. Being a traveling vagabond IS what it’s cracked up to be and continues to be the life for us…..at least for now. I didn’t think it would be that big of an adjustment to be 1 month without it. Why miss 200 square feet, my tiny shower, my tight kitchen quarters, a water pump? The truth is, I think we all miss whatever is familiar, whatever is routine. Most of us are creatures of habit after all. I don’t expect a pity party, but just want to say when you’re living on the road, and then flit house to house out of a suitcase, it isn’t easy. Even though I was beyond thrilled to be with the people I love most these past few weeks, there was also a sense of chaos and disorganization that came along with it; always unsettling for me. I hate it. And getting sick only exacerbated things. I intended to do so much more in terms of getting organized and ready for the next phase of travel, but that didn’t happen. Thank goodness Jeff was able to do many things, like return to our storage unit to drop off a few unnecessary items that were just adding weight to the trailer. It felt good to free ourselves of that. He said it was a bit surreal rolling up that door to see all of our stuff, our whole life in 300 square feet once again. It’s a bit of a time capsule I suppose, where it will continue to sit and wait for our next home that WON’T be on wheels. Lots of changes and excitement on the horizon.
Another thing I wanted to share was how I felt, how I really felt having COVID. Being “isolated” as much as I could be in the trailer was simply terrible. Each day I lied there, trying to muster enough energy for my 2 feet to the bathroom and back seemed like an insurmountable task. With the shades open, I could see the world going by…..the sun rising and setting each day, people enjoying the great outdoors where I wished to be. It’s interesting how when you’re forced into stopping your world for a bit, whether it’s getting out of your routine, your comfort zone, or getting sick, that there is a deeper appreciation that surfaces; a deeper appreciation for health, for loved ones and for just living. I know I live my life with gratitude, but know I could live more graciously. I’m now allowing it to be more evident because life has stopped for a moment. I guess there is a silver lining to having COVID, as I wait to get back to life’s groove.
As my head is in a bit of a COVID fog, there couldn’t have been an easier highway to get back into the driving swing than Highway 5. We had plans to leave Skyline (Napa) by 7:00 a.m. Still not feeling quite myself and exhausted, no matter how many hours of sleep I just got, the 6:00 a.m. alarm was ALARMING! Part of our delay in getting on the road on time was due to the tire pressure readings on the trailer. While I was backing up the truck to hitch up, the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) alarm went off, kind of strange since Jeff set all the tires the night before to their ideal 65 PSI. They were reading 60/61. Maybe it was the fact it was 34 degrees out, knowing as soon as we got driving, the tires would heat up. The thing is, the reading is different depending on what you’re using. The TPMS reads one thing and the tire pressure gauge reads something else. Do we add more air or not? Jeff decided to get it back up to 65 before departing to make the tire monitor happy. Being in a range rather than trying to be exact, is best. You’ll drive yourself crazy otherwise.
Jeff took the first 3 hours of driving until our first rest stop. My 3 hour duty was about all I could handle until I was ready for a nap just before the Grapevine. I’ve never been so exhausted. Of all the symptoms that accompany COVID, exhaustion has been the worst for me. Jeff was so sweet to drive the remaining 4 hours to Joshua Tree; another driving marathon (about 600 miles), where we arrived in the dark. At least we were boondocking somewhere familiar. There was also something comforting about seeing other twinkling lights in the distance, fellow RVer’s hunkered down for the night. We were able to find a vacancy with a few schoolies just off the main road, though we were on a side to side slope with no plans to unhitch. One night sleeping at a strange angle wouldn’t kill us. The desert is a welcome change from the cold, wet dampness of the Bay Area. Maybe this will be a good way to boost my recovery.