Hitchin’ up on the road
Kerri and I had decided to take the month of September off. Both from the boat, and from Mexico. The plan was to do a month long road trip to visit numerous family and friends and return to Meriwether in October to complete the much-shortened todo list before splashing in early November (fingers crossed). That is/was the plan anyway.
I’m not going to bore you with the play-by-play of it all, just the stats man. Our trip included 5000 miles of driving over 4 weeks. We visited both our families (in California and Washington state), numerous friends both from before boat-life and after, stayed in tons of historic hotels and cool AirBnBs, and made sure to take the time to revisit a few places (hotsprings!) we loved from our van-life days.
For over a dozen years, I’ve done practically all of my traveling by bringing my entire home (and everything in it) along with me wherever I go. This almost-month-long road trip via rental car from Puerto Peñasco, through Las Vegas, Grass Valley, the NorCal/OR coast, up to Puyallup WA, and back down 395 was the first long car trip we’ve done together, and the longest I’ve ever done. Along the way, we stayed with three friends/family, one swanky modern hotel, six historic inns/hotels of various repair/disrepair, five inexpensive AirBnBs paid for by credit card points (including 1 “glamping” tent and 1 yurt), and two motor inns.The primary thing we learned is the inconsistent availability of coffee, especially in the early hours. If we ever do a road trip by car again (which I doubt we will), we’ll be bringing an electric kettle. The second, as much as I enjoyed many of the stays, is that car/hotel is just not a mode of travel I really enjoy. It was tiring packing and unpacking in for a new place to sleep every night. A good part of the reason is that we moved too fast and only stayed in each place (aside from at family/friends) for one night—and pretty much all the time spent not driving was spent catching up on work — and overall, I just felt too far removed from the places we were in, and their nature. Driving down 395 and hotel staying, particularly the Eastern Sierras, was nothing like pulling off a forest road, up to the foot of a mountain by a creek or warm spring, smelling the air, and sleeping surrounded by desert sage. I think I’m ruined now for only taking my home with me wherever I go. – Kerri
So…we did a thing! First stop on our September West Road Trip was to get hitched in Vegas! Tim and I have been virtually inseparable for nearly nine years since we met at a nomad gathering in the Anza Borrego desert during New Years 2015. Neither of us ever felt need to marry—we didn’t need to prove our love or commitment to each other with vows or legal documents. It’s very much strong enough on its own. But once our travels started growing farther and wider, we worried about access to each other if there was some health emergency, along with all the other rights and protections married couples have. So, Vegas, here we came.It just so happens that our dear friends and former nomads, Leigh and Brian, who were basically responsible for bringing us together (though they only admit it now that we’re a proven long-term happy couple ), live near Vegas as well. So, though we tried to keep this thing as tiny, low-key and casual as possible, it meant the world to us to do it with them as our hosts and witnesses. They made the day truly special— and fun. As did the lovely room Tim’s brother gifted us for our “wedding night”. (I don’t know why I have “wedding night” in quotes. It’s just still weird to me ).A fun addition to our tiny guest list were three folks from Hong Kong here on business that came to take pictures the historic Vegas wedding chapel (the oldest building on the strip, and apparently world famous), and asked if they could sit in on our ceremony. They were so excited about it!So here we go, ushering in a new era for us — though nothing really changes in terms of our relationship. But at least I get to call him my “husband” now, instead of “boyfriend” (too unserious), “partner” (too ambiguous), or “manfriend” (just for fun). – Kerri
We have now returned to Mexico and back at the job list on the boat. We were hoping to splash at beginning of November, but boat will be boat so we fully expect that to be delayed a few weeks. There is no time to relax, just early mornings of boat work followed by a nap, then dinner, happy hour, and back to bed to repeat the following day. Fingers crossed this will not be our “Hotel California”. I do not want to grow old here.