After many years of telling myself that I should keep a blog, I am finally going to do it. My life is not nearly as interesting as it has been at other points in time, but I still enjoy writing, and I still enjoy doing weird things and escaping as much as physically possible. Nevertheless, here I am, hoping to catch your eye with an enticing story or restore that glimmer of hope and wonder in my own eye through memories and recollections. I don’t have anything in particular to write about. I am not stylish or knowledgeable enough to understand fashion. I am not artistic enough to do makeup or take marvelous photographs or paint. I am not patient or meticulous enough to give travel advice. I just like to write; I like to travel in somewhat unconventional ways, and I have strange hobbies. Maybe that can be enough.
When I first started trying to blog, the day we left Yellowstone and started on our journey across the United States for another big road trip, I started writing on a yellow legal pad. I love legal pads because the paper is thin, and I don’t get upset when the pages bend and fray or if I mess up on a couple of lines and have to scratch through something. It seems like imperfection is allowed on legal pads, almost like they are made for it. They are not prissy or high maintenance enough to judge me for making a mistake… so that is where I began. I wrote, messily, as we bounced along I-90 toward the West Coast. I used the lid of the tote box that held our snacks as a lap desk. I spilled my guts about the strangers I’d met, about the work Kodie had done on the bus in the middle of the Walmart parking lot, about sleeping in the rain, and what it felt like to leave my home in Gardiner, maybe for the last time. It was a good start. I was keeping up with the trip. I was finally writing as we drove, and I was proud of myself.
A week or two passed, and I wrote another two or three entries on the legal pad. I grew attached to it, and I started carrying it around everywhere with me, just in case the mood struck. I usually carry a tiny drawstring backpack instead of a purse, so it had plenty of room to catch a ride on my shoulders. If I didn’t have my worn-out leopard-print pack, Kodie usually had his trusty backpack, and he’d carry it for me.
We were in Seattle for about a week before the bus was broken into. They stole more from us than I care to think about. I’ll go into that in another post… but one of the things they took was my yellow legal pad. I felt violated. Some stranger had my deepest thoughts, written down on paper. The logical part of my brain knew that there was very little chance that they read it or cared at all, but there was still that little pull at the bottom on my stomach, that nauseated feeling you get when a stranger stares at you for too long. I stopped writing for a while after that. The feeling didn’t go away for a long time.
After a few weeks I started to write a little bit again, but at that point, I only felt comfortable typing on my laptop. My writing was short and almost incoherent, and sometimes I feel asleep with my laptop resting on my chest. I wrote paragraphs and named the files the date. I usually gave up and went to sleep before I had anything long or logical enough to call a blog post. I will include those here… those tiny intimate tidbits that fell out of me as we drove across the country, the things I wasn’t so sure that I ever wanted to share, but maybe it will be a positive thing. Maybe it will help me remember those feelings, and it will give you, the reader, a chance to understand what it was like to travel without boundaries or plans, because it was something unusual. I know that now, looking back. At the time, it felt like life, but now I look back at our disjointed travels, our spur of the moment ideas, our strange campsites, and I see how interesting it was.
That’s it. That’s all I have right now. Welcome to my brain, and welcome to my post-experience blog. I hope you enjoy.