I found one of the long lost scraps of paper that I scribbled on during my trip across the country. It is disjointed and awkward and strange, but it was written during a crazy disjointed period of my life, and I’ve learned to appreciate the erratic nonsensical flow that my brain let out at the time. I will transcribe it below.
It’s funny how you can have every intention of blogging religiously on a trip like this… of keeping detailed accounts of where we go and what we do, people we meet and things we see, but it is never that easy. We have been on the road for 21 days so far. We left Gardiner on the 20th of October. Since then, I have taken four showers. One was in the locker room of a swim center in Montana.
There I met a bottle blonde hitchhiker who reminded me of Courtney Love. She was in her late thirties. We bonded over traveling, never taking enough showers, and national parks. She talked to me from the toilet with the door wide open, eventually asking me for a tampon, which I handed her through the open door. I appreciated her complete lack of modesty. I wished I was more like that. Meanwhile, I had just showered with my swimsuit on in a public, wide open shower room with two other women, both of whom were there for a senior swimming class (and thus over the age of 65) and both of whom shamelessly showered in the nude. Again, I had much respect for their total self-assured freedom. Power to them! I remember hoping that one day I would be that way too.
I have this interesting non-threatening social position, being a young, white female traveling in a ’71 VW bus… somehow fitting in with everyone from dusty hippy hitchers to well-to-do elderly women. I guess I look approachable, which is funny because I have spent so much of my life trying to look unapproachable. I’m not much for talking to strangers (or anyone much to be honest).
My next shower was at an Air BnB in Seattle. It was like a gulp of perfectly hot coffee. For that first five minutes, letting the water run over me, I was certain nothing else in the world could feel so good. Though I must admit, it was nowhere near as interesting as the previous shower experience.
That was all I wrote. My scrawling entry was interrupted by notes about our upcoming plans… dates, times, phone numbers, ideas, mileage. Little did I know my next couple shower experiences would be equally strange. Although I guess I should have just assumed at that point. Nothing is normal when you live in a bus.