It was a unanimous decision to head west, fast. Our toilet tank was full and had now frozen solid, which also meant we had no water. Well, we could refill our water tank, but that too would inevitably freeze over. Plus the other fact of if we ran water, there was no where for it to go except our already full tank, which would cause it to overflow inside the van, spilling out its contents all over. We headed first from Colorado to Utah, making a definite stop in Moab. After checking the reviews and weather to make sure the pups were allowed we were both pretty set on checking it out. We passed the non dog friendly “Arches National park” and arrived in the town of Moab, stopped in at the visitor centre for a map and headed to the dog friendly park. We drove uphill to get to some pretty amazing views and through the state park to the trails. It was absolutely breathtaking, seeing the snow peaked canyons and red rock valleys made for some amazing photo’s.
One of the best parts about road tripping through America in the off season is that a lot of the time you can sneak overnight parking in some pretty rad spots. There was hardly any cars in the park and zero people camping due to cold weather, so rangers don’t usually do checks (but don’t take our advice, we play the chance card and have lost a few times, and $75 tickets aren’t exactly the nicest way to be woken up). We snuck a night in Moab, the stars were perfect. It was bone chillingly silent, except for the long howl of wolves intermittently breaking it. It was definitely better than a Walmart parking lot.
With a still frozen/full pee tank that needed to be sorted, we both agreed on driving straight through Nevada and into California. While dealing with these tank problems, and multiple other times on the road, Tom and I have both said we absolutely adore the van but realistically it is much more than we need. A bigger van means more responsibilities, There’s finding water to refill your tank, sewage dumps (finding dump sites), propane refills (which are actually near impossible to find in middle america) and much more. As keen as we are to continue our van life in the UK, with gas prices much higher and knowing what we know now, we are both more than happy with a much smaller “do-it-yourself” van. It may slow us down a touch as most things wont be as easy or convenient however with a smaller van, we will be able to do a bit more off road, or even off the beaten track, to get to more recluse places. We are always on the hunt to be where little or no people have ever discovered.
Howling wolves and sneaky spots.
As we only have a couple more weeks of our trip, the purge of my life has begun. Its a big step for me and sometimes I almost feel I may be doing life a bit backwards. At almost 30 years old you are supposed to be investing in good solid furniture (not selling it), preparing yourself for kids, being more serious about your career or what you want to do with your life. Don’t get me wrong, I do want kids and understand the importance of a stable career. However, what I have come to realize is, stuff is just stuff. You don’t need it. It doesn’t make you happy. It doesn’t mean you are accomplished because you have “stuff”. I could go on and on about materialism but I wouldn’t consider myself a materialist. I didn’t consume copious amounts of useless things constantly. Yes, I will admit to spending too much on pieces of furniture but I never had clutter. I will allow myself to take the title of a “recovering semi-materialist”. Thinking of getting rid of all my stuff gives me the most liberating and panicky feeling ever. I know the most sensible part of me is so excited about completely freeing myself from everything that has held me down before, and the other side of me feels the pull from societies ideals of what you should be doing with your life at this age. Simplifying means that I am free to go anywhere,with little or nothing to worry about. I just have to keep reminding myself that as I go through this process.
We are now currently in California. I do truly believe that Vitamin D is one of the most important ingredients in a happy life. The moment Tom and I feel the warmth on our skin, our smiles begin. You spend less because your day’s consist of lazing around in the sun and sand, your diet improves because of all the readily available fresh fruit and veg and like I said there’s this contagious happiness spread by that big ol’ yellow sun.