Leaving San Diego
I left San Diego early February with the hopes of not seeing her again for a long time. It was a cold morning and it was still dark.
I was sad for wanting to leave my loved ones, but I had to go. God knows I had to go.
I had been building a van for this trip for some time now and I was excited to take her on a big adventure. Vanlife, afterall, was something I really enjoyed. More than vanlife, I enjoy exploration, solitude, the challenges of a constantly changing road and a constantly changing life.
So I left San Diego. By the time I left the City, the sun was beginning to rise. I was heading east toward Las Vegas and the temperature dropped noticeably. I wasn’t able to solve the heater problem before I left but I didn’t think that comfort would be an issue although I knew that the cooling system was compromised.
I continued to drive through Las Vegas and Nevada as I was heading toward Brianhead, Utah, where a warm ski lodge was waiting for me and Cyrus.
Cyrus, my best friend and road doggy is a handsome Golden Chow that I adopted some time ago from a shelter in Fairbanks, Alaska. He loves the snow and being in SoCal, probably sucked for him. It sucks for me as I too, love the colder weather.
After a day of driving we arrived in Brianhead and already, Kaya, our van was making noise that would haunt me for the rest of the journey. I would love to say that our trip was without incident but that would be a stretch. Along the way we were stopped twice by CHP for having expired tags (the coolant leak and a vacuum leak prevented me from passing the smog inspection, and as a consequence, kept me from registering her) and I caught a screw in the rear passenger side tire.
I explained to the cops that I was leaving the state and they warned me that other cops might impound my vehicle for not having valid tags. I explained to them the situation regarding smog and that I had purchased the van from a dealer with expired tags and I was let off the hook.
The ski lodge was quaint. The room had two queen beds but a small kitchen. It had a large tub, which I used every night of my stay for a hot bath and a fireplace that turned on periodically to maintain the warmth.
It was settled on top of a mountain at the foot of the ski lifts and there weren’t that many people around at all. Cyrus, who loves the snow, ran and rolled and did dog things in the snow. He was happy. I was happy. Finally.
I was over packed and disorganized so bringing in all the stuff was a chore. I knew I would be letting go of a lot so I wasn’t too worried. Refining the traveling process is something I love to do. The Shake down is one of my more enjoyable tasks of traveling.
The week was spent mostly indoors. I imagined I would be snowshoeing or cross country skiing, but this wasn’t the place for it. As it was on top of the mountain, the area to roam freely was limited so light hiking and playing in the snow several times a day was more reasonable. I came to write and draw afterall, and not to spend that much time outdoors. That would happen while camping in the van. For now, I wanted to be productive, to take care of myself physically, and soulfully.
Cyrus, being the best friend that he is, would rather be outside, but enjoyed the fireplace almost as much as I did.
I took advantage of the oversized tub. So grateful for that.