Today, Andy and I are finishing up our second crosscountry road trip from the east coast to Salt Lake City. Although we followed the exact same route both times, these road trips are wildly different from each other.
Traveling with Grief
When we first did the trip in October 2011, we were driving Andy's tiny Nissan Sentra, overpacked and loaded down with Andy's life belongings. This week, we're driving a zippy Volkswagen Passat, just purchased from a family member and my first ever car. In October 2011, we were giddy with the excitement of Andy's new job and new life. We were awed by the stretches of country we had never seen. This week, although our eyes still saw the beauty of endless blue sky and scrappy pine bluffs, we also felt the burdens of anxiety and sadness. Worries about work, money, family, self, and loss lurked somewhere within the hum of the tires, the vibrations of the engine, the gusting of wind.
Eating on a Budget
One difference that I've really enjoyed is our approach to food this week. In 2011, we mostly ate at restaurants along the road. We're pretty broke this time, so we packed all of our food with us: instant oatmeal, peanut butter, bread, trail mix, cheese, beer, Red Bull, and a huge batch of spaghetti with homemade sauce. We wash our reusable bowls and utensils with Dr. Brauner's liquid soap in the hotel sinks, and we refill our big coffee mugs at each hotel breakfast.
Let me tell you, at the end of a long driving day, there are few things more comforting than those spaghetti leftovers.
Love begins with 'W'
One thing that has stayed the same is my love for wind turbines and Wyoming. I think my mom would have liked both, too.