Leaving Georgetown Texas on March 14th, Alice and I headed south….here is a recap of the first week.
Words taken from my daily journals, with some enhancements…..here or there.
Devil’s River Natural Area Campgrounds, the first night on the road, sitting outside listening to Neko Case, journaling about the days events while watching the evening sky come to life.
First Day’s Drive
We woke super early and hit the road. It was tough driving the van so dark and sleepy that early in the morning. But Alice likes to stop a lot to pee, which is good. I pee a lot myself! Makes a good fit. As the day grew on so did the challenges. Besides the normal handling of this 24 foot long sprinter van, the wind was blowing….hard. It took all my might to keep her on the road. I guess these are things to get use to.
Hours later, turning down a gnarly 16 mile road to the Devil’s River Campground, our first stop of the trip, brought excitement and nerves edged. This is an expensive beast of a rig I’m driving. I don’t want anything bad happening to it. It’s a big responsibility, another something to get use to.
Getting back to nature
I had a blast exploring today. I felt myself coming back to life, bit by bit and actually felt some bravery, deep down. Tonight we will see how brave I really am. First night sleeping next to each other….aggg….I’ve had nightmares about this. I can’t wait til it’s just a normal night. I just realized its going to take time for us to get our routine down. Just like my first night alone during vanlife or my first night on the beach alone in New Zealand, it will take time. Each day after the firsts I got better and learned just a bit more. I also know that learning can be easy and can be hard. I know the same will happen on this trip.
“I wish I was the Moon”
Sitting here looking out at one of the 8th darkest night skies, its not even dark and the stars are already popping. I can feel myself relax a bit. My poor body has taken such a toll with all this years stress and I haven’t been able to take care of her like usual. Being in nature, exploring, getting excited about being away is helping. It’s been amazing, so far. Just one day in but I’m grateful for this experience.
Seminole Texas State Park Campground: 2nd night on the road, tired but warm and snug in the van.
We went on a tour of 4k year old pictographs. It was AMAZING! The valley we walked in was formed by flash floods! The history, taking a view of the land from a cave!!! Ahhh, makes me want to live in the earth, looking out instead of living on it. Felt so safe, secure, snug and protected from the elements, plus you have this impeccable view of this breathtaking desert land. I’m ready to move in!
I’m really loving this trip yet I feel that I won’t get much done. For months, I hadn’t felt like doing much of anything but now I feel on fire to create videos, write posts, create create create!!! But we are moving really fast and it’s only day two. I just need to take it one bit, one day at a time.
Good Night Sweet Moon
We had a great meal around the camp fire. It got really chilly and damn near cold! We put out the fire and went to bed. I sat up and read for about an hour. Then I got to thinking, I really want to be known as a writer. I know I’ve been published and am technically a paid writer. But I want to be like those women I read about (more like obsess about) who travel the world, live in different cultures and share their stories from the road. Yet, they seem more exciting than me. No matter, we all have a story to tell, don’t we? Well, anyways, I’ve decided to take action and I’m going to start a routine. Now, will it last?
Big Bend National Park: Final days ending our first week on the road.
It was a CRAZY day!!! First, the drive in yesterday was amazing. The bluebonnets overflowed the sides of the road painting my way through the park. All campsites were full but we somehow found an RV site. Good luck, today was about luck as well but with a bit of terror involved.
The day was to consist of a bike ride followed by a day of work. Alice was going on a short hike followed by doing some art. The trail I thought about biking, and that Alice thought was a bike trail, wasn’t. (I found there are no bike trails in this National Park, which I think is true for most National Parks). I thought about hiking it but there was a big ass warning and sign stating there was no shade or water for the 3 or so mile one way hike to some hot springs. It was about a mile walk to the trail head, I didn’t want to take on a 6-8 mile hike. My day was about writing!!! Instead, I took a short road ride and snapped some photos of the bluebonnets.
After my ride I was enjoying some alone time in the van. Spread out onto both beds I was enjoying just being for a moment. As I was deciding to get to some writing, Alice had messaged me, the trail was more difficult than she had thought and she was running low on water. We decided I’d go pick her up in the van at the hot springs. She thought she’d be an hour. I ditched my writing and went to pick her up. 3 HOURS LATER she finally arrived sunburnt, out of water, exhausted but safe. I was in a bit of terror for those last few months until I saw her. I was grateful she was safe.
We went to Mexico! And we went early, 7:30am! Alice thought there was already a line, nope. The gate wasn’t even open yet. At 8am sharp and after a vibrate pink, purple sunrise, we entered. It was really crazy easy to get into Mexico. We walked a bit til we got to the river then paid to be rowed across it. We then took burros into Boquillos. My thoughts went to Edie (Mission Walker and badass hiker who took burros and walked through baja mexico where there is no trail, check her out she’s AMMMAZING and will appear later in come COTN content!!) How did Edie do this?!?! I rode not even a mile and was exhausted. She’s a total badass.
Gabriel was our tour guide. The town was very primitive and poor. They live off of tourism. As tourists, Gabriel showed us the town full of friendly faces selling handmade trinkets. After “just looking” we had breakfast of tamales, rice and beans. While sipping my morning Mezcal, I couldn’t help but think what would happen to this town and its people if there was a wall here? Thanks to the National Park, it’s unlikely. But after 9/11 the boarder closed for 10 years! The community was cut off and hurt by the lack of tourism. This trip, only days in, is showing me another side to others lives, another side to things, another side of the wall.
LNK Short Film Fest FRIDAY!!!
Excited and honored to announce that one of my stop animation shorts has been selected to take part in the 2019 LNK Short Film Fest!!!! Head out and show your support of other Nebraska film makers!!! And watch some great films!
Friday May 3rd 5:30-10pm in the Rail Yard Lincoln, NE
Please stop by to check out my stop animation "Rebel Hearts Love Story" and other great films!!
Thank you, Michael Burton, for putting on this great event!!