Day 37-38: Road Trip in the Time of Covid
It was about a 14-hour drive back to Austin, so I decided to break it up into two days - stopping in Amarillo, Texas, overnight. I got an early start after dropping Michelle off at the airport on my way out of town.
I wasn't more than an hour out of Denver when I realized my car's A/C (which had been struggling off and on for the past two weeks) had finally given up the ghost. Great. Just what I wanted: a 900 mile drive through west Texas in July with no A/C. *sigh* On the bright side, I felt grateful it had lasted me up until that point.
I drove the entire way with all my windows rolled down and a t-shirt wrapped around my head so the flyaway hairs wouldn't tickle my face. I was also guzzling ice water and literally pouring it over my clothes and skin to take advantage of the cooling effects of evaporation. #science
I was very happy to see the Welcome to Texas sign, until I realized I still had 600 miles to go. I sometimes forget just how big Texas really is.
I spent the night at the hilariously colorful Big Texas Steak Ranch Hotel. I used to stay there with my Contiki groups back in the day and they loved the completely over-the-top Texas decorated rooms.
Really, I wanted to stay there because of the yummy steak restaurant next door. Notice my Honda Fit's choice parking spot between two long-horn sporting limos.
When I finally made it back to Austin and opened the front door of my condo, I nearly wept. Mainly because a very, VERY good friend of mine had come the day before and turned on my air conditioner, but also because it was just so nice to be back in my own little slice of cool, calming heaven.
I can honestly say I THOROUGHLY enjoyed my time on the road over the last five weeks. Seeing all my favorite parks and a few new sights along the way was everything I hoped it could be. Being able to set my own schedule and change it at will was also a big treat. I honestly didn't mind sleeping in my car - it was astonishingly comfortable and oh so economically practical. The lack of accessible showers (due to Covid closures) and the constant wondering where the next bathroom was going to be, were a bit of a challenge, but I feel I managed it well for the most part.
If I had to pick my favorite part, I'd say it was the long moments of technology free silence as I took sunrise and sunset time lapse videos with my cell phone. Having nothing to do for an entire hour but sit and enjoy nature around me was very soothing to my soul. Likewise, I cherish the memories of the times I would pull my Honda Fit up to a pretty spot and pop the hatchback to lay back on my pillows and soak up the view.
As I stare down the barrel of another 10-months without my beloved travel career, I wonder what this time will have in store for me. I was so painfully unproductive and bored during the first few months of lock-down, that I am endeavoring to not let myself fall back into the soul-numbing cycle of Netflix and novels.
I've decided to heed the advice of the state of Texas and self-quarantine at my condo for the next 14 days, since I've traveled out of the state. (I feel fine, but I want to do what's right, just in case.) I plan to take this time to do some soul searching to see how I can best use this unprecedented time-off.
I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my Road Trip in the Time of Covid adventures. Until next time - happy trails!! :)