Alternate Post Title: From Reno to Dallas, A Brief Summary
After the company year-end party in Reno, I went on a 2-week road trip that was almost extended twice with a good friend of mine. A good guy friend.
Immediately, my grandma stalked him on all forms of social media, liking and commenting on Instagram photos from MONTHS ago. (This led to him reverse-stalking her and finding all her #TBT baby photos of me and a very embarrassing video I’d recorded of me singing her happy birthday)
Anyways, let’s just say that before this road trip, I had no (ok, some) idea how desperate my family was getting for me to settle down—or at least find a boyfriend.
Upon hearing any mention of a boy, my younger brother would send me a flurry of texts. He’s determined to play the big brother role.
Bring him to Thanksgiving.
Ok, how about Christmas?
I NEED TO SCREEN HIM!
This same brother also participates in talks about me with our mother. He reports that in the last conversation they had, she had confessed that all she wanted was for me to find a boy. Me. The person that has just a seasonal job and finds things to fill the winter with haphazardly.
So for any family members reading: no, this isn’t my boyfriend.
Let’s start from the beginning. To get to the year-end party, I flew into Denver where 3 of my favorite tour leaders picked me up.
Arches National Park
Tent Rocks National Monument
After leaving two of our buddies behind in Denver, my friend and I headed down south to Albuquerque. If you look at the map, it’s a bit of a detour from the natural route. Let’s just say for professional tour guides, we didn’t plan this trip very well.
Originally, I wanted to see Breaking Bad things in Albuquerque, but when we arrived too late to do anything, we opted for an early hike the next morning at Tent Rocks National Monument, between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Apparently we were both still in summer mode because this snow completely threw us off. But we were desperate to hike and hiking in snow was new for both of us, so off we went!
And then we jet-setted to Texas. He was clearly happy to be home…
Passed through Amarillo, TX—
And headed for Marfa, TX, where we spent the best night at the coolest campsite. More about this later, of course!
Big Bend National Park
The past few days had been long days of driving. Finally, on the third day of our road trip, we could see a destination where we’d be staying for a good while: Big Bend National Park.
We made a quick stop through Terlingua, TX on the way in. Normally a ghost town that seems completely deserted, Terlingua was bumping! All because of their annual chili cook-off. On our second night camping in Big Bend, I had the pleasure of visiting a local haunt for some beer, pizza, and watching the locals interact.
And finally, we were in Big Bend, land of the enormous rocks.
Afterwards, we spent a couple nights in Austin, met up with two other leaders, and I hung out with all the Austin friends that I missed over the summer. It’s weird though; I felt like YEARS had passed since last seeing them but on their end, it was only a four month absence.
Though I was supposed to fly home with my trip ending in Austin, I couldn’t bear passing up the opportunity to speed through north Texas to visit their hometowns. I swear, small southern towns are like crack to me.
This road trip was absolutely needed; it was like therapy for me and my soul thrived.
Before heading out to Reno, I was hesitant on the road trip for many reasons—financial (I was uncomfortable where my bank account stood after Puerto Vallarta), social (I hadn’t seen him since our training trip 3 months ago. Would we still get along?), and emotional (did I really need more time on the road or did I just need more time to myself?).
I’ve come to realize that people are good for me. Especially people like this. It was nice to be on the road with just one other person again; nice spending that amount of time with a dear friend. Words cannot describe the amount of love that I have for my friends—despite the shit that I always give them for playing endless amounts of country music.
But, as always, with these immense joys come a paired low. And that is the struggle of adjusting to a life at home, trying to tie your drifting feet to shore. So pardon me while I play country on repeat.