writing from: skydive perris
I am not really planning on these reflections posts being a weekly thing, but I think this might be the best way to share our adventures since they can no longer be divided into "trips." I am writing this on Thursday (to be posted Friday) from the bunkhouse at Skydive Perris, a world-famous dropzone outside of Los Angeles. I just sobbed my way through the pilot episode of "This Is Us" (I am a crier, please don't be concerned for me...if you watched the show you aren't concerned) that I watched alone because I'm pretty sure there is no one else staying here (I can't be certain because there is another room and I haven't checked it) and Callen is in Nashville, Tennessee playing his last gig with the band he's been drumming with for 8 years. I dropped him off at the airport early Tuesday morning, drove to this dropzone and have been staying here since. I'll pick him up from the airport tomorrow (Friday) evening and if all goes as planned, we'll never be apart again! (ha. joking. kind of.) I should also note that I tried cold brew coffee for the first time a few hours ago and I'm assuming the caffeine is very strong or something because I'm feeling super jittery and typing much faster than I'm used to, so please excuse the typos and tangents.
This week has been strange. After such an amazing week last week (exploring Zion, spending time with our buddy Morgan, climbing and shooting in Joshua Tree, etc) things became less-then-ideal once we found ourselves in LA. Now. Some of you aren't surprised, but I must confess, I was blissfully unaware of how much we would dislike LA. I don't hate big cities (or...wait maybe I do??) and I honestly love movies and entertainment-related stuff, so I figured it would be cool to visit, but we didn't think through how horrible it would be to drive through LA with a camper and a lot of expensive toys (kayak, bikes, etc) attached to our car or how stressful it would be to park anywhere feeling like we might as well have a neon sign that says "this car has a ton of expensive gear in it!!!" Then we drove to the coast, thinking we'd escape the city and camp in a state park...HA. Update...it's $40 for a spot in a crowded campground anywhere near LA. What. So we stubbornly ended up driving 2 hours out of town to a free site after posting a possibly-too-honest instagram post about our big-city woes (I try to keep it real...clearly).
Well, people are amazing and a couple we knew from college in Austin reached out to us offering their hot shower and a bed if we needed it. Y'all. Austin and Morgan Jones are angels. Here's the thing, we're post-grad adult humans with adult expectations of ourselves (sometimes), so if I'm being completely honest, it's embarrassing to need to stay overnight at someone's home two weeks into choosing to forgo our own home. But it was a pretty awesome reminder that we didn't go into this with it all figured out and we aren't perfect vagabond dirtbags that dont-need-no-man. Sometimes, it's pretty awesome to let your pride down and be hosted by wonderful friends. Austin and Morgan showed us so much love and spoiled us with hot showers, a comfy bed and a home-cooked meal. As we drove off in the morning, homemade banana bread in hand (y'all Morgan is a saint), we reflected on how incredible it's been to connect with people through this lifestyle. Despite our mutual friends, we probably wouldn't have ended up hanging out with these two in Texas, but because we were both in California and both feeling a little desperate for familiar faces, we spent some quality time together and developed a real friendship. Now, we'll almost certainly reach out to them next time we're in the area to catch up, and maybe they'll even come visit us in Utah so we can host them :)
This lifestyle is weird. There is no rule book, no real guidelines, but we're learning every single day and hopefully getting better at it as we go. While I don't want to wish any of it away, I can't help but get excited thinking of a two weeks from now when we'll arrive in Moab and "settle down" for a bit, picking a campsite that we'll stay in for a few weeks as oppose to moving every night. But first, we have to (get to) shoot a wedding we've been looking forward to for months (these two!), attend Reel Rock Fest in San Francisco, visit our awesome California cousins, and summit Half Dome! And then when we get to Moab, my whole family will be there!!!! What a life.