For years, I’ve been wanting to stay at Riverbend Hotsprings, a modestly fancy resort in Truth or Consequences, NM. A room there is pricey, and in the times I’ve been down that way, either I haven’t had any money, they haven’t had any room, or some combination thereof. Evan and I had been talking about going there for a while, and conceded on spending the night boondocked outside of town and taking a dip in the springs.
Roadside Fires Burning
The ongoing narrative of life on the road, examining wanderlust and the metaphysical home, with a lot of kicking up dust in between.
Terlingua. Now that’s a town I could bug out in for a while. It’s a small town between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park, and has two towns coexisting: the old ghost town remnants and the hippies who moved there to grow old in the early 90s and never left.
When we stopped in Memphis, we met a couple who told us to stop in Marfa and stay at El Cosmico, a spacey tripped out trailer lodge, like a fancy hostel or outdoor hotel.
The funny thing about road trips is that the immediate surroundings don’t change all that much. The weather may change, for example, but the temperature is the same. So I didn’t truly feel like I was in Texas until I stepped out of our van onto the field behind our pal Josh’s house and smelled the dry sagebrush and juniper that settled in the air.
After being caught in the rain for four days, Evan and I were happy to drop anchor for the night at Gulpha Gorge Campgrounds in Hot Springs National Park, where we tried to dry out.
Today is Evan’s 31’s birthday. We are both a little under the weather but in good spirits. He’s replacing a part on the van while I take care of some work business. Today’s our third day on the road and we are in Jackson, TN.
There are so many blogs, websites, and Instagram accounts (oh, Instagram, you cruel mistress!), about living an “authentic life” and living one’s dream, creating the illusion of a dreamlike alternate reality that is all hikes through jungles and naps on the beach. There is even a funny parody account called @SocalityBarbie that works as a critique of that very fabricated so-called authenticity.
I got back from Newfoundland
two weeks ago, but have since been covering the happenings at Skull Fest, a four-day music festival, and camping at Raystown Lake, a great spot about 2.5 hours away from Pittsburgh that is a perfect getaway for mountain biking, swimming, camping, and some much needed R&R (though I did also do some work, albeit in a hammock). Truth be told, after spending two weeks in Newfoundland, I really needed another two weeks to decompress (and to get the feeling back in my toes). You can read one angle of my adventure on my other website, Lifting Weights At Midnight.
While I organize my thoughts, here is my fried and travel mate Erika’s fabulous take on our trekking adventure in Newfoundland.
In my very first Roadside Fires Burning post, I wrote about the struggle of parting with the things collected over the years, the important difficulty of splitting things up emotionally versus logically. Then a few months later I wrote about it again here, apparently unable to get over the darn materialism dilemma. So the time came—once we finished Race Across the West (I’ll write about it someday, promise), Evan returned from his week-long mountain biking voyage around the American Southwest, and I came back from my life changing experience at Squaw Valley Community of Writers—to actually, really, pair down what we need (literally or emotionally) and what we have just been wanting to hold onto. We had a yard sale and plenty of people came to buy our records and books, but we still ended up taking a lot to Mind Cure Records and a used book store, to the Goodwill, and putting things on the internet to pawn off on friends. We got rid of so much stuff, and the more stuff we got rid of, the better it felt. We still own so much, though, and as I slowly work towards putting things away, I realize: I don’t think I will wear this dress for the next two years, why did I insist on keeping it? Do I really need all these books, records, desk lamps?