Celeste drove the winding roads through the mountains and away from the coast the next morning. We weren't able to stay on HWY 1 due to mudslides and road closings, so the trip through the mountains was unavoidable. Following the GPS, we left our campsite and headed north for a few miles, before taking a right onto a paved road. After driving on strange roads for over an hour, we finally made it back to the 101 and headed south for Santa Barbara.
The plan: to beach somewhere on the coast and relax while we found lodging for that evening. The reality: every beach we tried to stop at was overcast and dreary and we couldn't find a cheap place to stay on the coast. We parked on the side of the road in Santa Barbara, feeling especially unwelcome and low on cash, bummed that our road trip appeared to be coming to a hard and abrupt end. Celeste called her sister in Long Beach, who happened to be in the middle of moving from one house to the other that weekend. They let us crash, shower and do our laundry amidst the chaos of moving in. They were so kind! We took the time to repack our backpacks, clean the car, and wash dishes- hitting the road a lot less cluttered but full of something like 'road magic'.
We headed back to Phoenix and quickly retreated into Celeste's apartment to hide from the heat and relax. I had a week until I would leave for Kansas City. We spent the first day hanging out with Celeste's friend Mia, swimming and relaxing and (you guessed it) avoiding the heat. After a couple more days of naps, working from bed, and regular showers, we decided to get out of Phoenix and head west to camp for a couple more nights. This time bringing Mia, we drove a couple hours to stay at Joshua Tree NP. The bees were still abundant and the heat just as strong, but the nights cooled down and we sat around a fire with beers enjoying the weather. The next day we decided to camp near the coast so we could see the ocean one more time. In a couple of weeks, I would be starting a new job and Celeste and Mia would be going back to work teaching and working with kids. It felt like the last fun I would have all summer. (dramatic heart of a travel thirsty monster). We got back in town in time for my flight, and before I knew it, I was walking off of the plane in Kansas City, Road Trip #5 behind me. Though there is always a bit of sadness at the end- I felt satisfied and full. I had a lot of deadlines for big decisions approaching and I was ready for them. Well- ready to do the work to figure out how to be ready. My lease was up in a couple of months and I needed to get a job. When I quit my desk job in June, I had a list of questioning constantly running through my head. Will I move? Should I look for a job somewhere else? Is there anywhere I want to move? Should I stay for a few more months? Should I get another desk job or something more temporary? Now it was time to answer those questions.
The stayed very busy and very tired the first couple of weeks back. Most of it was fun- a concert, a few family get-togethers, catching back up with friends. The rest of it was stressing and sleeping. When August 1 started to approach, quickly came the anxiety with the next round of bills. After too many naps and doing as much (but not enough) freelance work from existing clients, I knew it was time to get a job (or charge all of my bills to my credit card and increase my already existing debt :D). Currently, I am working as a server, saving money and paying bills, waiting on my lease agreement to see what my next move is. I will say that I spend 80% of the time searching the internet for vans, rvs and buses. I'm reading about living on the road and doing what I can to build a sustainable income from a laptop. The question now is
Photographer on the road