So this weekend on my 42nd birthday I indulged in a lifelong dream (definitely not a midlife crisis) and bought a RV. Specifically: an Airstream Caravel 22FB. The situation with Covid has taught me many things, but the main one is that life is too short to not get the most out of it we can. So we partnered up with some friends and drove to Fort Worth to pickup a shiny new aluminum RV.
There’s a strong tendency in my family to roam on both sides of my family tree. My maternal grandmother grew up in Jersey as a first generation American (her family was from Lithuania) and her husband was of Welsh decent and served in WW2 in the Navy. For the first ten years of my life their visits always came in the guise of a tan Winnebago parked in our driveway. Out of their five daughters only one stayed in their hometown to raise their family. While my dad’s side is admittedly a little more settled, somewhere along the way he and his sisters got bit by the travel bug. To this day I have aunt’s and cousins (and my dad) who can’t resist the call of an open road and good weather.
Some of my best memories growing up center on us taking road trips all over the South for family gatherings, visiting parks or being on vacation, or simply just camping. It’s really nice to be able to say one of the things I like best about myself came from BOTH sides of my family.
While the trip down to Fort Worth was fairly uneventful- the trip back took place over 3.5 days through the greater parts of Texas, New Mexico, and finally back to Colorado. It was…humbling, to say the least. I saw a lot of America that, even though I grew up ‘lower middle class’ in Alabama, felt foreign and unreal. Entire towns just completely abandoned, still standing. Roads that were a hair on this side of still functional. People who were desperately clinging to life and a world that came into being in the 40s and 50s and has withered ever since. I also got to see a LOT of very cool sights that have me itching to get back out on the road. I learned how to drive/pull a RV- not an easy task to learn on a freeway in traffic (don’t use cruise control!!). It was bittersweet, educational, and beautiful all at once. While the maiden voyage was by necessity a short one, my heart longs for the day when it’s the journey that’s important not the destination.
So while I didn’t get NEAR enough time out to shoot photos- the little guy can only go about 65mph and we had a LONG way to go in a short time- I did get a few good shots. Between the sheer amount of driving (~1800 miles round trip), the fires across Texas and New Mexico- haze, smoke, and exhaustion conspired to keep my cameras in their bag. I also managed to whang my thumb and lose part of it to the drone 🙁 I definitely plan to be out shooting in this thing as many weekends as I possibly can however.