First and foremost, Paco and I are safe and healthy.
Our first month on the road was full of unanticipated adventures, stunning landscapes, and ample pleasant surprises. What wasn’t anticipated was how much became unavailable with the onset of a pandemic. Of course, no one could have anticipated things would unfold as they have. While I felt safer out in the middle of the expansive landscape and removed from all people, I still had the conundrum of replenishing my water supply every fifteen days, which meant going into the nearest town and risking the potential of catching cooties. I’m not an anxious person but found myself growing more and more anxious about what normally would have been a simple task.
After thorough consideration, I decided the safest option would be to hole up in a place where I have access to resources. Lucky for me, that place is a beautiful home in northern New Mexico that overlooks mountains and a lake and provides endless wildlife watching opportunities. If I’m going to have to stay in one spot to wait things out, I couldn’t have asked for a better place to land, and I am so grateful to my aunt and uncle for opening their home to us. Paco is especially excited about the prairie dog village on the other side of the fence.
We spent the past three weeks hanging out in central Utah on BLM land, which was absolutely amazing. Our last campsite was tucked alongside the San Rafael River, surrounded by giant buttes and rock faces that magically changed color with the direction of the sun. We hiked daily, explored every nook, cranny, and canyon we could climb into, and some days I just sat by the babbling river and read.
While I admit I’m a little disheartened about our van adventures coming to a halt, I keep reminding myself it’s only a temporary stop and this is all part of the journey. As a dear friend put it, “It’s like pulling under a bridge during a bad storm, but instead of a storm, it’s a worldwide pandemic, and instead of a bridge, it’s a beautiful house in New Mexico.”