Post vaccination: Back to winging it on the road
We took off Friday for our first big post-vaccination jaunt: eight weeks through Arizona, up the eastern Sierras, then the California coast, then Oregon and Washington, and back past the Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho. We don’t have reservations anywhere. We’ll find our camp spots where we stop at night.
It’s a feeling of freedom similar to when we first got in the van and headed down the road seven years ago.
This trip will be a combination of exploring new wilderness, visiting friends and family, camping at some of our favorite spots along the coast and even visiting a favorite yarn store in Pacific Grove. IN PERSON!
We kicked off the trip by stopping in Tucson to see my step-brother, Kevin Dahl, and family. Kevin is running for city council for Ward 3, and we were thrilled to knock on doors and pass out literature about his outstanding qualifications. It was a fun reprise of the canvassing we did for the 2020 presidential election. After door knocking on Friday, we retired to the “Spring Street Tavern,” held in Kevin’s front yard, where we had drinks and conversation with our longtime Hawaii friend, Pam, who lives around the corner, and Carl, a neighbor just our style, who came to Arizona as a kid because of his asthma and stayed to major in physics at the University of Arizona. He was appalled that we had never watched This Is Spinal Tap, although I did get the reference, “Turn it up to 11.” Tom and I promised to fix this gap in our cultural intelligence. The only disappointment was the neighbor rocker across the street wasn’t rehearsing, leaving us without tavern tunes.
After finishing up our precinct on Saturday morning, we met camping friends Keven and Georges for lunch at Vivace, a wonderful Italian restaurant recommended by chef Georges, who worked with the owner and knows several of the employees. It turned out to be a three hour extravaganza from the antipasto and pear and walnut salad, to the penne and sausage, eggplant lasagna and fish soup, to the bread pudding and pistachio gelato. Ahhhhh, restaurants, how we’ve missed you. They even had gluten-free pasta for me, bless them. And, maybe because of the two bottles of delicious prosecco, I didn’t take a single picture. But it remains in my mind’s eye, along with the August camping plans we made with Keven and Georges to meet at Bears Ears National Monument.
We headed up through Globe to Roosevelt Lake, an Arizona wonder that we have never visited in all the decades we’ve lived here. We found many available campsites for $12.50 a night with my senior discount. Yea! We picked one on a hill with a beautiful view of the lake, set out our chairs to catch the sunset and the evening breeze and, still digesting our Vivace goodness, made a dinner of snacks. As it got dark, the temperature perfect, we watched boats night-fishing on the lake, their lights twinkling.
I woke the next morning with birds singing outside the window, and remembered why I so love this nomadic life. Less traffic, less scrambling, no TV, more breezes, more views, lower blood pressure.
We were so delighted with our campsite that we decided to stay two nights in order to spend a leisurely camp day, with yoga in the shade, and a view of a saguaro top-heavy with a crown of blooms, some knitting, reading, leftovers from Vivace and another lovely sunset.
Day 2 we were up at the crack of dawn so Tom could take a five-mile hike on the Vineyard portion of the Arizona Trail, which he’s been day-hiking this year.
Showers, lunch and we’re down the road to the next wonderful spot, probably near Pine, Arizona.