Experience is an excellent teacher. I’m a fan of learning from others and not having to go through certain experiences if avoidable, but a multi-state road trip and camping out of your car is one of those things where you can research all you want, but until you do it, you won’t really know.
I’ve been reflecting about what I would do differently. I know, I’m only a few days into the road trip, but I’m noticing a few things about my setup, as well as myself. Below are a few things I would change:
- Ditch the kayak. I felt this way before I even started the trip, but I had to take it with me to get it to Madison. I could see a place for the kayak if I was moving at a more leisurely pace, but I’m not. More on that later.
- Smaller fridge. I stand by my decision to get the fridge, but I wish I had bought a smaller one that consumed less of the battery. In these desert temperatures, the fridge eats through the battery quickly. It’s fine if I am driving for hours each day, but this next span of time, I won’t be, which means the fridge does not have time to recharge. The solar panels I got would be fine if I was in one place long enough to recharge it each day, but I’m not. I’m hiking. I’m exploring. A smaller fridge would likely consume less battery life. I’m going without cold food the next few days.
- Platform structure. I would have built it a little differently to allow access to the middle part of my car. I put a few things in that section I don’t really need, but it would be nice to have more space to throw things during the day. As it is now, I would have to remove one side of the stuff in my car and lift the platform.
- Know who I am as a person. Before I left, my mom said something along the lines of she hoped I would take my time and enjoy life along the way. I’m discovering I am not that person. There is too much to see and do. I wish I was that person that would set up for a few days in one spot, but I want to see it all. Maybe one day I’ll be that person.
- Carry a smaller stove and less propane. This ties into the point above. I’m taking advantage of as much daylight as possible. I pulled into my campsite tonight with enough time to eat and prepare food for tomorrow’s hike. If I am being honest with myself, I’m not even sure I’ll cook once this trip. We’ll see. I’m coming around to the idea of a quick breakfast, peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch, and possibly eating out for dinner.
I had a short drive from St. George to Zion today. After my call for the project I am working on, I left, arrived in Zion, packed my hiking bag, and hiked Angel’s Landing. I was a little scared doing this hike because I am afraid of heights and this hike has chains to hold onto because it’s a very steep drop off. I believe around 13 people have died since 2004 because they fell.
I was fine. I loved the hike. Utah is beautiful. I am really looking forward to exploring four other parks. It was extremely hot though. It was 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tomorrow I hike The Narrows. I use the word “hike”, but from my understanding, it’s more like wading through a river for 8+ miles. I rented gear (neoprene socks, canyoneering shoes, and a walking stick) to make it easier.
It’s interesting the people you meet on the road. Near the top of the hike, I stopped off where another woman was sitting because we had to let people pass. We started talking, and she asked where I was coming from. I shared about my move from Seattle to Wisconsin and the road trip I am taking.
Funny enough, she was leaving New York and doing a road trip to Seattle because she was moving back home.
It was a strange coincidence.
To top it off? She’s in the legal world, and I’m in finance. Two careers most people find boring.
I’ll hike The Narrows tomorrow and likely move onto Bryce next.
No photos of Angel’s Landing because they are on my phone, and I haven’t had good enough WiFi to download them to my computer. I’ll likely do a gallery at the end of the trip once I am settled in Wisconsin.