Our first night was spent sleeping in the vehicle. This is not as glamorous as it had been with Walden. How simple life was in those days…Park the truck, climb in back, pull the curtain closed, go to sleep. No, this was not the simplicity of our prior travels. We had to recline the chairs and sleep propped up in the Arizona heat. We were not lucky enough to have a cooler desert night. But not only was it hot, but I had to sleep with a fussy toddler on me who wanted to nurse most of the night. Oh, how easy life was with Walden….
But after the uncomfortable night in the truck the adventure continued. We got back on the road and drove through the desert on our way North. Phoenix we had seen so went straight through, but then we started to encounter uncharted territory. We came across Lake Mead which also included a few big horn sheep. Our next big city was Las Vegas which was something I had not seen. And who doesn’t want to see the strip? It looks so glamorous in all the movies, right?
What a terrible mistake. I’m not fond of cities but oh my goodness Vegas was ridiculous. The place was sooo crowded! And why do women think its a good idea to walk around in bathing suits, being no where near a pool? The traffic was HORRIBLE! Now I can appreciate architecture and the creativity that goes into the hotels and the incredible facade but this was just too much. We looked for our quickest route out of town and sped away (once the terrible traffic let up…). I have no desire to ever go back to Vegas. Maybe it’s because I can’t walk into the casino’s because of my daughter, or maybe it’s because I was never part of the drinking scene, or maybe it’s because I have a slight (or severe) aversion to people that I missed the magic some people see in Vegas. I’ll stick to the fabricated fantasy portrayed in the movies.
By the time we made it out of the crowd it was getting late. We had never set up our tent so wanted daylight to be able to figure the contraption out. I looked up a place that we could camp and headed there. Not quite sure if it was public land that we ended up on but nobody bothered us and we had a pretty good night’s sleep, except for a very large rock that was in Jay’s back half the night and then in my back the rest of the night.
The tent was incredibly easy to set up but it was tough getting our daughter to sleep while the sun was still up. This was a very different sleeping situation than she was use to. Ultimately we had to wait for the sun to go down for her to fall asleep and then we were able to go to sleep. We slept pretty well but call it the wilderness willies but all the outside noises sort of kept me up. For a time it sounded like a kangaroo rat was hoping on the perimeter of the tent. Totally possible but I wanted to see him so I had my face pressed to the mesh of the tent for a while looking to get a glimpse. Never did see it so I went back to sleep. Then, it sounded like something else was outside the tent. Something much larger this time though. It sounded like a coyote sniffing outside the tent. Of course at this moment I’m freaking out trying to wake Jay up, and trying to get up slowly enough to get a glimpse of it before I scare it away. Again, nothing. For all I know there was nothing outside the tent all night except for the wind. And we won’t mention the times I woke up making sure Aurora was in her pack and play and not abducted by aliens….Stupid Coast to Coast….
But it was a successful first night with only a little back pain from sleeping on the ground on a rock. We made sure to pick more comfortable spots to sleep on in the future. We got an early start in the morning (thank you toddler alarm clock), packed up, and headed out. It’s a great feeling to be on the road.
-Ay and Jay
August 11, 2015