Just as always when I travel to America, I wake up super early at 3am. I love that effect of the jet lag, making me even more a morning person than I normally am. I’m still feeling a bit tired though, so I keep laying down for a while, but I know I won’t fall asleep again so I get up for a shower and get dressed. The earliest breakfast restaurant opens at 6am, so I have some time on my hands. I use the opportunity to post yesterday’s story and pictures. Just like last year, I don’t think I’ll be posting on my blog every day, but I do enjoy writing again. One of the goals of this trip is to relax, so I’ll try not to be on the computer too much.
It’s raining outside. Of course it’s raining, it often does when I’m leaving for a long journey. In the quiet early morning I do a last laundry round, have a shower and breakfast and then I’m ready to go. Just like last year, Uber isn’t working and there is no driver showing up. This’ll be the last time I’ve tried that in the Netherlands. I walk through a drizzling rain with my heavy luggage to the train station, but fortunately about halfway there is a bus stop with a bus scheduled in a few minutes. With just a few minutes left I arrive nice on time at the station to catch the train.
When I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night, it’s the strongest: travelers doubt. At the moment that I just want the comfort of my bed, my mind comes up with questions. ‘Why are you doing it?’, ‘Why are you spending so much money on a roadtrip where you’ll be sleeping in your car?’ and ‘Why would you challenge yourself that way and getting uncomfortable if you could also easily stay home?’ When I’m half awake and just starting the day I don’t have answers on those questions. They usually come a bit later in the afternoon when I see a picture of the expansive nature or when I think of the people I meet during my journeys.
“Have fun booking, because I already know what you’re gonna do anyway”, my sister says on the phone as we end our conversation. I talked with her for a moment, because I had the usual travel doubt. I love going on adventures, but the time before booking is often filled with a lot of thinking.
From Idaho to Montana
On Sunday morning it’s time to say goodbye again. It’s my least favorite part of traveling. What I find most challenging is that I never know when I’ll see my friends here again. It’s not like you can come over for a weekend or so. I give them a big hug and hope to see each other again either on this side of the ocean or the other side. Today I feel quite double. I’m sad because I’m leaving my lovely friends here, but I’m also excited to visit my grandma in Montana.
I continue driving up north very far. My first plan was to stop in Oregon, but it’s very cloudy there because of the wildfires. It amazes me how many fires there are in America these days. I can’t really remember that from previous trips. Fortunately they’re all far from me, but the smoke is evidently visible.
So I continue driving to Washington state where the sky is more blue again.
After a fun day of bike riding with Brittany in San Diego I hit the road again on Wednesday. My next car rental was actually planned for Saturday, but the people at Hertz were so kind to change the dates for me. That’s a few days earlier than planned, which’ll allow me to take it a bit easier and make more stops.
How I love this lodge in Yellowstone. I write for a long time and then sit by the fireplace to read a couple of pages. I could stay here the whole morning, but Matt tells me that he’s ready to hit the road again. I can see that he’s bored, so I don’t want to let him wait too long and close my book. I take the mental note to come back here some day.
It’s a good thing that I decided not to write every day. This week I spent a lot of time on the road and went through several areas without internet. It surprises me that there are still quite a few places in America that have no cellphone coverage these days. On Monday morning I pick up my rental car at Hertz. It’s a nice white Chrysler Pacifica. Back at Brittany’s house I pack all my camping gear in the minivan and say goodbye. I drive about two hours north to the house of my friend Matt, who is going to join me for the first two weeks of the road trip.
Sunday is a relaxed day, as I like Sundays to be. I start the day with reading a book on the couch and then go for a swim in the pool. My friend is busy in the morning, so I go back to the Copa Vida coffee place to do some writing.