WILD WILD WEST / by brittany reinhard

Well, here I am. I am living in northern California right now. I can't believe we actually did this!

Scott and I, mostly Scott, have so many crazy ideas that we either simply invest a lot of thought and research into or sometimes actually begin to act upon. Few ideas actually come to pass. But this one passed!

I see so many people living the perfect instagram (or so it seems!) life online. They travel everywhere, they do what ever they want, their pictures of life are stunning and it makes me jealous. Getting the "beautiful picture" is definitely fun. But I think one of the best aspects of this journey so far was simply the drive from Florida to California. First, you realize how big and how long and how vast your own country is. Second, you go crazy. Haha just kidding. Second, you see so many types of cultures and landscapes that you feel like you're driving through multiple movie scenes. Its surreal.

Florida to Louisiana was not exciting. I can say though, its weird driving through a state like Louisiana. I hardly ever hear much of the state...and then I get there and a lot of people actually live there, haha!

Then Texas...Texas was like meeting someone that actually looked like their caricature. There were dust storms, or maybe just a lot of dust. It was so so so windy, we were terrified driving towing the RV. We pretty much had 5-10 mpg all of Texas. Whew. And lots of windmills! And all the stuff you'd expect to see driving down a Texas interstate. It was cool. 

New Mexico is when it started to feel like the Southwest. Which to me was a big deal. I had never been west of Alabama until this trip. New Mexico was really neat - driving through beautiful landscapes, Reservations, and more wind. Then when we woke up the next morning to leave for Page, Arizona, I realized that I had made (expensive) tour reservations for Antelope but never thought what I would do with my cats while we were on the hour long tour! So thank God, there was an RV park that actually had room left for us that day so I could hook my cats up to some A.C. Making the stop in Page, Arizona made the whole drive worth it. Seeing Antelope Canyon was absolutely incredible and 100 times better than I thought it would be!

It was a wild time, constantly recalculating where we were and where we think we could end up for night time. We thought we would get to CA in four days like Google told me. Thanks Google. Thanks a lot. When you're towing an RV through extreme wind, you have to drive even slower than you originally were. One, so you don't die and two, so you hopefully get more than 5mpg! So we didn't fully realize how long this trip was going to take until about the end of the first day/second day. We wanted to drive as far as we could every night, but then you have to think - where will I end up tonight? Worst case scenario just boondock at a rest stop like the truckers...but...what if its 35 degrees at night and you need to hookup for heat? That's when I realized this was a bit harder than I thought. Now I have to research decent RV camps along a route in a state I've never driven before and hope that we'll actually make it there by a decent time. I made a reservation hours before a stop one afternoon, to find out, we were making bad time as usual, and would get there way too late and didn't want to be driving through the literal middle of no where late into the night. 

Especially driving through Nevada.

Once we got to Nevada (I am totally fine never ever never ever driving through this state ever again except to go to Reno) stuff got real. No cell phone service for hours at a time. No gas stations for hours at a time. No other cars on the road besides us for hours at a time. To make things even more clear, we ended up taking a road called Extraterrestrial Highway for 98 MILES. That was only a small part of our journey through Nevada. Long story short, we ended up in a strange little town called Tonopah that night. It was so crazy to me that we actually ended up in Tonopah because weeks before we ever left Florida, I would go on google maps and look at random towns in Nevada to see what I was getting into and Tonopah really stuck out to me. Hard to explain, but just a strange and interesting town. After leaving there, the roads weren't as lonely and before we knew it we were out of the weird desert mountains and into Reno and then into Truckee (our destination). 

I plan on doing another post about Truckee and Lake Tahoe in the next few weeks. For those of you that assume I am living on the shores of Lake Tahoe (I wish!) we are actually at least 18 miles from Lake Tahoe. But Truckee is so much better than I expected! And the camp we are staying at this summer is great - its not a tacky little camp where everyone is 10 feet apart. The camp is actually a private member owned association on 160 acres with over 500 sites. Its been a very busy past week and a half cleaning up the camp from the winter months (when they are closed). We have a lot of fun with everyone we work with and the days go by fast - the landscape and weather is beautiful to work in - and we are working way too hard right now haha - I currently feel all of my muscles. I didnt know they could feel this way haha.

Ok well here are some pictures below - mostly of our tour at Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. Congrats for making it through my rambling!

If you haven't been out west, you have to take a road trip. Its life-changing. 

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our super cool tour guide who was more ready for this pic than I was

our super cool tour guide who was more ready for this pic than I was

this was at Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. Apparently, sunset was the better time to go for pictures, and we went at sunrise. It was really hard to get good exposure of the actual landscape. But here's Scott to prove we actually went haha

this was at Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. Apparently, sunset was the better time to go for pictures, and we went at sunrise. It was really hard to get good exposure of the actual landscape. But here's Scott to prove we actually went haha

Scott had a "raccoon" urge while we were at the dam? hmm.

Scott had a "raccoon" urge while we were at the dam? hmm.

Here is a random picture of the highway driving through the St. George, UT area. I couldn't get any pictures to do the landscape justice. 

Here is a random picture of the highway driving through the St. George, UT area. I couldn't get any pictures to do the landscape justice.