lone star to the evergreen: a texas - washington roadtrip (part I)

Taking off from Bellingham, WA
Desolate roads
Landing in Houston, TX
Changing routes, through New Mexico and Arizona
Electrical storm over Southern Arizona
Meditating within the otherworldly silence of Joshua Tree
Desert bliss (me)
The Salton Sea
Salvation Mountain, Niland, CA
I've been dreaming of visiting this beauty for years
Plains of central California
Arriving in San Francisco
View of the Golden Gate bridge from Crissy Field
Hwy 1, Northern California / Tanner showing me the route he took on his week long bike trip

Photographs from last week's trip: mine and my boyfriend's impromptu roadtrip after a fairly last minute decision to buy a truck in Houston, Texas. It was our first time flying together, we spent our three hour layover in Seattle drinking down Indian Pale Ales, surrounded by the smell of the American breakfast. We spent our first night just outside San Antonio after a midnight stop at a crab shack for fish n chips and mason jar margaritas. We could have sworn there was sugar in the tap water. Our first morning on the road we decided to take a different route, head to California instead of Utah and Idaho, Tanner really wanted me to see San Francisco and drive the route he biked two years ago when he left Keystone, CO on a Greyhound bus with his bike, ending up in the foggy city and heading north along the coast, sleeping in the wilderness. We drove through Texas and New Mexico, listening to local country stations until we found a Johnny Cash album at a roadside store. We brushed paths with the Mexican city of Cidad Juarez. We ate tamales at El Charro in Tucson as the sun set and the sky shone a dark coral. The most glorious electrical storm trailed the stretch of highway to the very western edge of Arizona, once we crossed into California we stopped at a palm lined motel, the sky still flashed in the distance, we snuck into the pool for a lone, midnight swim, T held my weightless body as I watched the stars. 

Day three, we spent the morning driving through the desert, recreating The Good, The Bad & The Ugly's theme song with our voices. Nearing Joshua Tree National Park we saw two vultures tearing open the carcass of a dead animal on the road in front of us. Never in my life had I experienced such silence as I had in Joshua Tree that day, we sat on a tiny wooden cross bridge and gazed at the vast emptiness without uttering a word, I will never forget that moment. We then headed straight to the Salton Sea in search of the pastel wonderland within an isolate dreamworld. Salvation Mountain blew me away, a psychedelic creation, with colorful underpasses and caves with thirty years worth of people's trinkets, photographs, state ID's, postcards, empty beer bottles, trophies. It was the most fierce heat I had ever felt. We continued west through Coachella and Palm Springs then north.

As the sun set we neared the Bay Bridge, Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco" intentionally playing through the speakers. It was a perfect moment. We decided to end the day's drive prematurely so we could see San Francisco in the morning light. We got a room at a downtown motor inn and ended the night with a few chilled Sierra Nevadas. Day four, I refused to leave the city without stepping foot on the corner of Haight & Ashbury, we had breakfast at the Pork Store on Haight st, Green Eggs Benedict and the best coffee since we left Washington. We walked up and down the hills near Crissy Field, in awe of the view, for the first time in days we felt cold air on our skin. We touched the car shaken Golden Gate Bridge with our bare hands and headed back to the truck to begin the fifteen final hours of our journey. Highway 1 out of San Francisco was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken. We drove the first few days of Tanner's past bike trip, we stopped near a cliff sided lookout where he spent his first night between the trees. California came to hilly end. Oregon, we lost an hour in Portland. By the time we reached Seattle we were both hallucinating from exhaustion, Everette, Mt Vernon, Bellingham, finally at 3am we reached our solace by the ocean. We had never seen Sandy Point so still and heard it so silent, there was a fog, the blue moon lit the water. 3,000 wonderful miles in four days and many firsts.