and Post-Expo relaxation We left expo feeling more dirty and exhausted than I can remember feeling, which for a couple who lives in a van is quite the statement.
The dust bowl seemed funny for the first few days but by the end our bodies were crusted in a thick layer of dirt and based upon our voices and breathing i'm guessing the inside of our lugs looked the same.
Luckily, AirBnB had sent us a free stay a while back for being superhosts for so many years in a row, and jen thought ahead and booked a room on the final night of the show in Flagstaff. The room was a welcome respite, but the shower was without words. So...Good.
We finally got out of the shower and wandered downstairs for a burger and a cocktail. It felt great to have made it through the show, to be done with another phase of this business and this crazy portion of our lives but also began thinking about what was coming next. We didn't go into the show expecting a van to sell or expecting all of our kits to sell...but now that its over we're aware of the fact that we have work to do. A shift from making to selling/marketing...but work to do still. Luckily we aren't planning on driving directly back to portland, so we can't exactly get to work right away- but we could feel those thoughts creeping in, even as we waited on our burger to come off the grill.
Luckily, Richard and Ash were heading our way and able to save us from our own mindset (in exchange for a shower of course). We had a lovely relaxing evening that didn't last very long in our exhausted state and we all all crashed before heading out our separate ways (supposedly).
We were supposed to be dropping off a van to be shipped back to portland, but the shipper was out of contact and we tooled around town running errands and trying to figure out what to do with 2 vans (seems to be the story of our lives recently). We eventually made a deal with Mercedes Benz of Flagstaff to leave the van there overnight so the shipper could pick it up in the morning and so we could continue onward.
We only made it as far as Sedona with light fading and headed up a fire road looking for a view and a place to camp. Who would we run into on the way uphill, but Richard and Ash of course. We found a nice quiet spot, made camp and enjoyed the fact that less than a few minutes outside of town we had absolute quiet, absolute dark and somehow...three bars of cell reception to catch up after a few days out of contact. Just lovely.
The landscape was open, quiet and desolate. Just what we needed after several days at the show being "on" and talking nonstop. Our camp partners were pleasant as always and while we rarely seem to find ourselves camping or traveling with others... we could probably do this for years without running out of things to talk about. We simply share so much in terms of the lifestyle choices we've made, the travel and places we've experienced and the things/values we all share. Was a rare pleasure to travel and camp with them.
The next day we separated and Jen and I explored further down the trail and hung out the backdrop of a huge rock wall enjoying the shade and decompressing a bit in the quiet. We eventually made our way back towards town and somehow ran into Rich and Ash literally as were both pulling into the same tamale/burrito joint. These guys know how to travel (and by that... I mean they travel just like we do).