Friday, August 21, 2009

The Transition: Day -1 and 1

This is a sex blog. I know this.

However, the next few posts will not be about sex. Since I'm assuming most of my audience is comprised of friends and family, I thought I'd relate the story of my road-trip to Philly for the next few posts.

The SexBlog will make it's return once I'm done with the story of transition. (Plus the delayed gratification will make the return to sex so more exciting.)

Enjoy the transition as much as I am!


The Final Countdown

The plan was to leave on August 15th, hop in the car at 8a, and start driving across the country.

I knew about this plan for months. I prepared by doing pretty much nothing until the 48 hours before I left. I started packing and sorting my clothes on the 13th, and then worked from 6a on the 14th to 7:45a on the 15th. As many of you know … that’s just how I roll. Here is what I accomplished in that 48 hours:

• Sorting all my clothes.
• Donating 6 kitchen sized trash bags full of clothes to Nicaragua.
• Cleaning my entire room (with Debbie’s help!).
• Packing boxes to be kept, shipped or tossed.
• Cleaning the common spaces in the grotto (okay, I toothbrush cleaned the grout in the shower and swept. Debbs cleaned everything else.)
• Cleaning all my personal files off my desktop.
• Washing 4 loads of laundry.
• Eating Dinner with an old friend.
• Getting drinks with camp friends in the East Bay.
• Eating dinner with my family.
• Watching the final 3 episodes of season 3 of Six Feet Under.
• Playing an Epic rockband finale.
• Experiencing my final moment of ‘Becca’ time with the Hitachi before tossing it in the trash. (It’s been 7 years … it was time.)

I’m not going to lie … despite pulling an all nighter … the final 48 hours of my time in SF were incredible. Thanks to my friends and family and Debbs, there was a great deal of smiling and laughter and love. (Okay and some bittersweet tears as well…)

At 6:45a, I hugged Debbs goodbye, said my last goodbye to the Grotto with Commander Nanikins in tow, hopped in Lil’ Berry and headed to SSF to pick up Papa Brewer.

80 E; Eighty E; Eighty East; EIGHTY … EAST!

After giving my Momma a nice long hug goodbye, my dad and I hopped into Lil’ Berry and headed out for the beginning of our crazy cross country journey.

I was really nervous. There were so many unknowns. Would my dad and I be able to get along for 9 days? Would my dad and I be able to get along for 9 days … travelling across the country … in a tiny car? What are people going to think of a young woman of color traveling with an older white dude? Was Lil’ Berry going to make it across an entire country? Was Lil’ Berry even going to make through the mountains? Were all these weird roadside attractions that my dad planned to see be totally weaksauce? Would my dad’s and my idea of what this roadtrip was about vary so greatly that we would fight the whole way? Would my dad’s wide sitting stance get in the way of me being able to manually shift Lil’ Berry? If we didn’t shower everyday … would it get gross smelling in the tiny space? Would all our shit fit? So many more.

But, the reality was, all of those questions didn’t matter. Only getting in that car and driving mattered.

And my stubborn ass wanted to be the one to start the road trip. Even though I had been up for longer than 24 hours, something inside was pushing me to be the one to be the agent in moving my life across a country.

Behind Lil’ Berry’s wheel, half crazy from exhaustion, I pulled away from the only childhood home I had ever known and embarked on the beginning of one of the hugest risks I feel I’ve ever taken.

I drove and drove and drove until my body starting slightly nodding off at the wheel. I drove all the way out of California. It felt like a good solid start. Once we were out of California, we started to rock our roadside attractions.

You’ll notice that one thing that wasn’t on my list of final countdown activities was planning the road trip. Luckily, PB took care of that for me. We planned the basic route together weeks before, but he spent time looking up stuff to break up the monotony of driving 3000+ miles. At first, I was skeptical of this plan.

Before I left, I kept thinking of this roadtrip as purgatory. Not necessarily between the Heaven of Cali and Hell of Philly … but more like the no-mans land of my life in between locations. I kept feeling like we needed to just go like hell and make it there so I could start things.

I didn’t want to make waves right away, and I figured day 1 was cool for taking shit kinda slow considering I was exhausted anyway. So we starting stopping places.

Our first stop? The Mustang Ranch.

No, I did not go into the brothel (I was with my dad, brah … damn), but we stopped outside, took some photos, and drove into the parking lot to check things out. It looked kinda skeez-tastic to me, but hey, I’m always down to see America’s sexual culture, so it totally worked.

We drove for a while longer, checked out Register Rock, which was this rock that had old-school graffiti from the 1800s carved into it. I got to climb a big rock, and that made me happy, because I like to climb stuff.

Our first food stop was in Lovelock Nevada, which also happened to be the first of many towns that to me, represent ‘small-town’ America. You know, a couple blocks by a couple blocks of shops, and then a few more blocks of houses … and then miles of NOTHING on either side. Crazy.

We ate at a diner that actually had veggie burgers. It was surprisingly grubbin’!

Then we went to the local Safeway to pick up Sunflower seeds (they didn’t have any … strangely enough) and had our first “What in the hell is that?” moment with Lil’ Berry. While we were inside, the four people working at this Safeway all crowded by the window and were pointing and wondering. When we headed outside and hopped back in the car, one of the employees hopped out and asked, “Where’s the back seat?” (Or something to that effect)

To which PB replied, “We left it at home. It’s cheaper that way!” True.

We rolled out of lovelock and moved on to enjoy Nevada’s beautiful scenery. Oh wait … I forgot … Nevada scenery is pretty much miles and miles of endless desert. Hella boring. Not gonna lie, I slept a lot.

Our original plan was to drive through and stop for the night in Wells, Nevada. However, PB kept saying, “If we’re still full of Piss and Vinegar, we can keep driving until Twin Falls, Idaho.” Which we did.

It’s important to note that before we got to Twin Falls, we stopped in Podunk, Nevada (not a really city … I don’t remember which city this one was in) to see the World’s Largest Dead Polar Bear. It was in the saddest, seediest Casino. Let’s just say you knew there were regulars and most peeps in there were already drunk at like 4p in the afternoon. The polar bear was pretty cool though AND f’in huge, not gonna lie. It was at least 15 feet tall, but may have even been taller. (I, in my exhaustion, only took one photo the first day, sadly, so cannot share with you the monumental nature of this crazy stuffed polar bear.)

Although our plans were to camp our way across the country, we decided that day one would be spent motelin’ it because it was already dark, and it would have been difficult to set up a tent. We picked the Park Motel, which was cheap as shit. The bedspreads were like Navajo print from the 1970s, and the pillows looked pretty flat. I felt fortunate to have brought my own. We went to the local market, bought some tall cans (I got a Miller Lite tall can, PB got some Hurricane), and watched some bad TV until we both passed out.

Above: Our First Road-Trip Sunset

Next Stop: Yellowstone