Leaving home today was really, really difficult. I hated leaving Dan and my home. I hated leaving the comfort of our bed. I felt sore, and old, and nauseous. Dan was very supportive. He told me that I would have some incredible times, and that I’d have a lot of fun. I knew that I probably would, but I still felt sick.

Last night Dan, Brian, and I went out for dinner. While we ate, I whined to them about my anxieties. Both Brian and Dan said that if I didn’t like it, I could simply come home. It isn’t that easy… I don’t like giving up once I’ve started a project… but they were comforting nonetheless.

stopping above Tenaya Lake in Yosemite's high country

Once I hit the road, however, most of my doubts simply vanished. The van handled incredibly, driving smoothly out of the San Francisco Bay and into the Great Central Valley. After baking for an hour across the valley, I reached the Sierra foothills. I climbed slowly towards Yosemite, with the emphasis on slowly. The van is clearly hauling more weight than it’s comfortable with. On some grades, I slowed to 25 mph. Nevertheless, the suspension feels right. I’d like to lose some weight, and I’ve figured out a few small things to dump… my walking stick, my rear mosquito net, marshmallow forks. I’ll lose a lot of weight by jetisonning the water tank, which I’ll probably do while driving across the country.

Tonight we sat around the campfire talking about the next few days, as well as safe and low-impact off-roading. (Which is a misnomer, since we’ll be on roads the whole time.)

I’m feeling better about this trip. As I type this I can hear people talking outside the van, including the high-pitched voices of kids. It’s a relaxing, comforting sound. I’m going to make the bed and lay down reading (Nick Hornby, High Fidelity) for a while. Hopefully my white LED reading lamp won’t give me a headache.


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