It’s 4 pm and I’m walking the aisles of a gift shop in Holbrook Arizona not far from the Petrified Forest. It’s like most every other back road gift shop. Not much creativity. I don’t need any shot glasses that say, I “heart” Rock Paintings (even if I do) or a Postcard from Arizona (can’t remember the last time I mailed something—even the DMV is online!). I don’t need any polished rocks that look so—unnatural or pottery ring holders or calendars with Wiki photos of the Grand Canyon. Where is the creativity? Being in a shop like this just makes me want to re-brand it; unique merchandise and creative merchandising would radically improve sales. Really.
With nothing of interest to buy, I didn’t; I just paid the clerk $10 for an electric hookup for the night (I was going to need the air conditioner) and walked outside into the late day. It was hot–well over 90 degrees–and I still had to set up for the night. It was a routine I knew well now–the stabilizers, the chocks, the propane, water management… There were other things too: facing the rig in the right direction (you want the breeze not the sun), staying as far away as you can from road noise and other travelers with pit bulls and motorcycles, and a level-ish area free from nails, screws and other tire-puncturing debris.
As through most of this trip so far, my little trailer and I were the only ones there. I chose a spot and walked the angles and distance calculating the best way to back the trailer between two closely aligned picnic tables and still face the slide-side away from the setting sun. It took only three tries this time; I backed into a spot under one of the few trees tall enough to be of some use in the heat. Quiet. Alone. Beautiful.
I am getting better at this—the trailer travel thing and backing up thing.
I don’t travel to escape life but so that life will not escape me.