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Wandering USA: My Personal Rain Cloud

After many months filled with unfortunate events and setbacks, my motorhome made it out of California. It’s now also named Murphy… So it will be referred to as Murphy from here on out. I had the motor replaced along with a multitude of other parts and when I brought it back a week or so ago, it leaked coolant everywhere. I attempted to get the mechanic to fix it, or call in the warranty.. Let’s just say neither worked. So I fixed it. Me, a 23 year old female. The radiator hose wasn’t on the water pump right. Good thing I replaced that exact hose (with direction from Papa) a few weeks before the engine died so I knew what I was doing at least…

After all engine problems were relatively stable, I finally left town on a Wednesday at the start of daily traffic: 4pm. My bad timing is partly due to work and missing items, but also I think my brain was fighting me a little.

I basically just packed up my “home,” if I ever really had one, and left without a final destination. I’ve always somehow been in between things, neither here nor there, a drifter, a misfit, whatever you feel it should be labeled… And now I live in Murphy, nowhere in particular.

Maybe I’m on a journey to find my niche… Or maybe I need to make my own niche.

Whatever it may be, I’m currently wandering because I’m lost, but I’m not really interested in being found. In fact finding me would be counterproductive. I’m really not in a hurry to find a direction.. and whatever direction I do find, I need to find it on my own.

Arizona is an interesting place. The first day in Tempe, I needed to get my oil changed, situate some issues with the RV and get used to living in it again.

BIG shout to the guys at Gene’s RV because Legedu legitimately tried to eat one of them and scared the crap out of another. Anyway, Legedu got really antsy during the oil change so I took him to a park to run while I biked. He liked it until I tried to make him go on the same path more than twice. That dog is so weird. He likes to explore, not exercise.

In the afternoon my friend, Charlie, got off work and I went to his place. He and his roommate are worth an entire book of funny things, but all you need to know if that I got denied trying to get into Four Peaks… and all because my ID is vertical. For those of you saying, “duh” that hasn’t been an issue for the 3 years I’ve been over 21. For those of you saying that’s not a law, it is now. Apparently New Mexico has the same law… this might be an issue across the nation.

Friday night was awesome. We got drunk or maybe I got drunk and Charlie just laughed at me; I wouldn’t know. Then he moved the furniture so we had more room for activities… and he taught me how to two-step. We literally danced in his living room until 1am or something absurd like that. I have no idea what time I came back to the RV, but it was really late.

Saturday Charlie and I headed up to Superstition Mountains with Legedu, a tent and some guns. The two most exciting (and relaxed) parts of my day were taking pictures and shooting his rifle, shotgun and handgun.

In Arizona it rained twice. The first time was okay, because I didn’t want to do anything that day. The second time was just.. typical. It’s important to remember that I LOVE rain, but this was rain on steroids and it prevented epic plans from reaching their full potential.

Before we left, of course we checked the weather. With 30% chance of rain in the middle of the night we thought it would be fun. Around 5:30pm we started to set up the tent and try to light a fire. First it started to sprinkle a little bit, and then it started to rain pretty hard on and off. Then came the thunder and the lightening. With the tent up and the fire abandoned, we sat there contemplating our next move.

Thunder was echoing off all the hills and rocks around us. Wind whipped and rain seemed to come down in the form of bullets, like nature was mad that we shot her.

When a solid line of lightening hit the hill directly in front of us, we packed up. It was not a comfortable experience to be hit in the face with ice cold drops of water in gale force winds. However, it was hilariously fun despite how terrifying it was to think that we might die trying to get off the mountain while racing lightening and floods… Did I mention we both forgot a jacket?

I’m not sure why the rain wants to follow me around, but now that I’m in my next location there is a storm headed here as well. Each time, it did not show up on the forecast until the last minute. Wish me luck braving this thunderstorm all on my own.


STATE


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I'm a 24 year old writer and full-time wanderer. My dog, Legedu (Leg-a-doo), and I just finished a trip in my 23 year old motorhome wandering through half of the vast USA. Armed with an annual national park pass, a camera and my pen, I'm determined to see everything this country has to offer. Next Spring I will set out once more to travel through the rest of the states.As a Master's Graduate at the School of International Service at American University, I'm fascinated by culture and societal conflict. This is the story of my ultimate global cultural immersion. I'll get to know the culture of my own country intimately and then set out to meet the rest of the world.



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