Nomad Summer Wrap Up

packing cubes on the road

This summer marked the beginning of my Going Nomad adventure.  My time on the road was brief but lengthy.  I mean, man, I covered some miles.  Between the middle of June and the beginning of August I put 9,000 miles on my little-car-car!

To sum it up I drove from California to Texas with my Mom (who flew in and met me when I got off my ship).  We booked it to Texas as fast as we could - packed up my apartment and loaded it into a u-haul pod - and then picked my Step-Dad up at the airport.  We immediately booked it for New Orleans.  A few nights in New Orleans and then we were off to Arkansas and Oklahoma to visit family.  From Oklahoma we bee lined for Vegas.  I mean, Vegas is always a good idea, right?!  Vegas wore us out and we straggled back in to California where we recouped in a lovely backyard with amazing friends.  My parents flew back to Hawaii and I made a solo trip up the West Coast stopping in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia before making my way back down to California and rejoining my ship.  I mean, whew

It almost feels like a cheat to call that one and a half months Going Nomad because it was just so short except, I put so many miles on my car that I decided it has to count.

Spending so much time in a car and hopping from house to house you're bound to learn a few things about yourself.  Here's what I learned....

I will wear the same thing everyday unless the weather prevents it.  I had no desire to switch things up.  I saw new people everyday so they were none the wiser! 

A pint of blueberries fits perfectly in the console between your seats.

More disgustingly, I don't really like to shower.  I get a little self conscious showering at other peoples house.  What is that about?!

I have no will power to eat healthy when someone puts something yummy in front of me.  If I had my cooler and was in the car I was golden.  Faced with a yummy spread - nope.  

Healthy food choices aside, you're allowed to buy yourself a McFlurry after hours on the road.  Judge away interwebz.

Podcasts make my heart sing.

I can drive really, really fast and be none the wiser.

My friends and family are the best ever.  Truly the best.  So helpful!  So supportive!  So loving!

It's not that easy sometimes.  Introverts need to build in some alone time.  

Stop for the good coffee.  Skip the Starbucks.

Buying packing cubes was smart.  Really smart.

Touch the ferret at the rest stop.  You'll be so happy you did later.

I can't wait to tell you about my upcoming adventures!  This fall will be one for the books!

I'll drive your golf cart...for free!

I've never played golf...or really had any desire to play golf.  When my cousin asked me to play golf with him I pretty much rolled my eyes.

Then he said, 'you don't have to 'play' can drive the cart and drink a beer'.  Done.  

sandpiper harrison bc
kindle at the golf course

Let me tell you Nautie Friends, I'm happy to drive any of your carts anytime anywhere.  Do I get to bring my Kindle?  Even better!

I ended up at the Sandpiper course in Harrison Mills, BC. The course was beautiful.  I mean like full on natural splendor everywhere you look.  I don't play golf but I highly recommend this course!

The Time Oregon Won My Heart.

Confession:  my Dad is from Oregon...and most of his family lives there....and I can kinda take it or leave it.  I like to go see them but, I never leave Oregon thinking, 'aw I have to go so soon?!'.  My family has a big piece of land we call The Farm around the Corvallis area.  I've camped at The Farm - hung out at the river - walked through the fields - picked plums in the orchard - roasted marshmallows over the fire - watched the bats come out - but, if you ask me where my favorite hang out is on the West Coast I'll almost always pick British Columbia.  I'll even pick BC over Seattle.

Then something weird happened.  I was driving through Oregon on my way to Corvallis and I pulled over at a rest stop.  As I was getting ready to get out of my car I noticed a trucker wearing a cowboy hat and boots...walking his cat on a leash.  He let me pet her and then told me all about their life on the road.  As I left them to their walk I headed towards the bathroom and realized there was a free coffee stand. and it!  I take care of business and am heading back to my car when I see a woman.....letting her ferret out to play.  Said woman let me touch her ferret.  

man walking cat

I got back in my car and thought, 'Damn Oregon!  You're pretty cool!'.

Why the camp fires, black berry picking, river floating never got me, couldn't tell ya.  Suddenly, every where I stopped / looked I saw things I thought were great.

I pulled into Grants Pass and headed to Rogue Roasters.  It was customer appreciation day.  Win!  I got three backs of coffee for a bargain - where I might add they micro roast their beans!  

I stopped in Portland and walked to Stumptown with a girlfriend.  There were roses everywhere!  Everyones garden was amazing.  Win!

I met up with another girlfriend and we chatted and had fresh eggs for breakfast - like fresh from her yard.  Win!

I hung out in Corvallis with my cousins and had Ahi Tacos and Lilikoi Kamikazes.  Clearly thats a....Win!

Oregon - you're pretty much kicking summers butt.  I'd like to thank you for instilling in me a new found appreciation for your loveliness. 

Flowers of the Desert :: Chuparosa

Next up on our desert flower adventure - Chuparosa!


This red lovely could be found all along the roadside in the scruffy brush.

To be honest I don't know too much about it other than it's red and I was able to take a few pictures of it.  Of all the flowers I didn't really bond with this one.  Is that strange?  That I'm concerned about my lack of flower bonding?


Because it was so bountiful I was able to take a photos on a few separate occasions.

chuparosa & rocks

I'll admit that snapping some of these photos meant I looked like a total crazy lady on the side of the road.  You know the one who's perched precariously on a rock outcropping while huge semi's drive by gawking?  Yep, that one.


In a mostly brown sort of golden desert this red blossom was a welcome sight!

Flowers of the Desert :: Cholla Cactus

cholla cactus

How does every good story start?  Well, if you ask me it starts with a trip into the wilderness to go to the bathroom.  Truly, it's how I've begun some grand adventures.

Road trips are rife with bathroom emergency situations (especially if your name is Megan the Nautie Mermate).

Driving along I had to poo.  Like baaaad.  All of a sudden we see signs for Joshua Tree National Park.  I basically did a hard left turn of I-10 because well:  A NATIONAL PARK MUST HAVE A RESTROOM, RIGHT?!

We find ourselves on a long windy road quite a ways from the visitor center.  I screetch over to the side of the road frantically take off my slippers and put on sneakers and trek into the sand to find a place to poo amongst the cacti.  I didn't think I could make it to the visitor center...

My Mom is all, 'don't worry, no one will see you...'.  I'm like...this is a road!  There are no trees!  Cacti!  I can't squat!  Aaaaaaah!!!!!!

So I ran back to the car jumped in the drivers seat and burned rubber for the visitor center (while my Mom chortled in the passenger seat).

Long story short.  I made it.  

Where the heck am I going with this?  Well....during my trek into the sand I saw some really pretty flowers.

On our way out of the park I stopped to photograph some Cacti.  That one stop led to many stops and now I've got a collection of some photos I love!

Poop Expedition turned Photo Safari.  Of course.

Let me introduce you to the Cholla Cactus.  The first of a few Desert Flowers I'll be sharing with you!

I think whats great about the Cholla Cactus is how phenomenally complex their skeletons are.  They're equally gorgeous once they've passed on.

To be fair these Cholla Cacti don't have flowers on them right this second...but you can see some examples here.

What I didn't realize is that there are quite a few different types of Cholla.  The ones I've photographed are Silver Cholla (I think).

Click through to see a few more images.

Who knew that one of my favorite parts of the trip would be spawned by a poo emergency?!

The only bummer here is that I've always wanted to go to Joshua Tree National Park however; we entered from the Southern entrance it was a long drive to get to the heart of the park where you can really see 'the good stuff'.  We didn't have enough gas to make it there.  So I basically paid 15 dollars to go poop and then missed the park.

The good news?  Flowers of the Desert.


Confession:  When I left on this road trip taking I-10 from Houston to Los Angeles (and then I-5 from LA to SF) I thought it was going to be the most boring trip ever.  I was so, so, so wrong.  I can't wait to do it again!  

I felt like I just kept seeing beautiful land and sky scape after beautiful land and sky scape.  I saw cloud formations that I've only read about in text books.  I saw plants and flowers that I had never seen before.  The colors of the rock formations.  The blue, blue sky.  Just all of it.

There was a point in Arizona and Southern California where I thought, 'more cacti?!  really?!  give me a green hill!!!!' but, other than that it was gorgeous.  

Next time I plan on making more stops along the way and taking my time.  I did this trip in two days which I majorly do not recommend.  I drove 17 hours the first day and 15 hours the second day (those times include stopping for gas and pee breaks).  I was on a mission!  Realistically, it wasn't very fun and too much to be considered a good idea.  

Somewhere along the way on day one I decided that I was going to stop as many times as I wanted to take photos - I decided that it was going to be an epic photo safari.  I've got tons of photos to share with you!

I'm settling into California and will get some pictures up here soon!

In the meantime...some Arizona Cacti!