Highway 10 to California Roadtrip

Hours later I woke up at a gas station somewhere inside of El Paso. The iPad alarm, which had been set for 6:15, was repeatedly going off. It was now 6:45, meaning neither one of us had been consious enough to hear it for half an hour. The Husband’s eyes bloodshot from having been up at 5am the morning of the day before, and driving through to this morning. I grabbed my tooth brush and went inside to freshen up. A “non-potable water” sign was taped on the restroom door next to a handwritten sign of “restrooms for customers only” followed by a 3rd sign that said “out of order”.

Since I was a customer, I decided to inquire as to where another restroom may be. The lady was on the phone and just shook her head no.  30 miles to the next one in Balmorhea.

Uhg. My mixture of OJ and water would have to accommodate the toothbrush for now.

IMG_1472.JPG I drove, he drove, he drove, I drove….a blur of unmentionable towns passed and the night was creeping in (again) when we finally crossed into California. The Husband was suppose to be sleeping in the back, but once you pass over 24 hours of awake, your reality becomes a little misplaced and you’re not really in charge of you anymore.
Craigslist had sucked him in. Where r we?  I don’t know, I think Tuscan was the last town I remember seeing.  Change of plans, we’re going to San Diego. Camper shell, $300 and it’ll fit the truck.

Enough said. He had been searching Craig’s for months with no luck on anything decent that would fit our GMC. Called the owner and told him we were somewhere around Phoenix and could be there in 6 hours if that wouldn’t be too late? Said he’d be sleeping but would set an alarm and wake up when we got there (awesome!). Totally stoked for the new element of adventure the camper would add to our trip, we cut down to the 8 and drove on.

Now totally dark, and having slept a non consistent 5 of the last 38 hours, the road lines were starting to blend together and I was done. I veered toward the next rest stop, passed off the wheel, and crashed in the back seat. The temperature dropped but I was beyond looking for a blanket and just threw the pillow over my face, tucking half between my shoulder and the seat for partial warmth. Apparently he shook me when we arrived, but I have no recollection other than hearing some banging coming from the bed of the truck when they were bolting down the camper. Delirious, and both of them half asleep, this is how the negotiations went down;

“Is that the camper?” (Pointing to the only camper shell there)
You got the $300?
“Here” (handing over the cash)

Probably the first time we paid full price for anything on craigs, but it was an awfully good deal.

Parking at the first hotel in site, just 1 hour from our destination, The Husband pulled me out of the back.  “Come on hun, I got us a bed”  Of all the amazing sweet things he’s said to me, at this moment this trumped them all.  Grabbing a few bags and sneaking the pup in through the back door, we soaked in the luxury of the La Quinta’s hot shower and then fell straight to sleep for a full uninterrupted 6 hours.

Coming back to life over the complementary continental breakfast, flashes from the night before started to surface.  “Right? Dude and I think I evaded a check point last night when it got dark (again). I was delirious and you were passed out and it said to stop but no one was there so I was waiting, while cars lined up behind me. Someone honked so I just drove through.  I hope that was ok.”  I’m pretty sure you went into that rest stop via the exit too.  “I was wondering about that, I saw the sign for rest stop but then never saw the actual building when I exited.”  Well, its a beautiful morning, beach?  “Yes please!” 


Check out the Stealth Camper Carpet Kit we built for it.  Less than $50 in and under an hour!  A total urban camping must have for your complete road tripping enjoyment.


  1. Aaron

    February 22, 2016 at 5:14 am

    I havent been so glued to my phone in years . i have been reading through all your blog posts and I am extremly happy for you guys. Ryan, dude your the man. I love that you make all your hobbies still work and still base yourself in non surf/snow areas like texas.!! Your guys adventures really inspire me to get back to adventure mode. I have always been a little scared to get back on the roas with my parker but now i feel i made a huge mistake and am honestly fliping through every recorce i have tonsee if i can an adventure of my own hoing woth the wife and son. You guys be safe out there and keep in touch. If we are passing by each other we need to get together.
    Semd me some baby pics.!!! Love you guys. God bless you and your family on your journey.

    1. Julie Ann

      May 19, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      You should do it! The nomad life is rad for kiddos. Fynlie has lived in the van for more of her life then she has in a house, I don’t think she knows though. She just knows new stuff is fun to look at, and water and snow are amazing.

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