The sweet and robust smell of corned beef rolled out of the front door as I pulled it open, hitting my nose and sparking newfound hunger deep within my stomach. It was not only my nose that enjoyed the aroma of an awaiting supper, but also that of the neighbors’ dog, who began yipping with excitement and begged to be let in the door with me. A glance to my left provided vantage of the owners hurrying toward their wayward Shepard. But truth be told, I didn’t mind the intrusion, rather I enjoyed the idea of meeting good people out here. Being the sun was low in the sky, I could tell they were also fresh off the trail and hadn’t worked dinner out yet. I then invited them to join me for a bite to eat, they eagerly agreed.
A quick shower and clean clothes refreshed me and gave time for my neighbors to do the same before eating. After my shower, I stepped from the bathroom to survey my cozy home-base. Today represented my second week living out of my Airstream trailer parked in the Utah desert, and in some ways I felt more at home than I ever had. Just outside the metal walls of my homey mobile abode was any terrain I desired, and my ability to adventure outside was limited only by my ambition. Yet, at the end of each day spent playing in the sunshine, I returned to my own bed, books, cooking, shower, with ample room for relaxing, not to mention all the space for storing bicycles, running shoes, and backpacking equipment.
Once more I heard the yip of the neighbors’ Shepard. I hustled to open the door and greet them outside. We, along with about 5 other trailers and RV’s had all been parked across a few acres of desert land for the last two weeks. Some of the folks around the camp stayed only a few days, while others had been here long before I joined, and planned to stay far after. Many had houses with solid foundations throughout the country, though I knew the couple walking toward me lived out of their RV year round. This offers them the ability to enjoy the creature comforts of home in tandem with a constantly changing view out the living room window.
While always a gracious host, I had failed to pack my fine china in the trailer, but my guests grinned widely as I spooned out hearty portions of corned beef and potatoes into plastic GSI bowls, and offered them a seat in the camp chairs outside. The gentle clink of beer bottles was followed by delicious food and joyful conversations reminiscing of the day’s adventures. As the sun began to set over the far-off desert arches, the Airstream behind us began to reflect both the soft orange sunset as well as the flickering firelight that our other neighbors had just ignited.
A small break in the conversation allowed me to take everything in, enjoying the fact that my own bed was but a few feet behind me, and that tomorrow I would wake up in such a beautiful place. I found delight in the fact that there is no time wasted commuting or stopping by a coffee shop. I had everything with me to travel and adventure for as long as my wanderlust persisted. I asked my neighbors how long they planned to stay, to which they shrugged and asked in return, “Where else is beautiful this time of year?” Oh, the places you can go-