It was Friday at 2:00 pm and we were both still at work. Memorial Day weekend had finally arrived, yet here we were being forced to sit on our hands and watch the freedom time-bomb count down. It was unbearable.
Eventually, 5:00 pm and the weekend came. The first Friday in months Jeremy had been required to stay that late and it felt like the worst thing ever. As I walk through his front door, I can tell he feels bad for being the one that held us up. He starts to apologize and I cut him off "don't be stressed, no bad vibes, this weekend is ours." Ice down the cooler, load the truck, grab Piper's leash, don't forget anything, did we grab the pillows? (we always forget the pillows), open the Topo Chicos, and hit the road.
Three hours down the road and it's time for a pit stop. We walk into the truck stop and Jeremy immediately hands me a bumper sticker "Cowboy Butts Drive Me Nuts." It's funny because I grew up in a little country town. I hand one back, "Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife For President." It's funny because Hillary Clinton.
Use the bathroom, joke about buying cheese curds, and back out to the gas pump we go. Already 10 pm and still two hours to go until we get to Fort Stockton. We're used to driving long and late, moving fast to not waste time, but this time is different. Don't be stressed, no bad vibes, this weekend is ours. We sit in the truck for a bit, check out a giant mural of running horses on the side of the building, I pretend I'm one of those running horses, Jeremy records it. It's getting late and we're getting goofy.
Back on the dark highway the quietness within the truck tells us we are getting tired. We listen to an episode of The Dirt Bag Diaries and agree that in some bizarre way it sounds as if the girl in the podcast is talking directly to me. Jeremy puts on the new Lumineers album. I crank it up, roll down the window, and throw my face and arms out into the cool air. I usually do this when I'm tired in some sort of attempt to let the fresh air bring me back from the dead. But in this moment I feel rooted in my alive-ness, in my being. It was if the night was dancing around me in celebration and nothing could stop us racing down that highway. The wind running through my lungs whispering sacred secrets only I was meant to know, while the Lumineers were screaming back with affirmation, "I was not born to drown."
Finally at midnight we make it to the campsite. Jeremy grabs our information and we throw up our tent by the light of our headlamps. I try not to disturb the sleeping tent next to us, but sometimes peeing in the dark is really funny.
It's hard for us to sleep past daybreak when we camp. 6:00 am the sun comes alive and so do we. We hung around this little campsite just long enough to watch the world wake up and let Piper pee on a fire hydrant - then its back in the truck and back on the road.
Our trip continued on past this night. It took us to places and things that most would consider bigger and better than a Friday on the road and a night in a tent. Sure, almost falling over at the vastness of Carlsbad Caverns, camping in Bluff Springs, and running wild in White Sands are things I'll never forget. But it's these little moments of my man and me celebrating our freedom and taking all the damn time we please that make up the memory highlight reel from this trip. Don't be stressed, no bad vibes, this weekend was ours.