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  • Writer's pictureJosephine Jones

My journey cross country

A little over a month ago I packed up my salon tools and 6 cats in a van, along with my friend Chana, and headed cross country to join my husband who had been in Portland since July. The journey didn’t necessarily go as planned, but boy was it spectacular!

We headed north out of Florida on Christmas morning then quickly cut across the south and were on a mission to get to Santa Fe. We slept on a frozen memory foam mattress and woke up to snow and 1° temperature with ice inside of our van that wouldn’t start. First call to AAA…

While there we enjoyed massages as well as a sauna and cold pool plunge (I just had to try it) at Ten Thousand Waves Japanese Spa. As I sat outside in the hot pool looking up at the stars, surrounded by snow on the naked trees around me, I was taking in winter in its full glory. A night to remember.

Next stop was the south Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Camped out there somewhere along a dirt road in the park so that we were there for sunrise (which we almost missed due to oversleeping). Breathtaking! Another memory to store. On to the next adventure.

We arrived in Moab Utah the day before New Year’s Eve, which was at the top of my priority list. I had become intrigued after seeing a friend’s photo of the Arches a year earlier. My word for Utah is Spectacular! It is by far the most beautiful state I have seen. We spent the afternoon up in The Arches National Park. As the sun started going down, so did we. As we made our way down the mountain, Chana driving, we heard a clunk. We looked at each other with surprise and said, “what was that???”. As we turned our eyes back to the road in front of us, we watched some sort of wheel from the van roll past us and on down the hill. We immediately burst into hysterical laughter and Chana quickly pulled over. Second call to AAA…

We we’re informed that it would be 2 hours before they could get to us, so we decided to head on down the hill in the dark with flashlights and look for the mystery part that we had lost. No luck, and it’s getting cold, so back to the van we go. What to do to keep warm? Besides the propane heater we had, we figured that whiskey was a good idea to warm us since neither of us would be driving. We decided to just roll with it (like that wheel we had lost). Over 2 hours later, AAA graciously put the van on a flatbed with the cat’s care in mind and we got to ride in the warm truck that delivered us to a nearby garage which would open in the morning.

We wake up at the garage in Moab New Year’s Eve morning and, MORE snow! Conveniently, the garage had a rental car, so we took off for breakfast awaiting a call as to what went wrong. Turns out we lost the harmonic balancer, which is a pretty important part, and it will take 3 days to get the part and fix it due to the New Years day holiday. We quickly found a pet friendly hotel and stowed the cats in a warm room, finally showered, and went out exploring. We rang in the new year later that night in a small blues bar with the Meander Cats playing (how appropriate) and dancing with a bunch of people we had never met before. We really like this town.

We hiked, explored Castle rock, Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonland, the Petroglyphs, and every inch of Moab’s downtown. We were having the best time. We wandered into a yarn shop and quickly made friends with the owners who invited us back for their knitting group that night. We didn’t end up knitting at all but instead high jacked the evening and turned it into a felting class. Now we’re loving Moab even more…

Two days after the new year, the van is ready for takeoff again. Good bye Moab, thanks for the memories. But before leaving we had to go back to the yarn shop to take a picture that we forgot to take and give Rosy and Cathy another hug! On to Boise.

Idaho. I had never been, but I was curious and open to exploring. Well guess what? Boise is a fantastic city. Lot’s of pride in locally made goods and care in the food. It’s a bit like Portland, which we found out that many Portlanders are moving there due to the lower cost of living. Note to self for the future.

We finally arrived in Portland on Friday January 4. Just one day behind our schedule that quickly went out the window. It can't be over, we still have playlists to hear! Turns out that amazing things happen when you just allow things to unfold. Chana flew home after a few days in town, and Rich and I have settled into life here. Portland has welcomed me with open arms, and my new clients have been just as welcoming. I'm thrilled to call Portland home!

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