I had a dream as a young teenager. It went like this: (1) Buy a used, purple pickup truck. (2) Travel the world.
I think this dream first kicked in around my 13th or 14th year. I can’t quite remember where it originated, or why I landed on a pickup truck instead of an RV, Volkswagen van, or some Steinbeck-approved vehicle, but it persisted even as I crossed the threshold into my thirties. For more than half my life I’ve carried this dream around, and though I’ve grown up (mostly…I still eat an inordinate number of chicken fingers), began my career, got married, started a business, and had the privilege of traveling to many beautiful places in the world, I still always hoped that some day my pickup would come. And then it did.
It arrived in the form of a Toyota Tacoma. It was not purple in color — sometimes you have to let your dreams grow up a little with you — but despite it being a more understated dark gray, it was definitely love at first sight. Disney/Pixar should probably write a movie about it. Maybe John Williams would be up for composing the soundtrack.
With step one checked off, I was excited beyond measure to finally get out there, into the world, and camp in the topper-covered bed. The idea of hauling everything needed to survive atop these four wheels, sleeping in the back with nightfall, then just popping up front by day to travel to the next stop thrilled me to my core. This was how adventure was meant to be chased. I found 3.5-inch foam pads at Costco, which scrunched into the back beautifully, aired out our sleeping bags, and made sure the camping lantern still had some juice in it. All was ready to go when, this past week, we had the chance to take our rig for a test run through the Rocky Mountains. Cue that classic John Williams symphonic swell.
After just four days traveling around the Rocky Mountains (stopping in a different mountain town each night), I’m a renewed gal. It was everything my 14-year-old self envisioned and so much more. I’m possibly going to run away and join a nomadic caravan, invest in a year’s supply of marshmallows and chocolate and graham crackers, and take this show on the road. Don’t worry, I’ll send postcards.
If we have any sort of luck and timing on our side, we will be hitting the hills quite a few more times this summer to see what else we might find. But until then, keep on dreaming, dear readers; you never know what may come of it.
SIGNED, anya elise