Freedom. Open Roads. No agenda. Instead of shortcuts, deciding to take the long way. No fixed plans, not intent on arriving. It’s amazing what happens when you step out of your comfort zone, hop into a car with a complete stranger and hit the open road.
Two weeks ago farm chores, winter weather and fresh vegetables seemed like a world away. I traded in my pocket knife and work boots for a pair of Subaru Crosstrek keys, seat warmers, cheap gas station coffee and more beef jerky than I ‘d like to admit. The scenery was foreign, the roads were long and desolate and my road mate quickly turned into a dear friend.
One of my favorite things about traveling around foreign areas is the unexpected people, places and surroundings that you inevitably run into. Our second night in Texas, we rolled into the tiny town of Marathon. We checked into a wonderful little hotel (The Gage Hotel) and got to mingle with some of the friendliest folks I’ve ever met. The tacos were killer, and we got to experience a new to me drink which I guess is sort of the unofficial cocktail in West Texas. The ever so refreshing “Ranch Water” (aka, tequila, lime juice and soda water).
After long days in the car my road trip mate and I both looked forward to hot showers, clean clothes and comfy beds. Farming is tough, but being on the road can take it out of you too! I felt so lucky to climb into a big, oversized bed and sleep like a rock knowing that I didn’t have to think about the greenhouses collapsing in the snow, or the electricity at the farm going out. That all fell on Taylor while I was away and trust me, I’ve never been so grateful for the break!
Our drive took us through Big Bend National Park (absolutely breathtaking!) and eventually our destination, Marfa, TX. Once in Marfa we were greeted by eleven other women who all road trip in separate groups. There was a great dynamic of talented females and I felt so lucky to meet so many bad ass ladies doing wonderful things for their own communities. We all shared stories of our hopes and dreams for our careers and the real life struggles of money, anxiety attacks, sickness, weather (can you tell where I came in?) and not trusting ourselves. We got to be listening ears, shoulders to cry on and in the end, each others biggest cheerleaders. I’ve never been in an intimate group of only women and damn, it was so powerful. I gained so much from being in this small group and the connections I made with some of these women will last a lifetime.
For the two full nights in Marfa, I got to live in a little pink trailer (always a dream of mine!) and embrace being away from the farm. I think having time away from the everyday stresses is important to do every once in a while. As I settle back into the daily routines here at Tumbleweed I can’t help but reflect on the fact that while we live in our own tiny bubble here in Parkdale, the reality is that the world is full of small towns and people that (from a distance) seem so different from our own, but in fact have a lot in common. Community, food and an open stool at the bar.
Now that I’m refreshed from this experience I’m ready to tackle the 2018 farm season like a boss! Taylor–next time I’ll hold down the fort for you. Every farmer should be forced to take a long drive every once in a while. The open road is calling your name!