We had high, but realistic hopes as we drove south along HYW 395. Our newly renovated trailer in tow behind us. We had left Reno Nevada about 8 hours prior and were headed to San Diego. This trip marked the much anticipated end of the trailer renovations my wife and a few others had been doing for the month prior. I had been in San Diego working most of that month, so this trip was also brining our family back together after what felt like years of being apart.
We were amped up. Not only would our family be back together, but I'd be seeing the trailer, fully renovated for the first time. We'd also be staying in the trailer that night, together as a family for the first "official" time. We were excited and couldn't wait. The plan was to drive from Reno to San Diego via HWY 395. We'd take our time, stop here and there, and tell epic stories to each other. When we got to camp that evening, we'd set up the trailer with ease, walk in the front door all humming a merry little tune in unison. Merry little birds would be chirping, maybe we'd play a board game. Once the sweet sleepiness came to our eyes, we'd tuck into the fresh crisp new sheets, the world would be at peace, and our new adventure would be dreamed about peacefully as we slept.
Reality of what was actually going to happen began to set in around hour 13 of our drive from Reno to San Diego, or was it 15? Either way, our drive had already taken about 6 hours longer then we had planned, and the dream of making it all the way to camp as hoped was long gone. At this point we'd be lucky to make it to a a pull-off to sleep for a couple hours before having to hit the road again so I could make it back to work in time to maybe make my mid-morning meeting. We were tired, we wanted out of the car, we were over this.
We somehow finally made it out of the remote and barren desert of So-Cal and into civilization at what felt like hour 74. Still no chance of making it to camp, we opted for a stop at a Walmart parking lot. We had to sleep. Filthy, sweaty, smelly and grumpy we pulled off the road and into the parking lot. As we stepped into the uncomfortably warm and stagnant trailer, we instantly dropped onto the perfectly made, crisp sheets my wife had just days before made so lovingly a few days before. The night sucked. It was hot, we were gross and sticky, we were all in horrid moods.
The next morning, we finally made it to camp. Everyone was tired from the long day and terrible night sleep. We set-up the trailer without saying much to each other, other then the occasional snap of "stop it!" to the kids as they argued with each other over toys, and rocks, and sticks and who knows what else. Our first night in the trailer did not turn out exactly like we thought it would. But as it turns out, most things in life are that way.
The good news is that today we are 2 weeks into our adventure, and things are amazing. There are for sure still up's and downs just like anything else. But, so far, wouldn't change our decision for the world. We love it. It made me think though about how many things in life we pursue, that don't go as planned, maybe they go down in a horrid way even. Sometimes it's just easier to do the things we know, the things that we can control, or the things that aren't "un-known". Un-known things, the things we can't plan or control are scary, they may take us places we've never been and it may turn out different then we thought... it may actually hurt a little.
I think we're learning as a family on this journey that sometimes taking the less common road, the one that's darker or maybe bumpier often seems to lead to places we appreciate more. It may not be easy, it may uncomfortable or even scary at times, but so far we feel like the things we learn, or see, or experience far outweigh the difficulty it took to get them. Easy and predictable have advantages, but rarely do those route surprise us, grow us, or let us see form a different perspective... I'm valuing more and more the growth, surprises, and adventure that the un-known bumpier roads tend to lead to.