About 34 years ago, we decided to move to California. My husband had lived there as a little kid and just never got living at the beach out of his system, so he went out there to scout around and ended up renting a condo in Redondo. It was on the beach, of course.

So, he came to collect me, our stuff, our afghan hound, Ali, and packed us up into a huge Ryder truck. I quit my job, where I was doing F&I in a car dealership, and took off. Good thing I was only 24 at the time or I’d never have stood riding all the way without air conditioning. Remember, I had my afghan in the truck, sandwiched between me and my husband. It was pretty uncomfortable.

But kids don’t notice, right? We were on an adventure. A new life in a place where anything could happen. I was scared, but really excited, too.

We didn’t even have a radio, just an 8-track tape player, but it was better than nothing, I guess. So, we jammed along to Wings at the Speed of Sound, Peter Frampton Live, Steve Miller and Foghat. I don’t even listen to that stuff now, but then… pretty cool stuff… really. Now, it all sounds so dated to me. Give me Placebo, Birthday Massacre, and throw in some Lady Gaga, and I’m good to go. Things change!

Anyway, we did great all the way to Denver. No hitches. Well, except that the truck had a speed governor and we pffft!!! broke that. But no tickets. No breakdowns. No problems. I thought it was really going to be easy!

But after we crossed the Rocky Mountains, we were in a whole ‘nother world. Lots of desert and incredible scenery and such. And my husband is a driver. He never wanted to stop and I still (to this day) carry a roll of toilet paper in the car, just in case there are no bathrooms. Well… there weren’t. Almost got bit by a rattler once, but that’s another story.

Anyway, we get to Arizona, it’s late, about 10 p.m. and every hotel is booked solid. There was nowhere to sleep. Every hotel we found turned us away. What do you expect at the end of July? Again — kids — who knew?

After we were inspected for having living plants at the AZ border, we closed the back of the truck and pulled over into the parking area. Lots of folks there that night, and it was HOT. But we were exhausted from driving all day through Monument Valley and from Denver, that’s a long ride.  But we were stuck. So, I curled up in the cab, my dog beside me. But my husband?

Well… he’s a little crazy and a little monkey. He climbed all the way to the roof of the truck and spent the night up there.

I think he got the better deal.

Really I do.