BY: KATE MEDICI
For me, this rule was the only reason I ended up on the road trip.
Rewind back to September. Both of my jobs had ended. I had just moved into what seemed like a grown up apartment. And I basically spent all of my time in coffee shops and climbing.
Then I heard about this road trip. Details were very foggy and the people were somewhat unfamiliar. A close group of friends from DU. Possibly hanging out in National Parks, possibly running marathons, camping involved, car space limited. A week before it was to commence I decided that I should join this road trip with these people I barely knew. I went back and forth a million times, but ultimately listened to that little, huge, overwhelmingly confusing gut feeling. I bought my first ever one-way ticket to Seattle with plans to stay just two weeks.
Seven weeks later, we had all just weathered a tremendously windy and oddly sandy night in Joshua Tree. After one of the quickest camp take-downs ever (applying the “Fuck It” packing method), we sleepily made our way northeast towards Flagstaff. As I sat in the back of Michael Scott (the black Jeep Liberty), I couldn’t help studying the atlas. Phoenix, my hometown, just seemed so close.
I suggested that a drive by might be fun. We discussed with Sunny (the white Ford Ranger) and decided it would mess up the plan. So we drove on towards the North exit. But suddenly, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of my family and showing these amazing new friends a place so close to my heart.
I yelled with decisiveness and the car came to a stop. As Sunny pulled up, I just smiled and said “We’re going to Phoenix.”
I was expecting doubtful faces or disappointed comments, but instead I got huge smiles and building excitement. As we blasted music with windows down through the entirety of “The Josh”, I again thanked the glorious rule of “Go with your gut.”
We ended up staying two nights in Phoenix. Everyone got to meet my wonderful parents, Sally (my grandma), and funny Phil (brother). We even managed to surprise a fellow crew member who had recently left the trip. I showed them all my high school spots and favorite trail run. And we packed in my parents’ car, blared ridiculous tunes, and ran around like we were teenagers.
Thinking about that stop fills me with an energetic happiness and still puts a giant grin on my face. I guess that’s what I get for following the rules.