On April 30th, I packed up 15,000 feet of cotton rope, a Stout Tent, and a month worth of clothes, driftwood and blankets and a large piece of art I was to deliver for a friend, into the back of our Ford F-150 truck and headed south, on my own, to California for a month of teaching, new friends, and adventure.
My first stop was an overnight at my friend Allison’s parents amazing home near Sacramento. The home is filled with art they both have made and gathered over their years of travels. They are both so inspiring and generous. It is always my favorite beginning to a long roadtrip.
I hit the road in the morning with a delicious packed lunch, and was cruising until around 4pm. In the Grapevine nearing LA, there was so much traffic. I am driving this GIANT truck, up the hill. In the 100 degree heat, with no AC. All of a sudden the clutch won’t engage. It is stuck to the floor. I am in 5th gear, the traffic is better, but still awful, and I pull off at the next exit.
I coast all the way to the bottom of a hill, but when I get to the stop sign, I can’t get the truck back into gear.
Here is where I burst into tears, called Adam, then hung up, and called AAA. While on hold, a man in a Uhaul truck stopped behind me. I waved him around, and he motioned that he could push me. As in push my giant truck with his giant truck. I WAS blocking traffic, so it wasn’t the worst idea I had ever heard…
A few moments later, I was in the parking lot of a gas station, and the man waved me farewell. He didn’t even pause, just an angel on the road.
By the time the AAA tow truck was there, the clutch miraculously worked again. The man behind the wheel of the even BIGGER truck informed me that it had just gotten hot, and it should be ok. Hesitantly I continued on the road, having sighed an enormous breath of relief.
In the evening I arrived in LA, to the hospitality of my dear friend Sasha. and after relaxing and cleaning up went to eat my favorite steak tartare at Cafe Stella. It’s a stop I make on every trip now to LA.
The next day we wake up before dawn and head to Malibu to set up at Mercado Sagrado.
It was a 2 day festival over a sunny May weekend. The crowd were Boho cognoscenti, stylish hippy-hipsters, artists, designers, and musicians. I made many new friends over the weekend, and ran into a bunch of old friends too.
I was visited by amazing guests throughout the weekend. Including my dear friend Brisa who I have been close with since we were both preteens…
It was a full moon, and the ocean was on the way home to where I was staying. I stopped on the side of the road and walked down a hill overlooking the beach. Surfers were swimming in the waves under the moonlight. I put my phone down and played with the self timer. It was so fun to play with the moon.
I decided to book an Airbnb and chose it based on the style and feel of the place, and that there was a bathtub for after event relaxing. I liked the style and even paid more than I usually would. But I just had a gut feeling about the place.
Mathew was such a wonderful host too. I loved having a quiet a beautiful place to call home while I was in Topanga. Another woman, Sara, was staying with him too, and she and I became fast friends. He took us on a hike my last day in the morning and I never wanted to leave. We cooked dinner together, played beautiful music, I helped him get a giant tick off his dog! It was pretty much like we were family by the time I left.
This was only the beginning of the trip. The first weekend of many while on the road in California.