Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming: The Learning Curve

I am a long way from home

Day 1: Nevada
Miles Driven: 308.1, total
Average gas: $3.65/gal
Slept: At a truck stop

I didn’t think that I would stop in Nevada, as I’ve already been there several times. However, since I left for this journey late in the day, I decided that stopping Elko to honor my Dad would be a wise way to begin.

Before he was diagnosed, my Dad believed that he would get his life together and move to Elko, NV because there is a veteran community, and really good hunting and fishing there. Everyone around him knew more or less this wouldn’t happen, but him and I talked several times about me driving him up there, with a stop in Reno along the way.

I wound up stopping in Lovelock to sleep that night, but I did get to bring my Dad to Elko. I brought his ashes, and I’ve felt his spirit with me several times. This couldn’t have happened when he was alive–a 20 minute car ride hurt him greatly, and after 7 hours of driving, I was pretty achy. Couldn’t have imagined how he would have felt.

Everyone I spoke to in Nevada was friendly, kind, and made positive conversation with me. Still, sleeping at a truck stop is scary when you’re a young woman! Every noise I heard, every shift in the ground, I was awake–if you could even call what I was doing sleeping. When I got up in the morning, around the sunrise at 5:45 pacific standard time, I was bitten up by bugs. The curtains Mom and I worked on were not quite secure enough—bugs were able to fly right in and apparently I’m very sweet blooded.

Day 2: Idaho
Miles Driven: 520.4, 828.14 total
Average Gas: $2.90/gal
Slept: Craters of the Moon Campground

Idaho, Idaho, Idaho. So many people told me that Idaho is surprisingly beautiful. Even all of their signs say “Idaho is too beautiful to litter in.” And, that’s not entirely wrong. I went to Twin Falls and saw Shoshone Falls (the “Niagra Falls of the West”), I drove through many towns (one was even celebrating it’s centenial year!), stayed at Craters of the Moon (this was awe inspiring), and ended the Idaho route in Soda Springs (too sulphury to sip).

I am jaded, though, by this state. Having passed through it when I was 14 en route to Montana, I decidedly didn’t love it then. This was the redemption round. I drove into Twin Falls to go to the gym to run, shower, and sit in a massage chair. However, after driving 20 minute to find it, it turns out this gym doesn’t exist until November.

Annoyed, I hightailed towards Craters of the Moon, wondering why I am even planning to stay in this state (I was that annoyed. My bug bites and achy body wanted a shower). As I creeped along, the beauty of the state became evident–mountain ranges, open fields, creeks. Though, I can’t imagine living here–every town seemed to be at least an hour apart. Oh, and no one was all that friendly, but rather stand off-ish.

The campground was beautiful. It was raining upon arrival, and full of Europeans also doing Van life in the mass produced sprinters. I slept more soundly that night, but with the moon in Scorpio, I woke up several times, lost in thoughts inspired by dreams. At first I was annoyed–I really needed some sleep. But then it dawned on me–I’m sleeping in the ashes of a volcano. Of course tonight is about the rebirth of self.

I left for Soda Springs at 7:45 mountain time.

Days 3-4: Wyoming
Miles Driven: 574.6, 1402.74 total
Average gas: $2.90/gal
Slept: Super 8 Motel

Wyoming is a place of beauty, kindness, and is like walking through several different genres of movies. I feel so blessed to have been here 2 nights.

The first stop was Freedom. This place was recommended to me by a friend who did a mission out here. Freedom is the oldest settled town on this side of our nation, and was used by the Mormons to escape persecution: this town lays on the state line, so it was presumably very easy to escape the law. Freedom is located in Star Valley, one the most picturesque places I’ve had the pleasure of spending time in. Mountains of trees surround in what feels like a giant circle, there are open patches of green fields where citizens ride their horses, rivers wind through the towns, and the buildings are made cute in the shabby chic way that belongs to equestrian communities.

The kindness of the people shifted drastically from the coldness of the Idaho-ans. I pulled up to little Salt River, and saw a mother and son fishing. The little boy was so excited to tell me about his close encounter with a trout, and the woman lit up with excitement to see a brave young woman traveling solo. She began telling me of all the places she’s lived–Utah, Nevada, Wyoming–and some worthwhile trails where I can meet more great people. She had such a beautiful smile and there was something about her demeanor that reminded me of all the younger-year photos I’ve seen of my Mom. Wyoming began stealing my heart in this moment.

Continuing on the journey, I drove into a forest–Briger Teton National Forest. There were a few rangers and Road workers–all smiles and waves, and an amazing creek with pull outs. So I pulled over, did some homework and took a nap. Further down the way, I began seeing signs for Cottonwood Lake. Little did I know, this road would dead-end at the lake, forcing a turn around to take the same hour-long dirt road in. As I was sitting there, an older couple pulled up next to me and asked if I was okay. Even volunteered to lead me down the road if I felt lost. Kindness. Wyoming is full of this. Something about the surrounding beauty must make the residents beautiful.

The day was winding on, I got some stretching and rest in, and decided that it was time to head to the next area, where I’d sleep for the night. Green River was next on that list–connected to a Jupiter landing and the Flaming Gorge (which is another recommendation).

The sun began to set a quarter of the way in, but that was okay. Certain parts of Wyoming feel just like California–golden hills for miles. When I finally got into town, I was pooped, exhausted, had homework to finish, and just wanted a shower. So despite all the self criticism to be tougher, I rented a room. The first hotel was booked. The second motel had no desk attendee. Finally, I landed at the Super 8. The attendee there told me that Railroad Workers are in town–railroad workers! I thought for sure I had died and went back in time. But alas, I am typing this, so the year is still clearly 2009. I meant 2019, haha. 🙂

Green River is precious, the people are all very kind and friendly (nothing but positive interactions, despite me sticking out here with bohemian style), the layout is intriguing, and I’d love to visit here again in the future. It’s a worthwhile vacation spot. Oh, and it rained 3 times already! 78 degrees with rain. Hello!

I finished my homework, ate some real food (was snack fooding it up until this point), did some yoga, watched some Hulu, saw the Jupiter landing spot, and feel more alive and ready for this journey. Still in budget, too. (By the way, gas is A LOT, despite the cheaper prices. So grateful that the world is my bedroom with my CRV–which is named Jupiter, FYI).

After stopping in the Flaming Gorge, I’ll be on the next leg of this journey. Check back in 2-3 days for another post!

As always, if there is anything you are curious about, please ask! I want this to not only chronicle this journey, but be of interest to you!
Thank you for following me, it means a lot. Really.

Go to my Instagram, LucyLushe, or my Facebook, to see a video of Freedom. It was a bit too much to upload here.

Today is the Day

Today is the day. I am leaving. This journey begins. My CRV is loaded with everything I will need for all seasons, hopefully for all situations. I am nervous and figuring out distractions so I don’t think too much about the anxiety I associate with this. It’s pretty difficult to write and not think about the same thing, though. Silly me 🙂

Some things I’m bringing:
-Clothing (and shoes)
-Tent/sleeping bag
-Food (mostly snacks, dried fruit, nuts, nut butters, protein powders, and packaged goods)
-8 gallons of water with a pump (it’s my “sink”)
-Camping stove with cooking utensils
-Make up (for days I want to be in society)
-Gym bag (with all shower stuff)
-School Stuff
-Tarot Cards, cards, crystals, smudge sticks, a few books
-Some safety measures (intentionally vague)
-AAA travel guides
-Maps and an atlas

The items I’m bringing took months of planning and figuring out–I wanted to be prepared. I even bought a top-of-the-car bag to hold my winter clothing for when I reach the colder states late September.

So here I am, 3PM, ready to leave. I’m leaving later in the day because I wanted to leave relaxed, with my fur babies well set up, after a good night’s rest. Leaving this late means adjusting my itinerary, and being prepared to take the adventure as it comes.

In a few days from now, I will hopefully have slept in 2 different states, and will have some interesting stories to share. If there is anything you are curious about specifically (what people are like in each state, how the hiking, how it is sleeping outside, etc..) please feel free to leave it in the comment section or send an e-mail off! Having contact with my internet community will help me feel like I’m still part of a community while living this nomadicly, so any question or suggestion is much appreciated!

And if you have spotify, I’m open to playlists. Thank you in advance.

A yummy “See ya later” treat with some lovely ladies.


Setbacks: Letting go of Control and Trusting the Plan

Note the date at the bottom of this photo

Frustration, fear, anxiety. These are just a few of the emotions that revealed themselves last night as my Mom and I hung up the custom curtains, the final step of the conversion. We’ve spent 2 nights working on these, her exhausted from balancing work and driving over to me, me getting anxious and acknowledging fears as my leave day once again came and went by while still at home.

When we hung the curtains up last night, at 9pm, we realized that THEY WERE COMPLETELY SEE THROUGH. Some curtains. I started tearing up, verbalizing whether or not this is meant to be, whether or not I’m making a huge mistake by spending my savings on this trip. The curtains are a safety function. Without them complete, I cannot go. And believe me when I say that I have skills, but sewing is not one of them. My Mom was exhausted and thought I was blaming my belated leave date on her. I absolutely wasn’t, so I immediately apologized and explained again what I was feeling. Her and my “little sister” Simone pointed out how hard I’ve worked at preparing this and we all began joking and laughing about my brief fit. Mom went home on a good note, with a plan to help fix it all today.

Simone and I pass time frequently in what we call “car therapy” which is basically us driving to a comfy spot, and talking about all of our woes, dreams, and hopes for about an hour or 2. After the fit, she promptly suggested we do this. She attempted to sit in the passenger seat, and saw my favorite picture of Dad (I was cleaning out glove boxes to clear space earlier in the day).

This is a favorite picture because it sums up Dad so well. He’s one month away from 26 years old, back from Vietnam, dressed like a clean hippie, sitting around a table with his brother and best friends, eating, drinking a beer, lounging with people he enjoys. His face stares forward with a mixture of emotions, there’s a calm sadness at the same time there’s playful curiosity. Juxtaposition–the way he always seemed to feel despite his wanting simplicity. He may be rolling a joint, but this is unclear as he leans forward, poised as he always was.

I had considered removing this from my car, as I don’t want sun and heat to ruin the only copy. But I couldn’t do it. Instead, it was left on the passenger seat, where Simone found it, picked it up, and chuckled. “Maybe it’s your Dad holding up your trip. Look at the date on this picture.” August — 1978.

You’re going to learn a lot about yourself on this trip. This thought rang loudly as I realized that Dad was asking my to let go of control and trust. Trust in the process, trust in the timing. Trust in the memories forming. Live more in the moment with the calm sadness (if necessary) and playful curiosity that my Dad showed 41 years ago. Love the ride, there’s only one round, after all.

Mental Preparation

A friend had suggested that it would be interesting to hear about the mental preparation that goes into this kind of journey. 

This is the type of thing that can only be written at night, while I am tired, so the guards are further down. So, please do excuse typos! 

I ordered business cards to hand out in hopes of keeping in contact with the amazing people that I’ll surely meet along the way. Of course, with the chaos that is my comfort zone, I ordered these last minute and it appears the trip is delayed, yet again, by 3 days. I’m trusting in the universe that this is how things are meant to be. So instead of leaving on my Grandpa’s birthday, I will be leaving on my cousin’s birthday.

And I must confess: this is relieving. Aside from the fact that there is much left to do, each day proves itself imperative to the success of this trip. While completing everyday tasks, I can feel my core shake with anticipation, boredom, excitement, fear, joy, impatience. All of which equates into 3 words: “Let’s do this!”

The part that’s the hardest–the only part that has made me shed some tears–is saying “See ya” to so many amazing people. I have a best friend and a college sweetheart that have gone wild with throwing me goodbye parties–none of which I’ve been able to stay sober for. So much can change in a few months, and I don’t know who we are all going to be when I return to the area. Work, and all my team members there, went beyond too. I’ve worked farmers markets for half of my life, and at this point, the colleagues, bosses, team members, and “customers” all feel like family. Many of them dawned me with cards, tokens for the trip, and well wishes. Beyond blessed for this community. And my family (and the friends who have been like family, you know who you are), they’re being incredibly supportive as I see glimpses of fear and love and tears fall from their eyes. They know my past, and how good this will be for my existence, and how this can only strengthen our relationships, even if it means not having me around to laugh with. How lucky I am, that the hardest part of preparation is to recognize how many people are going to notice when I am gone. To recognize how many people I am going to miss the warmth and time shared with. 

I initially thought that I would be leaving late May, and then early July, and now departure won’t be until nearly August. This has given me more time to spend with the people mentioned above, more time to build that anticipation that fights away the fear and anxiety, and more time to prepare with little details (such as maps, itinerary, and other mini things). Each day raises the volume a little to the truth of it all: this. is. Right.

Side note: I’m also going to miss my pets sooo much: Kitty Purry, Valona, and Sir Gustavo. They are staring right now, angry that I’m on the computer instead of nuzzling them! Shout out to Simone for looking out for my fur children while I am away!

Here’s a picture of Sir Gustavo. He’s spoiled and he knows it, but he likes to give lots of attitude to keep my on me toes. He’s part Flemish Giant and part Rex and 100% perfect.

Next to come: pictures and explanation of the CRV to camper conversion! I’ve just about completed collecting the things needed to make this a live-able vehicle, and will be completing it after the wedding this weekend.

Here’s a market life photo from St. Patrick’s day, with the two people who have been throwing all the goodbye parties. Love them.

And as always, please contact me with any writing gigs, or suggestions on what you’d like to hear about on this blog! Contact:



The Story: Intent

And the Beginning is Near…

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Hello and thank you for your finding yourself on this page. My trip is set to launch in about a week, and the nerves are sneaking in. By nerves, I mean the seeds of self doubt: “Is this necessary?” “Is this wise?” “Should I even do this?” And, of course, the appropriate response is to shut these insecurities down.

Today is the first day I’ve had to begin the nitty gritty for this adventure since quitting my comfortable life as a Market Coordinator. I had decided to tackle online school immediately, wound up in an intensive course (16 weeks condensed into 11 days), and am now certain that I can accomplish whatever I wish (got an A+ in that class!). Most of the items I need have been collected, with the exception of a tent and a large water jug. These are my two most picky items, so I’m waiting to find the right ones.

Today, to fight away insecurity, I focused on intent: What is my intent with this journey?

The Story:
As you may know, my Dad passed away February 12 of this year. I started out as a Daddy’s girl, he gave me my name, but he left when I was 6 and our relationship had been rocky at best until February 25, 2017.

I practice prayer and energy transfer nightly. On February 24, I changed my prayer line from “May Dad find what he is searching for” to “May Dad know I love him no matter what.”

As a result, he showed back up into my life February 25, in need of help. To save on details, we ended up living together until fall 2017, when he had gotten too ill for me to care for him alone. (His final home was the Martinez Veterans Affairs building). A few months later, he was diagnosed terminal with lung and bone cancer with 6 months to 1 year to live. I fully believe that it was destiny for us to find such deep healing at the end of his life, as my heart feels full knowing that when I look in the mirror, I can see him. We have always been so much alike, and nothing but time together could have exposed that. I know he found healing too, as we sat through deep talks several times, and always ended them with a laugh. We found what we needed from forgiving each other, and forgiving ourselves. I can exist knowing that my Dad does indeed love me.

Now he’s gone and I’m left with memories of his last years. Two months before he passed, my Aunt Char and I had accompanied him on a cruise to Hawaii. This was his 50th state, a proud feat of his. We played cribbage together while docked in Maui, and he looked at me and said he could die happy.

That is the legacy I want to remember him by. The strong, social traveler who saw our country. So this begins my intent. To learn my Dad a little bit better through a challenge of stamina and discomfort. I will be camping out of my CRV converted to a camper (to be completed within a few days from now), at various spots, and will stay with friends, acquaintances and relatives along the way.

My journey will begin through the South, up the East Coast, through a portion of Canada, and the final loop with be through the North (I’ve seen many of these states already). Some things I plan to investigate are: Historical places/museums, haunted/spiritual locations, bodies of water, and cultural landmarks. I’ve been gathering a list of destinations for several months, and will write about them as I go!

Along the way, I intend to work on my writing skills, meet new people, expand my knowledge of life, and to learn to trust intuition more fully. Continue following this post (or subscribe) to read perspective on the states, on traveling in this new-age way, and ultimately, to savor the sweet tales of what it means to heal into full truth.

If you find something particularly interesting, or want to know more, please reach out to me through e-mail at

I’m also open to writing gigs, editing to content building, that you may need assistance on. This journey is going to take a large chunk of savings, after all! @thelostqueenofatlantis

This my Dad, Ed Murchie, in his element. I’m named after the Trinity Mountains, his favorite place to go hunting.
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