Finally the day, May 21st, arrived for us to leave on our trip. After many months of planning, this was it, the beginning of our 112 days trip. Our plan was to leave around 11 AM but the packing took a lot longer than we expected. We packed up most of our existing dry food, cleaned out and unplugged the refrigerator, gave house keys to neighbors and turned off the water heater. For nearly 4 months we would be living off our van so we didn’t want to forget major things. Although we could buy anything we forgot, it would be better not to.
We ended up leaving around 2 PM. We stopped by at both of our parents houses to say goodbye. We thought that this trip would be hard on them because they wouldn’t get to see their grand-children for a long time. As we left the Bay Area, it started to rain. This was highly unusual as the Bay Area hardly ever rain from May to October. Some might have interpret it as a bad omen but we welcomed it and treated it as a harbinger of many surprises we would encounter on this trip.
We stopped by for a visit with our friends, Steve and Sylvia and their new-born son, Tyler in Sacramento. It was dark by the time we left their house, heading for our first stop at Lake Tahoe. It rained hard for most of our drive up to Lake Tahoe. The visibility was bad at times and I almost wanted to stop and find a place to stay. We pushed on because we knew highway 50 well from many years of skiing trips. We finally arrived at Lake Tahoe around 11 PM. Originally we had a plan to camp the 1st night but it was too late and wet so we found a Days Inn for the night. Both kids were asleep already.
It was a good first day as it taught us that it might not be a good idea to drive at night. We made a conscious decision not to drive at night to reach our next destination and we didn’t. Also, as we already had to change our plan just on the 1st day, we no longer had to abide by our plan. We were free to explore and let the trip to take us places instead of us taking the trip. Both decisions were crucial for our trip as they provided safety and flexibility we needed for the trip.