There was no way that my second cross-country move in less than 9 months would not be a road trip. You might remember that in August of 2015, I packed up and cast off from Colorado to move to Houston, Texas. Everyone thought I was nuts. Everyone said I’d hate it. The best part about taking risks is not proving other people wrong; it’s proving yourself wrong. If I had guessed what my reason would be for leaving Houston, after having lived there for less than a year, I probably would’ve said confidently that I couldn’t live in a city of over 2 million people, hundreds of miles away from the outdoors, but I did, and I didn’t expect to fall in love with my East End neighborhood community, or to make the best of friends there. After making the decision to move back to Colorado, the final week leading up to my departure was surreal and bittersweet.
In this post, I’m going to attempt to cover my entire trip from Space City, Houston, Texas to my new home in the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado!
Cross-Country Move | Leaving Houston, Texas
I couldn’t leave Houston without visiting some of my favorite spots like the Alabama IceHouse. The outdoor picnic style bar is an iconic Houstonian tradition.
First Stop: Marfa, Texas
The first stop on my drive back to Colorado was Marfa, Texas. Famous for its art and aliens, Marfa is a strangely picturesque town with a national cult following. I pulled into town around 5pm, unfortunately, closing time for the art galleries, but not too late to order a radish salad served in the shape of a desert flower at The Capri, or catch a young woman’s stand-up comedy act whose bold bits were about rape and daddy issues at the Lost Horse Saloon.
On my way out of town, I stopped to view the infamous Marfa Lights. In 2004, it was concluded that the blinking colored lights in the clear, bright, expansive night sky are most likely atmospheric reflections of automobile headlights traveling on U.S. highway 67. Part of me likes to think that the lights are still unexplained, evidence of UFOs, and of things beyond our scientific explanations because that’s just more fun. But part of me also thinks that seeing the shimmering lights of people like myself traveling across the country, in the sky, is also pretty amazing.
Second Stop: Big Bend National Park
At the beginning of 2016, I made a bucket list. On that list was to explore Big Bend National Park, and even though it was a four hour detour, I was determined to see it. I only had about 3 hours to spare, which is just not enough time to do any real exploring, but I did manage to do more than a drive-by tour. I drove straight through the Chihuahua Desert at sunrise, and headed for the Chisos Mountains where I parked, jumped out, and did a three-mile run in my Converse sneakers and my overalls to the top of Lost Mine Trail. I’m so happy I got to see this landscape from a panoramic height, but the next time I’m here, I plan to see it by rafting the Rio Grande!
I took a break to visit some friends in Las Cruces, New Mexico where I decided to dye my hair blue, because if you’re not going to dye your hair blue on a cross-country move then when else are you going to do it?
Blue hair, don’t care, and my adventure kitty by my side, we continued to drive north through New Mexico with the mountains in the near distance, and finally, arrived home.
Check out this super dorky video of me insanely excited as Kinley and I cross the Colorado state border.
I definitely didn’t expect that the reason for leaving Houston would actually be the reason I moved there in the first place. I believe in following what you love no matter where it takes you, that almost no decision is irreversible, and that trying new things is never a mistake.
This makes my third cross-country move in 4 years so I’m hoping to sit still for a bit before my next one–but you never know!