Dirtbag climbing: Family style
Being a single mom who doesn’t make a whole lot of money, I knew deciding to take them on a trip like that would be a stretch. My plan? Do it as cheaply as possible! Which meant choices like: cereal with milk on the back of the tailgate in the mornings in parking lots for breakfast. The first morning of this my 12 year old showed her disdain by rolling her eyes and scrunching up her nose, “Really mom?” Yes, really, my little diva! We also lived on Nutella, PBJ, and other simple foods.Other dirtbagging tricks were on the way out sleeping in my truck. My son was short enough to lie down in the backseat and my daughter and I reclined the front seats. It was really pretty comfortable. When we arrived to our destination, the International Climber’s Festival, we opted for the free camping, took $2 showers at NOLS, and I volunteered to offset the cost of my admission.
By the middle of the trip they pretty much embraced our hippie ways. One of the funniest things was when we stopped at a truck stop in Rapid City for a shower. My daughter was like, we can’t stop here, it is full of “burly men!” I told her to trust me, it was perfectly legit. My days from following the Dead taught me many tricks of living on the road. She calmed down when she saw it was in fact clean and not at all sketch. This trip reminded me of how much fun I used to have in the summers living like a hippie, I fully embraced it and had a great time, my attitude wore off on them and they started to relax and have fun with it too.Road tripping out West is the quintessential American experience. I am really grateful I was able to do this trip with my kids. It is something they will always remember. I giggle when I think of them at my age talking about it to each other, saying something like, “Remember when our crazy mom took us out West when we were kids and we lived like dirtbags? That was so cool!”