Roadtrippin’ AKA Getting to Know One Badass Chick…

By Megan Stamey McAlvain

At the beginning of the summer I had to road trip from New Mexico to California, and wanted a road trip companion to come along to keep the boredom at bay, go on some great hikes, and camp around between the southwest and the west coast. What happened was so so much more…My road trip companion was my 17 year old sister. Who, as it turns out, is a total badass!

I am the oldest of three siblings. At six, eight, and ten years younger than I am, it was sometimes hard to get to know them. I left for college when my oldest sister was just starting high school, and never lived with my brother and youngest sister for any real length of time.

Vida (or Veeders Peeders as I like to call her) was born a full decade after me, I have never actually lived with her except a brief interlude of every other weekend when I was still in high school, and now I see her only when I am home from graduate school. I love her and we know each other pretty well, but this trip helped solidify a friendship I thought we wouldn’t have for another ten years.

One of the best experiences was hiking in Zion Nation Park to Angel’s Landing. It’s a fairly strenuous hike, but we are both in hiking shape *cough* her more than me *cough*. It is really not very long distance wise, but you have to get past Walter’s Wiggles a set of 21 switchbacks, and the last half mile of chains to get to the top at 5,790 feet.

We woke up early in the morning to catch the shuttle to the base and worked our way up with fairly little trouble, and not many others on the trail. Once reaching the top my previously dead iphone miraculously turned on long enough to snap some awe inspiring pics (check out some of our road trip pics below). On the way down (passing more people than should probably be on that thin), chained trail we started to joke about some of the experiences of the hike. The savage chipmunks, the man with the headphones, the woman who talked to much, the awkward meet up, the unprepared hikers… Vida’s humor shined and soon we were laughing so hard on our way down we were sure others took it as a sign the hike was easier than they were told. By the time we reached the bottom again and boarded the shuttle we were more spent from laughing than the hike itself.

I found there was an ease to hanging with my sister, and that her personality was deep, and her taste in music equally so. I loved the traveling, as I always do (even hours upon hours in the car), and I enjoyed the camping (something I only started to love in the last few years), but the best part was just the time well spent.

What I learned traveling for over 1500 miles and 7 states in 5 days together was that I have an amazingly chill and badass younger sister. Other highlights of the trip included laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes, the debate of the definition of ‘hipster’, a missing Nevada town, and many great conversation… So my suggestion for the next time you have a road trip planned is to find that sibling, cousin, parent, whoever, that you need to connect with again, connect with for the first time, just connect. It will be rewarding I assure you. The best thing it’s a budget friendly way to get those two birds with one stone- get to know them and get a vacation… it doesn’t take a lot of money to pack some extra food in the ice chest, grab a campsite or two, and a few tanks of gas.

Now get roadtrippin’…

Roadtrip sound track: Hipster Cocktail Party Radio on Pandora, and always the song “I need a dollar” by Aloe Blacc

(P.S. As I write this Vida is now on the Tahoe Rim Trail, 170miles of backpacking, badassing it up again. Go Peeders!)