The Great Escape (Not About Peru)

I’m not gonna lie… I celebrated the conclusion of my 6 weeks on the farm by drinking whiskey on a street corner in Ashland. It was a great evening, but the only details I’ll be sharing publicly are that there were 2 tiny fluff ball akita puppies present, I dyed some random guy’s hair red (a classic drunk Allie move), and I met up with my friend Lang, who had driven up from San Fransisco to road trip back with me.

After hugs with the last few souls left on the farm the next morning, Lang and I hit the road. I had originally been planning to hitch hike to Oakland, but I was more than a nervous about making the trip with a few thousand dollars stuffed in my bra. So when Lang told me she was really craving a road trip and asked if I’d pay for her gas in exchange for making that road trip to Williams and back to Oakland, I had to agree.

We took the coastal highways all the way down and did all the proper trippy road stuff. We stopped at viewpoints for no other reason than to take pictures for instagram, climbed some redwoods, and ate a bunch of really delicious food. We also put our feet in the water and got ice cream, because this November’s weather makes no sense whatsoever.

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Eat your heart out, Jack Kerouac #sissyhankshaw

A post shared by Allie Quelch (@gonevagabonding) on

We took our time and stretched the trip out into two days, which meant a night of camping. Lang’s mom hooked us up with a real live tent, winter sleeping bags, thermarests, and pillows… Holy car camping, batman! Not my usual style, obviously, but we did manage to get away without paying for a campsite, so I can keep my pride. It was a little bit of a trick to figure that one out. Usually I camp for free by the power of not having a car and the invisibility afforded by that. We ended up driving for a long time down back roads and pitched the tent in a sliver of grass between the pavement and a cow field.

It was a whimsical little trip, but the feeling wasn’t to last. We arrived at Lang’s apartment in Oakland to find her neighbour stressfully watering her plants on the front porch. Suddenly we had evening plans: Drowning our sorrows in red wine in the next door apartment as we watched Donald Trump win the American election. Worst. vibes. ever.

For my first two days in Oakland, I was consumed by errand running and existential dread that we really don’t have to go into, but my final day in the city was really excellent. After a chill morning, Lang and I went to see her dad, who lives in a boat. We listened to Leonard Cohen (may his soul be somewhere nice), ate toast, and went for a rip around the harbour on his little dinghy. Then we got the obligatory lunch at In-and-Out done, did some laundry at the funkiest laundromat I’ve ever been to, reunited with my faithful backpack at the zipper repair place, then returned to Lang’s apartment to get everything in order so that we could both go out and get a little sloppy without having to worry about me missing my flight the next morning.


It’s a good thing we got all that out of the way. I stumbled back at 4am with a lot of sparkling wine inside me and a new tattoo. This is another one of those stories in which details will not be shared. I’ve got my friend Michael from Burning Man 2015 to thank for one hell of a night.

Weird bored in sketch hostel photo booth pic, featuring tattoo

I’m now writing this from an airplane, somewhere over the gulf of Mexico. I got on the train in the wrong direction at the SFO airport, got really confused about which terminal I was supposed to be in, got yelled at by a tiny lady for not knowing what a boarding pass is, and felt up while going through security because I forgot to take my necklace off, but I made it. Here I come, Peru!

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