Spring Break From Hell

Spring break was about to hit Terlingua hard and my friend, Gavin, was coming for a visit. What I didn’t know was that Gavin had picked up a hitchhiker, so to speak, along the way and it was about to make my life a living hell.

I was happy that I had had a full week’s worth of shifts to learn the ropes at the High Sierra because when spring break hits the very small town of Terlingua, insanity ensues. There’s only a handful of restaurants to choose from when you’re that remote, so when there’s an influx of people, every one of those restaurants gets packed to the brim. I had been warned and I was as ready as I could be.

A friend from Instagram, Gavin, was on a road trip and decided to pay me and Big Bend NP a visit. We had talked online for well over a year so I was very excited to finally get to meet him in person! When he arrived, he told me he had gotten sick along the way (this was the hitchhiker that he had picked up) but was feeling much better. It was just before the start of spring break, so we made plans to head into the park on my days off and do some hiking together. The next day, we drove to Santa Elena Canyon and hiked to the top which was SO BEAUTIFUL.


One night, after I got off work, we drove into the park, hiked to the hot springs and soaked under the most epic night sky. We even saw this scorpion along the way!


The flora was blooming and everything was amazing….


and then spring break started.

As previously mentioned in my last post, the High Sierra is barely holding itself together. On top of being down a computer and a printer, the management decided to change the menu for spring break. The idea was to simplify it and make everyone’s jobs easier while it was crazy busy, but it backfired. They sprung the new menu on the staff last minute so nobody had time to learn it. That meant both the servers and the kitchen were making mistakes. On top of that, there were some pretty serious issues with the new menu in the computer system. For example, you would ring up an item, it would show it on the screen and when you sent the order through, this item would be missing from the make ticket. When you’re slammed and your table places an order for a crap ton of food, you certainly aren’t going to notice one entree missing from the make ticket until it’s too late and people are piiiiisssssed.

So, here it was, the first day of nightmare city. People start trickling in and in no time, the place is overrun with hungry tourists. The High Sierra hired a hostess to help with the madness but all she does is give people menus and seats them…immediately…at tables we don’t have servers for. This means I’m running around like a crazy person, trying to handle my (way too many) tables and people are reaching out to stop me, telling me they’ve been seated for some time and would like to place their order. I can’t help them and I hate that. I feel terrible for these people and all I can do is apologize and scurry away. Eventually, we run out of menus, silverware and glasses to give to everyone that’s been seated. We also run out of basic food items like guacamole and beef. Did I ever mention that this place’s menu is mostly made up of “South of the Border” options? Yeah. So that’s a big problem. I was doing my best not to lose it because this kind of disorganization and choas is anxiety inducing to me. Then I start to feel nauseous.

At first, I think maybe it’s from the stress of everything and having to skip dinner (on account of the busyness) that was getting to me. I am definitely known to have a sensitive stomach, especially when it comes to stress and nerves. I try to ignore the building sick feeling until it’s so strong that as I’m taking a table’s order, I have to focus very hard to not serve them with a specialty order of you know what. That hitchhiker my friend had inadvertently picked up, had now caught a ride with me.

I made my way to the bathroom, and of course, both the women’s and the men’s were occupied. I had no choice but to hightail it outside, dip around the back of the building and very professionally throw up in the bushes. I head back inside and notify John that I cannot finish my shift. He looks at me like I was a lifelong bestie that had just shot him straight in the heart. It was mayhem in there and he was going to be down a server. I apologized but I mean, when you’re throwing up, what can your boss do? He kinda has to let you leave. So I settled up as fast as I could, ripped off my apron, and just barely made it to my scooter before I threw up again. I got on my scooter, drove 20 feet to the stop sign, and threw up again. I made it to Mander and threw up again.

I sat on the floor and tried to figure out how to be sick with a composting toilet. Do I puke in the liquids or the solids? I know! I’ll puke in a bucket like the good ole days when I was a kid. I tried the bucket and found out that it almost makes you puke more because of how nasty it smells. At this point, I had thrown up so many times, I was no longer puking solids so I just started puking in the liquid section of the toilet. And I continued to do this every 15-20 mins for hours. Eventually, it tapered off to only every 45 mins-hour and then as the wee hours of the morning approached, I actually started to nod off. Only to be awakened with the urge to empty my already very empty stomach. I was so wrecked with sickness and out of my mind, that at one point, I honestly thought,”I’ve puked myself into another dimension.” Turns out it was just daylight savings time and some sort of dust storm had blown in, but in my current state, it made perfect sense. I was throwing up for over 24 hours and it took me 2 days to even be able to eat anything.

This, my friends, was the very first time I missed “home”. I wanted a real bathroom. I wanted to flush away my vomit and not have to haul a very full jug, with my very weak body, to be emptied. I wanted to sit under a hot shower for an obscene amount of time and not have to worry about my water usage. Hell, I wanted my Mommy. But in the end, what’s a spring break without a crap ton of vomiting? Am I right?


 I am now on Patreon! If you have been a repeat contributor to my gas money fund in the past, Patreon might be right up your alley. If you haven’t contributed in the past, Patreon could be something you’re interested in participating in! I have a reward tier starting for as little as $1 a month. In exchange for your patronage, I will be offering extra pictures, thoughts and even vlogs exclusively on Patreon.  Please check out my Patreon page by clicking here!

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Until next time, much love and Mander on! 

14 Comments on “Spring Break From Hell

  1. Wow! Sorry you got so sick. I’m sure Gavin will never be free of his role in that, lol.
    In my viewing RV living….I was wondering about getting sick…and bathroom limitations. There is another RV person I follow that chose a small RV without a bathroom….being sick there would be pretty cold…
    Hope you are feeling better.
    Thanks for keeping us posted. We can live vicariously through your adventures!
    Be safe and Mander On Indeed!
    Dave and Susan

    • Thanks for reading! I’ve heard of other people just biting the bullet and getting a hotel room or Airbnb when they’re sick. If it ever happens again, I may do just that.

  2. Nothing like being sick in an RV bathroom, it is nasty. Buckets are a good way to go, but like you said, makes you want to barf again and again. So sorry you had to go through that! Hope you are feeling so much better by now. Stay true to yourself.

  3. Hello there, great post really enjoy reading them, would love to meet you and mander one day, big problem is I’m writing this from new Zealand, I’m just in the process of finishing off my bus and are planning a trip around nz, I find people like you very inspirational to people like me and others, there is another way to live, enjoy your travels

  4. Great update you wrote so well it was like being there. I reckon we can all relate to the disorganisation and the illness, the latter being the lesser of two evils IMHO. After all, the illness will pass but the incompetence in the workplace will still be there tomorrow. I hope you are through it all now and Mandering on.

  5. You really truly did.


    ~ b r e a t h e ~

    ~ s l o w ~

    ~ f e e l ~

    ~ e a s e ~

    ~ s i m p l y ~

    ~ n a t u r a l ~

    ~ b e ~

    ~ l e t ~

    ~ e v e r y t h i n g ~

    ~ b e ~

    ~ b r e a t h e ~

    ~ * ~

  6. Few things are worse than being alone when you’re sick like that. So sorry you had to go through it.

  7. Sorry this isn’t really the right post to comment this on , but holy crap you’re like my twin. I love Mander and i just recentley found your blog. I am currentley planning on renovating a bus/RV for permanant living because i love the idea of going off the grid and living a more eco-friendly life , but also because i love design. I really hope i can meet you someday , you are legit goals.

    P.S. Hope you feel better. I never considered what being sick in an RV would be like.

  8. Pingback: Bryce Canyon Pt. 2 – a girl and her commander

  9. So much compassion for you but you as always make a joke of it with your last sentence. You write well!

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