The last five days before my best friend and I started new full-time jobs, and receiving talks about promotions, were the days we used to travel up and then back down along America’s west coast. We took to the highways, side roads, and freeways like a drop of water takes shape in a rushing stream. It was as if we forgot the world where we both had to go to our jobs, water our plants, and take out the trash, and lived, for a moment, as traveling gypsies hugging the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
We traveled from Southern California, up the 5 and along the 101 Redwood Hwy. We stopped to gaze up at the epic wooden splendor and slept at the foot of nature’s long-living giants.
We wove through the trees that populated the evergreen hills of Northern California, and sunk our feet in the cool beige-colored sands that lined the vast coast. The view itself entranced us enough to even consider the possibility of just camping there as well.
The trip’s route then followed the coast up into the central part of Oregon. We were surrounded by nothing but the most gorgeous greenery. It was as though we had left the coast only to swim in a sea of tall trees.
It was there in Oregon’s second-most largest city that we broke bread with old friends from high school. The newlyweds invited my best friend and I into their home for a delicious dinner and an incredibly interesting board game that kept us laughing well into the cool Oregon night.
My friend and I made time for the city of Portland where we literally got lost in the largest bookstore that we have ever stepped foot in. We experienced the day as many of the other tourists have done before us, and caught up with another old friend for dinner.
On the way back home we traveled mostly along the 5, only stopping to drive through scenic white wooden-covered bridges, while watching the piercing blue sky turn into the brownish smoke that had billowed up from the burning wildfires in Central California. I later stopped to visit another friend there for coffee before making my way to California’s southern coast.
Both my friend and I were a little sad that we had to leave clear blue skies behind to go back to work, but we were also glad to find our way back to our familiar beds. The wonderful trip had shown us a world that we hadn’t yet seen, while simultaneously making us grateful for the things we did have in our lives, like proper Mexican food, and the ability to pump your own gas, if you so chose.
We used the thousands of miles that we moved along the pavement as a chance to better reconnect as friends while quenching our tastes for adventure. It was the perfect way to spend time with the girl that I had been friends with for nearly 20 years. The trip to Oregon never ended up like the fairytale love story that was pushed for so long—but it was far from a bust. It was a wonderful journey to our own new life chapters.