Nearly a decade ago a group of my friends and I decided to take a trip to Oregon. We would go and solve the mystery of our lifetime, up to that point, and enjoy the trip in the process. However, due to a number of complications, the trip to Oregon became an impossible thing, and over the course of the planning, we had lost friends and lovers along the way.
My best friend and I eventually made it there together after a long road trip from Southern California and kept blogging about the journey along the way. I didn’t fully know it then, but the trip that came on the precipice of a new beginning for our futures would change both of our lives forever.
It’s only natural that now, three years after the trip, the first car that my best friend ever bought would have Oregon license plates. I have seen it as a reminder of the trip and what we have taken away from it. There’s no doubt in my mind that we have grown and closer and wiser since then, and I’m sure the reminder is to keep progressing as both individuals and as friends of more than twenty years.
As we approach the final months before my friend’s wedding and the series of projects that I am hoping to tackle around that time as well, I can only think back to the trip as encouragement to do my best, leave my comfort zone, and continue moving forward.
It was once an obsession, a drive, and a journey both physically and mentally. It became a story that spanned many blog posts and a memory that I never want to forget. For some reason, the state of Oregon was a white whale that in time just became a shared state of mind between two people. It became a place that my best friend and I would share forever, and I’m okay with that.
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. (more…)
We never used to be able to fully explain how the idea for a road trip to Oregon came about. When asked by a new friend why we would want to travel there, all we could muster in the moment was, “because it’s just there,” even though we knew it wasn’t quite true.
When thinking back on the first mentions of Oegon we knew the story sort of began a few years ago after a long lost love re-entered my best friend’s life just before exiting again one summer. (more…)
“How far north are you willing to go?” I asked the hitchhiker sitting in the passenger seat of my car. I put the car’s gear in to drive and slowly pulled off the side of the road and into L.A. traffic. “Where are you actually going?”
Cindy looked me up and down as if she was trying to figure me out and then said, “I’m heading for Oregon.”
My mind automatically raced back to the time when a journey to Oregon was the only thing on the minds of four college-aged girls. We never actually made it to the state sitting right above our own, and instead, the un-adventured place became a backdrop for a more important story of me and my friends. I thought to myself, what an incredible coincidence that this random hitchhiker wants to travel there now. (more…)
I had stepped out of my car that night wearing my long brown cardigan draped over a tank top and some shorts. I slid my card into the gas pump and shoved the nozzle into the gas tank. I was tired, confused about my life’s recent events, and I felt lost wondering about what the hell the universe wanted me to do, and as I tilted my head back in a sigh of exhaustion, my eyes rested on a giant billboard staring right back at me.
A bushel of apples sitting behind a jar of Mott’s apple product appeared incredibly massive as it perched right behind a flood of lights pointing up at it. It looked down upon me like it was the eyes of the universe watching over the tiny gas station. I couldn’t help but ponder for a moment about my life, my insane summer, or even just about all the crazy events that have taken place in the past week and a half.
I climbed back into my car after filling up and drove down past all of the last bits of civilization into the dark and vast canyon of what seemed like the abyss. The surrounding hills looked like deep shadows overlaying the already darkened night sky, and for a moment I found my mind also pummeling its way into an abyss of thoughts. (more…)