I double-checked my hiking bag for signs of water in my bladder pouch, my lunch, a second lunch, and lots of snacks. I grabbed my hiking shoes and headed out of my apartment and into the early morning darkness. It was still cool when I hopped out of my car at Vincent Gap. The sun was barely rising over the mountain that we were about to summit, and the moon was gently sinking behind the adjacent rocks. I let out an occasional yawn as I readied my hiking poles and greeted the group of friends who decided to climb to the top of Mount Baden-Powell with me. Continue reading “Pack of Peaks: Mount Baden Powell”→
Four years ago, I found myself sitting in the driver’s seat of my brand-new car with my best friend in the passenger seat. We drove from Southern California to Oregon, camping and visiting with friends along the way. What started as some sort of cheesy rom-com where a friend tried their best to reunite two old friends with a bit of history became a cheesy story of friendship that we still talk about until this day.
My best friend and I found ourselves, once again, traveling by car across the country. However, instead of heading north, we traveled east so that my best friend could move the last of her things to her new place in Texas. We traveled with two well-behaved dogs in the back seat of her newer truck next to our luggage piled off on to one side and a trailer full of nearly everything my best friend owned with her new husband. I didn’t need to, but I jumped in the car to spend the last few days that I will have for a while with my best friend. I was also craving adventure, and I knew that we were planning on seeing the Grand Canyon. Continue reading “The Road Trip From California to Texas”→
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.
I glanced over at the odometer and watched the digitally scribed numbers on my dash grow as I crept forward through the California desert. Death Valley’s hot breath blew past my windshield and into the open windows of my mid-sized vehicle as my tires continued to spin over dusty asphalt roads that were beginning to sizzle in the late spring heat.
The car full of people that I was towing were all headed over the first of three state lines that I would end up crossing within a month’s time frame, and with every border I crossed, and every mile that I traveled, I could only hope for more to come. Continue reading “Across State Lines”→
Rubber soles pounded the warm asphalt creating a steady, but rhythmic, slow-tempo drum beat. They had carried my legs with ease for nine miles on the winding streets of Eugene, Oregon before I felt the slowly creeping soreness of a run that was lasting too damn long spread through my overworked leg muscles. I did my best to breathe in the cool and refreshing air that had been warmed a little more by the bright sun since the start of the race over an hour before. I had enjoyed the run, glancing over at the tall green trees that proudly stood as they decorated the Northwestern track town, for two more miles before thoughts of confusion snuck into my mind.
Why the heck did we pay to do this to ourselves? I thought as I continued to place one increasingly heavy foot in front of the other. Everyone here is absolutely nuts.
I tried to stifle a yawn as I moseyed over with the travel cup, that I brought from home, in-hand to the Keurig to make a cup of piping hot coffee. My short journey from my new desk to the tepid machine, who decided on its own who and at what time they would get their morning pick-me-up, became my mini-break among the busyness of event planning and building social media content online.
I ended up running into another co-worker by the Keurig in the kitchenette who was warming up a leftover snack in the microwave, which always strongly smelled like the thing the last person who used it put in to it. I greeted her with a familiar grin since she had sat right across from my desk when I was an intern on the other side of the office. Continue reading “The Adult At The Keurig”→
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 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 at the moment was, “because it’s just there,” even though we knew it wasn’t quite true.
I looked around the dance floor at the wildly flailing 20-somethings vibrantly moving and singing to the Katy Perry song that was blaring through the nearby speakers. High heels had already been thrown alongside the venue’s walls where flowers and table decorations had fell during the enthusiastic celebration. Among the faces of young adults spotlighted in yellow lights was a group of people who I had come to know over the course of 10 years. I laughed as we brought back terrible dance moves that no sane person would attempt in public.
“I think I’m bringing back the shopping cart, you guys,” I said raising my hand from the imaginary shopping cart to grab the invisible grocery product. I managed to carefully place the product in the cart.
Somewhere between here and there I rolled down my manual car window on the driver’s side, and let the swift wind flow like a course river into my little Chevy Cobalt. I speed along passing the Oak trees on the side of some lonely freeway. My foot slowly falls against the gas pedal throttling the vehicle forward, and I gaze on as the broken white line beside the car attempts to make sense of it all, and reconnect itself like a reel of film slides passing by to make a movie. Continue reading ““D” is for Driving”→