Every couple of years I take this road trip… leaving my driveway of a cookie cutter suburb of Los Angeles, CA and driving up to the state that raised me, my Oregon. There have been years where I packed up our 30 foot RV with our 3 kids and I made the trek without their dad for he had to work. Sometimes a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do. We didn’t want to shortchange ours children’s adventures because he couldn’t make it, so we just went ourselves instead. Luckily there were a few years where my husband was able to take the time off and go with us. Without question I forfeited the driver’s seat, reading magazines and a good book, glad to have him joining us. As the kids got older however and more involved in their various sports those trips became fewer and fewer. We still would fly up to see family and friends, but it wasn’t the same. To me there is nothing like a good old-fashioned road trip.
Going by car (or motor home) has its advantages, its slows down the process for us to really see the changing of the landscape. Stopping in various diners and exchanging chit-chat with locals, counters the constant negativity that is so prevalent in our various portals of communication these days. Changing vignettes and a good road trip soundtrack brings a smile so deep, your heart cannot help but feel it. I wanted to share this with my son this year, he is now a teenager and soon will be driving on his own, just beyond my grasp. The girls had experienced these road trips it at his age, now it was Carson’s turn.
This year I had many reasons for going North. Not only to visit my eldest daughter soon to be a senior at U of O, I had also signed up for a conference called Startup Camp Summit in Bend, Oregon. (Ironically I had even told my Uncle about it weeks before his passing, sharing with him that I was worried he wouldn’t be around for me to see him after my conference. He then told me it sounded wonderful and to go anyway regardless of whether he would be around or not. That was by far the most profound and loving conversation I have ever had in my life btw. Looking honestly at death and given the permission to live life fully in their absence…heartbreakingly beautiful!) I had a high school reunion a few weeks after my conference so it was all coming together. I also needed to see and check up on my grieving family and touch base with my life long friends. Knowing that my son would not want to be carted around for all of my adventures, I signed him up for two weeks at YMCA’s Camp Silver Creek camp.
On the drive up Carson, my 13-year-old son would be my only companion this trip around and we were both looking forward to it. The plan was to leave at dawn, drive up Interstate 5 and then cut over to the coast and by the afternoon stay the night in Fort Bragg, CA. I had seen and heard of a beach that was full of natural sea glass and I wanted to see it for myself.
That night we stayed in a quant hotel that had maybe a dozen rooms. This was our view from our balcony…
The next morning we headed North to visit the Redwoods, something in all of these years I had never experienced first hand.
Sure, this part of the trip had winding roads and I had a hard time not stopping after each turn… for it was sooo beautiful! I wanted to bottle it up, breathe it into every part of me and capture it for myself. I needed to take a part of it with me, soak in every bit of its beauty it its vastness.
What was an unexpected gift of this portion of our road trip that I am grateful for was that Carson had no wifi. He was forced, not by me… to look out the window and let the scenery impress upon him and hopeful carve a memory for him. As we drove with our windows down, breathing the air that only such massive trees can filter, gave us medicinally, and spiritually that for me at least I will remember fondly.
At this point in our trip it became less about the journey and more about the destination. We both were ready to see my eldest daughter who for the first summer was not coming home from college. We couldn’t reach Eugene, Or fast enough and although exhausted when we landed on her front steps, we were so happy to see her.
It’s a necessity to travel for me, its in my blood from the first plane ride I took at 19. I’ve taken the Amtrak train, Greyhound bus, by car, by motor home, a tour bus, cruise ship and many airplanes in my adult life to get to and through my adventures. I’ve done is cheaply, sticking to youth hostels and fast food and I’ve stayed in luxurious hotels and eaten in exquisite restaurants world-wide. I even eaten an amazing Native American taco in the middle of the open prairie with a panoramic view of a lighting storm. I’ve wandered far from the tourist ports into the streets of Puorta Viarta to eat the most delicious street tacos that beat the finest cuisine our resort had to offer. Traveling and experiencing life to the fullest is essential to my well-being. It has forced me to find the common thread from which we can all can communicate from and opened my mind to be less judgemental and more curious to our differences. Hopefully I have passed this onto my children as well.
Next I will write about my journey IN Oregon becasue the destination was also amazing and heartwarming.
Black Out…in a good way.