Catching up with ourselves.

Note: Blogging while traveling takes discipline and might interfere with the whole experience. You can’t possibly write everything down…but you can take a lot of pictures from inside the car or truck if you have a good camera!

Last year when we were at a KOA campground we met a young couple who had given up their small apartment, their corporate jobs and their developing identities to travel and look for something better. They had saved enough money to survive in limbo for a year or so. They had been all over the country and were headed somewhere north. I admired that. No real destination, no fixed plan, just a sense of something better waiting somewhere on the road. Along the way the young woman was blogging about her adventures. Being a writer at heart I was interested in her process. She told me that it had been very hard to keep up with the blog because so much happens in a day when you’re on the road. You see so many things, so much beauty and hardship side by side, and so many words and phrases come into your head. And if you are driving or even riding in the passenger seat, it is hard to get it all down. That’s where I am now, filled with images and thoughts.

 

We have been on the road for only two days. We wentthrough the redwoods, along the mighty Smith River, had lunch on the Rogue River, drove through pine forests with snow on the ground,

                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

actually saw some snow falling at about 5,000 feet,

 

and eventually dropped down into this “high desert.”

 

Yesterday we drove through the most unexpected parts of Oregon—desert. Lots of it. After leaving Klamath Falls, the landscape turned into a mix of pine trees, scrub brush and farmland. We wondered if the free range cows were happy like the ones down the street from our house in Crescent City. Every cow was black, and they were big. They seemed to be eating the yellow hay type grass happily. I wondered about the people here. The place seemed so desolate and unfriendly, yet there were farmsteads here and there, with the accompanying pick-up trucks and tractors. People did live here. I felt grateful for the ocean, either one.

This morning we are in Winnemucca, Nevada, which is a Reno-type gambling town in the northern part of the state. There are lots of truckers and construction workers in our hotel, and the casinos brighten up the sky, day and night. We came through here a few years ago, and remembered it as the only place to stop on this highway. In a little while we will drive back out into the wilderness, loaded down with our worldly possessions and enough water to get us through the Sahara Desert. I’ve learned from experience that you can never have enough extra water.

This day was filled with road after road of…nothing. As far as we could see into the distance was a long two lane road, heading toward a mountain range, then, another road doing the same, then another, then another. Having an iPod helped. Taking pictures out the window of the U-Haul also helped. The sky was ever changing, thunderstorms in the distance, snow on the tops of the mountains merging with the clouds, puffy white clouds allowing enough blue sky to peek through to keep us interested. Yes, the sky was the entertainment.

On day three, after more sky and road, we pulled into Salt Lake City at 9:30, but it was really 8:30 in our heads. That endless band of lights along the bottom of the mountain range is an amazing sight to see after the perfectly straight 80 mile road along the salt flats. Salt Lake City, or SLC, as the locals call it, lights up the sky with its billions of street lights and cars zooming here and there. Once you get into the town you are confronted with numbered streets with names like this: West 500 St. South, or East 400 St. North. It was confusing at first but made sense to a map maker, I’m sure. In any case, the streets were very well labeled. We found our hotel, came in and attempted to sleep in a hard bed with lumpy pillows and stuffy air.

Hopefully tomorrow’s lodging will be more inviting.

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