So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind the last couple of weeks. My mother drove the Honda Fit from New Hampshire to Montana, I did some work as a housekeeper for the Homewood Suites (by Hilton), Claire packed up her entire apartment and we drove it all in a U-Haul and a silver Suburu Outback named Bhuvan down to Boulder, CO. We spent a few days in Boulder and around, then Mama Bear and I flew to Seattle, suffered through traffic (a nightmare), spent a few days in Shelton, WA to visit family, went back to Seattle, said adios, after which I stayed in Seattle for a few days to explore and visit with friends.
Amongst all this movement were many adventures, moments of borderline emotional breakdown, fun, and so much discovery. For instance, we discovered that Boulder is so fancy that the most easily accessible grocery stores are “Sprouts” and “Wholefoods.” Apparently the demand for organic products is so high in Boulder that prices are forced down, so that’s cool. We also discovered Chuataqua park- a magical fairy land from an age gone by, and met some super friendly climbing folk that gave me a great first impression of the climbing scene in Boulder. I experienced Rocky Mountain National Park for the first-and far from last- time, and I discovered why so many people boulder there. I still have the ability to be blown away by a landscape. I also discovered that my personal expression of “being blown away by a landscape” is to make low, guttural noises, most often in a prolonged “OHHHHHHHHHHH” sound.
In Shelton, WA, I visited with my nonagenarian Great Aunt, and witnessed a woman who has never stopped exploring. The North Face should really consider sponsoring her. She’ll be going on a trip to Burma in the Fall, because, you know, Myanmar! I also learned what a geoduck (pronounced GOOEYDUCK) is, and if that doesn’t get a giggle out of you, you are clearly a much more mature person than I.
Mom and I explored her family’s old vacation haunt on the Hood Canal, where the Skokomish tribe is slowly regaining their rights to the land and rivers. We discovered a secret back entrance (read: we didn’t know where we were going) to Olympic National Park where we wandered the rainforest and I remembered the mysterious and powerful magic of trees. I jumped into river water so cold it took my breath away.
We made the trek over to the Northeast corner of Rainier National Park, called Sunrise. Sleeping at the White River campground, we spent two days hiking and exploring the NE side of the volcano, witnessing the Emmons, Winthrop, and Inter- glaciers, and that overwhelming sense of gratitude came back to us. A raven and I regarded each other, and I felt in my bones that someday it would be possible for me to walk to the top of that mountain.
Our return to the city produced a powerful wilderness vs. urban culture shock that was highly disturbing, which was further conflated by our having to say goodbye. Mom flew back to NH, and I settled in at my friend Lilly’s house for a few days. During my time in Seattle, I had an run-in with a hobo spider the size of a mason jar lid, ate the best greek yogurt I’ve eaten to-date, visited with a childhood friend, earned blisters on my hands from climbing too hard at the gym, had the opportunity to ride around on a boat from Lake Union to Lake Washington, and witnessed the awesome view of Seattle and Rainier together from the Bainbridge Island Ferry.
Now I am back in Bozeman and preparing for a vacation from my vacation; a road trip. It would seem to many that ever since graduating in 2013, my life has been a series of vacations. I have had amazing opportunities to travel and explore. Let’s not be unrealistic here, though. I would not have been able to do all I have done without the considerable support (financial and other) of my parents, my aunt and uncle, and many, many other people. To all, I extend my deepest thanks.
I have also done plenty of working in my post-graduate life, and this road trip is a result of some savings I have been able to squirrel away in the past year. I am currently working on building out my tiny Honda Fit so that I will be able to sleep and live from my car. This method of travel has become somewhat hackneyed to my perspective. I know several friends currently living out of their vehicles. These are mostly trucks and vans, though, so I think my attempt at living out of a pint-sized hatchback for a couple months is a bit unique. It could go poorly, it could go swimmingly, it could be totally anti-climactic. I have no idea; but I’ll be keeping this place updated any way.