End of the Road

Seventeen days away on a road trip with my sister and truck camper, Rocinante, in which we covered about 3,000 miles of the western American map, beginning in Santa Cruz, California and extending north to the Canadian border in western Idaho. I am hoping to recount some of the road adventures within the next few days in this journal, but first must shave an itching and unattended beard, and show my body what it feels like to not be subjected for hours on end to the bumpy back roads that opened the great outdoors to us.

We left July 27th and returned the evening of August 12th. In that period we veered far inland, such that I have not seen the ocean or smelled the sweet and salty fog that fills the air I call my home. I have had a full day now of savoring the coastal coolness, and am not so puzzled as to why I chose to live here so many years ago. Summer inland spaces warm me sometimes a little too uncomfortably, causing even my thinnest layers of clothing to adhere to my skin much like a licked postage stamp.

The last day on the road, coming off the summit of Mount Lassen in northern California, I began to think of all the things I must do when I return home. Cleaning, scrubbing, unpacking, restacking, responding, and unloading–all this regimentation that must be conducted before I can transition from life on the road to my more normal, stationary life. Then, of course, I wonder to myself what it might be like were I to never come home? A life of endless wandering from one river to the next lake or mountain top, never committing myself to any single direction or purpose, but just following the impulses of each day? I suppose that if I were younger and independent of money concerns I could find much merriment in such a living style, but for now I feel a little road weary and am feeling great comfort in going absolutely nowhere for a spell.

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