Shotgun

My last post - July.  Pathetic.  Every month this summer I took a road trip.  In July I went to Idaho and ended up in Montana for the first time in almost a decade to visit my dad.  In August, I drove down to Oakland, CA from Portland, OR and back in the span of 36 hours.  This was very unexpected.  Talk about brutal.  I left Thursday afternoon and drove to Medford, then on to Oakland Friday morning.  We loaded up the car, had lunch, and then left for home Friday afternoon.  We got into Portland at about 3:30 am Saturday morning.  

In September my brother and I took another road trip, this time my brother was on his way to Missoula to live with our Dad for awhile.  The plan was we would rendezvous with Dad at our aunt and uncle's house in Spokane.  We left Saturday morning, arrived in Spokane late afternoon.  Dad was supposed to arrive Sunday afternoon.  Well, turns out, Dad could not make it.  Ben and I soldiered on to Missoula.  In one evening, we drove from Spokane to Missoula, I dropped my brother off, then turned around and went back to Spokane that same night.  In the morning, I headed back home.  That trip lasted from Sat-Mon.  

I'm not sure what it is about driving 1200 miles in the span of 2-3 days.  Kind of exhilarating, kind of brutal.  And so we termed them "shotgun" trips.  You load up in the car and make it happen. You stop at gas stations, eat terrible foods, consume copious amounts of energy drinks, coffee and soda. I don't think I ever want to drive I5 from here to California again.  I've had enough.  

So, in the span of one month, I drove roughly 2500 miles, through California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.  It makes me tired even thinking about it!  I have no plans for a road trip in October, but then again, I didn't plan on those road trips in August and September either.  With the Freelance Adventurer, you never know what could be around the next bend.  I am hopeful there will be no more "shotgun" road trips.  I would like to take some time and enjoy the journey.  

The problem is I get itchy feet when I don't have a trip planned.  My heart pines for traveling, longs to explore the world and see new places.  Perhaps I'll plan something a little closer to home, maybe a beach trip.  Who knows.  But that's the thing...you never know where I might be at any given time.  So we'll see how long it takes me to get back on the road.  


The Road to Idyllwild

Yesterday I ventured to Idyllwild.  A small mountain town, elevation over 5000 feet, in the San Bernardino mountains.  State Highway 74 is no joke!  Several miles of hairpin curves and deadly drop-offs had me more than a little nervous.  I don't do the best with heights so I was going extremely slow the way there and back.  

 

I came across Lake Hemet, unexpectedly.  And roused a Great Blue Heron from its' resting place under the trees.  As it took flight, I stood, breathless, simply watching the great beating wings cutting through the air.  It was just me, no one else around.  I love the beauty, the majesty, of everything in nature.

 

And I figured something out.  I love exploring.  I love being outside.  When I don't get to do those things, I burn up inside with a restless energy.  Now that I've opened that door, I can hardly close it.  I'm not about eating out, going shopping or to the next coolest place anymore, though those things are fine and fun at times.  But me, I need to get out and see the world.  On my Twitter bio I stated "wanderlust grips me hard".  And it does.  I can no longer be bound or constricted by my own old way of life.  Ireland completely changed that for me. 


I loved Idyllwild, a quirky little mountain town.  I found the Funky Bizarre, which is run by a character named Peter.  He greeted me at the door, gave me a 45-second show, dressed in tails and a bowler hat.  I ended up with a Doobie Brother's Greatest Hits album for $2, some "Naughty Pussy" soap, and a candle he hand makes as an Idyllwild souvenir.  I don't know if I'll ever make it back to that little town in the mountains, but I'm so glad I went.  I bought fresh black tea and mukluk slipper socks from Merkaba's, met a woman in a tiny shop full of custom clothing and jewelry, and rounded out the day with lunch from Oma's, a European restaurant.  All in all, a beautiful day.


I don't know how much more I'll get out here.  We'll see.  Joshua Tree National Park is so close, I would love to get out there early tomorrow or Sunday and at least drive through part of it, and see what I can see.  The California desert does have a certain beauty, but it's not for me.  I can't imagine I would ever vacation here again, unless I was desperate for some sun.