Currently the temperature is 91oF, the humidity is so high you need a snorkel to be outside, and the bugs are sometimes so plentiful they get stuck in your teeth; but lucky for me, I am perched safely away from the elements in an air-conditioned campground store that is to be my working home for this summer.
I am attempting right now, with some difficulty, to type this blog as I bump my way along the I75 in Georgia. Looking up from my keyboard I can see that we’ve just passed Perry which, if I remember the map correctly, puts us somewhere in the northern region of the state (more than likely I am wrong about this though).
We have just ticked over in to hour five on the road today, having started out this morning from The Villages down in Florida. There is very little to say about my surroundings right now, except that according to the last three billboards; the way and the truth belongs to Jesus Christ; seat belts save lives; and there is chicken ‘worth stopping for’ at the upcoming Gas and Go. The most picturesque views from today have actually come from the grass verges down in Florida where spring has truly sprung in the form of vivid lilac, violet, and fuchsia-coloured wildflowers.
In the past year and a half of our full time travels, Loops and I have managed to visit 29 National Park Service locations. They have varied in type, from historical sites to recreation areas, scenic trails to monuments, lakeshores to parks; each unique in their offerings.
When we pull in for a two day stay at North Cascades National Park though, it somehow feels further removed even from the other National Parks we have visited.
We find ourselves situated at the base of rugged mountainous terrain. There is a glacial river flowing through the park, ice cold to the touch and almost biting enough to freeze you just by looking at. The land is forested by pine, perfectly suited here in the harsh and wintery landscape.
As we enter Washington I feel in a state of discombobulation, but I can’t quite put my finger on the reason. I can’t decide if it’s just me in an emotional flux after a disagreement or two with Loops recently, that I’m feeling the pull of home but also feel the added stress of the responsibility with AJ’s upcoming wedding and housesitting, or just that I’ve enjoyed being in Oregon so much that I am not really sure what it is that Washington will have to offer.
Busyness abounds here in Oregon. It seems there is plenty to see and do without even really trying much, which suits us very well. After having spent half the year driving massive distances to reach out of the way places, it’s great to simply be able to drive a single day and end up seeing so much along the way.
I have much to say in some ways, and very little in others. But let me just start straight away by telling you that I am currently sat typing this at the dining room table of my best friend, AJ, while listening to and watching the rain hammer down outside the window next to me.
Everything is lush and green and full of life, and despite the current downpour, I can clearly see warm sunlight on the horizon over yonder, which will be sure to reach us soon. I am at present fully enjoying England in a season I haven’t seen here in some time – summer.
I’m not quite sure where my desperation to see the west coast came from, nor when it started. I can recall very clearly though, hiking up through the pine forest towards Unaka Mountain in Tennessee on the Appalachian Trail and having a conversation with Loops about taking a road trip out west.
More specifically, I think we were in the process of making a pact that if we both got fed up hiking, we’d just rent a car and spend the duration of our hike time driving the coastal road next to the Pacific Ocean.
Well, we are now just a little closer to that dream…because we’ve just arrived in Oregon.