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.
So, we meet again.
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.
Idaho is one of those states that has never really crossed my mind. In fact, the sum total of my knowledge of this state could be condensed into two words: potatoes and flat.
And even then I’d only be half right….oh I have so much to learn about you Idaho.
Let’s just get this said upfront and out of the way – any lavish praise you hear of Bryce Canyon is totally justified.
I spent two months of a summer in Salt Lake City, some 13 years ago now, and still remember clearly being reminded almost on a daily basis that I must make the effort to travel south and see Bryce Canyon before I returned home. Well, that opportunity never presented itself, and I’ve always wondered if I missed out.
Now I can tell you, I did.
Talk about doing an 180o turnabout in activity. We immediately go from 2 weeks of sitting still, to a week filled with a flurry of visits and experiences; starting the moment we leave Flagstaff.
We pull out of Navajo Depot and less than an hour later we come to a halt at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument – to see what the aftermath of a volcanic eruption looks like (or in my mind, what it would be like to walk on the surface of another planet).
Our time is up here in Flagstaff and it’s time to shake a leg and move on – because the bus is finally fixed!
Now, just so you know, take that with a little pinch of salt, because while we have changed the exhaust and it seems from our test runs that the fumes no longer overrun the bus (thereby alleviating us of the possibility of dying); we do still have a slight residual smell in the cupboards.
But we’ll deal with that at some point later – for now, let’s drive!
I awake to the sound of the radio, metal cutting and man talk. It seems the solar installation is well underway, bright and early.
I have the bus to myself for the day. I am beginning to realise just how precious and necessary these moments are to my well-being. I flick on the TV, boil the kettle and settle in for a relaxing day sewing.
Yes, I’ve become a granny.