Somewhere along this trail I shed that ol' dog named anxiety and felt more like myself than I have in a long time. I probably didn't need to drive 3,000 miles for that to happen but ... maybe I did. I had my doubts somewhere along those middle states about what I was doing and nearly turned the car around in Coeur D'Alene but I called my mama and she helped me keep on trucking. 

So far I've passed through twelve states. I scared the crap out of myself driving through a Chicago rush-hour but fell in love with Madison, Wisconsin. South Dakota had more to offer than I ever realized with the Badlands and the Black Hills and when I think of Wyoming it will always be pretty sunsets on open fields and scary training runs. The diner in town was shutting down by the time we rolled up but I needed to get a run in after being folded in a car for eight hours. So I laced up my shoes and started heading down the road when I heard these loud bang!! bangs!! I thought the locals were firing at me and nearly dove into the bushes until I realized it was the Fourth of July. Hahaha. Still laughing about that one. 

Yellowstone followed the gunshots but we didn't stay long. I'd like to go back and hike a bit; see the Tetons too. But no worry, just gives me something to look forward to. It was a long day of driving leaving Yellowstone but I made it to Missoula, Montana that evening and I'm fairly certain I'll be headed back there at some point to float the river with some new friends I made under the "M" at sunrise.

The guys in Missoula gave me some really good tips about exploring Glacier National Park and everything they said was true. It was two days of some of the rawest, most perfect country I've ever seen. I locked eyes with a coyote and saw a mountain goat and her baby cross the trail I was hiking just before I reached a lake of the prettiest shade of blue I've ever seen. This was one of my grandparents favorite places and now I understand why. I could have stayed there forever but I was eager to get on the road because I had plans to meet up with a friend from college in two days and still had several hundred miles to go before I reached her.

Much as I didn't want to leave Glacier, it was more than worth it. Seattle was the softest of landings. My buddy and I went adventuring just like we have a million times before and crammed a lot of laughs and miles into 72 hours. I was sad to leave this morning but I am really proud of her for making a new life in a brand new city. Takes guts.

Anyway, I'm writing now from a little room in Portland, belly full of ice cream (dinner!) and plotting out tomorrow's route. It's still light outside but I'm already getting sleepy so that's all for now. See ya'll on the road.

Erin

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