As a child raised on summer camps, rather than cross country sit-a-thons, I have learned quite a bit in the last few days. On road trips, there are some things that don’t make sense. Usually, those things occur around hour eight of the drive, or in the tense half-hour before you reach your destination. Everyone is wondering if they will truly be rescued from the self-imposed cage. Though, I find time to be the most surprising element.
There are times on the trip, like when I first realized that I had driven farther west than ever before, that time became surprising– it does not take that long to get to a place you’ve only imagined. In my case, this was Fargo. I suppose everyone will say that this is fitting, but Fargo really did’t live up to my expectations. There were so many moments when I looked up from my book, astonished at what I saw. It seems so naive now, but America is so much more that the midwest. I realized in an instant, how important it is to get out of your comfort zone and to experience life in a different way. I have known that truth for some time, but was surprised to find another avenue so easily accessible.
Here are some highlights:
-Teddy Roosovelt State Park. We camped amongst wild horses and hiked through a massive plateau, rimmed with dusty pink rock formations, while being chirped at by thousands of prairie dogs as we walked through their territory.
-Billings, Montana. this city is a highlight because it is so much of a let down that it bottomed out the scale and somehow glares in memory for the infamy of how terrible this place is. Industrial, angry, confusing, grocery store-less town.
Seely Lake, MT. We had the pleasure of camping at a private park with the family of one of our friend’s families.
Mountains. There is no way to express the way these things make you feel. I love them. As we drove through nearly every town in Montana, I would ask Chris again and again if we could just stop and stay there for the rest of our life. They also make me really want a horse. It is pretty cool, and a little disarming, how quickly one life plan can be dropped for another.
Finally, we made it to Portland, OR, and I am happy to say that I love it. Portland is by far the most beautiful city I have ever been in. The people here are extremely nice. I expected to see a lot of wierdos, and I found that I was right. Not exactly right, but correct. There are a lot of wierdos, but they are so unobtrusive, they simply ad excitement and color.
There has been a little drama, don’t worry, we have not stumbled onto Paradise, lost to you forever. You would think that after so many hours spent sitting in a car, we would be brimming with energy, but after some housing mishaps, and a few others, we find that, even on vacation, we have not lost some of the stresses of life.
So, if you know of any awesome things to do in Portland, let me know! I will be here until Friday, attending the Ecological Society of America Conference. Don’t ask me what being there is doing for me, that is somewhat ambigious to myself. I just tell myself, “it’s material for my novel,” and I feel much better about the situation. Speaking of novels, I think my next step is finding and exploring Powell’s Books and Voodoo Doughnuts.