I have this crazy impulse to buy an RV or a motorcycle or VW bus. Then to head north on the 101 to the Olympic Peninsula, Vancouver maybe, some seaside eatery in Tofino. Or Alaska! Or maybe I’ll head east on 199 to Sisters and then Bend. On to Boise and then up to Glacier. How about Baja? Pick up a new ceviche recipe from one of the local comedors and visit a pal in Loreto.
This is not good because I’m about to enter peak travel season when the bnb is booked solid — when there are never enough muffins and when there’s no escaping the frenzy of a full house. Yet all I can think about is this beauty of a an RV I spotted on the side of the road, the one with the big FOR SALE sign in the window. $7,000 or best offer
I have many to thank for this impulse to run away, shirk responsibility, yell at the top of my lungs GOOD BYE, GOOD BYE and leap into a lesser-known future.
Before you who are about to stay at the bnb this summer (or even those due tonight), the bnb remains a stable source of rooms, coffee, conversation and connection to the redwoods. Yet something new runs in my blood and when I ponder its source I come back again and again to people like Outi and Arto, Greg and Suzanne, Brie and Jamie, and Adam and Alex. And Reem, from Palestine.
The most guilty, though? Thomas and Brigitte probably (that’s them, above). It was they who sent me over the edge of reason by authenticating an invitation to visit them in Germany with hugs, a parting gift, and many, many moments of carefree fun over breakfasts in the morning and wine at night.
They’d stayed four nights at the bnb and packed an enormous amount of hiking into those 90 or so hours here. Drawing on discipline, Thomas was up every morning around 6 and by 6:15 was out the door, into his car and off on a pre-breakfast hike. Stout Grove the first morning, Mill Creek Trail the next, the Grove of Titans on Day 3, and a final, early-morning hike of Damnation Creek Trail the last morning in Hiouchi.
Thomas and Brigitte were from Germany, on a six-week tour of the western USA, packing eleven National Parks into a half-summer’s length vacation. (From here they were headed to Yosemite and a climb of Half Dome via the ropes. Then it was nine more National Park visits. Only the Germans make these kind of vacations, btw.)
Or maybe it was the call from Outi and Arto yesterday, made while they dined in the open air under the midnight sun in Finland, saying they were thinking of us at that very moment and hoped we would someday holiday in their small village on the Aura River.
Jamie and Brie didn’t help. A couple of MDs from the east coast, who, after their two night here, were off to Merlin, Oregon to catch a four-day, outfitted rafting and hiking trip down the Rogue River and Rogue River Trail. Ditto — Epic.
And this morning I received by email an incredible shot of Crater Lake, still shrouded in snow. That would be Adam and Alex, mid-westerners grabbing some solo time before hitting the coast near Astoria, Oregon to celebrate a family wedding on the beach. Sa-weeet!
But yesterday was the end of the road for me. I literally ran out of time asking Reem question after question about life in the west bank of Jerusalem.
The world is big place — full of joys, problems, challenges, opportunity. Have I been looking at the only covered bridge in Del Norte County for too long?
I’m not quitting. No. Just grabbing at a catchy headline. There are breads to bake and rice to boil. Canines to be tended to. Plants to water. Cars to top off and emails to return. I’m lucky when I have a moment to study that bridge across the way because truly, it is a sight.
But curse you people who stay, with your stories of the road, your three-week itineraries (or six!) and your invitations to visit. I have a bnb to run. For now.