I set out on the first day of my 3day roadtrip through Northern California/Oregon from my best friend Watson’s place near San Francisco, towards Mt. Shasta. I was torn between half insane excitement and half erratic nerve-wracking worry as it was the first trip I had ever taken by myself….just me, my rental car and the belief that I wouldn’t get lost like all the times I’d gotten lost just heading to the grocery store. (Don’t blame me for the way Texas roads lure unsuspecting drivers onto highways and always inexplicably towards the outer edges of Ft. Worth)
It was a 4 hour drive, nothing major for someone who has done 16+ hour drives on a whim , but it was a first by myself. I think I can with all honesty say I probably didn’t plan it well (because I never plan anything), but it was magnificent to drive out of San Francisco towards the unexpected.
Lunch was supposed to be at the halfway point, my thoughts fixated on the idea of a juicy burger, but I failed to fully motivate myself to stop for food and instead, while I was driving through some beautifully windy mountain scenery, I caught sight of a small side road just next to what looked like the shadiest gas station/food mart in the existence of ever. Don’t ask me why, I can’t ever explain why I do these things, but I pulled off the road and pointed my car down what now showed to be a rather narrow, winding dirt road that tapered to a point besides a quiet creek at the base of the mountains. A rather rough looking guy leaned against his beat up blue pickup truck while fiddling in his pockets, and off to the other side another older guy in ripped flannel appeared to be doing…..something by the creeks edge. Both looked startled and more than slightly amused to see me and my tiny red rental car with Nevada plates in their woods.
In the end, the quiet rustling of the tree’s surrounding me completly, up and out, combined with the splashing of two little girls playing by the creek (while one of the guys looked on and the other played with a remote controlled mini truck car) ended up being better than a lunch break. The air smelled sweet in my lungs, and the parting smile I got from one of the guys when I thanked him for the way back to the main road made it my favorite memory of the day.