The best photo so far from this past trip through the East Coast of the USA with my friend Kat. Am home now and it’s weird readjusting to the idea of staying in 1 place for longer than a few days before packing everything up for the next whirlwind adventure. Getting back into the groove of a familiar bed, coffee without diner food, and the general day to day going ons. Happy to be back in one piece, but missing the road already.
After departing from Grants Pass, Oregon ( ) back on my trip in January, I was headed towards Crescent City, California, which I had heard was fantastically beautiful (it was!) but to get there, I had to drive through Siskiyou National Forest, and it was… magnificent. An unexpected but much loved detour.
It was early in the morning when I pulled off the main road onto some random, seemingly abandoned trail/road that seemed to wind up-up-up into the mountains. Me and my little rental car where probably not the best equipped for a hike, but that didn’t stop me and after a slightly harrowing curving drive through that mountain road I ended up near a secluded section that just called to me to get out and explore a little. Little air in my lungs, improper shoes and a twinge in my side from a long drive where easy to ignore in the calm I found there. It was truely lovely, and if I hadn’t already been aiming for 2 other destinations for the day, I probably would have just stayed there exploring the rest of the mountain roads that seemed to endlessly branch out from the main highway. I’d truly love to go back one day.
I had meant to spend a good portion of the day in the mountains, photographing dips and curves, blues and greens among the yellows and dark oranges, but it seems the storm that I had outrun in Arkansas had tucked itself into my path here. I am a lover of the rain, but my electronics do not share in the pleasure. So I cut my losses, and shredded my agenda down to a mere 2 hour drive through before I crossed into North Carolina.
My skin sang with the need to drink in the rain, since I’m usually the sort of mad top that likes to get drenched in the rain till I’m shivering and half dazed… But I didn’t have a towel, but I didn’t have clean socks, but I didn’t want to mess up the rental, but I didn’t but I didn’t but I didn’t. Failure words, those…I still imagine the feel of that cold rain on my tired skin and the sound of quiet hush hush leaves bending in the winds.
I can’t say when or even really why but Tennessee has stamped itself into my littlest bones and I will be back to drench myself in it’s nooks and cupboards, I will bathe in it’s sunshine and rain again, in full, sometime soon.
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.
Unbuckling my seat belt and grabbing my camera, I remember the only thought that passed through my head was “…..right…..what now?…..” followed by “…..might as well look around.”
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.