I have to start by thanking our friend, Joel, for driving all the way up to Arcata to rescue us.  We know it was a long, miserable day in the car and we appreciate your help more than you know.  Once again, we'll get by with a little help from our friends!

The entire drive home was an internal battle for me.  I sat in the back of the van, watched all of the cyclists happily riding down the road and listened as Mike pointed out major landmarks from our ride; this was where we hitchhiked from, where we stayed at an RV Park, where we swam in the river, where we camped, where we crossed the mountains from the coast, and on and on and on.  Although I sat contently staring out the window, my insides were screaming, wanting to be let out of the van.  It felt like I was falling down a spiraling black tunnel watching all of the memories we've made fly by in reverse order, undoing all that we had spent the last 3 weeks doing, feeling defeated.  Why is it that when we hope so badly for something, karma has a way of throwing all sorts of obstacles at you trying to stop you?  And then splat.  We found ourselves right back at the place we started - one of the last places we wanted to be.  It sucked.

I can't say it was bad seeing the few family and friends we did see during our brief stint back in the Bay Area, but the timing was all wrong.  We had just said good-bye and were prepared to not see them for another year.  It's hard to describe, but it messes with your mind and emotions get a bit twisted.  Fortunately we escaped quickly before we bummed ourselves out too badly.

After a very long day of driving we are now in Idaho, feeling much happier than we were a couple of days ago.  We no longer feel trapped and without purpose.  Although we're not traveling by our desired method, we're at least mobile and are enjoying exploring deep into the Sawtooth Mountain area.  Today we went in search of a swimming hole.  The paved road turned to gravel, which turned to substantial rocks, which turned to 2 extremely rough tire tracks, which eventually disappeared altogether.  We kept driving until we hit snow and could go no further.  We never found the swimming hole we set out for, but we did find a beautiful place tucked away in the mountains where the air was clear and fresh, there were no people, the silence was deafening and our souls were once again happy and content.
The end of the road.

A meadow of yellow flowers and dead tree stumps.


Mom said...

The Sawtooth is a beautiful area. Remember your first trip Michael? We are envious of your time in the mountains and hope to take a trip soon. Drink it all in, life is to be lived to its fullest! Love you bunches!

NancyE said...

I am, of course, full of questions. String Bean was sold, Mike's truck was at Gina's (?)...that must be right, because I see it in the picture. But what did you drive to Idaho in? Also, tell us about those dogs, pretty please!

Cari and Mike said...

Sorry to confuse you Nancy. We drove 2 cars to Idaho. Mike's truck with a bunch of Gina's stuff (including her dogs). Then Gina will use the truck for the summer. We also drove a little car which is what we'll be road tripping in if we don't get back on our bikes soon.

Joanna said...

Wow. Now that we're back from our trip, I just completely caught up with your blog. You always said that this adventure would teach you unpredictable and very valuable life lessons. Sounds like you guys made a great decision to just take it slow and easy until Mike's knee feels better. Where are those good luck road trip turkeys when you need them?! Enjoy the sites in Sun Valley!

Anonymous said...

Life is like a box of chocolates...hopefully the chocolate w/sardine filling is behind you! :) - Bob

joseph said...

hey cari,

thanks for joining me on the trail creek ride today. good luck to you and mike on the journey. sun valley is a good place to be stuck.