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.