I was in Ridgecrest, Arizona. I could still go west and up the California Coast or I could stay on the 5 and make more headway. I stayed up way too late looking at maps and contemplating mountain driving. I was getting burned out. I decided to stick to the 5 and make it up to Medford, OR. From there, if I was up to it I could still go back south west a bit and see Crescent City and some red woods. I didn’t know if I had it in me.
I drove through vineyards and more changes. Stopping at a rest stop, I finally saw lush greenery and a cool wind hit me. The mountains were still with me and my neck and shoulder muscles were becoming tight with the tension. I finished one audiobook, Amy Poelher’s “Yes, Please,” and started another. I made it to Medford and found a motel 6 and crashed.
When I woke up the next day, I knew I would not be going to the coast. I was done. I was disappointed in myself for not going through with one of the most important parts of the trip. But I could always do that another time. It was right there, after all, a day trip away. I would head up the 5 and get to Portland in about 4 hours.
It was the first time I felt tired while driving. I had reached my limit.
I drove through more vineyards, ate my oranges, blackberries and chocolate covered almonds and listened to the story of the audiobook. I stopped for a burger about an hour out and let Lauren know I would be there soon.
I drove up to her cute, white house in its cute neighborhood, walked in and gave her a hug. She showed me around, I sat down in a big chair, looked around at her house and the unusual sunny weather outside and thought………Holy Shit. I left Lafayette and I live in Oregon now. All of my stuff is in my Element. I just did that.
This is going to take some getting used to.