We spent our final day in Seattle packing up boxes, clearing out the fridge and pouring perishables down the drain, and napping on the floor between trips to load the moving truck. It was clear, sunny, and warm – an exceptional send-off from a city we’d long berated for always being so glum. We climbed into the truck, heaved a few final sighs of excitement and anxiety (“Can you believe we’re really doing this?!”, “Yeah, we’re doing this!”) and hit the road. We stopped at my parents’ house a few hours down the freeway to rest for the night and enjoy a big O’Connor family goodbye, then hopped back in the truck and continued on our way.
Our decision to start the final 12-hour leg of our journey at 11pm probably wasn’t the smartest, but we made the most of it with frequent, giggly visits to truck stop gift shops (think sleeveless, frayed jean-jackets and biblical guides to money management), and high-volume pop songs. The sun finally broke just as we crossed the border into California, so we stopped for breakfast in the small, nostalgic town of Yreka. I wondered what it must be like to live in a place that people are always passing through on their way elsewhere.
We passed through so many towns so different than the one we were leaving and the one we were heading to. America is a vast and varied place, and it’s easy to forget that it means such different things to different people when you spend your life in small pockets of it.
The stretches of grain that went on for miles, punctuated only by the occasional gas station or dairy farm, made us feel small, distorted our sense of distance and time. The hills looked like they would continue rolling forever. Nothing does, though, and soon we saw what we were looking for: the traffic signs directing us to our new city. With heavy eyes and weary hearts, we turned the corner onto our new street, hurried to unload the truck, and once again fell asleep on the floor, surrounded by boxes. The sky overhead clear, sunny, and warm.
Home, sweet home.
*click images for full view//canon eos rebel k2//kodak 200