I have traveled 3,004.8 miles on this little adventure of mine, up to this point, sitting just outside of Bend, Oregon. Or at least, that is how far my car has driven—I could probably tack on a few extra miles to the overall count if I added in the nature hikes and city walks I have been on. It doesn’t feel like 3,004.8 miles—for some reason, it feels like a lot less, which could be due to the length of time I have spread the mileage out over (roughly 3 weeks).
I have traveled 3,004.8 miles, and what do I have to show for it? Pictures that are starting to flood my phone, each scene with three or four copies, just to make sure I got the light and angle the way I envisioned. Half of the pictures, I notice, are of my dog and the other half are of sunsets. Two of my favorite things. But this photo album needs some diversity if I ever hope to remember the meat of this trek. I am puzzled—none of my pictures seem to have my face in them. Something not so troubling to me, as it would be to most anyone else looking through these shots. Why shove my mug into the frame, when the brilliant rays of a hundred setting suns all look so pure without it?
My bank account is a little lighter, for another piece to show. I would blame that on food though, same as always. There are times when wandering through local town hubs that a restaurant has a dish or name that jumps out at me. And besides some spendy experience zip lining or horseback riding through green, rushing trees, what could be a better thing to fork over money for, but the highest ‘yelp’ rated, lowest priced, local eatery? It’s always food that shanks us as the arrow to the knee. Think of it: vacations, actions, motivations, daily scheduling; it all revolves around putting food in our faces, to some degree. Funny as it may be, I don’t think I would have it any other way, cause eating food is pretty damn fun.
I have traveled 3,004.8 miles, a distance that stretches past hills, beaches, and mountains—and yet, it seems even further for this mind. Longer a distance for my brain to climb than it ever was for my body to traverse. Each morning, dawn resets my waking hour a slight bit more, and I feel a slight bit less sore from the Thermarest the night before. Each afternoon, as my energy begins to wane, my body begging for a nap, it gets a little easier to push through, opening my eyes to the world around me. Each night, as hope and sense begin to fade, and wonder betrays my thoughts, I get a slice more eager to cut down such worry and stress.
I have traveled 3,004.8 miles, and it would seem that the greatest show is the one I’m living. A show that has seen me laughing, crying, smiling, screaming, scowling, and sarcastic—all to ends that blare for recognition and fine tuning. Ends that grab at the parts of me I love, warmly asking to be nurtured into skills, talents, and abilities that will make my future into one of becoming. Ends that claw at the portions of me I despise, gripping me by the sides of my head, forcefully turning my gaze to the gunk between the cracks, shoving the questions of why so far down my throat I have no choice but to answer back.
I have traveled 3,004.8 miles, and each one has forced me to be a little more honest with my ends, a little more honest with my answers back, a little more honest with myself.