Cory and I have been been settling into life back in Chicago for about two months now. It’s good to be home! Here are a few memories and reflections about our last six weeks on the road:
– Frist stop Andy and Jenny in St. Paul. We played koob in the front yard and had dinner and beers at the Groveland Tap where Andy and Jenny work. We also got to see the beginning of bump of Jenny’s belly!!!
– Then drove two ten hour days to Glacier, had a crazy stop at a $5 side of the highway campground next to a county jail, across from a truck stop bar at the edge of an oil boom town in North Dakota. Slept like babies?
– Got to Glacier!!!! Super beautiful, stunning mountains, alpine lakes, rainbows, storms and sunshine.
– Took 2 days to drive to Bellingham, nice stop at a well-maintained Army Corps of Engineers campground in the Idaho panhandle.
– Arrived in Bellingham to Steph, Moose and Merlin! Steph took us to a couple cool bars, an epic hike in the north cascades and pointed out an oyster shop to stop at on our way down to Seattle. The oyster place gave us 2 dozen for the price of 1.
– Next stop, Seattle with Nika, Gordon, Lucy and Bea. Gordon took us on a sweet mountain bike ride; I still have an awesome scar from flying off a ramp and landing all wrong. Lots of fun playing with those two monkey girls and eating well with the Waddles.
– Quick breakfast the next day with Christopher and Taryn Roberts who were welcoming their new baby to their family.
– Spent that night with my collage friend Ashley and her husband Kirby in their amazing house that they spent a year literally building themselves by hand in the Columbia River Gorge.
– Then on to Portland to hang out with Lauren Murphy and her beau, Austin. Tons of fun, river swimming, watching movies in the park and eating from the Portland food carts.
– On to Bend Oregon to see Cory’s friend Chris and his family. Then, Crater Lake National Park, which was awesome! So blue and clear and beautiful. We hiked down the one trail that goes down to the water, 2 miles of steep switchback to get to a rocky edge that we dove off of. There are parts of that lake that have 150-foot visibility.
– Spent the night in Ashland OR with another college friend Mitra. She cooked a great dinner for us in the backyard of the farmhouse her and her partner live in on the edge of town.
– Crossed the boarder to California, they stop you like it’s another country if you come by car. Rolled into the Redwoods National Park, went on a cool hike, ran around the beach, all the National Park Campsites were full, but we found a private one that did the trick.
– Drove southeast towards Mt. Lassen National Park to find Cory’s college friend Nat. Spend the next two nights in a super nice log cabin near the park with Nate and his wife Erin, and both of their parents. Great conversations, food and water skiing J
– Down to Lake Tahoe, breakfast with Lauren Olsen, Tom, and Dylan Boyle! Then Dylan took me rock climbing for my fist time outside. It was super challenging and fun. We ended the night with pizza in Sacramento and a good nights sleep in Dylan’s backyard guesthouse.
– Then on to the bay. Spent five days at Claire and Lauren’s house in Oakland, grabbing meals with Suey, Ben Graham, Jason Gronlund and the Bower girls.
– At that point Cory and I split ways for a bit, I rented a car and picked up Lindsey and Mel from the airport and drove to Yosemite National Park. Cory met up with Tessa in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, then drove on to Albuquerque to hang out with Lucia and Krishna, then on through Colorado and eventually Denver.
– Me and my girls hiked five days in the park and followed it up with some small town partying and hot springs, slept for 3 hours in a hostel on Fisherman’s Warf, then flew home, me to Denver to be reunited with my love.
– In Denver we swam in Aaron and Yan’s swanky pool with Ben, Amy and Kieran, and went out to dinner with Cory’s snowboarding friend Joe Perg. Cory caught up with old friend Sara Shriver and her son Asher.
– We then woke up at 6am, drove 18 hours straight to Chicago, listening to This American Life and Dan Savage podcasts, and arrived at our lake front high-rise apartment. We unloaded, looked for a half hour for a parking spot, then rolled out our therma rests and sleeping bags and fell asleep to the sound of Lake Michigan waves rolling in 39 stories under us.