After a night spent in the WalMart parking lot, I was definitely ready to get on with the journey. It was 5am and just the beginning lights of dawn could be seen in the distance. My neck was cramped, my legs sore and my eyes just couldn’t seem to moisten but I wanted nothing more than to get moving. I freshened up in the WalMart bathroom and felt like a scene right out of “Where the Heart Is.” Thankfully, I couldn’t leave myself behind, ha.
As I ventured down I-90 again, I was greeted by the beautiful sunrise to my back. I spent a lot of that first house looking in my rear view mirror and side mirrors just to catch glimpses of the stunning artwork that was appearing in the sky behind me. Twisting and turning, I followed the roads up and down, down and up and through the rest of Montana. I had about 5 hours left until the boarder crossing and this seemed to take a lot longer than anticipated. The day before the ride seemed to fly by, today didn’t seem to do so as much. Someone along that winding road in Montana, the tears finally began to roll down my cheeks. Not necessarily because of leaving a place that I treasured so dearly in my soul, but because of the thought of letting go. I again, thought back on life. I thought about being 16, 18 and 21 years old. I remembered what I wanted in life at those ages, where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be with. The bittersweet tears that formed behind my eyes and found their way down my face were there because of the sadness of letting go of a past. Letting go of things that didn’t pan out and trying to understand the reasoning. It was the letting go of people who, after years of thinking they will change, realize that they are no good for your life. And most importantly, letting go of those poisonous relationships that bring you down. Somewhere in the middle of Montana, I realized the tears that were coming down were about things that weren’t worth it anymore. Pains and thoughts that weren’t worth keeping in my heart, mind or soul. I needed to forgive and forget and move on with a life that was stimulating to a free mind.
It was late morning when I crossed the state line into Idaho. As soon as I crossed that line, I was in love. Idaho it seems, is one of those secret gems of America. I pulled over to the welcome sign and quickly decided this was a state that needed more exploration. The welcome sign alone was set to the backdrop of a lush gold mine. It dropped off to nothing but an abyss of trees and beauty. The drive through Idaho was only an hour long, but I could have stayed there for forever and never get sick of the views. Again, my mind drifted to thoughts of how small we are and how much tranquil beauty was in our country that isn’t so well known. I took my time getting through the state because even with the hefty speed limit, I had to go slow to control my gazing and to stay on the turns.
I had seen a lot of beautiful places thus far, but nothing in America has quite literally taken my breath away the way Coeur d’Alene, Idaho did. As soon as I crossed that bridge, I was speechless. My eyes feasted upon the delicious gift that was presented to them. Photos and words do no justice to this place. The blue waters dotted with the hills of houses against the bright aqua sky was almost too much for me to take in while driving. It was truly something else.
Not long after Coeur d’Alene I found myself crossing into the state of Washington! Already?! I couldn’t believe I had already found myself in Washington. My smile was bigger than my cheeks had room for. : ) I eagerly waited and watched for the Welcome sign and was quickly disappointed when one was not found. Pulling off I-90, I ventured into a tiny gas station to figure out what the situation was. A sweet elderly man was reading a newspaper when I asked him. He cheerily smiled at me and said, “Oh honey, it was on the bridge! You had to look up to see it.” Not the sign I was looking for. I explained to him how I needed a photo by each state sign so that wasn’t exactly feasible for my project. He thought for a moment, then mapped out an alternative route to a sign that was off the backroads. I thanked him deeply and made my way back towards Idaho to find my Washington sign. Sure enough, a few miles east there was a tiny sign with the most beautiful words I have read, “Welcome to Washington.” I whipped a U-Turn and set up for the best and final photo of my trip.
After getting into Washington, I felt like I should have been there.. but, unfortunately I still a little of a hike to go. Away I went along I-90 now getting more and more antsy, exhausted and ready to just be home. I made my way through the state, mapping my progress as I went. I drove through the Gorge and smiled, daydreaming about memories spent there and the times to come. I also got excited because after hitting Gorge, I knew the road home. The state of Washington only gets more and more beautiful the more I drove West. This was the route that first stole my heart and gave it to Washington, so, it was great to be back and not have to leave it. I finally found myself in Bellevue and then, crossed the bridge and found myself in the beautiful Seattle! I was home. Cerrissa was at work so I was going to go home, unload my car and crash.
After a few confusing turns (thanks for the unfamiliar route, Siri) I found myself outside of Cerrissa’s (and now MINE!) house. I grabbed my suitcase, walked up the front steps and was startled when the front door burst open and there bounced Cerrissa, welcoming me to my new home! She had gotten off work and wanted to surprise me 🙂 It was all coming together so perfectly. I crashed after a quick catch up session and woke a few hours later ready to spend my first Saturday night in Seattle. We unpacked my car, devoured a pizza and got ready to go see our favorite Seattle man, Kyle.
Jetting to Percy’s in Ballard was obviously the first and only stop we were going to make that night. As soon as we walked in our friend/bartender smiled, waved and screamed, “WELCOME HOME!” That was it- I was home. I was home and ready to turn the page. It’s time to keep the good, toss out the bad. Start a new life, experience new adventures, make new friends and date new men. I can’t wait for this new adventure and to get completely head over heels in love with life. I love the tangling of reality and dreams into my own twisted ‘real life.’ Let’s do this, Seattle.