I’ve lived in North Carolina all my life. Born in Charlotte, grew up in Marshville (country town east of Charlotte), college at NC State in Raleigh, first job in Greensboro, back to Raleigh for more school, current job in Winston Salem. I’ve bounced around the state and hit several of the major metro areas, but always been within the state.
In two weeks that changes. Two weeks from today I will embark on a four day, ten state, 2800 mile journey across the country to my new home in Portland Oregon.
This is both exciting…. and terrifying.
Of course waiting for me in Portland is my amazing girlfriend Lisa, who is both the reason for the move and the source of my courage to do it. Everything I’ve heard about the Pacific Northwest is positive, from her, from friends who have been there, from friends who are dying to go.
One of the huge things with this move is I am cutting free a lot of ballast that’s been dragging me down for the last couple of years and through move after move. I’m not taking any furniture with me, if it doesn’t fit in my car, it’s getting left behind (the current source of my anxiety), no furniture and even my “collectables” and memorabilia has been pared down to what I truly cannot live without. Turns out “stuff” doesn’t make you happy. Love and attention from a loved one and your friends and family does. Who knew? This is a mind blowing revelation and YES I fully understand I’m 32 years behind the curve here. This should be something known from a young age, but as my parents will attest I am stubborn and hard headed. I’ve needed this sort of “clean slate” reboot for quite a while. This will be very good for me, mental healthwise.
The trip itself is an adventure it it’s own right. I will pass through at least a portion of 10 states including – Half of North Carolina, half of Tennessee, a small cut through of Kentucky, the bottom “point” of Illinois, all the way across Missouri, all the damn way across Nebraska (flat and straight), all the way across the southern part of Wyoming (just above the Wyoming/Colorado border), cut across the top corner of Utah, into the bottom part of Idaho and then finally all the way across Oregon from East to West. This will include stops in Nashville, TN, St Louis, MO, Lincoln, NE, Kearney, NE (Fort Kerney), Cheyenne, WY, Ogden, UT and Boise, ID.
That’s quite a trip isn’t it? Interestingly enough, once I get outside of Kansas City, MO I’ll be following pretty closely along the route of the original Oregon Trail. Which makes sense when you think about it. Wagon road over time becomes the easiest way to go West through the mountains. Wagon road becomes road becomes highway becomes Interstate.
The wheels, speaking of wagons, are in motion now. I’ve given my final notice at work, I’ve told my landlord I’m leaving, I’ve cancelled my YMCA membership. I’ve started a series of dinners and meetings with friends I’m jokingly calling my “Farewell tour”. I’ll hang out with my parents and my best friend this weekend, friends from work after my last day, and my running buddies the Saturday before I leave.
Obviously there will be some disruption in the blog as it may be a couple weeks before I get everything back up and running depending on computer/internet situation where I am living, but I promise I’ll be back up and updating before long and with lots of cool new pictures of hiking around Mt St Helens, running in Seattle, maybe doing something totally crazy like the Hood to Coast relay, so stay tuned, it will be worth it.. I promise!
“Head West young man.. haven’t you been told,
California Portland, Oregon’s full of Whiskey, women and gold…”