I'm a firm believer in laughter as part of our lives. Laughter can serve us in so many healthy ways.
Driving Solo Across America
A few years ago, after my husband of many years died, I was lost and beside myself, missing the simple things like sharing a morning cup of coffee. He had been sick several years and in a wheelchair. I was the only caregiver and never for even one minute regretted it. He was a gentle soul with a dry sense of humor.
I sat around an empty house for months, absolutely bored and unproductive. On the spur of the moment, I decided to drive the 3382 miles from Florida to Brooking, Oregon, to see my son. I already belonged to AAA (American Auto Club), had the car and tires checked, packed my laptop computer, the CDs I loved, my trusty thermos some small snacks, and a few clothes. My atlas was marked with my route, and I left early on a Sunday morning, knowing traffic should be lighter.
I figured it would take me six days to reach Oregon, and I certainly needed to be frugal, so I decided to only stop at a motel every other day. When I didn't use a motel, I slept in the roadside parks under the lights. I had my pepper spray and a screwdriver handy and one eye open. My son told me always to keep half a tank of gas in the car because there would be miles between cities. Passing through Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, I realized he was right. I passed fields of nothing but huge wind power blades, hypnotizing yet captivating. Certainly not a sight one would see in any city. The one place I was a little apprehensive about was Salt Lake City. Utah and nothing in sight but open flats. I was so glad to make it to the motel that night. I am glad I had my AAA card, it was comforting to know I could call for trouble.
Getting Close to Oregon
In constant contact with my son via cellphone, I knew he would be waiting in Brooking along the shore of the Atlantic. Looking to my left the ocean I saw huge boulders as if they had been tossed there. The Pacific Ocean was nothing like Florida's flat Atlantic Ocean. It was beautiful and I had just passed the Redwood Forest.
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I made my destination! What an exciting trip and an accomplishment for me. I saw my son standing by his red truck, waving with the Pacific Ocean behind him. After hugs and kisses, we decided to do breakfast and plan activities for the next few days. Then we headed to my motel to check in. There was so much to see all along the Oregon Coast. I had booked an ocean view motel for the next two weeks. It turned out that it was a wise idea of mine. Walks along the beach, driftwood all along the shore, visitors at campfires for roasting marshmallows.
There were so many places to visit. One of the best was the Harris Beach State Park on the ocean. I couldn't stop being so impressed. I am also an Elk Member, and the Elks Club in Brookings, Oregon, is impressive. They also offer RV hook-ups for members at very reasonable prices.
I wound up saying over six months and rented a small apartment to save expenses. After those six months, I needed to get back to Florida and my condo. I departed Oregon early one morning, taking a different route back. Leaving on a Sunday morning, heading south on I-5 to pick up I-40 east. It was pretty smooth, and I was almost sad to leave Oregon behind. But this trip was cathartic for me serving the opportunity to see my son and granddaughter and seeing the country.
I saw things I might never have seen if I hadn't taken this trip. Would I do it again? Absolutely but slower this time and stopping at every place I found interesting, even if it took a year. I am so grateful I had the courage to set out on my own across the country. Back home after crisscrossing the United States. Glad I went but glad to be home.