The Road So Far

The Road Home

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Greetings all. I know it’s been awhile, and I apologize for my absence. Last you heard from me, Clarissa and I were in a Super 8 in Utah, but as you might imagine, we’re not still there. The next day we left Utah and drove across the entire state of Nevada (sorry Nevada, next time we’ll try to stop). That night, we camped at Meeks Bay, with Lake Tahoe a few minutes walk away. It got chilly, but we enjoyed our first night in California.

Sunset at Lake Tahoe
Sunset at Lake Tahoe

The next day we rolled into Sacramento, to meet up with my oldest friend Tim who had orchestrated the Yosemite trip, and whose housemates were putting us up during the duration of our time in Sac. Our brief stay here would be a bit of a flurry of activity, but we also made a little time to meet up with our friend Susan at the Verge Center for the Arts.

Sculptures by Elisabeth Higgins O'Connor.
I also really needed to share a shot of these incredible sculptures by Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor.

After picking up Tim’s brother Bob, we all took a day trip to San Francisco, and began the final preparations for the upcoming week. Andrew, the final member of our crew arrived that night, and the next day we all headed Southeast. We rolled into Yosemite and set up camp in Crane Flat, which would be our home for the week.

Yosemite is worthy of a trip in and of itself. Unless you’re there for a long stretch, there’s no way you’ll run out of stuff to do, places to explore, and cool things to see.

On our first full day we hiked Half-Dome; between the mileage and the elevation gain, it’s a challenging hike, but definitely worthwhile.

Half Dome
Alas, we couldn’t summit. The weather just got too nasty to safely ascend the cables… More details coming soon.

We also backpacked to a high country camp at Ostrander Lake. Despite the park being full, our crew found some solitude amidst the rocks surrounding the lake. Aside from us, there wasn’t another person for miles.

Ostrander Lake
Ostrander Lake is absolutely beautiful, and we had it all to ourselves.

And before the team parted ways, half of us ran the Yosemite Half Marathon.

Yosemite Half Marathon
And we didn’t do half bad.

As I said, our stay in Yosemite would warrant a post all by itself, so expect more detailed posts about our time in Yosemite in the future.

After Yosemite we stayed for a couple nights with family in Moorpark, then rolled toward Pasadena, where we stayed in a tiny house via Air BnB.

Tiny House
It’s cozy.

Much of our time in the area was spent meeting with Yogis, but we also took some time to head over to Shogun Tattoo, where we got some new ink done care Andrew Moore, an incredibly talented artist and conversationalist. I highly recommend him and his shop if you’re in the market for a tattoo and you’re in the area.

New Tattoo
Many thanks to Andrew for the new art and the great conversation! I hope we can do it again sometime.

We left Pasadena and the greater LA area and headed East, toward home. This is the turning point of the trip, or at least it was in our minds; we were headed back to the Quad Cities. We did, however, still have a little adventuring left to do. We arrived at the Grand Canyon just before sunset, and looked down into the earth as the light waned.

The Grand Canyon
This canyon sure is grand!

The next day, we hiked down into the canyon, though not all the way to the river.

The South Kaibab Trail.
The South Kaibab trail.

The South Kaibab Trail is a hot, challenging hike, but it’s definitely worth it.

The Grand Canyon
You can see the Colorado River behind us.

After our hike, we stayed another night, and set out the following morning. We stopped in Sedona for a yoga photoshoot.

Yoga photos outside of Sedona
Always offer to take yoga photos.

Then we stopped near Albuquerque to stay with family, drove all day, then crashed at a hotel in Kansas that night. We pulled into our driveway in the early evening of October 17th, unloaded the Sportage, then ordered a pizza. We were home.

But Wade, you may be asking, that’s nearly two months ago. Why haven’t we heard from you until now.

Well, the truth is, I never intended to go this long without posting. It just… got away from me. I know, that’s a little vague.

Upon our return, I interviewed for a new job, and I got it. So far, so good. Clarissa had resigned from her job prior to the trip, and began the transition to full-time yogi. I started drawing my bowstring again, re-committed to my training with Plan for Adventure, and started the construction of my own bows. It was time to write.

And yet, I found myself with a profound case of writer’s block. I’m still struggling with it as I muddle through this post, in fact.

Part of my problem was that I have so very much to write about, but there’s also an issue of context. This trip was profound and meaningful. I have wanted to take a road trip like this since I was 16 years old. And yet, upon our return, life segued back to normal without so much as a bump in the road. How important could this trip have been if I transitioned back into a 9 to 5 at the culmination.

Spoiler alert, pretty damn important.

Part of the problem was that I managed my expectations very poorly. I knew that this trip held profundity for me and Clarissa, but I was very much the same when I returned home. I don’t know why, but I suppose I expected to return a changed man; transformed in some way. I should know better, after all, I know that there’s no such things as a new you.

With my mismanaged expectations, I kept getting lost on how to talk about this trip. I kept brainstorming, and then, next thing you know, it’s December and I haven’t written anything. So, consider this my mea culpa. I’m back at it, and I’ll be posting new content all through 2017. I’ve got lots of material to share with you and I want to know what you’ve been up to as well, so don’t be a stranger.

Got questions? Drop me a line in the comments, and don’t forget to sign up below for updates!

4 thoughts on “The Road Home

  1. You may have changed more than you think you have 🙂
    My first and most recent cycle touring trip have changed me more than I could tell when I first came back from them. I haven’t transformed into a new person (far from it), but I have noticed subtle changes in me that I can relate to my trips. The first one brought me confidence and a new acceptance of fear (and how to handle it), while my most recent trip altered my view of people and weather, aligning my words and my behaviour more closely.

    Those small changes may be what is more important. Drastic changes are hard and can lead to unnecessary breaks. Smaller changes are harder to notice but they are there to stay and change you profoundly as well. Let time do its work and you might find that your trip changed you more than you thought 🙂

    PS: I’m glad you’re back on your corner of the Internet. I’ve missed your blog.

    1. I’m glad to be back in my corner of the internet, even if I’m slow going these days. I’ve found that one of the effects of this trip has been a shift in my definition of success, what I want to achieve, and how I want to live my life. Nothing drastic; like you mentioned, it’s subtle, but significant.

      Always happy to hear from you Allysse. Looking forward to interacting more now that I’m back in the fold again!

    1. The whole trip was amazing, Tay. I’m still processing the whole trip and trying to figure out the best way to share it. It’s a bit overwhelming, in a pretty great way.

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