The sun did not come out, and I just can’t do it anymore, Midwest.
The weather continues to be bad, and this trip continues to feel like a waste while the dog and I languish inside over-priced motels. I’m getting pretty grumpy about it — Tako doesn’t seem to care either way — so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and made a difficult decision.
I’m turning around, guys. Though not quite yet.
I’ve found a few cities that I would be happy living in, so I’m cutting out the section of my trip that covers Canada, purely because the odds of getting a work permit there are very, very low for a writer. Even a tech writer.
So I’ll have to save Toronto for another time! Hopefully a time when I could add Montreal in there, too!! And maybe even have my friends Francis (a real, live Canadian) and My take me on a tour.
But I’m really disappointed to miss more of Canada on this particular trip.
Hail: Killing My Dreams
I was supposed to camp on the beach of Lake Michigan tonight. I was really excited about that. But what’s the point of going to the beach if it’s raining (or hailing? I can’t predict the hail!)? Beaches are for sunshine and laying out and chasing the dog in the surf.
I’m really tired of the horrible things falling from the sky.
It’s especially frustrating because I’ve looked back at the weather after I’ve left some of the places I’ve visited since Yellowstone, and as soon as I’m gone, it’s back to sunny. But the hail and rain continue to dog me everywhere I go.
Maybe if I was able to delay a few days…but I can’t. My schedule is too tight. So I have to take the weather I get in each place.
Molly did warn me that NYC has been having flash thunderstorms lately. Oh boy.
I’m heading towards Brooklyn a week early. My friends, Sean & Molly, offered to give me a place to stay (amazing people), and my friend Alex happens to be there since he’s considering moving in the fall. I have about a dozen other friends in NYC area, so hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze them all in!
I think I might venture to Boston on Amtrak, too…we’ll see how my schedule shakes out for NYC.
Almost a week ago, my dad suggested I add the Shenandoah Valley to my route, and, when I checked to see how it would extend my trip, I realized it’s actually a better route than I had originally planned. So, Virginia here I come!
He also suggested that I come back on I-50 instead of the meandering route I had originally planned. I’m considering it. That change would mean skipping Arizona & New Mexico, so I have to decide how important those stops are to me.
The California fires are a real emergency. They get worse every day; people are dying and losing their homes. Firefighters are flying in from other states to help.
The Mendocino Complex fire feels apocalyptic when I read about it. My dad told me that the Mendocino Coast (where my parents live) has been swarmed with people just trying to find a place to stay after evacuation. The last number I read was from 2 days ago, and it listed 17,000 people had been told to evacuate.
This is why I love Mendocino/Fort Bragg area: There’s a website for locals where they’re posting about what rooms they have available in their homes, so that evacuees can be directed to them. They’re taking in strangers off the street because, in Mendocino/Fort Bragg, you take care of each other.
I’ll try and get a link to share. I’m not a member, since I live in San Francisco, but maybe there’s guest access if I ask around.
The fires also pose the problem of my route home. But I have a couple of weeks to go before I have to worry about that. And I’d like to think that at least the LA fires will be out, or at least contained, by then.
Unfortunately, they’re predicting the Mendocino Complex will continue to burn until the first week of September at least.
I love my friends. Seriously, I know some of the greatest people and biggest hearts on the planet.
At this point, we’ve all spread out across the U.S. (well, mostly up and down the left and right coasts…but I have a few in the middle), and this trip has only served to remind me of that (of them) as I’ve crossed all these state lines.
Kara, Mark & Ali — I’m coming back to Portland to do a little job searching in the new year.
Tiffany — I’m definitely keeping an eye on your company’s website! Seattle grew on me hard during my time there.
Minneapolis — I don’t know anyone there yet, but I plan to. Oh, I plan to.
Nick — I’m so disappointed I missed you in Bozeman! Next time. Because I will be back, Montana.
Amie — Meeting you was a highlight of my trip!! We’re going to see each other soon, either in San Francisco or Missoula. I can feel it.
And to everyone I haven’t seen yet (Molly, Sean, Lily, Michael, Alex, Lauren, and a few others I might be able to get to!) and everyone I haven’t met yet, I cannot wait.