I am in my shorts, barefoot, sitting next to a pool, so guess where I am? That’s right. California!!! I am ‘home’ (quotations necessary). The drive is done, and except for a suspicion I need new shocks/struts we made it free and clear of any real damage (though, if you are a Gilmore Girl fan and watched it like me while on the road, Rory’s uterus has some issues … kinda way too ‘open for season’ or too ‘sitcom-ish’ if you ask me). Anywho, the point I am trying to make is that I am writing this from the end point of the great drive. Burbank, California. Where the pup and I will be living for the next few weeks – until we find ourselves the next place to live.
Today may have been the easiest drive up the whole trip. I got up stupid early, took advantage of a time change, and even while having a weak excuse for a blueberry pancake in Barstow, arrived so early to my hotel that I putzed around for an hour before checking in.
The grand total was — 2998.1 miles. Surprisingly close to a milestone for sure, but it was what it was. The interesting thing to me is that if you use Google Maps to plot the most direct course between my old place in Boston and my hotel, you would get 2984 miles. Now, keeping in mind I stopped for gas at least 15 times, stayed in five hotels off of the freeway, grabbed meals here and there, and stopped a billion times so a certain pup could not poop when he was gassing me out, it is quite interesting to know that the difference was only 14 miles. Heck, I can get lost in Boston and make up that 14 miles no problem. This result is proof that the route remained true throughout. The fact that weather was nearly perfect for nearly all of the trip just bolsters that. The uneventful first few days just led to easy days later on, and that’s all that really matters.
There was, however, a definite turn in my attitude the last couple of days. I tried pretty hard early on to follow routes that made me feel nostalgic. Like for instance, I was let down by the construction on the Indiana turnpike, because I remember that stretch in 1991 being like a lifeboat on my first trip to New Jersey to try out for drum corps. Now it was dead and gone. I remember driving across Nebraska with my brother and wanting that excitement we felt of heading out to see our friends on the coast. I was hoping for the first few days to relive the memories of the past. And was generally disappointed on what I saw.
But the last few days, it felt like I was heading somewhere, and the meaning of what I was doing was changing. I wasn’t so focused on just arriving at a point and starting a job. I made two trips like this in the last couple of years and it felt just like that. This time, it was like momentum. Like I couldn’t get to Burbank fast enough, I couldn’t get to California fast enough. I wanted to be here, be ready, and be fired up for the days that came.
This wasn’t nostalgia for what had passed.
This was excitement for what is coming my way.
Like I mentioned yesterday, and probably can’t put any better today … the fact this is ‘Day 6’ seems minor to me right now; because tomorrow is Day 1 … Day 1 of the rest of my life.
Yeah, the drive is done, and it was a pretty awesome drive.
But as I sit outside in my shorts in December while I-5 rumbles by and a traffic copter checks out the troubles around me, I am feeling so calm, so at peace.
I did that 3000 miles. I am done with that 300o miles.
Now, I am ready for Day 1.
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