I woke up this morning panicked. My friend had to be at work at 8am and I didn’t want to oversleep. It was 6:20.
I took a shower, packed and started loading my waypoints into Ox’s GPS. That’s always entertaining for some reason.
We had breakfast and said our goodbyes. It better not be for 20 years again.
I left through Bend and began my journey along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. It took me right past Mt. Bachelor. The last time I was here, my brother Joe and I came down with a youth group to snowboard. It is still one of the most memorable days I’ve ever had. Mostly because of epic powder and the sunburn on my face.
This shot was taken sitting next to Bachelor but looking north at the three sisters.
For the next 50 miles I proceeded to go on a murdering rampage of bugs. I could barely see through my windshield. I think about 1,000 hit me in the face. No joke. It was a beautiful ride but cold. The sun still hadn’t warmed up the canyons yet.
Eventually I worked my way down towards Crater Lake. As I got close, a thick smoke began to envelop the road. If cars didn’t have their headlights on, you couldn’t see them until the last second. Hotshots rigs were parked along all of the roads, along with forest service vehicles. I figured if they didn’t want me to go there, they would have closed the roads. Right before the turnoff to Crater lake, the smoke mostly cleared. Which is good because it was actually getting hard to breathe. I think my clothes smell like I was sitting around a campfire all night. I stopped at the first overlook of the crater because it was still smoky and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to see very much. Unfortunately I was right.
The lake is down there somewhere.
I turned around and continued my journey down another scenic byway, this one along the Umpqua river. I even saw people rafting. It was freezing! They’re nuts.
In Roseburg I stopped at a self serve car wash and gave Ox a good once over. It was nasty.
I stopped again at another intersection for lunch and gas (speaking of which, I am so glad to be out of Oregon and having an attendant always there to “help” me) and then it was my final push to the coast and rejoining 101.
Turning south again I followed the amazing Oregon coastline all of the way into California. 440 miles after I started.
I reached Crescent City California and began looking for dinner and a campsite. Every single restaurant I went by was shut down. Out of business. And no camping.
I kept going south. Now I was into redwoods country. And guess what? Every state park campsite was full. On a Monday. Go figure. I finally broke down and stopped and a private campsite. $19. I’m sorry, what?! I haven’t had camping that cheap in forever. I’m surrounded by Redwoods. It’s amazing.
Unfortunately I had a lot of time to think today and my head really started messing with me.
I thought a lot about my transition back to home life. At the pace I’m going, that’ll be soon. I have high hopes and deep fears. What if I haven’t changed? What if this is all for nothing? If it does help, how long will it last?
And then I had a panic attack. It hit me hard and fast and I could barely breathe. I had to pull over asap and just sit to look at the view. I tried to call my wife and she didn’t answer. That didn’t help.
I finally calmed down and my wife called me back. I didn’t tell her but I just needed to talk.
Some days I think I’m doing ok and then it just resets to square 1.
Oh well. I’m in California. That’s crazy. My inlaws live outside of San Francisco and that’s less than 350 miles away. That’s about 100 miles less than I did today. Damn. I could be home pretty soon. I’m worried. I need to stop talking about it. I’m making it worse.