I can admit there is at least one thing I love about myself. Spontaneity. I have no fear of where the adventure will go and no holds barred on when it happens.
The summer my junior year of college became a trip to the Redwoods of California…on a random day at about 7pm. I packed a bag and got into the car. I was ready for an adventure and headed in the direction of Salt Lake City.
Crossing the Badlands felt like being yanked from everything familiar with the exception of the asphalt. The expanses of layered peaks and draws made it easy to imagine the shallow sea that once covered it.
Even though I was only driving through to another destination, it made an impression. I will go back to experience the Badlands themselves and in depth; seeking out the many fossils that bring to life a time when the Earth looked very different. I hope I find a trilobite; my favorite since I was a child. Forget the shark tooth, I want to see the arthropod.
After spending the night in Salt Lake City, I set out to Reno. There isn’t much to say about my stay in Reno. It was a hotel room and a trip to the gas station. I’m not entirely sure if the area I chose was the safest, but I came through.
In California waited for me Dorothy’s Rest; a beautiful Episcopalian retreat tucked in the wooded hills of Camp Meeker, CA. The overwhelming sense of calm brought by beautiful structures and the seclusion provided by the Redwoods took me right out of my stress and brought me peace. I suppose that’s the point of a Christian retreat; it worked beautifully.
The end, though, was a perfect way to finish my trip through the beauty of California. Though I made a poor choice in the route to Paradise and it took hours longer through Mendocino National Forest (I was basically lost), I was still able to spend some time with my great uncle Ed.
It was very special to see him at his home after chatting with him for years at family reunions. He was a Naval submarine commander and told me all about the harrowing training he accomplished to get there.
We bonded over sharing our military experiences and the Army Navy game. We planned to go to the next one together, unfortunately, that never happened and I regret that.
He was an incredibly kind and interesting man and I’m proud to have him in my family tree.
I honestly don’t remember the trip home; it was uneventful and forgettable as the adventure had come to an end. I loved every moment of it, but that memory with uncle Ed outshines all the rest.