Rain, tears, ocean – a water theme for a new chapter

Opening lines are important.  They are supposed to set the stage for what’s to come.  I wanted something profound.  Or witty.  Or charming.   I bombed that one I guess.  Anyways… those of you who know me are aware that my life changed significantly in January (for those who don’t know and want to, contact me). With one change comes others. So while this is not what I envisioned as my first blog post, perhaps it’s exactly appropriate.  I had created a KevinMeyersPhotography blog, but that venture and thus the blog are on hold.

Boo!  Hiss!  Enough of that nonsense.  On to the story already!

After accepting a job with Aramark as a Human Resources Manager in Denali National Park, I experienced a very rushed bit of packing.  Trying to sell some stuff, putting some stuff in storage, deciding what should go in the car with me, and what should be shipped…. yup – that took some effort.  For those interested in where I’ll be working – click here.  I’m on the leadership team for a property of about 130 employees from around the world.

February 28 – a gorgeous Colorado morning, a great day for driving.  Turn the key, roll the car onto Hwy. 82, and… oh shit.  I’m leaving Colorado.  After more than 12 years!  Tears roll down.  Tears for the death of my marriage, for leaving friends and family, for leaving such a beautiful place.  First stop, Glenwood Springs and a final breakfast with my good friend Sandy.  Tears.  Damn it Sandy, you made me cry again!

In Utah I stop several times while passing through the San Rafael Swell, one of my favorite desert areas.  It hits me that I may never get back there.  More tears.

At dusk I roll into the campground at Great Basin National Park.  Lots of SNOW on the ground!  Somebody didn’t pay enough attention to the elevation of the park campground.  Me?  I resemble that accusation.  Easier to just sleep in the car.  A peaceful walk up the road under a very bright milky way, and then I’m quickly asleep.

The next morning I sign up for a tour of Lehman Cave.  The park has a number of caves, but only Lehman is generally accessible.  With only one other guest, we have a marvelous private tour.  Gorgeous!

Lacking snowshoes or XC skis, there’s really nothing left to do in the park, so on the road again.  Ever driven a truly empty highway?  Highway 50 through Nevada – “The Loneliest Road in America” – is a bit creepy.

An uneventful night in Carson City, NV.  The only gambling I do is guessing which road to take.  I play tourist by exploring historic Virginia City in the morning.

(those of you not from the west may have to guess at the meaning of “Rocky Mountain Oyster”)

I decide that I can’t pass by legendary Lake Tahoe and not stay there.   I score a screamin’ deal at a Marriott at the base of Heavenly ski area, and the next day have my most enjoyable XC ski ever at Spooner Lake state park. It’s dumping wet snow, but what’s a little soaked clothing when the skiing is that good?  Eleven miles later, I’m happy.   Soaked.  Cold.  Tired.  But with a big smile on my face.  Happiness?  Check.  No tears?  CHECK!

California dreaming…. Shouldn’t northern CA just be a separate state from the southern part?  They are so different in just about every way.

This northern CA scene could easily be Romania.  Freaked me out a little!

Above is one of my favorite images of the trip.  Proof why storms are a boon to photographers – when the storm breaks, say hello to hallelujah light!

Humboldt County – the pot-growing capital of the US.  If I was a stoner I would have been in heaven.  The redwoods are magnificent, the campground is essentially empty, and I…. I…. I…  oh shit.  The tent poles!  In my confused packing they got left in Colorado (and I haven’t a clue where).  (rainy) Night number 2 in the car.  Off to Eureka to buy a tent.  What’s a little more spending when I’m homeless and between jobs? The irony of course, is that I wanted to camp partially to save money!  But I do enjoy my next (rainy) night in Redwoods park.

It’s one thing to know that redwood trees are huge, and another to see pictures.  It is something quite completely different to EXPERIENCE them.  Wow!

After packing up in the rain (of course), on to the southern coast of Oregon.  Amazingly.  Stunningly.  Beautiful.  Heartbreakingly so.  Heartbreaking that it’s dumping sheets of rain, and it’s hard to see at times.  I stop a few times for attempts at photo opportunities.

Portland!  Portland!  Great green saviour of the planet!  The place that everyone who has been there and knows me says “you’ll LOVE it there!”  Hype – it gets ya every damn time.

My name is Kevin…. and I… hated… Portland.

Maybe I was tired after a lot of driving.  Maybe I expected too much.  Maybe I was still reeling from life changes.  Whatever.  I hated Portland, and left after less than 15 hours.  The only saving grace was that I had the 2nd best fish dinner of my life there.

(yes, I realize I need to give Portland another shot some day)

End of chapter 1.  Coming soon – I fall in love with Washington (again).  I camp in the rain (again).   Fall madly in love.  I have met beauty, and it’s name is Seattle.

Thanks for tuning in.