Open Road, Open Heart

Our first day on the road we coasted down Woodstock BLVD wearing our fine mustaches. We had some last minute provisions to pick up at Safeway before we hit 84. Our first adventure as the Stash Sistahs. We received a few funny looks and even a few laughs as we walked down the aisles looking for tortillas and water. It wasn’t until we were back out in the parking lot that we had an admirer come up to us and say, “where’d you get those mustaches?,” he asked.. “homemade..” Danne said, “Wow..” he replied. Next stop was across the street at ACE Hardware where we needed a tarp. The young clerk greeted us, “Gentleman…” It was amazing – quite possibly the best reaction ever. We jumped back into the car, Danne put on some Neil Diamond and we hit the open road…

After some stashful talks we stopped for some pb&j’s with fresh blueberry jam on a windy and misty mountain side in Oregon. The mountainous road started to open up.. slowly turning into rolling farm lands. After seeing a mini dust tornado in Athena, OR we plowed ahead as the landscape became more barron and canyon-like as we neared the lovely state of Washington. The sun was still high in the sky when we passed through Walla Walla, which was a bit let down and didn’t live up to it’s name. We continued on 12 where we decided to set up camp for the night at Lewis and Clark State Park. I taught Danne how to set up the tent and get our kitchen ready. Black bean tacos with leeks, onion, garlic and heirloom tomatoes from the farm were on the menu and they were to be tasty. We busted out the celebratory Rogue Imperial Brew and raised our glasses to our journey back east. We cleaned the dishes and came back to talk for the next few hours. It was nice to just be for a while. Talking, connecting, laughing and living by candlelight while the frogs and crickets played on until the morning hours…our heads hit the pillows hard that night after a full day on the road.

It was 3:00 am and I found myself wide-awake. It started to rain – not hard but enough for me to get out and cover up the kitchen with a tarp. My feet were black. I scrubbed the soles of my feet and put on socks. Back in the tent I couldn’t fall back asleep. I listened to the choir of frogs and pitter-patter of rain droplets and wanted and longed to snooze. Twice I heard the loud sounds of an emergency alarm in the distance. I was on edge and wondered if everything was okay. I woke up a few hours later and wiped the sleep from my eyes. I made my way to the shower where I discovered that it was free – I turned the knob before putting in my money.. it was going to be a good day. Perhaps the excitment in Danne’s face was enough to make me feel satisfied. Our warm showers were followed by grittle cakes and lychee tea… a perfect combination to renew our spirits and our bodies as we packed up camp and continued on east towards Idaho…

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