I pulled into the driveway that warm August afternoon, greeted by the sight of Simba rushing towards the car. My four-and-a-half month adventure had reached its end. And after 15,466 miles across 22 American states (and not the small northeastern kind) my Highlander was mostly itself. Thankfully the same wasn’t true for me.
I’d left Austin almost five months earlier, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to tackle the beast that is the American West. I’d never gone past the Hill Country a few miles west of Austin, never seen the desert southwest or even much of the California coast outside of the Bay Area. The rainy cloudy northwest was all secondhand stories and pictures. I knew that somewhere beyond friends’ ski vacations there was a much wilder, untamed Rocky Mountains, but that wasn’t much more than just a feeling.
For a few years now, my life had been committed and planned, every weekday subject to a schedule, every trail previously blazed. Nurturing resumes and meeting expectations doesn’t leave much room for really losing yourself and finding your way back. When the opportunity came to take a big fat break from all that, I took it.
That sunny afternoon in August, the road trip reached its end. In the weeks that followed, I looked back through all the words I’d written and all the pictures I’d taken. An exceptional trip it had been, and it was time to figure out what to do with it all.
And that’s the journey I’m on now. A book about the trip is in the works and my work on documenting the energy industry and how it reaches all of us continues (check out youandyourenergy.com). In between, I’ll continue to update this blog with the occasional intriguing thought – places, events, things done, seen, heard.
I hope you’ll continue to check in every once in a while.