Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost...."

For seven months now, I've been a lucky man. Since my wife became a travel nurse in August 2016, the two of us, along with our two-year-old black lab/wirehaired terrier mutt, Otis, have been able to explore much of the western United States in the name of work, getting food and rent paid for and seeing sights we might never see again.

Finding home in Idaho
Wife and dog in the Sawtooth Mtns of Idaho
So far we have traveled from our original home in the high mountains of Colorado to the lonesome wilderness of central Idaho across the wasteland of central Nevada to the lush redwood forests of Northern California. We have seen snow-capped peaks with serrated skylines, and clear mountain lakes where the reflection and realty are so identical you could flip a photo upside down and hardly tell the difference. We basked in endless sands on beaches at the precipice of the great Pacific, and climbed the rugged bark of the world's tallest trees. It has been a remarkable journey, and it isn't over yet.

The Stagnant Mire

For years prior to setting out on the soul-searching adventure (what we have dubbed "The Search for Home") we plowed through the typical grind of normal life: 9 to 5 jobs, 40-hour work weeks, repetition devolving to stagnation, months of endless grind looking forward to too-brief four-day vacations.

One day, we woke up simultaneously and proclaimed in harmony it was no longer working. We loved the place where we lived. We didn't love the framework of life we had constructed within it. Before we could settle down, buy a house, start a family, our itchy feet burned to travel.

 So we set out, and as of yet we haven't looked back.

As a writer, everything seems like a story. And so far this personal story is one of the most engaging in my 33 years on this wet rock dubbed Earth. Our current chapter in this story, however, has come to an end.

An Even Bigger Chapter Follows….

Rugged shores of Northern California
Alaska. It's called the Final Frontier. 663,000 square miles of rugged wilderness, sky-prodding mountains, calving glaciers, hungry brown bears, and land as unexplored as perhaps anywhere else in North America. This is what awaits.

For the next year at least we will be in Seward, Alaska, an oceanside hamlet of 2,800 people, encircled by snow-tipped battlements and crenellated glaciers. A place where there are often more whales than people, and the bald eagles are bold enough to grab a careless pet right off your front porch. In the summer there is direct light at midnight and in the winter there might be no sun at all. It's a dramatic change and, hopefully, a fitting climax for this journey to find the place we will one day call home.

The Journey is the Destination

It is 1,718 miles as the condor flies from where I sit right now to where I will be in three weeks. The journey north looms. For two weeks we’ll wend a circuitous route up the West Coast, probing the sights of Oregon and Washington, until we board a drive-on ferry in Bellingham, WA. Four days on a boat will land us on the frozen North Shore at last.

In other words, blog followers, friends and family, I will be experiencing a media blackout for at least three weeks, perhaps longer. But don't count me as lost. I haven't given up writing or blogging. I'm not sick or in trouble. I'm merely back on the road again.

The journey must continue and I promise, barring some unforeseen trouble, I will be back.

A little travelin' music to fit the mood:


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All writing is the original work of Brian Wright and may not be copied, distributed, re-printed or used any form without express written consent of the author. Find out here how to CONTACT me with publishing and/or use questions