I can’t believe it… Today should be full of crashing drums and explosions and fortuitous portent.
Instead, I was up just like any other day… maybe a little more tired, thanks to how late we stayed up the night before. But overall? The same as any other day of the road trip.
But today’s the last day that I’m traveling. The last day that I’ll be living out of my highly organized car; the last day that I’ll know exactly where everything is, and the last day that I’ll be sleeping on a tiny sleeping pad, unable to turn over without carefully adjusting myself to stay on the comfy part.
So we left Wyeth campground earlier than we expected, but later than I’d hoped that we’d leave. I’d been loosing my “wake up early” rhythm, thanks to later nights and conversation (not a bad thing), but I’d still kind of hoped to get moving super early, to maximize the time I had with Mike and Liz before they had to head back on the road toward California.
We hung out. Chatted as we packed up camp, then chatted and joked around while sitting at Yelp’s favorite Hood River diner. Bette’s place, if I remember right, and it was definitely a good “Stick to your ribs, huge portions, delicious down home cooking” style diner. We got a cinnamon bun at the end – literally a bun the size of a normal dinner plate. We could barely make a dent in it, after our main meals… and that’s with us all being ravenous after a night of music and drinking.
But it’s still sort of early, and Mike and Liz don’t seem to be in a rush… exploration time! Checking out the breweries quick; just a walk-by really, just to get an idea of the area.
Then the game shop – and ohh man does this town have a game store. D&D, Dragonlance, RC drones, board games… seriously, this place has it all. And right next door is a low-key book shop, and next to that are a few cool coffee bars… Man, Hood River is everything that I enjoyed about Cambridge! I mean, I’m sure it’ll be kinda bad in the winter, but for now… I think I’ll enjoy it here.
With Mike and Liz back on the road, I keep wandering around town, waiting for the call from my Airbnb host saying that they’re ready for me to pop by.
I’m new to the town, to the state, hell even to the general geographic area. So I enjoyed the chance to just… wander. People watching, and exploring small shops, is my favorite way to get to know an area. Seeing what’s expensive, seeing what’s available and what’s not… all the little things that affect how people live their lives. It’s neat – especially in new areas and cultures. Which, let’s be honest, the Pacific Northwest is definitely a different culture than New England.
A few calls home, and a few real-estate agent visits later, I get the call from the Airbnb folks that everythings set. So I head over to meet and greet and see where I’ll be living for two weeks while I look for a new home.
And it’s beautiful! The hosts are lovely – a married retired couple, who rent out the spare apartment / room in their gorgeous house. It’s actually a renovated church, and the apartment that I’m renting is a solid quarter of the floor space. Two bathrooms, a bedroom, and two sitting rooms.
Unpacking takes longer than I expected – much longer, if we’re being honest. But it happens, and I slowly decompress my life out from the convertible that it’d been jammed into, and into an actual house.
Then I relax, walk up the hill that Hood River is perched on, eat dinner, and watch the sunset over my new town.