Final Installment

August 8, 2006.

I left my posh accommodations at a decent hour this morning and got through the “traffic” in Spokane without incident. I was anxious to get to my new home, and promised myself I’d make as few stops as possible so that I could be productive today.

I don’t remember much of the first half of this day. Looking back at my pictures, I see that the scenery was uninspiring and there were few interesting places along the way. I did stop at a rest stop in Washington state that served snacks and beverages for whatever donation you could manage for some local sports team or YMCA. What a great idea! I dropped a dollar in the jar and got a big cup of freshly brewed iced tea. I sipped my tea in the warm, morning sun before getting back in the car.

Welcome to Oregon. Yes! It was raining, as predicted, but that was okay. The rain calmed the blistering heat, making outdoor excursions more comfortable. I stopped at the visitor’s center, located only after following a maze of signs off the highway. I gathered armfuls of books, maps and pamphlets about the Portland area.

Only a few hours to go now. I was surprised to see how dry the eastern 2/3 of the state was. I drove and drove, watching trains, looking at fields dotted with power lines, reading road signs, and doing everything in my power to stay awake. When does it get green?

Finally I began seeing a few trees and before long the sides of the road exploded with greenery. I entered the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area and watched the boats go by. There were beautiful dams, rocky cliffs, and even more trains to distract this weary driver. The numbers on the Portland signs got smaller and smaller as my excitement grew. Once the city skyline came into sight, I felt somewhat relieved. I made it. I spent the afternoon exploring the area and checking out apartments. Later that evening I settled down at my friend’s apartment. That’s where I’ll stay until my own life falls into place. I am eternally grateful for all the people who have helped me make this epic journey, those who:

*contributed CD’s for those long hours on the road

*called me along the way to check in

*provided much moral support during the planning phases

*suggested places to stop along the way

*provided me with a place to stay during and after the journey

*helped in the moving process in any way

*continue to support me as I fumble around in a new city trying to build a life.

One thing I learned while undertaking this move is that I have an incredible circle of friends and family who are behind me 100%. Although I am now distanced geographically from many of them, I am determined to stay close to them all. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. THANKS SO MUCH!

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