Upper Peninsula

Journal Entry: June 30th, 2013

Two weeks on America’s highways and byways, a journey inspired by Jim Harrison’s Dalva (read this immediately). Maybe this journey’s literary beginnings serve to highlight all the tremendous emotions we grappled with along the way.  We’re nearing the end of the line where something mysterious and new awaits, home. Not just a rental with an exit plan, we’ve got a mortgage and room to grow. The next 40 years stretch out before us, a life we can envision.

Sunset in the Smoky Mountains

Sunset in the Porcupine Mountains

The UP had it’s moments. It rained 80% of the time and was perhaps not the most ideal climate to host our anxieties. For two weeks we camped in the rain, we hiked, we woke before dawn to the echo of emergency storm warnings across desolate wilderness, we lost count of the mosquito bites, and felt certain we might never be dry again. We worked through our fears of parenthood, of sitting still, of living better in Small Town USA. And in the middle of all of it we  muddled through the devastating shock of a friend leaving this world before any of us were ready to see her go. If we went in search of perspective, there’s no denying the effect of a mortal reminder.

No one ever said it would be easy

No one ever said it would be easy

Parked outside the most expensive small-town hotel we’ve ever stayed at, we listened to Iowa’s 107.9 and summarized our emotions over a bottle of Dickel Rye. It was one of those stations that made you want to keep driving right past your destination with Reba, Willie, and the boys.  After the last several years spent side-by-side in a vehicle, it came as no surprise when we felt unable to leave the car that night. I can’t imagine a more comforting conclusion, to know that through all our worries, fears, and questions, we can find solace in each other, in a parked car, in the middle of no-where, lost together.

I was on the verge of jumping into one of those holes in life out of which we emerge a bit tattered and bloody, though we remain sure nonetheless that we had to make the jump.”
― Jim Harrison Dalva

2 thoughts on “Upper Peninsula

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