Pacific North Wet

Road trip from San Diego to Seatle and back

Everything was wet, it was dark and my white dog Banner, who I can usually make out as a blur running around the outskirts of the campground in the night was no where to be seen. A few minutes later Banner came bouncing into the back of the truck where me and my girlfriend were removing our wet clothes and attempting to keep our bed for the night dry. Banner was now visible, camouflaged in mud, and wreaking havoc on our dry sanctuary. “Oh well,” I said to no one and then followed with a few expletives. I then proceeded to rip off my rain jacket,  cover the furry mess, pull the blankets over my head and hit the off button until morning.

At first light I was up, the reset button had been pushed and I felt like a new man. A river rushed by feet from where my head lie. A canopy of green was diffusing light and rain above me. I had the will to get out in the rain and make coffee. Everything looked pretty good. The trip had been like this. Long nights driving, shooting, hiking and drinking — pushed until we could barely keep our eyes open. We slept wherever we came across the realization that we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer — usually dirty, wet and cranky.  The morning’s were always a fresh start and deep sleeps caused by exhaustion produced a renewed energy.

The routine had proved productive. This particular morning I only had to walk to the near by river bank to find an idealic setting worth snapping a few photos. Before the long the coffee and the natural beauty set in. I was physching — running around like crazy, hoisting my trypod from place to place, sticking one leg of the tripod in the water, then taking off my shoes so I could get in the river with my tripod. I must have taken 100 photos in those 30 minutes of good light.

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The water was cold and I was now completely awake. My girlfriend was starting to stir in the back of our little Toyota. I hopped in the cab of the truck and tried to warm up the car so we could get on the road, but the engine just wouldn’t turn over. Everything was wet, so I figured another cup of coffee and a few more minutes of sunlight would fix the problem. I sat down to wait. My girlfriend crawled out of the car and sat by the river with her coffee. We went for a short walk and then tried the engine again. Presto, she turned right over — probably just needed a few more minutes of rest.

Shortly, we were on the road to Portland. Of course there would be stops along the way to chase waterfalls at the end of long forest roads, have lunch at roadside diners and to snap photos of everything we found interesting and didn’t want to forget.

Again, we pulled in to our destination late. We made it to Portland from somewhere in Washington. It was another day well spent — we had put everything into it. The craft beer before bed was delicious and we had found a routine. It was time for bed again. Tomorrow would be another day. Again, we would give it our all  and make our way south. We would keep up this pace until we got home. Through ups, downs, highs and lows but always headed south.