|Tim adjusts a box as Ryan and Preston look on,|
You can just see Nelson's feet in the upper right
corner of the trailer, hanging over a mattress.
|Our modern day covered wagon!|
|Ryan and I start our journey, Elvis's|
carrier just behind us.
It was a sort of prequel honeymoon for Ryan and I. We had been friends for years before our first date, having gone to the same high school and sharing a group of mutual buddies. He had settled in Washington after college, but sometimes visited home. It was one of these visits that he asked me to dinner. We managed to fall in love before dessert. We were immediately inseparable. Our first date lasted almost three days. Ryan asked me to move to the west with him the next week. (That's all a story for another post). It took about a month and a half to wrap up my life in New England, telling my friends and family, giving notice to my job at the bank, sorting and packing my belongings, and Ryan finding a place for both of us in Washington. My friends were thrilled for me, though most of my family thought I was crazy. Ryan and I just knew, we'd found something extraordinary, and nothing extraordinary is easy--or there would be no 'extra' in the word. Save for one week long visit, we spent our first two months together 3000 miles apart. Now here we were rolling down the highway, holding hands and making jokes.
Over the next six days we saw the country (spoiler alert most of the middle is flat). We ate in diners and slept in hotels, checking in, waiting until the coast was clear, and then sneaking Elvis and the rats into our room through whatever back entrance we could find. As the days went on Elvis became quite the little traveler's kitty and was soon making himself at home in every hotel room. Ryan was able to point out the
|Ryan and I, in a seemingly abandoned town in North Dakota.|
skyscrapers in Chicago he'd lived in from the highway. We spent a nervous night in Gary, Indiana after walking into the world's seediest motel and encountering a desk clerk in with a gun tucked into his belt by the light of a flickering television (we didn't stay there). We got lost in an endless graze of Ohio suburbs. We accidentally interrupted a town meeting of four wonderfully kind people in North Dakota as we searched for a bathroom and delighted in a cheesy alien themed restaurant in Bismarck. We had pizza in Whitehorse, Wisconsin and believed everyone in the place was a serial killer (middle aged white men with awkward five o'clock shadows and shifty eyes sitting alone in every booth. It was like a scene from a David Lynch film).
Though the rats were just tickled to be traveling,
Elvis was not a happy camper at first. Here he is
clinging to me in our first hotel room.
|...However, by the end of the trip Elvis|
was quite the traveler's kitty.
As we hit the mountains snow began, and a snow storm kept us in the mountains only a few hours from Seattle. We snuck the animals into one last hotel, slept through the storm, and reached 'home' that afternoon, to the apartment Ryan had found for us weeks before. It was springtime in Everett and the cherry tree outside our living room window was in full bloom. It was a wonderful journey westward.