Day 44 was another day of driving – this is when planning and thinking ahead a bit more would come in handy, but oh well. You see, even though people told me it is a lot farther than I think from Washington to California, I didn’t really pay attention (sorry guys). So when I punched my friend Todd’s address in Aidan and found it was about nine hours and nearly 600 miles, and we were supposed to be meeting for dinner, I knew I wouldn’t be there right on time. I also knew I couldn’t lengthen it any more by taking the scenic route – I’d get back to that from San Fran to LA. So I think Day 44 was the most driving in one stretch yet. Funny enough, I didn’t get sick of the drive or tired, but simply wished I had more time!
For the first time, I was tempted to actually pick up hitchhikers. They reminded me of the people who started Lonely Planet – I read in their memoir about how they started and a good part of it was hitchhiking. Anyway, these were both guys (Lonely Planet creators were a guy and a girl – a couple, now married) with long hair, very hippy-like, smiling and happy, sitting on the side of I-5 with a big sign that said “Australia – Mexico.” How cool would it be to help them on the final leg of their journey? But then the practical side of me chimed in and so I didn’t stop. Hope someone else did.
I soon approached the California border – so very excited to actually be in the state! I’ve been promising Duffy and Jay that I’d visit them for 15 years and I’m finally, really going to do it! I was thrilled to see there was actually a lookout point just before the Oregon/Cali border, so was able to stop and get some photos. (It also looked like there was a giant cloud hanging over the state, and it wasn’t long before I drove into the rain.)
I was surprised to find that they stop you at the California border. At first I thought it was a toll to enter the state (wouldn’t be surprised if, of all states, Cali did that), but no, it was to check for any fresh fruit or plants. It was almost like it’s a separate country and doesn’t want anything from the other places to contaminate it. Ah, California.
I arrived at Todd’s about 9 pm – just as Aidan predicted. I had thought about him along the way – it’s been 16 years since I last saw him at our graduation from Dean. What I remembered most was how genuine and warm he is. How he has the gentlest soul and always looked at you so intently when talking that you felt like the only person on earth and how what you were saying actually mattered. I was instant friends with Todd in school, and was so glad to find when I arrived that he hadn’t changed at all in the ways that mattered. He’s really just more found himself and what makes him peaceful and happy – devoting himself to making beautiful music. Like my friend with the horse farm, it makes me so happy to see that Todd spends his days and supports himself by fulfilling his dream of making music and sharing it with others. It is a unique, soothing sound that he creates using acoustic world instruments. Listen for yourself here: http://www.toddboston.com/.
We had a fabulous, relaxing evening catching up on the last sixteen years of each other’s lives and discussing the next leg of my trip. He filled me in on some must-see places that I know I’m going to love. I’ll be updating the itinerary soon – probably when I have some down time in LA toward the end of the week. So much more to see – just never enough time anywhere!