There & Back Again

My intention at the beginning of June was to post entries along each step of my journey across country.  Obviously I’ve failed at that.  But now I’m staying in one place for a little while, so I decided to catch up.

I left Los Angeles on June 3rd and arrived in Las Vegas five hours later.  I stayed at my favorite hotel, The Artisan, for ten days.  I did some gambling, some work, made a few new friends and realized that I really like Las Vegas – something I hadn’t been expecting.  There’s an energy to it that would definitely wear one down over time, but it’s one of the few places that hasn’t managed to bore me at all, despite the amount of time I spend there.

My last few days in Las Vegas I started writing poetry inspired by a new acquaintance, so I think I may start posting that again.

I left Las Vegas ambivalent – I’m not sure I was ready to leave, I had just made new friends and wanted to stay to follow some things through.  But I was eager to continue my journey onward, trading depth for span.

I left Las Vegas in the wee hours of the morning Monday and headed across Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.  I drove winding mountain roads as the sun rose at my face, and arrived in Colorado Springs in time for a late dinner.

Two days later I left Colorado Springs around dawn, heading across the remainder of Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa.  I arrived in Dubuque at nearly midnight.

Dubuque is a sweet little town situated on the Mississippi River, less than a third the size of the city I grew up in, where the Midwestern accent I affiliate with Minneapolis runs thick.  My boyfriend grew up here, and his family runs an organic grocery store and deli near the center of town.

I left Dubuque a few days later through Illinois and Indiana for Akron, Ohio, and after another day of rest I left at midnight and headed across Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts for Manchester, New Hampshire to have lunch with my mother that Tuesday.  That was June 21st – my brother’s birthday.

The next few days were spent catching up with friends from New Hampshire.  On Wednesday I actually drove the last 50 miles to the coast of Maine, parking my car on York Beach in Maine to buy two pounds of black licorice salt water taffy from The Goldenrod.

I realize it wasn’t a particularly fast trip across country, but it does please me to realize my car was parked on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California on June 2nd, and by June 22nd it was parked on York Beach in Maine.

On Thursday the boyfriend flew into Boston and we headed to some family obligations, before beginning a fun-filled weekend with my friends and community celebrating the marriage of one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Monday we left New Hampshire and headed back the way I’d come, two day trip back to Dubuque.

Now I’m sitting at the bench in the window of the store, eating a delicious vegetarian sandwich and drinking some organic root beer.  Yesterday I chased around three small children (boyfriend’s nephews) for hours.  My birds are up at the house, taunting the cats, learning the language of the birds of the Midwest.

It’s a simple life right now.

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