I woke up several times during the night and checked my alarm clock. I had moved it away from its normal position on the nightstand because my body knows the motion, all to well, to turn off the alarm. So well, in fact, I could do it in my sleep (hahahaha!) and today I can not afford to hit snooze. At 5:58am I groan. At 6:00am I turn off my alarm. Then I lay in bed for a few moments and observe the dream I had been having melts away, back into its camouflaged background of my mind, leaving all the worries and fears I was working out in my dream in there usual places.
After my usual morning routine and packing the car with the final things, Paul got up and we said goodbye. Damn, I miss him. Today I am driving from San Francisco to Bend, Oregon. This is my fourth time doing this drive in four months.
It was cold and the fog was especially thick. It continued this way for a long time, probably 50 miles. I crossed the Bay Bridge and continued on I-80.
|Full force sunny day!|
The sun did finally start to appear from the underbelly of the fog and eventually came out in full force. Morning sun is like no other. It is a fresh beginning that makes you feel like you get to try it all over, for the first time, again.
Eventually, 505 dumped me out onto I-5 and I continued north. I stopped for gas in Red Bluff. After some time I reached the Shasta Lake area. It is so beautiful here. The interstate stretches through mountains and along the lake. I can't imagine why more people don't live here, where it is so amazing. Why do we spend so much time of the fringes, the fringes of land masses and cities? Why are we afraid to move in deeper? Is it jobs? Comforts?
Dry mountains start to appear, such as this one. The landscape continues to get drier and drier the further north I go. I am also entering volcano-land. In the town of Weed (yes, I am sure there is someone giggling as they read this), under the shadow of Mount Shasta, I trade I-5 for Highway 97, which will take me into Oregon.
Although I love the lakes and mountains, I think the dry flatland and grasslands near the California/Oregon border are my favorite part of this drive.
Today it was especially nice because it was sunny with big blue skies and puffy white clouds, something we don't see too often in the summers in the Bay Area. Even my point-and-shoot camera captured the amazing skies.
The road heads into Oregon around a bend and though the Butte Valley Grasslands.
|The city of Klamath Falls|
I am ahead of schedule getting to Bend, so I stop at the Old Mill District to use the bathroom and get a sandwich. It is a Summer Saturday in Bend, which means that people will be floating down the Deschutes River, into another park near downtown. The Old Mill District seems to be where they start off.
|Floating down the Deschutes River|
I leave the Old Mill District and head northwest out of town for my bodywork session. There, I meet my bodyworker at her studio. I have been afraid of this, afraid that it will be intense. I know I have upper back pain that has been wearing me down for years and years. I can not take it anymore, no more, please no more. But also, breathing into my belly has been bringing about tears of emotion with no story. Strange and mysterious. Real muscle knots, when pressed deeply, will immediately make tears start rolling down my cheeks for no apparent reason and this has been going on for years. I am also afraid that I will visit this bodyworker and nothing will happen, I will be left just as puzzled and in pain as before.
As it turns out, this was not the case. She started her amazing work. She said, from how my body was responding, that maybe I should swim (funny, since I was just thinking about swimming a couple of days ago and how swimming really allows you complete freedom of movement). After a while she leaned her arm and elbow into my upper back and it felt like the weight of everything was bearing down on me. Not just a physical weight of a heavy burden, but a familiar feeling of when I have been asked to carry one more thing, one more responsibility, one more task, it feels like this in my back. It is so familiar and so pressing, it is the burden of a heavy load. Who gave me this load, I don't know, probably myself. Expecting too much, doing too much, being too harsh with myself. It is being pressed out of me, and I cry. When she is done, she advises that I should allow myself more fun and time to be silly and child-like. I agree, good thing I am starting out on my two week vacation.
I am exhausted, my head is screaming in sinus pain from going up and down the mountains. I drive to Rose and Stephen's house. We eat dinner. We hang out and Rose packs for the trip. They are good company and I liked getting to know them better, in person. Then the day is over.
Writing for me is like packing, you always think you need the extra stuff, so you pack it, only to find you have too much. So then, you have to unpack and decide more carefully exactly what is essential to take. I did not do this here, too tired, giving myself a break, a little bit.
San Francisco, CA to Bend, OR:
View Larger Map