I grabbed Mikyla and left the shiny streets of Venice, CA at 4 in the morning. Wanting to get to Mount Shasta by early afternoon, I put the cruise control on 80mph and began the 9 hour trip to find myself. Why do I need to travel so far to find myself? Why am I not right here? I don’t know why but desire to go north drives me. Witchy Poo, the psychic, told me I would go on a trip this summer and it would be too expensive but I would go anyway. Back then I thought, no way, I’ll be more responsible this time. I’ll do what I’m supposed to. I’ll do what a mother is supposed to do. I’ll save money, I’ll sling lattes at Starbucks, I’ll put Mikyla in daycare so that I can make my measly 8 bucks an hour. I’ll jog, I’ll quit smoking, I’ll be what I’m supposed to be.
Then I realized that I am only capable of what I am capable of. That is following my passion. Whatever I’m passionate about seems to get done. Why do I keep trying to be “normal”? I’ll never be that person. I need to get away so that I can strip and peel all of those layers, layers of “you should be…” and “why can’t I be…” and “this is what is supposed to be important.” I needed to find what lies beneath, that would be authentic. That would be me. And then I could ask myself what it is that I’m supposed to be.
Purple clouds dripped rain as Mikyla and I walked up the path to see Castle Craggs rock at Mount Shasta. Suddenly, the rocks came into view and I sucked in a deep breath. The cinematography from Lord of the rings had nothing on this. I felt the first layer slide off of me into the wet soil.
I made dinner and drank a bottle of now, 3 buck chuck, I slipped on mud and slid on my butt the whole way down a small gorge, Mikyla squealed and laughed and so did I. Another layer came off. I folded down the back seats of the car and Mikyla, Yahoo and I slept inside, listening to the rain hit the foggy windows. I thought about the writers whose blogs I frequent. Hobo Stripper, Davka, and Carrot Quinn. They are travelers and seekers too. Of course, they are much more hardcore and brave than I am. My traveling is maybe a bit tamer and more domesticated, with my mom’s car and my savings account at my service. Even though I have my daughter with me, I feel proud that this is really the first time I am road tripping alone. Mikyla is grown not only of my flesh but of my soul as well and so being, she is part of me. She is the purest parts of me manifested into the outside world and put in my charge. I owe it to myself to teach her what is important to me.
The next day was an even longer drive. My destination was Chelan, WA, but I was meeting Sidestreet Reny in Yakima and then following them the rest of the way. An hour after leaving Mt. Shasta, I realized that I had forgotten a very important piece of luggage with all of my prescription medications for asthma and whatnot back at the camp site. I was already in Dorris, Oregon, before I reluctantly turned around and went back to retrieve it. Damn, over two hours was wasted on that.
I arrived in Yakima at 9 pm. The owners of the bar let me bring Mikyla in, they said it was okay until 11. We got to see the show and the music filled me up. Goddess, I miss their shows!
At about 2 am, we began our 3 hour treck to a little goat farm that lies on the edge of a gorge in Chelan, WA. The sun was already rising by the time we got there and I felt like I was seeing angels sitting on the car. I was very tired. I fell into a soft bed in a 10x10 shack. This would be our home for 2 weeks. Listening to the distant roaring of rapids and the morning crowing of roosters, my eyes closed. In my dreams, speckaled baby goats licked a thick coating of rasberry jam off of my neck and face.