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The third and final part of our road trip story:
You never forget your first Subaru. Particularly when your first Subaru’s head gasket cracks in the middle of nowhere, it begins belching like a dyspeptic 83 year old, the engine overheats and it leaves you stranded at a Midas in 110 degree weather. Particularly when you have to empty all of your earthly belongings onto a shop floor, haggle with a used car salesman, sell the stupid thing (which is barely running) and buy an older, more reliable car (Chevy. Like a rock).
Particularly when it plays big part in showing you that this boy you’re having a fling with is, in fact, quite an incredible human being. When it shows you that he is kind, and calm, and worth trusting to the ends of the earth… or at least the really, really hot middle parts.
So, there we were in Sheridan, Wyoming. We offloaded all of our stuff, I took up guard duty, and Drew headed next door to buy a new car. Just another sunny summer afternoon in the desert.
Fast-forward: we found a rockin’ green Chevy truck (complete with a cap, so our stuff didn’t fly away), Drew somehow managed to sell the Subaru for barely less than he bought it for, talked the dealer way down in price on the new truck, and we re-packed our stuff and headed on our merry way.
The truck just so happened to have a manual transmission, and I just so happened to be the only one who knew how to drive such a vehicle. I gladly hopped behind the wheel and drove us out of Wyoming and into Montana. Drew quickly picked up the stick-shift know-how, and was soon ready to take over.
Driving through Montana was easily one of my favourite parts of the trip. As the sun set and darkness descended upon us, we watched dueling lightning storms on either side of the highway, while wind buffeted the truck from all angles. We napped at a rest stop, rejoicing in the fact that we could actually stretch out on the truck seat, and Drew took us straight out of Montana. My one regret is that we missed most of the incredible sights that this beautiful state has to offer, as we made most of the trek at night. Ah, well. That just means we will have to pay a proper visit someday.
As Western Montana and Idaho passed us by, we entered into a state of hapless, helpless, exhausted delirium which only such trips can induce.
We crossed into the great brown expanse that is Eastern Washington, and I heartily begged Drew not to make a snap judgment of my fair state until he had seen her much prettier side. But, there was Jack-in-the-Box. Oh, Jack-in-the-Box… how we had pined for their filthy, dirty, unhealthy deliciousness all of our months at Hallmark. Those three greasy, cheesy tacos? Totally worth driving 3,000 miles across country for.
I-90 flew by, and at last, we made it to Seattle.
Over to Bainbridge Island.
And finally… Poulsbo, Our (not-so) final destination.
We arrived, stunned. We slept. We celebrated the 4th of July. Then, a few short days afterward, we prepared for the next step in our journey…
We talked life, we talked futures, we talked next-steps. We had no money, no jobs, no idea what direction to take our lives. What we did have was a couple cameras, a serious passion, and a brand-new love that we had a suspicion might just be worth fighting for. Should he move to California and start his career? Should I’d stay in Washington to work and save up money? Should we throw caution to the wind and venture down to the great barren south together? At that time, all I knew was that I could trust him.
No matter where life took us, no matter how we got there, if I had this man by my side, everything would be just fine.