"The thrill of coming home has never changed." -Guy Pearce
The last day of a road trip is always a different kind of day.
After day upon day of glorious sights to see and places to explore, the last day is spent mostly in the car.
Long stretches of driving through huge states with lots of space between the people.
Tedious and empty hours pass by uneventfully.
We swing up through the southwestern side of Idaho, and across the northeast corner of Oregon, and then up into eastern Washington.
Dull and dreary, wide and brown.
And there is that subtle taste of bittersweet sadness, knowing that my vacation is almost over. Days, weeks of living with my car keys in my hand every morning, wondering what I will find along the way that day, are soon to come to an end, and the predictable pace of ordinary days will soon become my reality.
Then, as we always do, we come across Interstate 90 and begin the long, slow grind up the last great mountain pass that leads us into Seattle.
Clouds build as we race up the eastern flank of the Cascade Mountains.
The air fills with moody, translucent mists that hover and drift above evergreen treetops.
Approaching Snoqualmie Pass, granite boulders, snowy peaks and towering trees fill the vistas.
Safe in the arms of the Pacific Northwest.
Where a lush, green, rugged brand of adventure is waiting around every corner, and I need not travel for days on end to find and enjoy it.
And while I am always excited to roam the world and explore every place I find, I'm never disappointed to come home to this remarkable corner of the planet, my beloved Pacific Northwest.
Contentedly, I put my car keys down.
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Road Trip 2019: read all about it.