Sheri’s Rants #17 – from the road

Posted on June 5, 2009 by

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This morning I woke up in a tiny town on the Columbia River in Oregon. I knew it was going to be an amazing day. I just knew it. I french-pressed some coffee, ate a pile of Badmoon Pancakes from the cooler,  sat down and wrote for a while, and got on the road.
For this trip I’m taking the scenic byway rather than the Interstate. Always makes for more interesting travel, don’t you think?
On a lone road, amid widely scattered farmhouses, I passed a elderly man walking with a scruffy backpack, a 2 gallon thermos water jug, and carrying a large white sign that towered over his head. The handwritten sign read “LOVE LIFE” in red letters. I pulled over and ran to catch up with him, curious as all hell;  a warning, admonition, or helpful suggestion?
I asked him about it. He paused, weary looking, and gruffily said “Read it.  Heed it.”
And he turned around and kept walking.

Okay. Got it.

The scenery changed from farms to huge sprawling ranches. Outside a little town named Shaniko, in the middle of ‘nowhere’, stood a large tree literally covered in hundreds of shoes hung by the strings. It was amazing – there has got to be a local story to that…

I needed to work out. I punched a gym in Bend  into my navigation system (how did I ever travel without it?)  Two and a half hours away. I drove.
I started wishing I had a smoothie to power my workout – I usually train much earlier in the day and was feeling like I needed some energy. And some coffee. I kept thinking about that smoothie and wondering where to find one.
The navi system guided me in an odd direction away from the main road. I was doubtful – sometimes the navi does weird stuff and I do have to pay attention to it. The navi  took me right into a construction zone – and just as I was starting to wonder ‘what the heck’, I looked up and there was a health food store and deli right there. I took a quick right straight into the parking lot, walked in, and ordered the smoothie I’d been thinking about. Wow was that good. The women running the store were fun to listen to.
The navi kicked back in and guided me right back to the main road. Sweet! I giggled about how serendipitous my day was going…when the cell rang (I hadn’t had service all morning) and I got word that a business deal I was working on went through. Wee hoo!  Mt Hood came into view looking spectacular.
When I arrived at the Body Shop fitness center in Bend, I was surprised I hadn’t run across some coffee yet – and then I walked in and there it was. Coffee and weights. Perfect! I had a great workout amid the free weights and the aging Nautilus machines.  It was a quiet time of day for a gym – around 1-2 pm – and I enjoyed having all the space.  It felt great to move.
After that awesome workout I stopped at a small Albertson’s and picked up a bag of greens, some blueberries for the morning and a jug of water. Got back to driving.  Ate some chicken and an apple from the cooler.
The ranches turned into evergreens and then mountains.  I was feeling so good and cruising right along to the Outlaw Country station on Sirius XM.  I love the uninterrupted thinking that a long drive alone affords me – it serves my inner muse.
I had some really good ideas. I precariously made notes.
Passing into California, Mt Shasta came into view.  Unbelievable!  I’ve not spent time with Mt Shasta since I was a kid.
Had enough driving for the day and pulled into the little town of Weed for the night, finding a cozy little ‘mom & pop’ hotel.  Ate the bag of greens with a can of tuna and Braggs salad dressing. I have a good computer connection thanks to my portable modem, the sky is amazing, the air is perfect and life is good.

I DO love life. Hope you’re lovin’ yours!

Posted in: Sheri's Rants