My journey to Jackson started so rushed. I was delayed, mostly because goodbyes are hard and take longer than expected and more alcohol is consumed than you go into the whole thing thinking you’ll consume. I meant to leave on Monday, but ruined my Sunday that I was suppose to spend packing by sleeping until noon and suffering through a hangover (thanks, Brad). Sunday evening was my “farewell” party, which I wisely chose to start at happy hour, around 4PM, thinking I would go home relatively early. Needless to say, I was home early. On Monday. The enduring effort of farewelling on Sunday (which might I add- ended up in the local paper), made packing on Sunday slow and sluggish. Monday night was reserved for a special goodbye dinner at Nevados with my roommate and wonderful friend, Jamie. Things took a turn (a different story for a different time) and again, my departure was delayed. I wanted to leave by 2PM, an ambitious goal made more difficult because at some point between 8AM and 10AM, our electricity went out.
The game of Tetris I played against my Subaru was exhausting and fucking difficult. Paddle board, Yakima box, tupperwares, boxes, bags, so many vintage ski outfits— it was hard to make it all fit. But I did! Mostly. I forgot things, naturally. There were things I didn’t need immediately and decided it was okay they couldn’t fit. There are things I will go back for. Honestly, I think it is pretty impressive when you can fit your whole life into your car. There is a sense of freedom that comes with that ability, an impermanence in where you are; leaving is always an option.
My visibility was pretty good, considering. I had full use of both side mirrors, the entire windshield, and half of the front passenger side window. I put my blinker on for long periods of time before I merged, and when I merged, I did so very, very slowly. I only had one person throw their arms up and their mouth mimic silent obscenities at me when I didn’t see her peel out of the Starbucks drive-thru. Sorry, not sorry.
Highlights of my drive included the following: Perfecting my imitation of Chris Martin’s falsetto in the song Paradise, chewing two packs of bubble yum original flavored bubble gum in 9 hours, my paddle board not flying off the roof of my car, two very delicious grande skinny vanilla lattes from Starbucks, one truly unbelievable sing along to the Cranberries’ Zombie that was immediately followed up by an even more powerful duet between myself and Alanis Morisette not only singing, but really meaning the words to You Learn, two evenings in Truckee, CA visiting my dope-as-fuck friends Drew and Jdubs, a housekeeper in Twin Falls, ID finding my Macbook charger in my vacated room just before I drove away from the Motel 6, NOT eating any McDonalds, one epic gopro selfie on the Perrine Bridge overlooking the Snake River, buying gas in Winnemucca, NV for $2.99/gal without using any Safeway rewards points, laughing with Lena Dunham as she read me her newly released book Not That Kind of Girl, several very interesting anti-meth billboards in Idaho, and finally, not using my GPS and not getting lost.
I never had any tears. I thought maybe the long, contemplative drive and all of that open road across Nevada would enable me to think really hard about my entire time in Mammoth and be overwhelmed by sorrow for leaving. I did have a lot of time to think but mostly I just feel good about my four years in Mammoth. Glad that it has happened, thankful for the friends that I have made. Driving into Jackson I was smiling ear to ear, looking for moose, and full of excitement.
I made it to Jackson just before 5PM on Friday. By 9:47PM I had found a “local’s” bar, made three friends; two of whom are bartenders and the other a scraggly haired native, tasted two local beers, had a delicious steak, and was invited to one Thanksgiving dinner.
I think that this will work out okay, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted.