Week 1

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park – Harlan
Week One has come to a close.  Could it really have been only one week ago that we arrived in Seattle to pick up the van?   (We need a name for this ride!)

Here are some observations in no particular order:

From Harlan:  So far, in this first week, this journey has been a bit of everything. Mostly learning, a good amount of physical pain*, waiting, hopefulness and complete boredom. I’ve been messing around on my skateboard and have been excited with the progress as well as optimism for my future of skating. As we are going along with the trip, my excitement for the rest of the remaining months is only going up.

*from skating

From Roxanna:  The Pacific Northwest can be both achingly beautiful – as in my soul leaps in true moments of joy while I drive on the backroads of Olympic National Park.  And it can also feel like the loneliest/quietest place in the world.

My mood is directly proportionate to the amount of sunlight I am experiencing.

I am able to do more than I ever imagined.  I have jimmied fuses to get a diesel stove-top  working, dealt with “blackwater” (which has absolutely nothing to do with the awesome song with that name), checked solar power battery gauges, emptied the gray water, maneuvered tight parking spaces, and the list continues to grow.

Sleeping bags suck to have hot flashes in.  Like for real.

Harlan hates the name Road School. This dismays me. I love it. I am not going to cave on this one.

Real maps (as in paper) are cool and often more reliable that WAZE.

It’s good to have a little alone time each day and my son is the one who broke that to me on Day 1.  He’s right!

When things get weird, go for a walk.  Nature always helps.

This trip sometimes feels like it will be over in a blink and other times stretches out to infinity, like the drip drip drip of the rain drops on our windshield.

Routine is good; falling into an easy pattern of setting up the bed and flossing (yes, every day) and brushing teeth before bed and conversely, stowing sleeping bags, folding blankets, brushing teeth (yes, twice a day) can bring a nice rhythm to the day.

Harlan has a good heart with a soft spot for underdogs.  I really love that about him.  I am appreciating the opportunity to get to know my son for who he is, not necessarily who I want him to be or who I think he is.  And in all the space that we have created, I am learning more about him and about myself than I ever would have thought.