By the end certain routines became habit, an inevitable part of of being on the road for days on end.
We carried things into each hotel in a rag-tag orderly manner, then proceed to tooth brushing and story-reading, puppy-piling on the hotel bed as though it was all we'd ever done. A life in motion. A night of rest, and anywhere will do.
In the morning in Ogden, Utah, the grass was covered in frost but the air was sweet, and the mountains lavender in the new light of day. Whatever the future would hold, hadn't reached us yet. We were just there, gathering up our things, making circles around the city for a breakfast place, then moving on.
Road travel. Everyone warned us that the boys would become unbearable. They said we'd need to keep them plugged in to an endless supply of movies and games, screen time to the max. But we didn't. In fact, though we brought the iPads for that purpose, we never pulled them out.
Boredom is it's own precious device.
Creativity exalts when the mind is left to wander about aimlessly, watching the hills change. New games happen. Ideas connect. Characters come to life.
Things we did do: lots of stops to run helter-skelter down hills, the wind in our hair. Snack breaks. The long hours spent listening to the Moth radio hour and Radio Lab podcasts. The license plate game (only 9 states eluded us.) Good tunes. Sketchbooks filled with pictures. Picture books. Chapter books. Stickers. Candy. Chewing gum. Running circles with the dog.
Yes, there were intolerable parts where everyone was hungry or sick of being in the car, but for the most of it, we were content to be together, moving across the wide country towards our collective future.
The last two days, from Ogden into Oregon, and then from some small place in Eastern Oregon were a blur of anticipation. We drove long miles through the wide expanse of irrigated fields, past canyons and waterfalls, windmills and fruit trees. We followed the river, west, west chasing the sun and finally below Mt. Hood's white-capped auspices, we could feel the future colliding with our now.
Past trees and water-falling cliffs, past big dams and bigger dams and wide-spanning bridges, and then finally, finally into Portland where we all yelled out "HOME!" and then looked immediately for sandwiches.
Since then we've been gradually unfurling, finding new routines in this new place. I can't wait to share some new stories, adventures + inspiration.