summer road trip :: stage one

by Eric Daryl Meyer

Yesterday Carolyn and I left Vancouver (sigh) and drove south to Lincoln, Oregon. Lincoln is a wee little town just outside of Ashland, right above the border with California. For the next four weeks, we will be sequestered away in a cabin in the woods – a welcome respite after a months of hub-bub.

Leaving Vancouver is a really hard thing to do – especially this time of year (flowers and sunshine!). We had grown close with a lot of wonderful people – especially the folks in the house where we lived for two years. The Regent community is one of a kind – irreplacable. Both Carolyn and I feel like it is too soon to leave; we would like another year if it were purely up to us. But we have set wheels in motion and we are excited about what the future brings.

It’s also frightening to leave when I’m halfway through a thesis (and Carolyn is in a similar position with her comprehensive paper). We are leaving behind all the resources of the library, and what is even harder, the group of people with whom we’ve been sharing the conversations that inspire the writing process.

Here in Oregon, we are gradually ramping up to full-time work for Sierra Treks, a fantastic backpacking outfitter. At this point there is not much work outside of feeding the horses (…and managing their output — look mom, a management position!) and doing odd jobs here and there. That is just fine by Carolyn and I, both us us have plenty of Regent work to finish this summer. You can picture us typing papers on the porch of a cabin tucked away in a dry Ponderosa Pine forest. There’s a pond across the highway, chickens in the yard, and a smattering of interesting people wandering around for retreats and small courses.

It’s really fun for Carolyn and I to be back here. The last time we were here we had barely begun dating and were entirely star-struck with one another. Wonderful memories are written into the woodwork. The summer that we spent together in Lincoln and Bridgeport was the summer that we really got to know one another personally (rather than via the phone lines). This month is something of a honeymoon

Part of the charm of the place is the total absence of televisions and the almost total lack of phone, internet, and other normal distractions. That is to say that we’ll be a bit slower to respond to the rest of the world for the next few weeks. We’ll be coming into Ashland at least once a week for supplies, coffee, and perhaps a Shakespeare play.

Mid-July, we head to Bridgeport, California (stage two) where we’ll actually lead a few trips for Treks in the Hoover Wilderness. Then at the end of August, Carolyn will fly to New York and I will follow a week later with the truck and all our worldly possessions (accompanied by none other than Mr. Matt Mattoon!).