It's always jarring to leave my rural community and interface with the outside world. Some trips are more jarring than others, and this was one of those. The day before I left, I drank my morning coffee next to fennel ripening beside the porch.
On the way to this show I wanted to see if I could find weights designed to go with my canopy. I brought water bottles, but they're big and ugly, even covered with canvas. I found a Sports Authority on my route, so I dropped in to see if they had them. They didn't, but I couldn't find that out without entering the mall.
That place is completely synthetic. Everything is shiny and pristine. The whole place smells like vinyl, bug spray, and perfume. And there are people there who are not completely creeped out by it. Lots of them. The only thing that prevents me from panicking in that scary environment is the fact that many of those people view me as some kind of space alien. It's obvious that I don't belong there so they just let me zip past them and get out.
Then I was back on the road and off into the beautiful wilderness, at least as much of it as I can see from the road.
The next stop on my trip was the side of the highway near the summit of the Cascades as I waited for my radiator to finish boiling over so I could refill it. It threatened to overheat again for the whole rest of the trip so I got to see every scenic overlook on the way to Bend while I waited over and over for the engine to cool down.
I got there, though, and let the van cool overnight before driving it into an environment where people who know me could watch it blow up again.
To be continued...