So, there I was, stopped at a gas station near Glacier National Park, feeling like I’d had more than my fill of rivers, lakes and forested mountains, with more of it in every direction.
I’d spent the previous night by a beautiful creek near Darby, Montana. And I was bored. I wanted to move on. But I didn’t know where I wanted to go, where I wanted to be. I only knew I didn’t particularly want to be where I was. Whatever itch I had, the scenery wasn’t scratching it.
Maybe the problem was that I was alone. Maybe I’m not as reclusive as I’d assumed. During the past ten months on the road I’d been perfectly content in some less-than-wonderful patches of the country. Because, hmmmmm, I had other van dwellers to socialize with. A wee bit. (Don’t make me turn in my introvert card.)
So I texted some house dwelling friends in Boise to see if they’d like a weekend guest. They would. At least I’d have a place with a shower while I contemplated my next move.
There aren’t many paved roads through the middle of Idaho. The straightest line would have been highway 12 over Lolo Pass. But that would mean miles and miles of twisty roads. That’s fun in a sports car but not in a top-heavy van. So I took I-90 west to Coeur d’Alene, then US 95 south to McCall and state road 55 to Boise. It was a 580-mile schlep (plus the 190 miles from the Darby camp to the afore-mentioned gas station). Fortunately, most of the weekend traffic was going the other way.
Being here hasn’t lead to any revelations about where I want to head next. The coast is one option, even though it means a boring slog through eastern Oregon, even though coastal weather is damper and cooler than I like. I could make my way down the coast to San Francisco (a former home town), then cut across to the Sierras. Or I could head straight to the Sierras. I know some van dwellers summering there. I could head back to central and northern Idaho, even though it would be backtracking. I could go south, but to higher elevations in order to avoid the heat. I should check the extended forecast for northern New Mexico. I have my NM state park annual pass to use up. I could draw an option out of a hat.
I don’t know. I really don’t.
Up until a few days ago, just setting off to a new place—any new place—got me charged up. Now? There’s a whiff of existential despair in the air.