“The roaring bonfire kept the mosquitoes away. A new moon peeked down through the pine boughs. We rolled out our sleeping bags and went to bed early. Bone weary.” – Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
Sitting next to the creek that rushed through our campsite somewhere in Colorado, we stared into the campfire and realized the lull that we were in. We had traveled across the US in a little Toyota Corolla, visited breath-taking places, and now we were on our way home.
But weren’t we home then? We had no idea where we really were, but we had a pitched tent, a roaring fire, and each other. We weren’t lost. Lost must be a feeling, a state of mind, just like the concept of home.
So I picked my guitar, she read her book, the river continued to loudly run, drowning out the notes I played. My eyes stuck on the dancing flames of our fire, my mind occupied itself with the summation of all the things we’ve seen on this road trip.
We drove through endless fields of dirt and sod,
Slept among the alien-like hills of Badlands,
Stood in the middle of the Great Salt Lake and its surrounding snow-capped giants,
Suffered together in the beautiful torture of the Mojave Desert,
And caught a glimpse of Utah’s National Parks that we’ll remember forever.
And there we sat, silently listening to the chorus of water crashing over river rocks, in the eddy of our exciting road trip. We rested for this moment before having to continue.
Soon, we felt our exhaustion. We rolled into our tent as we realized the entire campsite was lain with loose gravel. I lay down, small rocks digging into my back and sides, and dozed off to the lullaby of the river.
It was the best night’s sleep I ever had.
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