Panhandle Past and Future

Part 4 of 4
Long Shadow Home
View Another Adventureexpand_moreexpand_less
menu
June 14, 2011
Mom’s new kittens
photo_camera

Camera Settings

Mom’s new kittens
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8463257093
infoinfo_outline

We are kind of looking at the same thing from opposite ends, my daughter and I. I finish my tour of things past and she finishes her orientation toward what’s to come. We meet back at my mom’s in the present and plan our trip home.

I would like some down-time tomorrow before returning to work but that means riding home today and it’s already late afternoon. After a little think, I decide Laura and I will ride until dusk then stay at a hotel.

Guiding lights
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Guiding lights
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8330417943
infoinfo_outline

We ride into the moonrise, my oldest daughter and I, the low sun at our backs casting long shadows across golden prairie lands. I am reminded of the well known words of the Irish blessing —

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face

— that hang above my sink at home, a gift from my own dad.

Beyond earlier limits
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Beyond earlier limits
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8464358680
infoinfo_outline

It feels good to pass the rest area atop White Bird grade where I was recently broke down the better part of a day. We pull to the side of the highway a moment to observe foothills hung like velveteen draperies, soft and green, below a violet sky tacked firmly in place with a perfect lunar orb.

Hoots Café and Motel
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Hoots Café and Motel
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8463259869
infoinfo_outline

I thought we might get as far as Riggins but “blue hour”¹ was ceding quickly to night. We’ve stopped many times at Hoots but barely noticed they have lodging. We’re a bit hungry so Laura and I have some late dinner at the café before retiring to a room.

  1. A phrase familiar to photographers: en.wikipedia.org/…/Blue_hour
Covered parking
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Covered parking
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8464360408
infoinfo_outline
Clean rooms
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Clean rooms
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8463261797
infoinfo_outline
Morning so soon
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Morning so soon
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8463262401
infoinfo_outline

“Why am I awake in the middle of the night?” I wonder. I lay a while and try to get back to sleep. Finally I sit up to look at the clock across the room and see it’s actually 6:45 AM. The window shades make it so dark. I rouse Laura so we can get back on the road.

Two helmets
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Two helmets
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8463263299
infoinfo_outline
Eat and run
photo_camera

Camera Settings

mapmap
Eat and run
http://flickr.com/photos/trailimage/8464364020
infoinfo_outline

It is a privilege to travel with my daughter like this, through past and future, forests and prairies. Some have asked how I feel about her “leaving the nest.” With Laura, for better or worse, the nest was never a place. Instead, she was an expert airline passenger, to mom’s, dad’s, this town, that town. The nest is just us and the curious traits we share, neurons growing from similar blueprints and shared experiences.