You might as well grab the bull by the horns, you’re going to get gored anyway.
Prior to the discovery of the Storm Bus on that fateful day in January, I had built—with lots of help—a theater in my side yard. I know, you don’t have to say it. Crazy.
I know this is it, this is the end of the journeys for Michelle, long journeys in a bus at any rate. We have done what we set out to do and she has had moments with many family and friends, touched and been touched by them, smiled, cried, wailed and trilled.
Halfway through we begin to talk about things other than food and tents and such and it’s a dream come true to be with my daughter in this adventure, this disconnection from the normal flow of things, this challenge.
We were ready, filled with electrolytes, and knew where we would embark, running little checklists in our minds about socks and shirts and stove and boots and the myriad of little items you know you’ll need for eating and sleeping and those you hope you won’t need for first aid and downpours.
The drive to Reno is stunning, first Mount Shasta dominating with its impossible beauty and then miles and miles of rolling forest and driving on really great highway when you take the turn East and South towards McCloud with the sign advertising Susanville and Reno.
We have a fantastic visit with old friends in their lovely home that backs to acres of public lands. Over strawberries and quiche and something outlandish with blueberries we catch up. Michelle is in good spirits and smiles and seems to recognize them for a moment here and there.
We are more like, in the way of time, the fire that raged through here three years ago, a bullet driven by wind that did great damage. We are like that, fast, but good.
Many of us have that place, that place during Summer vacations particularly, where a branch of the family opens its doors and invites us in. For Michelle it was here and the home of her Uncle Rich, or Ratch as she called him.
“I love you in Oregon and I love you in Washington!” Whenever Michelle’s family crossed a state border, they would call this out. I continue the tradition.