epistolary transformation

Among these trees, there is little you can do but feel humbled.

Among these trees, there is little you can do but feel humbled.

There were a few things I wanted to accomplish before I left that didn’t happen.

For one, I wanted a killer opening entry. Something that really got to the core of where I was and what had gone on in the last year and a half between my times on the road.

Maybe that was the previous post I wrote last night on Day 15. It didn’t turn out quite how I envisioned (not so "killer" really) and is about three weeks late, but it works.

Second, I wanted to give this blog a facelift. As I've perused posts (see below), I realized that all of this was created with tape and string and a few photos I had taken several years ago that "worked" for a road trip blog. I have so much more material now and I wanted to freshen 'er up. I'll eventually get to that, but it will take a day in a coffee shop now.

Last, and most important, I wanted to re-read my blog from the first go-around to familiarize myself with the voice (or voices as the case may be) I used, the things I felt important to share, how I changed over time, and to use that as a jumping off point. I spent one evening where I drank a few bourbons and got through about four posts.

I am still trying to get through them, though I am close to being done (thank god).

Part of this exercise has felt like an extremely long evening of “Mortified.”

Christ, I was VERBOSE. I am verbose. It’s made me think back to my dad trying to teach me the value of brevity as a child – “tell me about your day in 25 words or less.” He would count them. It was a very difficult exercise. It clearly did not help.

I’d like for these future entries to not be such lah-dee-dah posts where I go into incredible detail about the ratings of steakhouses in the Mississippi Delta, what I ate for dinner while camping, and how awesome or what a bummer some of the random roadside attractions were.

As I re-read these, though, I was more and more disappointed that I didn’t get to finish writing about my first trip. Everything after Colorado got better and better. Moab, where I spent 8 nights, after initially only planning to spend 2, and where I met some of the best people of that entire five months (hi Eric, hi Sarah and Zach, hi Valerie!) and saw some of the most gorgeous desert landscapes. Grand Teton National Park, where I found a free campsite situated on a bluff above the Snake River with a view of the Teton mountains in the background, and where I saw the most wildlife of any of the National Parks. Livingston, Montana, where I spent a day talking to all kinds of folks, learning about their little town and their struggles to get by, and had a hell of a burger at a fantastic little bar. Camping among the redwoods in Jedidiah Smith State Park, which felt more mystical than most anything else I'd experienced. There is more, a lot more, but not on here.

All of that is to say, I don’t want to repeat that mistake twice.

To be honest, I am trying to figure out how this blog will look and feel. I have been wildly bored by the day-to-day run down of my activities from last time. I can only imagine how y’all must feel. So, I want to change this up. I liked when I shared insights. I liked reading about all of the people I met, what their stories were, and what came of getting to know them. I liked remembering about my camping spots, what they looked like, and what made them special. And I noticed a change in me as the blog progressed. The more I was out in nature, the more I liked reading what I had to say.

Maybe this will end up being an amalgamation of all of those things I liked. Maybe not. But I hope to not bore myself as much when I re-read my account of this trip in a few years. And I look forward to getting my head to the place where I can make a semi-profound observation from time to time.