Goodbye Big Waters

Leaving the shoreline for the plains and mountains.

Leaving is always a bustle of activity. We go from spending our days relaxing in the sun to frantically making lists and scrambling to get everything done before we hit the road. You’d think by now we’d plan ahead and know how to do it well, but not really. I always end up with a task list that’s far more than I can possibly do in however long we have left. I think this is my way of dealing with pain of leaving somewhere — overwhelming myself with tasks so there’s no time to feel.

around camp in washburn photographed by luxagraf
Working hard or hardly working, I can’t rememeber.

Because yes, there is always a pain in leaving. Heading toward new possibilities, while exciting, still means closing off old ones. This isn’t something that’s unique to travel, all of us are always changing, always leaving things behind. New jobs, new homes, new grades in school, something is always left behind as we move down the river of time.

For reasons I have not completely figured out, we seemed to have sunk deeper into the life of this place than anywhere else we’ve stopped in our travels. In all we were here nine weeks, which is actually less time than we spent in the Outer Banks, but I felt more a part of this place. Perhaps it is the open and welcoming people of the area, the giddiness of summer up here, or maybe we’re getting better at settling in. Perhaps some combination of these things and more.

We are making a bigger change than we have yet on this leg of our journey (which I count as starting when we left the 100 acre woods). For ten months now we have lived by the water — coastal South Carolina, the Outer Banks, and now the shores of Lake Superior — and now we’re headed west to the plains, mountains, and deserts.

It wasn’t all frantic work and packing though. After our backpacking trip in the Porcupine Mountains we had two more weeks in Washburn, which we spent visiting with friends we’ve made, hiking up to a waterfall in the hills, re-visiting Little Girl Point, stocking up on local favorite foods, and readying the bus for the next leg of our journey. We even found time to play with a cool telescope I was testing for work.

moon through telescope photographed by luxagraf
The phone lens almost fit in the eyepiece of the telescope.

Leaving is always bittersweet. The kids will miss their new friends, and so will we. Up here the pain of leaving is eased by the fact that few of the people we met spend the winters here anyway, so everyone is leaving soon. We will also very likely be back next summer, so this time around while we did say our long midwestern goodbyes, they were really see you next years. And then we hit the road.


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