Tomorrow, at this time, I will be on the road. I'll be heading to a place that was home. It was the first place that I chose to be "home". Being born into a life in Florida, I realized at some point that there was more out there. It took hundreds of thousands of miles of driving to realize that there was so much to see in this big country of ours. I drove and drove and eventually settled into an existence in the upper reaches of New England.
Maine and New Hampshire hold a special place in my heart. My family is there. It is where I picked up a fly rod for the first time. There's a different peace in those ancient mountains and rivers. It truly changed me.
Six years (and few months) ago, I chose to go west and try a life in a different time zone. I went back to visit, but it's been years since really returning. A toxic relationship kept me away from New England for many years. I spent two years living less than a day's drive away, but never made it back.
Tomorrow, I'll take a break from this amazing place in Wyoming and head to the place that means a whole lot to me.
It is a bittersweet feeling for me on the days leading up to a big road trip. I'm taking the first leg of this trip on my own. My favorite part of Wyoming is staying here. She's supportive of this trip and is letting me go on my own. I think she knows that my wanderlust and demons require such a journey every once in a while. She's going to hop on a plane in a week and find me in Boston. We'll make the drive back together.
Until then, I have nothing but wide open plains, big highways, and plenty of miles to explore on my own. The destination will give me the chance to visit with my mom, fish the waters that changed my life, hopefully catch up with some friends that represent much of what I miss about New England.
The car is loaded with trout rods for the Androscoggin River, where I plan on "spending some time" with Dave Baker. I've got some 9wt rigs ready for the salt, too.
But home is here, now. I'm right where I need to be, but before I settle in for the school year and weekends of guiding, I need to go to that home.
It's summer, it's America and it's time for a road trip. See you there.