The hum of the buses engine, the manmade chill of the air conditioner, the blasting sun blinding through my sunglasses, and the serenity of a nearly empty bus that will take me from Truckee, California to Portland over the next two days is my official last experience in the Lake Tahoe Blue for the summer. In the past week I’ve gone paddleboarding, kayaking, river rafting and raced scooters more times than I can literally remember, every day a non-stop adventure where the morning is so packed in with living that by the time afternoon and evening have come and gone, you feel like you’ve lived three full weeks. The kids I’ve been living with on land and water have a set life, fixing boats and bartending and being lumberjacks during the day, skateboarding and floating and partying the rest of the time. In the winters they all work together building and testing snowboard parks at one of the biggest ski resorts out here, getting free gear from Burton just to help promote them, basically snowboarding and getting paid to do it. Tahoe is easily one of my favorite, and the nation’s most beautiful, spot in the entire continental US, at least for places you can actually live in. Were it not for the impracticality of life without a car, I might even want to live there for awhile.
But that’s the last few weeks and I’ve got two days and a train’s worth of northern California, possibly the Redwoods, and gorgeous Oregon ahead before my glorious rendezvous with my lady in waiting.
Before the bus pulls out, a kid walks by with a Heinz shirt, boldly displaying the PA keystone and reading “I put ketchup in my ketchup”, reminding me of my roots and that it’s been quite a long while since I’ve seen Tristan.