The Great Migration Part 1.


“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” -Friedrich Nietzsche


The living room is filled with bedding, inch thick sheets of memory foam, fishing poles, lumps of clothing, the French Press was found under a surf board. In the corner there is a brown paper bag in which a skateboard and a yoga mat seem to be co-mingling. The term “pare down” is being tossed around often and with urgency. Large cardboard U-Haul boxes rise out of the clutter like sky scrapers and the only food Nick and I managed to transfer down from the house was smoked salmon, a six dollar gallon of Organic 2% milk and Run Gum. This is our life; well, it’s our life for the next week before we pull up our roots, fill up the truck and move south for the winter.


It’s late in the afternoon on a Thursday and it’s raining as we merge onto I-5. The truck is packed and the weight is noticeable as we try to accelerate to the suggested speed limit. Fitting another item into the cab is not an option so Nick and I come up with the ““1-in-1-out” rule. ” “If you want to buy something you must throw or give something else away,” Nick explains. I start making a mental note of items that might fall victim to this rule. There is a surfboard tied to the roof and bikes are hanging from the back of the truck like the tail of a dog but we are headed south and we couldn’t be more excited. Los Angeles is roughly 850 miles from Eugene so we decided to break up the trip and take our time.


Leg 1: Eugene to Shady Cove, Oregon. Distance 176 miles


Nick and I wanted to fish for Steelhead one more time before going to California so we thought it would be a good idea to camp in a little town called Shady Cove. Shady Cove is on the banks of the Rogue River and is known for its excellent fishing and winter Steelhead runs. Shady Cove is also one of the few towns left in America where your cell phone keeps telling you that you have “No Service.” We parked the truck where the river bends so we could be the first ones to our chosen fishing spot in the morning. The rain, which had been present all day, never let up and only got heavier as the night went on.


Nick is a man of extremes. A burrito is either the best burrito he has ever eaten or it’s the worst. So, at three in the morning, when Nick inspected the truck to see if the straps from the surfboard were leaking into the cab and I was told, “every thing is completely soaked,” I wasn’t too worried and went back to sleep. We soon realized this fishing trip was one of our poorer ideas. And that isn’t a Nick extreme. It was cold. So cold that everything felt wet. Or maybe everything was wet and I was just too numb to feel the difference. In the end we never caught a fish, the rain never stopped and we managed to start the Great Migration by getting most of our stuff wet.


Leg 2: Shady Cove to San Francisco, California. Distance 384 Miles


After a hot latte and an egg sandwich we were back on I-5 heading south for San Francisco. It was still raining and Nick and I kept joking that once we hit the California border the sun would magically appear from behind the curtain of Oregon clouds. As if on cue, just across the border into California, the clouds gave way to blue skies, the sun and Mt. Shasta as she tried to show her peak. Nick and I started to laugh and couldn’t believe our joke had become reality. But as quickly as the sun came out, the clouds rolled in, the rain started again and it didn’t stop for the next two days. Due to the weather, unfortunately, San Francisco was somewhat uneventful. Nick did a run with a local retailer, pitched Run Gum to the owner and secured another account.


Admittedly our exploring was limited. We got a chance to run at Lands End and then went to Ft. Point to watch the surfers ride the big swells that wrap in around the point under the Golden Gate Bridge. After two days of rain and traffic in San Francisco we were ready to leave the city and head farther south where we were sure to find the sun. Our next stop would be Santa Cruz.

 To be continued………..


(Someone missed the shot)


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