To be more accurate this post should say; Pacific Coast Highway – Cannon Beach to Astoria, because it was there I decided to head inland and catch the 5 freeway to Seattle, which I easily made in 4 hours.
My reasons for hightailing it to Seattle? After 7 days on Pacific Coast Highway I was tired and longed to be at my destination where I would spend more than one night, I had finally found the answers I was looking for and more, and finally the Astoria Bridge.
Have you ever seen that bridge in Astoria over the Columbia River? Yikes! Truthfully, that was the tie breaker. If I had just started out on this trek I would’ve said “hell yeah let’s do this”, but I was 7 days into some pretty challenging driving solo.
In short…it scared the crap out of me. If I wanted to drive on water I’d ask Jesus to take the wheel, but I don’t. ‘Nuff said.
Now for the good part of this story…Seattle.
I pulled into town with the usual metropolis view of high-rises and traffic, traffic everywhere. Any big city can be so intimidating, especially when you have absolutely no idea where you are. But when I finally landed…
Oh. My. Gosh.
Seattle is so much more than I imagined. It reminds me of this coast’s most southern city (San Diego) for how clean it is. Like a sparkling gem between the blue of the sky and the blue of the water (the weather was on it’s best behavior while I was there).
I was a shameless tourist from that point on. I spent time at Pike’s Place Market which has been continuously in operation since it opened in 1907.
I spent all day here and in Pioneer Square. Just a few words that come to mind when I think of this place…
History, people, coffee, wine, cheese, fish, art, books, music, blue sky, white clouds…never mind, too many wonderful words come to mind and I’ll lose you.
I took a photo of this totem pole, and what is most prevalent is the unbelievably beautiful sky, I just couldn’t get enough of it.
…and yet another of Pioneer Square…
Which sits on Elliot Bay…
It was an absolute pleasure to walk this part of town (the only part I got to see actually) where even the alleys were clean and lovely…is it a law to maintain them this way? LA might want to think about incorporating it if so…
They say there is 697 things to do in Seattle and I’m a little mad at myself that I only did about 4 (I really really wanted to take the underground tour but ran out of time), so I have much work to do when I go back someday. That’s the only way I could bear to say good-bye to most of the places I landed on this trip…to promise myself I would be back (sorry Eureka and Gold Beach, you didn’t make the cut) and soon.
When I finally headed home I was changed. This trip had cleansed my soul and enabled so many truths to bubble up to my sphere of awareness over the 3,000 miles I traveled. The foremost of these is one truth that I have made my mantra.
Guard Your Hope…Not Your Heart.
I had been given the heart of so many and given mine as often on this trip. With the care of God and strangers (including the ghostly friend I made) I was lifted up to see above and beyond the physical, emotional, and soulful pain I had started this journey with.
I was healed in every sense of the word.
Our hearts are meant to be given with abandon to whomever would take or even steal it. Naturally along with all of the rewards of giving your heart, there will be those that break, betray, and reject it…but those are the exceptions, and the heart will recover (even when it seems it never will).
Love is the greatest gift of all, and although it sounds existential, I believe you really do get back what you put out there. So give it wantonly and without limitations or conditions.
But hold onto your hope. Guard it jealously and never let it be lost or stolen. Feed it with the good times to sustain it through the hard times when hope is all that is left. Hope and faith seem so fragile, but they are stronger than we know and are able to guide us through anything.
And I mean anything.
There would be much work to do after I got home to repair the damage done to our relationship…but both my husband and I had been changed by my solo trip and we would start that work as soon as I landed at my front door.
If I ever forget to not be afraid of an uncertain future, how strong I am with only God to guide me, or what it feels like to be very far away from my comfort zone…I shall again hop into my trusty steed and head out to horizons unknown.
As should you, if you don’t know the answer to…WOULD I BE ALRIGHT ALONE?
I now know the answer for me, but you need to find the answer for you.
Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible Mustang GT by myself Bucket List Item – check.
This is not the end of my journey dear diary, after returning home we purchased a Harley Davidson motorcycle (I know riiiiiiiight?) and the adventures started anew…
‘Til next time.