By Erin Tierney
Editor - The Creswell Chronicle 

When the road rises to meet you, give thanks for how far you've come

 

September 6, 2018



I’m admittedly a visceral fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal.

When I decided to make the move from Pennsylvania to Oregon in April 2016, I hardly had a plan.

I awoke from a fever dream with the decision to move out west.

That was it.

It didn’t make sense, but it didn’t need to.

As I’ve realized, sometimes the best decisions are made that way; sometimes, prospects outweigh logic, and that’s exactly how my story unfolded.

A couple days after the decision, I put in my two weeks notice at the newspaper I worked at for two years.

By July, my boyfriend, Lance; my bird, Murphy; and I were crusin’ the open road.

It took us nearly two months to reach Oregon in our cruddy, busted up ‘04 Ford Focus, which already had over 200,000 miles on it before we even crossed the PA border.

Miraculously, that car took us everywhere we needed to go without much trouble — for the most part.

It chugged its way through picturesque Illinois, the sweltering city of St. Louis, the vast nothingness of Kansas, and all up, down and throughout the breathtaking Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

If you recall, the heat was merciless across the states in the summer of 2016.

By the time we arrived in Utah, the car was coming unglued.

For my little parrotlet chirping in the backseat, we were careful to keep the car at a comfortable temperature at all times. So when the air went kaput in the middle of Arches National Park, we were forced to skedaddle to keep him cool.

By the time we made it to Boise, we had a pretty impressive crack in our windshield and four inches of bug goo cemented to our headlights and front bumper.

We landed in Washington to start, where we slept at Cold Creek Campground and loitered in Camas during the day, squelching off coffeeshop wifi as we began deciphering our lives moving forward.

With no jobs, no end destination pegged and nowhere to live, we had a lot to figure out.

Leroy was the campsite host at Cold Creek. A scraggly, gangly, true outdoorsman, he warned us of the sasquatches that lurked in the shadows of his campground.

He relayed that a family was camping at our spot a few days prior, but left in hysterics in the middle of the night after hearing a choir of sasquatch calls.

Leroy said a family of squatches were often seen bathing in the creek just down the slope. He said on his travels, he’s encountered many squatches.

I believe him. After all, the bumper sticker on his camper explicitly stated, “I Have Seen Sasquatch.”

Can’t argue with that.

It wasn’t long before the heat conked out in our vehicle. The days were hot, but the nights were colder, and we’d idle the car in spurts at night to keep Murphs warm.

By this time, we were growing weary and sore from our travels, after sleeping in cars and tents for consecutive months. It was time to find stability.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll omit our experience in Portland.

In summary, it was lousy.

We visited a friend in Coos Bay, and on our way back to our campground (now in Salem), we pulled over in the Toys R Us parking lot on Valley River Drive to sleep.

That was our first introduction to Eugene, and we had no idea at the time that we’d soon be calling the Willamette Valley our home.

We were fortunate to answer a Craigslist ad for a two-week sublease situation in Eugene, which gave us an address to use on our job applications.

By now we were both firmly ill from all the exotic scudge we were exposed to cross country, but we were running out of money and needed jobs stat.

It was time to see if we could make it out here.

I answered an ad for a reporter position at The Springfield Times and set up an interview with Scott, who had owned both The Chronicle and The Springfield Times at the time.

By then, Scott was readying to sell the Springfield newspaper, but he said I’d be a good fit for his Creswell newspaper and offered me a part time position here.

And here we are.

It’s now been two years (Sept. 8) since my byline first appeared in The Creswell Chronicle, where I first introduced myself to the community I would grow to love so dearly.

My experience coming to Oregon reminds me of part of an Irish proverb, “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.”

I feel like the Crewell community rose the road for me here in Oregon; I feel the wind at my back in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t know how an aimless journey from coast to coast could have led me here, but as it turns out, this is exactly where I want to be.


 
 

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