It was May 5, 2000; another one of those doomsday dates when the planets were due to align and produce cataclysmic destruction that would end the world.
Four years had passed since my husband, Grandpa Davey, had taken me on an adventure to discover the West. That had been my first trip west and I often bragged about the awesome experience.
Having been enlightened to its treasures, I naturally wanted to share this knowledge with my children. So, when my eldest son decided to take advantage of a job opportunity in the Pacific Northwest, I was delighted. He decided to travel by train on the Sunset Limited which would take him west across the vastness of the desert and then north on the Coast Starlight, passing through the Cascades.
Any thoughts of doomsday were over shadowed by my excitement for him. He now had the chance to discover some of the places that I had raved about. The wait at the Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans was long as the train was delayed, so Amtrak pacified us with complimentary soft drinks and snacks.
Late that afternoon, my son boarded the train. David, M & E, and I waved good bye. He was 26 years old and my heart ached as if it were the first day of Kindergarten.
After arriving at his destination, he called me. He had taken a bus trip up the side of the mountain with a group of tourists who oohed and aahed at the extraordinary sights and smells along the way. Giant evergreens emanated the fresh scent of pine and snow towered alongside the road, perhaps 6 to 8 ft. high. He sounded different somehow. He was open and beginning to sense what is often difficult to verbally express. Hearing enthusiasm and wonder in his voice, I felt satisfied.
Yes, I feel like I belong out west. If I can share a little bit of that wonder with my kids, (and you dear reader), I’m happy.
For years, I would sign my emails and letters with this….See ya out west somewhere!
Come, discover, explore!