Big Moves

On Friday I handed in my notice at The Northern Sun News, and in a month I will begin a road trip of epic proportions with my dad and Daisy. I’ll share the details of that trip soon, but first let me tell you where I’ll be ending up (and why).

After months of deliberating, I’ve decided to go back to school to enhance skills I’ve been passionate about for a long time: photography and graphic design. And if that wasn’t an exciting enough prospect in itself, I’ve chosen to do that in Lake Tahoe.

Over the years I’ve written for all types of publications—some print, some online—and with each experience, slowly but surely, my goals as a writer have become clearer to me.

I used to be adamant about working for a print publication, but after nearly three years of blogging on the side and many more as an online contributor, I seem to have found my calling in the writing world without realizing it. Now it’s time to invest in myself and take that experience to the next level.

I am really, really excited to dive back into school, to learn skills that will improve this blog as well as my other freelance work, and to do it in a place that captivates me in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I’ll be closer to friends and family, but also farther away from Charlie than I’ve been in a long time. It’s scary and it’s not a perfect scenario, but as I’ve come to learn, that holds true for most big decisions in life.

Because I am going to be a blubbering mess after saying goodbye to Charlie, I enlisted my dad to drive back to Tahoe with Daisy and me. Instead of the direct 33-hour route, we decided to tack on another 30 hours of driving so that we could see some of the most beautiful places in North America.

At the beginning of June we’ll hightail it out west across Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan for three nights of camping in Alberta’s Jasper and Banff Provincial Parks. The glacial-fed turquoise lakes nestled in the Canadian Rockies have been at the top of my Must-See List for awhile.

From there we’ll cross into B.C. and make our way through Glacier and Mt. Revelstoke National Parks. We’ll pass through scenic Kelowna and down through the town of Hope, which I recently learned is where Rambo was filmed. Ha!

Next, we’ll cross the border into Washington for a day in Seattle. After some exploring around Olympic National Park, we’ll head south along the coast with a stop to see Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. Portland will draw us inland for a day before we pop back out to the coast. I can’t wait to revisit some of my favorite California spots along the coast like Mendocino and Fort Bragg. At Bodega Bay we’ll cut inland through Petaluma (Lagunitas IPA get in my belly!) and eventually through Napa to soak in the vineyards and snag some bottles of wine. From there, we’ll make a beeline for Lake Tahoe. 

By my calculations, we’re traveling close to 3,500 miles. Our audio books have been selected, and the route scrupulously mapped out. My plan is to write every day about what we’re seeing and experiencing along the way, and to share those entries and photos in a series of blog posts once I’m back in Tahoe. Over the course of the trip you can follow along on Instagram…and Snapchat (clairebear5590), which I only kind of know how to use so I apologize in advance.

I’m getting butterflies in my stomach just writing about all of these changes. So here’s to new adventures, taking chances, and boyfriends who support your dreams.

P.S. If anyone has any recommendations for hot springs, taco stands, or giant balls of string that we should stop and check out along our route, LET ME KNOW!