From Sunset to Sunrise- A Journey to Graduation
Travel

From Sunset To Sunrise On The Way To Graduation- Part 1

A photo essay about healing through my travels across the country on the way to graduation

141

In early 2017, I was processing my second divorce and working out frustrations through my accelerator while traveling first from Olympia, Washington to St. John's Arizona then to Key West, Florida in search of escape and further writing opportunities.

During the time it took me to travel down to Arizona for the divorce hearing and then to Florida to wrap up my employment with a national medical magazine, we visited an abundance of beaches. Torn between searching for that perfect photographic shot and allowing the dogs who spent far too much time in the car to run, the combination of sun and water was irresistible more often than not.

I knew I had to be in Manchester, New Hampshire by mid-May to attend the graduation of my daughter, the first in our family from college. I would also be finally walking for my own Bachelor degree that same weekend...if I could make it to New Hampshire from Washington State. I took the long way.

Leaving the snow behind

Cannon Beach, Oregon

M Slighte

When we left Olympia, Washington, on January 11, 2017, it was snowing. Portland was becoming a frozen snowglobe; one that we had no desire to travel through. Instead, we headed out to the coast. It would be a slower route, but it would afford many opportunities for photos on the way down the Oregon Coast.

We watched our first sunset at Oregon's Famous Rockaway Beach

The clouds were magnificent on the coast

M Slighte

Driftwood Beach, Oregon

It seemed like the perfect beach...I could have stayed forever

M Slighte

We started the next day early, but took time to observe the Pacific Ocean from Driftwood Beach, Oregon

Brookings, Oregon

Taken from my friend's porch, it was the perfect place to watch the sunset while the dogs played

M Slighte

We stopped in Brookings, Oregon to visit a friend of mine I hadn't seen since my first wedding. In fact, she had been a bridesmaid! It was great to catch up on the almost three decades we had missed.

The Next Sunrise

Sunrise over the mountains of southern California

M Slighte

As we headed into the mountains, the sun welcomed us towards Arizona. We had no idea it was snowing in the Grand Canyon. Once we heard the report on the radio, we headed towards the park for a minor detour. After all, we were three days early for the divorce hearing.

The Snow Followed us to The Grand Canyon

A Complete White-out HID the Grand Canyon!

M Slighte

That big white area above should be filled with the layers of rock that adorn the Grand Canyon. However, on this particular day it was a complete white-out. Not a hole big or little to be seen. Watch out!

A Storm on the Horizon After the Divorce Hearing

The storm was headed right towards us

M Slighte

The radio and internet warned of an impending storm in the White Mountains of Arizona. If we didn't leave within the hour after the divorce hearing, I could get caught in the one-horse-town where my ex and his new live-in resided. That couldn't happen, I put the peddle down and headed for Texas through New Mexico.

Animals in Texas

I understand the stuffed turkey and deer heads...but who stuffs a coyote?

M Slighte

Throughout our travels, Walmart stores were not only a great place to use the restroom and stock up on important items, but they also provided some incredible entertainment opportunities...like this one in Texas that allowed a local Taxidermist to advertise in the camping and hunting area!

Taking in the Mississippi River in the Early Morning in New Orleans

The morning sun made the Mississippi mud glow orange

M Slighte

I love New Orleans, Louisiana. I have often toyed with heading there for a writing sabbatical. The spirits that reside there entrance and toy with me. Every time I am close, I just have to stop and walk along the riverside.

Making it to the Atlantic Ocean

We slept through the sunrise but welcomed the Atlantic with open arms

M Slighte

On January 28th, we got to Florida around 3 am. St. Augustine's beach was full of shells in the daybreak. The dogs ran and I gathered scattered souvenirs.

Heading for the Keys

The Overseas Highway through Marathon, Florida was full of sights

M Slighte

After stopping for a quick visit with the widower of one of my dearest friends in Central Florida, I headed for the Keys to cry into the sun.

Key West, Florida

Key West captures the mysteries of many minds

M Slighte

I had made it to the furthest point from my home, while remaining in the USA. It was the second time I had driven to Key West. I pondered how long to stay. I didn't have to be in New Hampshire until May, and it was only early February.

At the Key West AIDS Memorial

Prophets spoke... and roosters crowed

M Slighte

Key West, Florida Sunrise

...and I chased the sun around the tiny island....

M Slighte

I'll take a time out here in Key West... and wait for next week to see how long it takes me to leave! See you next week for part 2!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

4 Ways The Plan To Deport International Students Is Dumb, According To An Exchange Student

The whole policy isn't very stay-in-place, if you ask me.

Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, July 6, new federal guidelines were announced that do not allow international students to remain in the U.S. unless they are taking classes in person. Which, if you ask me, is stupid.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Naya Rivera Is Missing, And She Deserves SO Much More Than Being Labeled 'Big Sean's' Ex'

We are all sending prayers to Naya Rivera hoping she finds them so we can find her.

I woke up this morning looking to find Naya Rivera's name trending No. 1 on Twitter. I was reading all of everyone's prayers wishing to find her so she can be reunited with her baby boy who is only 4 years old.

Naya's son's name is Lord and the entire collective is hoping the Lord is with him right now. I'm a firm believer in the Fear of God, I hope all of Naya's love is protecting Lord right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still surging in the United States, where we are averaging 50,000 cases daily, wearing a face mask has become even more important. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed the importance of wearing a mask and is pleading Americans to take notice of the "disturbing" rise in cases. It would be common sense to listen to him, considering we are dealing with a virus that has a mortality rate higher than what we have seen with other viruses.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's your fairy sex godmother back at it again and here to tell you that masturbating is an essential need, just like toilet paper.

It comes with so many benefits, besides cumming. According to the New York City Health Department, "you are your safest sex partner" during a pandemic, so why not use the best toys to get the job done? Shopping for the best fit can be tricky because there are a few factors to consider — whether it's the price point, experience, sound, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 3 Smoothies Totally Cleared My Acne-Prone And Scarred Skin

How I drank my way to flawless skin.

With this summer being the first of its kind for most people to be in the midst of a global pandemic, almost everyone is beginning to have an overall focus on improving their health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments