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.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxIKdnMHcGr/

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments