Heart Lake, Mt. Shasta, CA.
Fetch in 50, Gus and I’s quest to explore every state in America, has officially begun. Woot, woot! Woof, woof!
On August 5, 2012, after selling many of my belongings and filling Betty (my Chevy Tahoe) with what was left, I pulled away from the sunny southern California coastline, saying goodbye to my home and roommate (my brother, Trevor) of the past two-and-a-half years en route to life’s next big adventure.
It felt like the opening credits of a Hollywood drama. Only thing was, the script had yet to be written.
An inspired idea dating to June of 2010, Fetch in 50 took two plus years for its Divine Timing to appear. Where will it take me? I don’t know. How will it end up? Not a damn clue. Am I anxious, scared, and uncertain? Without a doubt.
But greater than all of that junk (what the French call gar-bage) is the truth I hold within. And that is with every fiber of my being, I know this journey is 122% backed by Spirit and all I have to do is show up. Maktub is my mantra.
So with Gus in tow, we launched from L.A. and drove headfirst into the unknown (dun, dun, dun!). Our first stop: Ojai, California, a mere two-hour drive north.
Gus and his suitcase.
Overflowing with excitement, Gus leaned out the backseat window while I hung over the dash as if to will us there sooner. Off to see the country, I said out loud while merging onto the freeway. From the get-go though, the You-Niverse had different plans.
Two years in the making and a month’s worth of preparation and anticipation, here we were, going 5 mph in bumper to bumper L.A. traffic. Not exactly the sunroof-down, wind-in-my-hair opening I’d envisioned.
Great way to start, I thought sarcastically, 45 minutes into the delay. But without hesitation, my Higher Self fought back, If we’re in a hurry already, you might as well quit now. So I did (not Fetch in 50, the pity party).
And with that, I surrendered, embraced the world’s biggest parking lot (the 405), and let go. There was no other choice. We weren’t going to visit every state overnight. I AM where I AM, so enjoy the ride.
Little did I know, this moment was setting the table for the road that lied ahead.
THE JOURNEY ITSELF
For the next 20 days, Gus and I zigzagged 3,921 miles across the U.S., cruising through lush forests, majestic mountains, desolate deserts, and the vastly underrated plains of the Midwest.
We slept in five states, four motels, three Walmart parking lots, two friend’s homes, and a preaching Couchsurfer’s futon before landing in St. Louis, our temporary hub for most of the next year.
But throughout these three weeks, the Youniverse continued to teach in an attempt to mold some character and strengthen everything I’d harnessed the past four years.
Like the day we left Ojai, went an hour in the wrong direction, and passed a sign that read “Now Entering Los Angeles County.”
Or two hours later in the central valley of California, 115 degrees, Betty in park, counting the cars in front of us as I stood on Highway 5 (I reached 37).
Or the following afternoon on our way to Heart Lake in Mt. Shasta when we drove 30 extra miles into Shasta National Forest while I continued to tell an eager Gus that it’s right around “the next turn.” It wasn’t. We weren’t supposed to enter the forest to begin with.
This took place in California. In a 24-hour period. I have similar stories for each day.
On many nights, I wasn’t sure where we’d sleep or what town we’d end up in. Eventually, those thoughts became pests and bled into my day. Will we have enough time to hike in Lake Tahoe? What will I eat tonight? How and when do I squeeze Moab into this leg of the excursion? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…
Fetch in 50 was going to be a process. I knew it, yet I also feared it.
I feared it because somewhere along the way I bought into society’s misinterpretation that a process meant hardship and struggle. It had to be long and tough. Dues must be paid. And knowing what I know, well, I knew better.
The word process derives from the Latin root prōcessus meaning “a going forward.”
So in essence, it didn’t matter what we did, where we slept, or how we got there, because even driving backwards had its purpose. There’d be bumps along the way, of that I was sure, but who’s to say that moving forward doesn’t have a few detours?
It was clear to me that the first leg of Fetch in 50 was backed by some pretty consistent energy. The theme was adamant when running across my mental news-ticker. It read: more being, less doing.
At times, I’d get caught up in the humanistic mumbo jumbo that told me Fetch in 50 was a goal and destination. The kind you’d write on a yellow legal pad with your daily To-Do list at the top:
August 5th 2012, Point A: Los Angeles. Point B: Ojai.
August 6th 2012, Point A: Ojai. Point B: Mt. Shasta.
August 9th 2012, Point A: Mt. Shasta. Point B: Lake Tahoe.
But the idea didn’t birth from a To-Do list mindset. Quite the opposite really.
Fetch in 50 unfolded as a result of the being. By doing less and thinking less, and by feeling more and being more. I maintained my life’s vision, but made space for those unpredictable, out-of-the-blue, never-would-have-imagined ideas and miracles that manifest only when given some breathing room. In other words, I loosened my grip on life.
Rather than go, go, go, I allowed for flow, flow, flow. On the road, the ultimate field of possibility, why should things be any different? If at all, they’re to be expanded and amplified. Because it’s in this space that extraordinary happens.
The path ahead will offer endless opportunities to sit in this space. To slow down, take in the moment, and acknowledge the present as all that exists.
The magic made manifest from every ocean and mountain, sunrise and sunset, has the exact essentials as the traffic jams and reroutes, the bad food and restless nights: the air in my lungs, the beat of my heart, and the power to choose (my authentic freedom) in any given moment.
There will be Love, laughter, joy, and insight. And I’m sure the flat days will come, when I’m lonely, impatient, and question my sanity for committing. All of this will be part of the experience.
But as far as Fetch in 50 goes, there is no point A, B, C, or D. Wherever I AM, my world will be.
And I plan on to take it all in.
own the glow