go west, young liam


Even in the spirit of updating a blog only semiannually, I suppose it’s now past time to mention that I’ve moved out to sunny southern California. Why the move? Mostly because I had to see about a girl, who was awarded a fellowship in Los Angeles. The move itself was pretty amazing: because my car is relatively new, it made sense to drive it instead of selling it, and the drive from Boston to Los Angeles has the potential for wonder.

The trip started November 2nd, the day after my birthday, right as the flakes of the first snowfall were starting to come down in Massachusetts. The trip had a bit of an “America, the Beautiful” theme to it: I wanted to see landscapes, vistas, and National Parks. I drove down Massachusetts’ scenic Mohawk Trail; through the Finger Lakes of NY, stopping at Taughannock Falls and Niagara Falls; through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and on to St. Louis. If you’re ever in St. Louis, the City Museum is perhaps the coolest place I’ve ever been to, and functions as a kind of dual art project/theme park (an “eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel.”). From there, I drove across the rolling plains of Kansas, making a stop for the world’s largest ball of twine; on to Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods, and the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The drive across the Rockies took me through Wolf Creek Pass, which felt like a live version of a racing video game, a la Gran Turismo. I also stopped at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, which was breathtaking.

I took this picture an hour ago. Now, I'm eating at Sonic.

Posted by Liam Morley on Saturday, November 8, 2014

From there, I drove into New Mexico and Arizona, stopping at the Four Corners, and on to Flagstaff, where I picked up my girlfriend who had flown in so that we could experience the Grand Canyon together. We did a little bit of hiking and sight seeing before we spent one last day driving into southern California and Los Angeles.

Altogether, this was without comparison the most amazing road trip I’ve been on, where other trips include rides down both the Atlantic and Pacific coast lines. It was an incredibly surreal experience to take in all within a single week. AirBnB made the lodging issue pretty palatable, and it was also wonderful to see family and friends in different parts of the country. Most of all, though, it was an experience in the full sense of the word, and the fact that it was coupled with a move across the country (with a bunch of my stuff in the back of the car) made it all that more meaningful. Before the move, I had never lived outside of New England; now, I live two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Thoreau went into the woods of Concord, Massachusetts to live deliberately, and for much the same purpose, I’ve traveled out of those woods and into the second largest city in the country. We’ll see just where this takes me.

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