The idea of the road trip was hatched in the dark corner of a bar in Cambridge, sparked by the restlessness that accompanies all college graduates, ready to start the rest of their lives without a solid road map. I was moving to California, because it seemed better than spending a year sitting on my dad’s couch in upstate New York, and Wendy and Kyle, friends from college, were coming with me. We’d sleep under the stars, drink a lot of regional cheap beer, and spend a lot of time gazing pensively at corn fields out a dirty car window, writing in our journals. It was the perfect plan, the best way to delay adulthood, and an efficient and somewhat cheap vacation.
I am not sporty. I put in my required hours of standing in the outfield on a softball team and half-heartedly dribbling a soccer ball down a field in my childhood, but sports are generally not my thing. A post-college move to San Francisco thrust me into a world where people were earnestly active—there were touch football games, rock climbing, disc golf. A holiday weekend meant that everyone cleared out of town by Friday at 3 p.m., driving towards the mountains in Subarus, ready to hit the slopes.
I almost climbed a mountain.