Sometimes you realize you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be in the most random place, doing the most random thing. For me in 2013, it was while standing in a city park, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ordering oysters.
It was only the second or third day of my friend Kelly and my cross-country trip on one of our longest driving stretches ever: about 10 hours. We were heading to North Dakota from Wisconsin, and had started driving at dawn; despite our tiredness we knew we wanted to stop somewhere in Minnesota just because we could.
We settled on Minnehaha Park a little outside the city of Minneapolis. It was a beautiful park that was filled with families and great little hiking trails. We explored Minnehaha falls and picnicked with some Wisconsin beer we’d picked up on the road.
I knew Kell was nervous about the move, and I didn’t blame her. She is not an anxious person, but when you’re moving from the east to west coast for the next two years, I think it’d be weird if you weren’t antsy. She was going to Evergreen for grad school; I was just along for the ride. My parents were meeting us in Seattle in a week (to see a city they’ve both never been to but have always wanted to go to, and to help move Kell in) and then I was flying out with them back to Philadelphia.
I’d been feeling a little angst myself before the trip. Of course my excitement and happiness for Kell’s new chapter in life trumped all emotions. But I was in an interesting time emotionally at this point; I felt that I was on a good path, but an unfamiliar one. And I sort of just blindly said yes, packed up and went on this trip without a second thought. We planned everything out pretty well, but I was still nervous what experiences certain legs of the trek would bring, especially not being as advanced a camper as Kelly.
So, between the two of us, some anxiety was being shared – for some similar and also not so similar reasons. I think we both subconsciously wanted (needed?) a sign that we were where we both were supposed to be.
And we got it.
By lunchtime we were starving; the heat was crippling and we were both craving something COLD. We walked around the park and found a huge tent where people were ordering local seafood – including oysters. Kelly and I could live off these things; lunch choice had been made.
Going up to the counter we saw a huge blackboard advertising which specific type of oysters were the special – it changed every day apparently. Today’s were oysters from: Eld Inlet, WA.
Eld Inlet, aka where Kelly and I were headed. The exact body of water Kelly would be living on upon arrival to Washington, in a caboose on her landlord’s property.
It seems like such a small and trivial coincidence, but it was one we both needed. We were right where we were supposed to be: just starting what would be a trip of a lifetime, eating oysters on one of our first days of our journey that happened to be from our final destination.
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For more on this trip check out the Tumblr we created and maintained over that week we were on the road. Photo highlights: selfies of our grunge factor (a solid 11 on a 1-10 scale of intensity), videos of chickens, up close and personal portraits of buffalo and way too many shots of the open road.