#TravelTuesday: Oyster Omens

#TravelTuesday: Oyster Omens

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.

Waterfall in Minnehaha Park

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.

– – – – –

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.


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