It took a week-long road trip camping adventure beginning in Portland, passing through Tillamook, ducking in and out of the trees of the Olympic National Forest, experiencing the Twilight folks in Forks, entering Indian Reservation territory stretching up to the most northwest point of the continental U.S.—Cape Flattery—until we finally waved goodbye to the Pacific and turned towards Whidbey Island, through Snohomish, over bridges and creeks and rivers to Seattle, and finally our last day experiencing the thrill of the Mt. St. Helens National Monument and returning to Portland to realize… among various other priceless things… that my diet is a tad privileged.

Passing through what felt like a million cow towns in which seeing a Safeway felt nearly as exciting as spotting the Sasquatch himself taught me that “Wendy food” is anything but “normal.”  And it’s especially not easy to come by.  I am so unbelievably spoiled to have Mother’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Henry’s, etc. to choose from when it comes to buying food for myself.  Not to mention all the options once you step foot into these stores… I don’t think I’ll ever see this rich life I live in the same way again.

Our adventure gave me a really amazing outlook on my life.  It made me appreciate (and miss, oh my gosh, MISS SO MUCH) the seemingly endless heads of organic pristine, fresh red and green leaf lettuce that I get to eat every day.  It also made me realize how much I love and cherish a good breakfast of over-easy eggs, flipped with love by my handsome, adventurous co-pilot.  Finding veggie burgers at these truck-stop burger joints we stopped at in Forks and Packwood was almost the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen.  Sure, in Orange County, we’ve got a thousand vegan restaurants and meat options, but you will NEVER find one of those in a fast food place.  I give these sweet little towns major high fives for accommodating their vegetarian visitors.

I saw so much that made me smile, from the “bikini baristas” working in the drive-thru espresso stands that lined one highway, to the sweet old thrift-shop owner in Wheeler who sold me a cute hawaiian shirt for a steal, to “Cathy,” the girl who tagged the side of a building in Portland “Go Vegan! <3, Cathy.”

I’m blogging today as a different person than I was when I boarded the plane to Portland last Saturday.

Jaybird, thanks for driving.  Thanks for making veggie burgers with me two nights in a row, thanks for making my eggs just the way I love them and for keeping me safe from the bear cubs, the cold weather, and other imminent dangers.  Thanks for teaching me football routes that I still can’t remember the names to—mostly because I was so excited to play that I couldn’t pay attention to the words.  Thanks for the humor and the honey and for holding my hands away so I couldn’t scratch all the bug bites.

What an adventure.  Priceless, truly.  Soo…. where are we going next?