Strange Comfort, The End.

We were homeward bound, we were about 36 hours away from our family and friends. That was easy, Nina and I could split up the hours between us. The only thing is home started to feel like it was the back of my truck, unorganized, dirty, and a pain in the ass getting in and out of to go to the bathroom at night. It was fun, stressful, painful, and free. It was strange comfort. One thing Kim Wilson(a friend of mine) said to me before I left was that this trip will be different, "you are the captain of your ship, you can go wherever you want". I didn't know what she meant by it then but I did 100% leaving Utah. I was able to go off the beaten path and find some of the coolest places i've ever seen in my young 22 years. It was a blast. Did I really want to head home? I'd sell all my belongings to re-live those late nights drives not knowing where we were going to sleep, but waking up in some of the most beautiful locations. 

We got back out on I-70 heading east towards Cisco. A ghost town founded in the 1880s used as a watering stop for the western railroads steam engines. We hopped off the exit, drove for a few miles until we came across a mess of old houses, cars, trucks and other buildings. Everything was in shambles, being in these town is always so cool to me because they're out in the middle of no where, and they thrived for quite a while, most until the interstates bypassed them all. Johnny Cash actually wrote a song about a man who lived in Cisco titled "Cisco Clifton's Filling Station" the town was also in 2 movies "Vanishing Point" and "Thelma & Louise" I've never seen them. But I did listen to the song after stopping here. If you've seen those 2 movies you'll recognize them in the photos I took. The tiny little post office was probably the coolest part of Cisco. I'll attach some photos below. The sun was setting as we left that worn little ghost town, and we got back out on I-70 to head home.

The catch was that we wouldn't stop, Nina would drive and I would sleep in the back and the other way around. It seemed to be working fine, we got into Colorado with out a problem, then maybe 2 hours into the state it started snowing. I fell asleep for a bit with only light snow. When I awoke Nina was driving less than 30mph and we were in a blizzard with out question. Every sign we passed said "illegal to proceed without chains" just like the ones in Utah. But we had to keep going. Nina drove us through majority of that blizzard, so I gotta give her a ton of credit for that. She pulled over at a gas station so we could fill up and it was my turn to white knuckle the steering wheel for a while. She asked me "what are we going to do?" I said " I don't know but this is not good". It was the coldest cold i've ever felt and the most dangerous conditions i've ever driven in. Way worse than Utah. We must have driven under 30mph across half the state. We could not see 20 feet in front of us, it was epic, it was scarier than hell. Going I-70 across the U.S. was a terrible call on my part. The drivers of Colorado must of thought these Marylanders are nuts. I was so focused on getting us home safely I don't remember a whole lot about that, only it started to clear up around Denver. We made it through that blizzard alive though more than relieved. We were filling up at gas station out side of St. Louis, Missouri and I thought lets make a pit stop in Ferguson where all the recent riots happened about Michael Brown being shot. So I set the GPS that way and we headed that way. Driving there I was nervous, it was dark out now  and I didn't know what to expect, the news loves to exaggerate things and play the race game to pin whites against blacks and blacks against whites. But passing through it was nothing like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, portrayed the town to be, it was small and fairly quiet, burned broken buildings from the riots and some memorials out remembering Michael Brown. I pulled over at Ferguson Optical Eye Care, where a man came out for a smoke break. I introduced myself and told him what I was doing, Instantly he started talking about the graffiti on the wood he said "the businesses that had their windows busted out had them boarded up but let the local highschool students come out and paint on them" I thought that was great, he also talked about how the town has never been racist in any way. He said majority of the damage was done by people who don't live here. He walked me down the street and showed me all the artwork. I didn't expect him to be so friendly, it was nice to see he cared. We said our goodbyes and I thanked him for his time.

We drove around some more checking out the town then getting back out route. I drove some more before having to stop and sleep and have Nina drive. The next thing I remember was waking up in the back of West Virginia only a few hours away from home. We had finally made it, driving my truck for over 36hrs straight. Surprising everyone 2 days before Christmas. My families faces were priceless i'm assuming Nina's were the same. It was a unforgettable learning experience. 

Thanks for reading my stories it was a blast sharing them, we are limitless. 

Matt Landon

Raised By Tides