14 Jun Dunes and Tamales
As we embark on our longest family road trip yet, I reflect on the Lewis and Clark Expedition that led to the same destination — Astoria, Oregon. Ours is a much more mapped and air-conditioned journey of course. The famous explorers traveled west in May of 1804 from St. Louis, Missouri at the request of then president Thomas Jefferson. Similarly, we too are traveling in the summer. Our route, however, is much different. My two younger brothers, mother, her husband, Sam, and I leave from Los Angeles on a hot and sticky summer afternoon, characteristic of Southern California. Our spacious motorhome has all the necessary food we might need – a delicious diet of tamales and watermelon. Prompted by the desire to see the Western coast, we set off full of good hope along the scenic 101 route. I imagine that the Corps of Discovery as they called themselves, were much more full of dread with the unknown journey that lay ahead. They had set off with the intention of finding a water route that would facilitate future trades and voyages West, but soon found out this was not a feasible venture. The first day in the motor home, we pulled together as Sam drove and the remaining four prepared hot tortas in a moving vehicle. We laughed and played while doing it. Things were running per usual until night came and we realized that the tides that dominated the Pismo dunes, where we had projected to spend the night, were much too high for us to drive through. We realized this at 11:00 PM, so we set out to find a rest area, which Sam found until 1:00 AM while most of us were asleep. The most fascinating thing I have come to learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition was the lack of nefarious relationships among the groups and the way the team came together. Although the bulk of my family was asleep during the most trying part of our journey (finding a place to spend the first night), I was surprised by the airy and wonderfully comforting nature of our trip to Astoria. I am truly grateful for such a supporting home base, but specially grateful for indoor plumbing.