In the summer of 2009, I got laid off from my first “real” job after college and simultaneously decided to end the near decade-long relationship I had been in since I was teenager. Woah…
In the very beginning part of the “Holy Crap, What Just Happened To My Life” phase, I logged onto Facebook one morning (as any good unemployed person does) and saw a status update from my friend Jess Powers (my favorite farmgirl) that read: “Anyone have a few weeks to drive cross country with me?”. “Yep”, I replied, and within an hour I had bought myself a one-way plane ticket out to Portland, Oregon to meet her for our journey.
Although my friends and family were pretty sure I had literally lost my mind, I knew myself, and I knew that nothing would give me the clarity and space that I needed like a road trip would (18 hours a day in a car will whip you right back into shape, I swear). I needed a few weeks away, I needed a few weeks to think, and I needed a few weeks to let the dust settle—and really—a few weeks to breathe and just be.
So, in the late Summer of 2009, Jess and I departed from Portland, OR and camped our way across the United States until we crossed the Sagamore Bridge back home to Cape Cod, MA. On our way across, we stopped in at a Labor Day rodeo in Helmville, Montana, took in the beauty and splendor of Yellowstone National Park, camped under the stars in the Badlands, realized we were cosmic sisters and reveled in the power of the universe—or “Uni” and we like to call it—at a campground in rural Minnesota, braved the eerie late-night roads of “Mistconsin”, rolled down the giant sand dunes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, took in the natural wonder (and undeniable kitch) of Niagara Falls, and harped on every opportunity to take photographs of ourselves dressed as our alter egos, Ted and Danta (don’t ask), wearing fake mustaches at every national landmark that crossed our path. We were the “Stash Sistahs” and I’m forever indebted to Uni for bringing us together at a time when we both needed it most.
This one’s for you Stashy, xoxo always
A few stashy shots below and here’s a link to a previous blog post with scans of some my film photography from the trip that got amazingly distorted from sitting for 2 years in the heat of my 3rd floor bedroom: