Traveling…Leg 1: Alabama

My journey has started and the first leg has just come to end.  I flew home to Alabama to see my mom, grandparents, uncle and little brother.  It was great to see my grandpa getting around again and gave me a little more confidence in his recovery.  It was also good to see grown up Rory, he’s getting old enough to almost form complete thoughts, which is nice (he just turned 15 yesterday).  It had been over a year since I had been home, and my last visit was only two days long.  So in the last 26 months I had only been home for two days. Needless to say I was long overdue.

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It’s crazy to think I lived in small town south Alabama for three years.  I quickly grow bored there no matter how much I workout, run, or seek out fun things to do.  A lot of my high school friends have drifted out to larger Alabama towns leaving me with a few friends to choose from.  All of the ones that remain work jobs and my lazy unemployed ass was left on the sidelines awaiting their availability. It was great to see old familiar faces, to talk about other old familiar faces, and to find comfort amongst old and new connections.

I have grown away from high school Reed apparently.  At least back then I partially fit in, but it seems now that I’ve come from foreign lands when I cross back into the city limits of Enterprise.  My bright yellow, synthetic insulated, Mountain Hardwear jacket combined with the Patagonia shoes, climbing schwag shirts and La Sportiva trucker hat aroused judgements among locals.  But nothing more than my socks.  Apparently it’s blasphemy to have higher than ankle socks whilst wearing shorts, even if they are nice merino wool socks. Which I quickly found out was only common out West.  I wore them anyway, suck it Alabama!

I ate about 8 waffles at waffle house while I was there.  That deserved it’s own paragraph.

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I found myself back out at my family lake house again.  Staring across the glasslike waters of Lake Sean, watching as my bright yellow lure creates the only ripples, slowly dissipating across the surface.  My heart still jumps at the swirl of the water and the whine of a shitty Wal Mart reel as a thin sausage shaped largemouth latches onto the treble hooks.  I don’t think that place will ever lose its appeal to me, it could be one of the most defining places of my childhood.  I got to watch the sunset over the waters while staring down the boat at the little brother that used to cry and whine about how he needed a new lure or that he was cold, hungry, tired, sore, bored, hot, uncomfortable or that he had to poop/pee.  He tied his own lure, and even caught a few fish.  I think he might have even smiled a few times.

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Most of my days were filled with training.  I brought my rock rings down (which illicit some TSA confusion both there and back).  I spent time trying to keep my hands in shape so as to not disappoint myself during this trip. Between long runs in 70 degree (smogless I’ll have you know Salt Lakeans) weather, the rock rings and the mediocre gym facility at my moms apartment complex I was able to fill a few hours every day.

All in all, it seems that Enterprise hasn’t changed much.  It’s still a less than desirable location that only appeals to me for the people I know and the family I have there.  Amongst the shitty bars, poor beer options, camouflage clothes, non environmentally friendly people, awful radio stations, zero open space, and non adventurous folks of the south, I still manage to find diamonds in the rough.  Every time I come and bitch about it, I leave missing some of the best people I know and look forward to the next time I see them.

Now it’s back to Salt Lake City where I can turn around and once again leave some of the best friends of my life and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived.  Some people smoke, some people bite their nails, and some people gamble; I just leave behind all that’s great in hopes that the next place is a little better, maybe one day I’ll figure this shit out!

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As I sit here staring out the plane window, my left ass cheek sore because I forgot to take my wallet out of my pocket, I can’t help but look forward to the next few weeks (that sentence had three parts, none of which belonged together).  I have friends scattered around the United States and I’ll see some of the best of them in a really short period of time.  I start the next leg this upcoming Monday (tomorrow) as I tie up some loose ends in Salt Lake City, grab my puppy, and head to the Front Range in Colorado.  One of my favorite couples awaits my existence on their couch and some incredible multi-pitch in Poudre Canyon.  And beer (which I’m giving its own sentence). Keep your eyes out for that post with some pics, and maybe some flicks.

Later mongrels.

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