I let my cousin/housemate, Dan, know I would be gone for two weeks (he let me borrow his camera, which was pretty decent compared to my cheap point-and-shoot (this was before digital cameras), and I had to make a quick trip to the store to buy a bunch of film). After work the next day, a Thursday, I rushed home, finished packing, and took off.
I felt great! I was so excited to head off to points unknown. I would be traveling farther west than I had ever been before, and I could barely fathom what I was going to see.
I made arrangements to stay at my aunt & uncle's place in Uniontown (they were out of town, but had given me a key the last time I had visited them), and I arrived late that evening. All I needed was a place to rest my head for a few hours, because I planned to be on the road the next morning before dawn.
I remember the alarm going off, earlier than I normally got up, and being so wired! I quickly got ready and hit the road well before 6 a.m. I knew my route, even if I'd never driven it before, because I'd been studying it for months. I knew just about every turn the whole way West.
As I crested one of the mountain ridges in West Virginia, with the sky turning bluer with each passing mile, I saw the sun come up over the horizon. And I got chills. It's so hard for me to put into words the feeling I got as I realized that, right there, God was making himself known to me. I had prayed a lot before the trip, mostly for safety and health, but there He was, in the brightness of the sunlight. As it enveloped my entire line of vision, I felt so fulfilled, and the excitement that had been building over the past few months as I planned this journey began to impact me in a way I didn't expect: I started to tear up. Very briefly, I thought of how ridiculous it was to be reacting this way, but a peace and relaxation came over me and I suddenly felt calm. And as I coasted down the mountain, I thought to myself, "This is going to be a great trip...I've got the Lord riding with me."
And so it went. And I found myself talking to God the whole journey. I'm sure I looked crazy to passersby, but it was great. And I had the best trip of my life. The first of many best trips of my life.
Have a great evening, everyone!