When I was little I used to run away on a regular basis. This usually occurred after a disagreement with my mother that involved me being told I was wrong about something.
Because I have never taken being wrong particularly well, I wound up stomping upstairs to my room, hollering about finding a new home, and packing a bandanna (which I wrapped around a stick hobo style) with a variety of Canadian coins, favorite glass figurines and handkerchief. Then I was out the door. Free from my tormentor. Free from her oppressive rule. Free at last!
I usually camped out at the end of the street for about 2o minutes, kicking dirt and playing with sticks until I cooled off and wised up. Then I would creep back home and hope the mean woman inside wouldn’t say anything as I gently closed the screen door behind me. I have sort of grown out of this phase.
After a rather stressful week, I decided to break up with technology – and my friends – for the weekend. I needed to emotionally check out for awhile. So on Thursday I made plans to drive north to one of my favorite places – Mendocino. I needed a long drive and a strong drink. I needed a long run and some mountain air. I needed to disconnect from the world until I felt like rejoining it. That plan lasted for about eight hours.
EMILY: [over dinner that night] So, what are we doing this weekend?
ME: I am escaping the city.
EMILY: Where are we going?
ME: I am going to Mendocino – alone.
EMILY: No, I am going with you.
ME: No, I am going alone.
EMILY: No you are not.
ME: [Think about it. Realize that I would rather have company. Besides … I would likely wind up bypassing Mendocino and not realize I was lost until hitting the Oregon border.]
Fine! But here are the rules: No iPhones. Not even for GPS. No texting. No emailing. No Twittering. We are using old school paper maps. We are listening to Joe Purdy the entire way up. We are stopping when I feel like it. And there is no complaining about my rules. We are getting away from it all!
ME: We leave Saturday at 6:30. Not at 6:37. Not at 6:43.
Twenty four hours later, with our departure time set, groceries bagged and in my car, and Emily agreeing to sleep in her clothes ( just in case) – we were ready for Mendocino.