The Turner Experience

On Wednesday morning, Arcadiy and I started out in Atlanta, Georgia, after eating lunch with Ben James and Willy B. We crossed the entire country in his white stallion. Last night we arrived in San Jose, CA, at the house of former LCP of AIESEC SJSU, Colin. He has continued on to Seattle; I am staying for two amazing weeks in the Bay Area.

Here is our entire trip that we just took:

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Each night, except for in Salt Lake City, we managed to stay with AIESEC friends and have a great time. Also we hiked up to Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday (we would have continued up the trail to Emerald Lake but it was too snow-packed) and stopped off at the Sierra Trading Post in Cheyenne, WY.

This trip has been an intense experience for me. I have been to San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Oxford before, but (with the exception of Oxford) it was always via airplane. Driving across the country, inch by inch and foot by foot and mile by mile, watching every blade of grass bleed into every forest and give way to the flat green plains of Kansas to grow into the rising highlands of eastern Colorado, abruptly interrupted by the titanic Rockies and moving on up north to pass over the moonscape that is Wyoming, through the unfamiliar Western terrain of Utah’s salt flats and Nevada’s heavy mountainous deserts finally giving way to Tahoe’s majestically beautiful summits rolling down to the Pacific coast has been a surreal and powerful accomplishment. I have come to understand and appreciate just how very vast and diverse this country is, and everywhere we passed by I thought of different histories, of 40 acres and a mule, of outlaws on the frontier, of buffalo massacres and Native American tribes, of Mormons crossing such an incredible distance to found Deseret and of the true end of the frontier coming from the western end as well. It has blown my mind and it has also been the very appropriate beginning to what I expect will be a wonderful few weeks enjoying freedom before I ship out to Asia (wherever in that even more vast land I choose to go).

Tomorrow Kelsey arrives and then we will go camping in Big Sur, we will stay with my cousin in Berkeley to hit up San Francisco, and we will go camping in Napa before Get Golden. I am ecstatic to be able to spend two great weeks in paradise.

More to come soon hopefully. I’m taking some pretty good pictures.