The Noble Experiment is over. When we moved out here I think we had the simplest of ambitions. What does a 25-year-old even really want, anyway? We wanted jobs. We wanted to live in the “big city”. We wanted fun. We wanted to buy a big screen TV. We wanted cheaper rents. We wanted security. We wanted to be able to walk to our favorite restaurants. We wanted to stop paying rent. We wanted a garden. We wanted a small house. We wanted a family. We wanted better jobs. We wanted purpose. We wanted self-fulfillment. We wanted happiness. I want to say the Mash Tuns have had their fill of Seattle, but the closer we get to leaving, the more we find we’ll miss.
Mild winters, Paseo, weekly curb-side compost pick-up, vegans everywhere, OneBusAway, beer festivals, mild summers, Coyle’s, proximity to Portland, Mt. Rainier appearing in stark relief on a clear day, Cozy Nut, driving north on the viaduct through downtown, biking…everywhere (but particularly on the Elliott Bay Trail), Carkeek, Chuck’s, listening to conversations about how the weather in the city affects the weather in the mountains (and understanding none of it), Bellingham, breweries…everywhere, Salt Spring Island, a recycle bin next to every trash can, the UBG (my favorite bar, even when it’s packed), ferries, the British-like politeness with which the locals conduct themselves in public (as well as the maddeningly frustrating passive aggressiveness that surfaces when they get cheesed), Caravan Crepes, the ultra-left political base rivaled perhaps only by San Francisco (or Portland), The Pantry/Delancey/Essex, the inability for any major city projects to get done in a timely manner because an over-educated public debates every single alternative ad nauseum…
And all that without even mentioning any of the numerous friends we’ve made over the past nine years, some of whom left before us, and many others we’ll be leaving behind. These are the things that make goodbyes hard. And while I can make allowances for sentimentality, I refuse to let it drag me down into the depths of self-pity. Separation and loss is a part of living. And besides, this is a good thing!
The Mash Tuns will be embarking on an adventure of the most epic proportions. Sure, we could just fly. Like, on a plane. But that just seemed so… anti-climactic. Instead, the three of us (Mini Mash Tun included!) will be biking and camping our way across the country. For three months we will be rolling along the back roads of the northern US (and maybe Canada, eh?), camping in parks and church yards, meeting real salt-of-the-earth ‘Mericans, and ticking off as many breweries as possible on our way to pastoral New England. We should be getting there just as peak peeper season starts which seems like an appropriate welcome to the northeast.
We will be documenting our journey via Twitter (@mash_tun), Instagram (@themashtuns), and, to a lesser extent, this blog. You’ll be able to share in all the fun without any of the sore muscles or inevitable mechanical failure! There will be a few more posts before we leave regarding our rough proposed route and we would love any recommendations of sights to see, food to eat, people to meet (or stay with!) or even just general words of encouragement. Expected departure date is 5 July.