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Brian Cray - Budget Travel

Hitchhiking, Train Hopping, & Wandering

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Into the Deep Blue


The smoky haze, its tendrils of deep gray, black, plumes of burning pines, hemlocks, firs and hardwoods filled the air with a suffocating noxious gas.  While I wandered around through the orange blaze I saw wildfires incinerating forest not far in the distance from Rim Dorm.  The whole state of Oregon fell ablaze from lightning strike making acres of forest look like the planet Mars.  Colossal flames burned.  Trails closed.  People from neighboring towns evacuated, but here we all stood, still working for the machine, employees of Xanterra.

Through the blazing breath of fire and smoke, somewhere summer fell into the deep blue, as whirring winds and the cool touch of winter struck abruptly with a storm.  A white blaze of snow blustered about.  Its icy cool touch fired down from the sky like sharp vicious needles.  Walking to and from the lodge became a complicated task through the sheets of mushy ice and wet snow.  But, I direly needed the work to fund my trip to New Zealand.

Two days after the storm ceased the landscape shimmered through a winterlust of snow, decorating tree limbs with white fluff, drooping their branches.  The endless green forest became a winter wonderland covered in frosty white.  I peered into the deep blue lake, it lay there motionless, cold and glinting through the sunlight.  Its navy blue penetrated deep into the depths of the crater making it look all too surreal.  The trees marched its perimeter, beckoning snow, and off in the distance I cast my eyes on a whipped cream cone with black sprinkles shooting up from the deep blue subtle ripples of water, Wizard Island.

Everything in that moment turned to gold. My hardships with work faded and I basked in the beauty, into the deep blue, the perfect shade of blue.  My mind drifted to the notions of success in society and returned to the deep blue.  I looked straight at success, wherever my two feet took me, always stuck between two worlds, but always in a transcience.  It kept me sane, the views, the stories, and the people. Soon I would share my next adventure with my loving wife in New Zealand.

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