“This land is your land…”

October 30-November 8

Friday morning I woke up at 5:30, showered and dressed for work in my usual routine. One thing was different, though. Today was the only day on our schedule I’d be biking to work without Jamie. She’d work the following day (Halloween) while I took my turn hanging with Charley. Other than that, we’ve been fortunate enough to share the same work schedule, affording us plenty of opportunity to get out and see some cool stuff.

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Sequoias & Sierras

October 20 – 30

Now working full-time again, Bijan and I’s free time to adventure has been cut down to 4 days per week. We are not going to lie and say that work is a piece of cake, because it’s not. It’s hard and stressful most days. We can get through it, though, and justify the stress that it gives us by taking full advantage of the days that we have off.

Whether its a day trip to somewhere that is close to Santa Barbara or a few-days getaway, we always make sure we have something to look forward to. The first month or so of a new travel assignment is always a difficult adjustment, but it does get easier towards the end!

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Back to reality. ish.

October 12-19

Typically, when starting a new job, you can probably think of the first week like “syllabus week” was in college. Sure, classes are back in session, but no one’s fretting. Still got a week to get situated.

It’s not so much the case with travel assignments. The contracts are short term, and thus the onboarding and training are expedited. One day getting a general orientation for the hospital and a tour of the different units (we’d be working in the float pool and needed to know our way around), one day to crash-course the new electronic health record (Epic, in this case). We hit the floors on Wednesday to begin our first day back in the clinical setting since our last day on the prior contract, September 3.

The commute to work couldn’t be easier. Hop on the bikes, take the first left at the end of the block, and a mile later, we’re at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH).

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“Home is wherever we are if there’s love here too”

October 8 – 11

Bijan and I spent our last few days before starting work, exploring our new temporary home – walking and biking around our new neighborhood to get to know the area. We figured out we are situated in the perfect location. Most places we will want to go around town are walkable or bike-able including work, downtown cafes/restaurants, and the beach! I find myself listening to a lot of Jack Johnson lately, it feels right being so close to the beach with all of the tropical plants, beaches and warm weather.

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Finally, SB.

Our first glimpse of the Pacific came when we hit Pismo Beach on Saturday (Oct. 3) afternoon, a little over an hour’s drive north of Santa Barbara on US 101. The drive to get there from Yosemite took us along numerous state highways as we zigged and zagged our way through farmland lined with endless almond and pistachio trees. The air had a heavy haze and the thermometer was flirting with 100F. My only concern was our little Crosstrek; poor girl had been huffing and puffing over 5500 miles as she carried us and our worldly belongings to Santa Barbara. Easy does it with the gas, Bij. Climb the hills slow, steady, I told myself.

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Yosemite Pt. 2

October 1-2

We woke up on Thursday morning, still exhausted and groggy from our hike the day before, covered in dirt and sticky sweat. We were hoping that there was somewhere to take a shower in the valley, only to learn that the showers were closed for the 2020 season. Whats another 4 days without showering? At that point it was no big deal.

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“They call me the breeze…”

September 24-26, 2020

Thursday morning arrived rather frigidly, as the thermometer refused to bump over 40F. With stiff, cold fingers, we started the campsite cleanup. We’d decided it was time to move on from Colorado, despite having an excellent time. Nothing gold can stay.

Becoming increasingly efficient at loading up the car, we methodically put everything in its place and set our bearings towards Page, Arizona and Lake Powell. A stop-off at Mesa Verde National Park, just east of Cortez, CO, was a consideration as we set out.

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Colorado Extension

September 21 – 23

At this point in our “planned” road trip, we would be in California enjoying Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and the Mammoth Lakes area of the Sierras. Due to the wildfires and smoke hazards, we opted to alter our original plan and stall in Southwest Colorado for a bit longer. We can’t complain even the tiniest bit. It is so beautiful here, and we are grateful to have extra time to relax and explore the area.

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Canyon Drops, Alpine Passes

Our next few days activities, unfortunately, weren’t dog appropriate. So on Monday morning, we dropped off Charley at Ouray Dog Company for her own little R & R and Bijan and I took off for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in central Colorado.

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Wide Open Spaces

September 11 & 12th: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and half of Colorado.

We cruised through the central states and the midwest with our longest 2 driving days of the trip. Although there were not familiar faces in this part of the country, we made it a point to find a few things along the way each day to stretch our legs and get a taste of the state or city that we were driving through.

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