I went out this morning to take a few last photos of Duluth. That's the famous lift bridge. Isn't it lovely?
Those are the famous gulls and the closest I'll be to the Lake for awhile.
And the next stage of my journey into the unknown. At least there are some lamp posts.
The last five days have been a miniaturized version of the ten years between when I first visited Duluth and when I moved away--growing interest, ecstasy, good times with people and cats, hopelessness, sadness at leaving. I moved here because it was pretty, and I thought it represented my best chance to find a job near Lake Superior. After some time passed and I met some interesting people and joined some groups and started volunteering, I realized that I'd not only found a pretty place, I'd found a place that felt like Home--it took me a while to realize that because I'd never known that feeling before, even as a child.
Understand that I didn't want to leave Duluth last fall. To be honest, I wanted to die rather than leave Duluth last fall. Without going into all the details of why I didn't and did, all that matters is that none of it was being true to myself. Coming back here is the best thing I've done since--I was home again and as one friend I saw said, it seems like I've been here all along. A dose of the old depression hit Sunday after I looked at job websites, but other than that it's all felt good and peaceful and right despite three days of fog and still missing the old booming foghorn.
Yesterday I had brunch with a couple friends (tofu scramble for me), said hello to the librarian who was my boss when I volunteered there, then met with the woman who runs the peregrine falcon program where I've spent so much time. It was too foggy to watch the birds, so we watched the dvd of a PBS show's episode about the falcons which was filmed last year--first chance I've had to see it, and it was very good except when I was onscreen. Then back for a last visit with Walden which went pretty well and I have the photos to prove it. And even after those ten years here, I was shown a little Lakeside park I didn't know existed.
So now it's time to leave again, but this time I do it a lot more willingly, with better expectations, given some new strength by my days here, and fully convinced that I'll make it back. Although I still feel a little sad about going, I'm also starting to feel a little excitement about going into something completely new, which I haven't done for too long. I do wish I had a companion to share the experience with, but I guess that's where you folks come in.
The motel's letting me hang around a couple hours past checkout since my bus doesn't leave til 4:00, so I'll have time for lunch soon. I've been looking for things to do in Bozeman for a couple days and have discovered some interesting facts. They have free bus service for everyone, including until 3 AM Thursday through Saturday--that's better service than you'll get in Boston. Their library is open more days and hours than the libraries here and in the towns where I was staying in New England. There are some interesting book and music stores downtown, and a coop grocery. There are local trail maps available though it might rain the entire time I'm there. I might wander around Montana State University since graduation was earlier this month. Friday night, I may go to a performance of A Streetcar Named Desire as my last taste of kultcha before being driven off into the wilderness (where I wonder if it's going to be more difficult for me to get away from people than it is here).
Montana in the morning; first impressions tomorrow night.