This is a week of "lasts." My last week as a caddie. My last loop. My last Skype/Slingbox date with Emily. My last shower beneath the lowest of low-pressure shower heads. My last trip to the local Subway (for good measure, I went twice today).
And now, this -- my last blog post from the southern coast of Oregon.
As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow I'll be heading to Seattle to pick up my father, who is making the drive back east with me. It really is unsettling to think that this experience is now coming to an end, but for the moment -- this moment -- I don't feel like trying to make sense of any of it. I've been doing that nonstop over the last several weeks, and I'm sure I'll pick that process right back up going forward. What else am I going to do for forty-plus hours in the car while driving across South Dakota?
So today, I'm not going to try to write anything meaningful or insightful. I'm not going to explore my feelings or address any big-picture questions or say anything that would give my mother an opening to unnecessarily/irrationally worry about me. What I will say, though, is that for many of the things I've done in my life, I typically couldn't wait for them to be over. The reasons why are complex and couch-worthy and can wait for another day. But most importantly, none of them apply to this. In many ways, I'm not ready for this experience to be over, but the calendar and the impending conclusion of the resort's high season say it is. So let it be written, so let it be done.
Because it wouldn't have felt right not posting something on my last night here, though, instead of using my words, I figured I'd try a different approach. Not knowing if or when I'd ever be back here, I drove out to the resort this afternoon to take one last look around, and I took my camera with me. What follows are some of the pictures I took mixed in with some of my favorites since all of this started (many you may have already seen on Facebook). Believe me, they don't come close to doing this place justice, but they're the best the iPhone could produce.
And before I go, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has read even one of my postings throughout this journey. It really means a lot that anyone would devote a few minutes to anything I've written. Hopefully, these articles have been some combination of entertaining, insightful, semi-humorous, thought-provoking -- and not too depressing.
You should also know that, just because I am leaving Oregon, it doesn't necessarily mean I will no longer be flooding your inbox with streams of consciousness about this experience. The lessons of Bandon haven't fully sunk in yet, meaning the reflection phase has only begun. Plus, considering I am going to be unemployed, I won't be able to afford a therapist, and I'll need some outlet to process my feelings. See you on the other side.
Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'.
CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A BETTER VIEW
|The understated entrance to Bandon Dunes|
|The resort's mission statement|
|The caddie shack -- and caddie putting green|
|Free-birding in the caddie shack|
|I made the board -- with a good review (Click on image for a larger view)|
|Bandon Preserve -- the coolest par 3 course in the world|
|No. 1 tee at Bandon Trails. Play away, please...|
|No. 14 tee at Trails -- the highest point on property|
|Fighting the mosquitoes at Trails|
|No. 12 at Bandon Dunes -- the first hole built at the resort|
|The infinity pool that is No. 4 green at Bandon|
|No. 16 at Bandon|
|Or, in caddie parlance, "Pac"|
|The Pacific is on the left, the state of Oregon is on the right -- keep it in the state of Oregon|
|No. 10 at Pacific from the upper tee|
|No. 11 -- the second of back-to-back par 3s at Pacific|
|No. 7 green at Old Mac|
|No. 5 at Old Mac|
|From the back tee on No. 15, Old Macdonald -- the best wide-angle view on the course|
|This is apparently a Scottish term for "Hurry back." What can I say...you have to do what the sign says!|