On The Road

In The Battle of Man Vs. Nature, Nature Wins Every Friggin’ Time

Queerty contributor Tanner Efinger is blogging about his two-month U.S. road trip before skipping across the pond  to England with his partner, Nick. Follow their adventure from Los Angeles to Vancouver to New Orleans and up the Mississippi River as they traverse the purple mountains’ majesty.


My first official week on the road has been a sojourn up the coast of western North America.

Yesterday we passed the border into Canada and are now comfortably set up in Vancouver for a long weekend.  It took several days to unwind from the stress of packing and moving, but now we’re in the groove, relaxed and blissfully “in the now.”

I’m convinced the coastline has had something to do with it.

On the way to Vancouver we drove up the rocky coast of Big Sur, just south of San Francisco. It reminded us that despite our city-boy attitudes, Nick and I have a fondness for nature. The cliffs and the sea air escorted us into a dense fog as we drove late into the night. The following day we drove through the Redwoods, or as it’s sometimes called the “Avenue of the Giants.” It is a citadel of forest constructed by Mother Earth herself and as we traveled along the scar of highway cauterized by asphalt, thousand-year-old monsters ignored our very passing.

The next day on our northern voyage we drove into Oregon and visited Crater Lake which, almost 8,000 years ago, was the volcano Mount Mazama until it imploded to create a sapphire-colored lake surrounded by towering, theatrical cliffs. The word blue is laughable in the face of  Crater Lake’s magnificence.


Our next side trip on the road to the Great White North led us underground, just north of the Washington border, to the gloom and dark of the Ape Caves. We were expecting something of a guided tour, with electricity, maps and handrails.

We were wrong.

The park rangers just rented us a gas lantern for five dollars and pointed the way. We were alone, spelunking in  total darkness for two hours. A few times we scaled a rock wall where the lava flow from Mt. Saint Helens had forced the earth aside many years ago. It felt as if were in the belly of a mile-long snake.

This week has been filled with a majesty that forced me to put things in perspective. Alongside such massive natural forces, all measure of sexuality faded into the background: I was barely human, let alone a gay man. In the midst of society, we talk of politics, culture, and sex. It’s too easy to forget that we are simply creatures of this planet.

Now safely ensconced in Vancouver, I try think too much about it. The night is young and there is a bottle of whiskey that calls for me. Tonight we’ll disregard the grand scheme of things—for the grand scheme of things doesn’t need our every moment’s attention.

It will go on without us anyway.

Images via Tanner Efinger