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My (refined) sugar-free birthday "cake" at pre-bday breakfast with the family

My (refined) sugar-free birthday cake at pre-bday breakfast with the family.

As of midnight (well, technically 2:17 am) tonight, August 31, I will officially start a new year. January 1 may mark the start of our calendar, but it has always felt so arbitrary to me as the date to kick off change and resolutions. Yet, our birthday – the day we emerged and started this journey called life – that day, when it cycles around again after 364 days truly marks a new year. In the past I’ve made a bulleted list of resolutions to accomplish before the next birthday, i.e.: being able to run five miles without breaking a sweat, having a piece of my own art hanging in my home, communicating appreciation… This year, there is no list. I have accomplished so much in 25 and attained so many goals, I’m shifting gears. Now I am more aware of the journey as opposed to the destination. As I finish packing (Oregon beer as host gifts, firewood, camping gear – thanks to some sweet birthday presents etc.) I still have no idea what to expect. This is the least planned trip I have ever embarked on. Yes, it’s me (and clearly I’m a Virgo) so, of course, I have a TripTik from AAA and a fully stocked car emergency kit, but I have barely researched where I’m going beyond Google directions between stops. I embark with the confidence of the wise words: “Without mystery, adventure is impossible.” Ultimately, I’m headed to Colorado with a two week loop through MT, WY, UT and ID surrounding what could be one of the most significant nights of this year. This epic road trip kicks off my 26th “year of adventure” which will start in approximately 7.5 hours when I, the Subby and my mixed tapes hop on I-84 heading for Coeur d’Alene to camp at…well, I’ll let you know when I get there.


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26 was a defining and adventurous year for Julie Williams, a Portland, Ore.-based communications consultant.

This blog chronicles Julie's crossing of the quarter-life threshold and coming of age on her solo road trip across seven Western states from Aug.-Sept. 2008.

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