The Man in the Wool Suit

The man behind the counter smiled and shrugged, in that “awww, shucks”, kind of way that only real country people can pull off. He wasnt discourteous nor helpful about our predicament, only offering slightly rotten smiles each time we asked a different questions.

“Gas stations closed.” At the incredulous hour of 7:00 Friday night.

“Nope, no cell service. You’re in the Caitlins now.” It wasnt an answer as much as it was a sales pitch for his card operated phone booth located in font of his shoppe.

“If you call now the one up the road might be open. Depends on how many are there still drink’n.” Good to know you can get gas to drive home after drinking.

So we did what anyone would do, we called “up the road”, and asked the station/bar, to stay open just a little bit longer, so we could fill up and make the wet and winding 140km journey back to our batch.He said we have ’til 8 or so, then hes shut’n shoppe.

We’d set sail amidst a storm only recognizable by Oregonians and gnarled sea hands. The wind was the only sound in our radio free quest across the heart of South New Zealand. It was loud. This was not the New Zealand I had hoped to show my in-laws, this was something fierce. I couldn’t help but have the emotion of let down experienced when you take a friend, or a date to your favorite restaurant, and somehow, dispite all odds and history, it lets you down.  But I was wrong, the Caitlins didn’t let us down. As the only car on the road, we found an alternative and intimate experience to the region. As it happens so often, I needed to adapt myself to overcome my preconceived travel expectations, in order to find what I needed to find, not what I wanted to find.

This trip was the first with my new camera, so I will document it mostly through photos, many of which where taken by Linzays dad-Grant. As you’ll see hes pretty good with the glass.

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