BARSTOW - I love road trips.

There's nothing better than getting in your car, singing your favorite songs and having some time to contemplate your life.

These are all things I will have plenty of time to do when I make the 17-hour drive to John Day, Ore. this weekend. Contemplation will be take up a large portion of my time because I'm making the drive to start a new job. I accepted a sports reporter position at the Blue Mountain Eagle in John Day two weeks ago.

I have been at the Desert Dispatch for a year and a half and have loved every moment I have spent on the job. I have covered high school and youth sports, martial arts, cheer leading, city government and, as odd as it sounds, water skiing as a Desert Dispatch employee.

One thing I learned about being a reporter is you don't have a story if you don't have sources. I have been lucky enough to deal with great people in Barstow. I would love to thank everyone individually and in person, but there are just too many people. I would instead like to offer a thank you to the entire city of Barstow for the help I have received during my time as a reporter and throughout my more than 20 years living here.

Reporters are supposed to remain objective while covering subjects. However, as a Barstow High School graduate I have found that tough to do on a few occasions. I think my opinion of officials' calls were a little too obvious during some of the games I covered, but it's hard to not root for your alma mater. My love of local teams extends to Silver Valley as well.

Although I am moving to another state, I will be back as often as I can. My family lives in town and I have collected too many good friends along the way to turn my back on Barstow.