Monday, September 24, 2012

“Take Me Home, Country Roads……”

Saturday Sept 8th – Early start this morning….eager to get on the road. “Cruising Down the Interstate”  to some country music……Heading home……It is good to remember that we are  ”Southern born….and Southern bred.”


Through Calgary and on through the US border and into northern Montana……


Hay fields and farms……..


Give way to the rocky hills of Montana…..

We spent Saturday night at the Lincoln Rd RV park in Helena, Montana.

Sunday Sept 9th – Good day of driving…….about 350 miles. Landscape is mostly fields and stacks and stacks of hay bales. Stopped for the night at the Cowboy RV park in Pocatello, Idaho.

Monday Sept 10th – left Idaho and cruising through Utah. I 15 through Salt Lake City and Provo. Last time through Salt Lake City we were going east-west and the city just did not seem that big.. This time, driving north –south……. we were surprised at how far we had to drive in non-stop city and high traffic……Ugg!

We drove I 15 south, then, we cut over on 20 to Hwy 89. This was the way that we had come up at the beginning of this trip, and it felt a lot like we had come full circle.

We stopped for the night at the Kanab, Utah, RV Corral.

These three days of driving have been mostly about the miles and about getting closer to home (actually, to Sarah’s in Chandler, AZ). Our conversations have centered around the things that we had seen and done……and about things we will do once we are home. Our stops have been utilitarian…..good hook-ups, clean, convenient. We were not looking for anything more…….

The mood has been reflective…..We talked of plans realized. 

When we started this trip, everything was bright and shiny and new. We saw everything with fresh eyes. We had talked about what we would do and how things would be. The possibilities seemed endless……

This trip has been wonderful and most of it had gone without a hitch. Our plans were well thought out and included, just about everything that one could fit into the time and place. We had spent about two months touring around the Arizona/southern Utah area, and had hiked a number of wonderful hikes, including the Grand Canyon in two different places. We had spent a month driving the California/ Oregon/ Washington coast and had done a fair bit of sightseeing on our way to California, and on up through Canada. We had some terrific visits with two of our three children, and had joined my sister on some of her travels. We had spent just over two months touring around Alaska, and had done everything that we had not had the time to do on our first visit to Alaska two years before. As a bonus, we had shared some of that experience with our oldest daughter and her husband.

Nearing the end of this trip….and, looking back from the vantage point of plans realized…..there was a sense of satisfaction…… but also a sadness. We had seen the sights and now looked at them with the assessing eyes of familiarity. No longer were there plans with limitless possibilities. We have, instead, the memories…..

I think that life is always like that….So much time is spent in dreaming, then planning…….in the anticipation of an event. As the event is going on, you try to be very present…..wanting to soak up all that you can. Then, looking back on the event…no matter how wonderful it had been, there is only the reality of what was……no longer what could be. The paths had been chosen and the possibilities realized. And, there are always things that you might do differently.

Like finishing a good book……you slowly, reluctantly, read the last lines of the last chapter, not wanting to know how it ends.  And, closing the book, you already miss the cast of characters, and wonder…what happened after that? Wishing that it could go on….knowing that it can’t, and wondering how you might have written the storyline differently. Books ending and plans realized are always bitter/sweet.

I know that, just as there are other books to read, there are other chapters in our lives yet to come. I am just not in a hurry to begin anew…….I think that I need a bit of time to just savor the memories.

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