We have not done a good job of keeping up with the blog this trip. Caleb has been very busy writing his novel and just keeping up with a daily log for us so we can remember all of the wonderful things we’ve done and seen. You know, he is almost 60 so remembering things is getting harder. I’m only 29 so it is not as hard for me : )
For all of you who have hosted us along the way – thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It’s been so great to reconnect with some of you we haven’t seen in a very long time. Too long between visits! But know, in our hearts we think of you often and hope to see you again soon. Much sooner!
I’ve just recently updated the photo gallery to capture some of our latest adventures. Please take a look. These have been some fantastic moments for us. I want to especially thank Shelley and John for driving from the bottom to the top of the country to spend a little over 2 days with us in Glacier National Park. We packed a lot into those 2 days and missed you when you left.
We’ll be home soon, but we have a few more adventures ahead of us before then. We are currently in Sun Valley ID and I just heard from Caleb we’re going fly fishing with a guide tomorrow evening – on the river. We have only fished with a guide from a boat so this will be a new experience for us. We did some “casting” along the way but we have yet to catch or see a fish on our own.
We then head off to Mt. Lassen National Park to meet up with Ali for Labor Day weekend. Lassen is so close but I have never been there. So I’m really looking forward to concluding our trip with a local gem like Mt. Lassen.
Well, until next time…
Isn’t that a song?
YES! We are on the road again! With the Spring mowing and weed whacking complete, garden planted and baby chicks settled in, we have left our home in the capable hands of Milada and Ron. We hit the road on June 17 with our first stop in Modesto to celebrate Bill’s birthday, Father’s Day and Molly’s birthday. A handful of Lamkins showed up and we made a trip out to Oakdale to have dinner with Bev and Wade. John Lamkin, Caleb and I made a trip to Smith’s Farm to pick up a flats of peaches, nectarines and apricots. The week ended with Molly burgers and a visit from Mike and Ron. The purpose of this short 2 and a half month trip is to finish the loop we missed out on last year.
Molly, Bill and Pippin
We are coming home. We will be home Sunday, July 24 after traveling over 1700 miles and 5 States in 5 days. Our caretaker, and my friend Maria, was in a bad car accident a few days ago. She is now recovering from what could have been a fatality. We are also a bit homesick so homeward bound we are.
We have had a wonderful 10 months of fun filled days. This is not the last of our adventures. We expect to continue where we left off next summer. 3rd’s a charm for Capital Reef National Park, Glacier National Park, Badlands, Mount Rushmore and more. Until then…
As you slowly wake from a dream you will never remember, something seems strange and out of sorts to you. And as your eyes open, eventually focusing on the ceiling of your tent, you remember that you are not at home – rather you are sleeping next to your brother and the chill morning air is creeping down into your sleeping bag. You pull the bag tightly around your neck and look over at him. He’s crammed against the side of the tent and has worked his way down into the corner. Despite what looks like a very uncomfortable position, he is out like a light. So, you turn onto your back to look up through the mesh netting at the brilliant green trees that spread like a canopy above you. And as your mind clears away the fog of sleep, you suddenly realize it is Memorial Day.
It’s a day that gives you mixed feelings. In one way, it is the best of feelings. Memorial Day, to you, means camping. Getting together with other family members and heading up into the mountains. Three days of freedom and school-end just around the corner.
But Memorial Day also means that the fun is over.
The view from our trailer
After a really nice long week in Philadelphia at Earle and Jenn’s for Mother’s Day, we decided to head south. In the space of about four hours, we tripped through parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, eastern West Virginia, and finally, western Virginia. That is amazing to us Californians, where we live in a state where you can drive for over twenty hours and still not get out of it.
If, after reading this title, you thought that perhaps we had somehow managed to drive up into the upper Yukon where the days are incredibly short during the winter, and the nights incredibly long – well you would be mistaken. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have not ventured into the cold white north, although the lack of any blog posts for a while, might have you wondering if we had fallen off the face of the earth. We have not.
On Oct. 7th, 2015 we had just completed the first leg of our journey. We had made it all the way to Southern CA! 503 miles with 2 stops. One in Auburn, the other in Three Rivers to see the giant Sequoias. When we began we had 236 miles of trailer travel under our belts. We had camped a total of 2 times in our new Airstream! Are we crazy, are we completely nuts?
Imagine, if you will, that you are staying in the River View RV Park in Vidalia, Louisiana. Your companions are your wife, Sandy, and one of your dogs you’ve chosen to bring along on your trip – a little yellow-brown mutt named Pippin. It’s been a busy morning working inside your trailer, so the dog needs a walk. He’s an old dog – almost thirteen years – and he needs his exercise. Lately you’ve noticed how he’s changing. His muzzle is turning gray, and he can’t jump down from the higher places anymore. And his legs shake sometimes like he is shivering. For the umpteenth time you think to yourself, “He’s got Barkinson’s Disease!” and you smile to yourself because it is so typical of your jokes. Not too funny… and told way too many times. You can hear your twenty-something daughters groaning within your head. “Failboat, Dad!” You are embarrassing them again – and they aren’t even here.
So, you bundle up, knowing it’s cold outside, and decide to take him for a walk.
You hike across a field and straight up the levee to the river. Well, not just any river. THE River. The Mighty Mississippi River. And today it is looking very mighty indeed. Looking across nearly half a mile of fast running water, you can see Natchez, Mississippi on the other side. The water itself is cresting at 56.6 feet today. You know this because every day the digital sign next to the bridge shows the water level. You also know that this is eight feet above the flood level of 48 feet. The Mississippi is swollen and deep and angry. Large logs and other types of flotsam rush past, and what shoreline there is, is covered with branches, leaves and the trash of humans. The river barges fighting their way upstream look like they are hardly moving. If you walk upstream you can actually walk faster than the barges can move under the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge far above you.
Perhaps one of David Bowie’s most famous songs, the title for this blog comes from one of the lyric lines from Mr. Bowie’s first hit, Wikipedia “Space Oddity” released in 1969 and his first hit. I didn’t know until I did some research on Wikipedia that the song was released just five days before the Apollo 11 launch, and just ten days before the first lunar landing. The BBC refused to play it until the Apollo astronauts had returned safely. Perhaps an oddity in itself, the song was ranked third on iTunes fourteen days ago (forty-six years after its initial release) when it suddenly had a surge in sales due to David Bowie’s death two days earlier.
At the ripe age of 57, I have realized, for the first time, just how lucky I have been over the years when it comes to holidays. This year, for the first time, I wasn’t home for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
I first started thinking about what it really means to have a home in the first month of our Airstream adventure. As we took off and headed down south through California, I realized that what we were about to do wouldn’t result in us returning home anytime soon. And as we moved from town to town I also realized that there were things that I had taken for granted.