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Two Months on the Road… and Remembering

September 11, 2016

It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road two months. We left San Diego on July 10 and here we are in Missoula, MT on Sept. 11. I’m so far behind on blog posts before I even get started, but it seems like as good a day as any to start. As I’m writing this, we’re driving on Highway 464 from St. Mary’s on the east side of Glacier National Park down to Missoula, MT. It’s cloudy, rainy and 36 degrees according to the truck’s temperature reading. Miles of prairie and farmland stretch out on both sides of us. riving

Driving on Highway 464 in Montana.

Driving on Highway 464 in Montana.

It’s peaceful and the cows we’ve passed don’t seem to mind the weather. I’m glad to be inside the truck sitting on heated, leather seats in our 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Dually diesel. (The seats can be cooled, too, but not today.)

We named the truck Brutus, because he’s big and strong enough to pull our 39-foot 5th wheel (Redwood 36FB) that we named Betsy. She’s our new home. Having sold, given away, or donated to charity most of what we owned, it’s hard to believe we still have too much stuff in the trailer. The thing we really need right now and don’t have enough of with us is cold-weather clothing. It’s in storage back in San Diego.

Here it is September 11 and I’m wishing for wool sweaters, hats and mittens. Who woulda thunk it? We figured we wouldn’t need that kind of stuff until this winter. Fortunately, as a knitter, I was able to remedy that and knit myself a hat several weeks ago. It’s come in very handy. But I digress. Which I’m sure will happen a lot as a I continue with this blog.

 

Embarking on this journey during the National Parks Service Centennial year has been pretty great. In the last two months we’ve visited five National Parks, two State Parks, and several RV parks in five states. We’ve visited with friends and family along the way, met lots of great people and made new friends. As this blog continues, I’ll go back and revisit the places we’ve been, share some thoughts and reviews, write about how we got here, and what we’ve learned. One of the things we’re learning is how to stay connected. We use Facebook a lot. I text with friends, and only recently realized I could also have phone conversations with them. We have the technology… lots of it onboard, but not using our calling plan as much as we could.

On most days we don’t have television. A lot of the places we’ve been don’t have cable hook-up or “over the air” network television. Sure, we can stream Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime/STARZ (thank goodness, or I would have missed the end of Season 2 of Outlander), and we’ve got loads of DVDs onboard, but we didn’t really get to see the Olympics, and we haven’t been able to see any of the 9/11 remembrances this morning. I feel a bit disconnected from the national remembering, though I haven’t forgotten that morning 15 years ago. Paul and I had been dating about three months when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. He was at work and I watched horrified as the scenes in NYC, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania unfolded. My biggest fear wasn’t that terrorists would strike San Diego. My biggest fear was that Paul, and his federal firefighter colleagues at North Island Naval Air Station would be deployed to help with the rescue. Now I know how ridiculous that sounds, but then I was truly afraid. I cannot fathom what it must be like for the people who lost loved ones that day. It was heartbreaking then; it’s heartbreaking now. I’m thankful for the first responders I know and love… those men and women who run into burning and crumbling buildings when everyone else is running out, and put their lives on the line to help others. They are salt of the earth/shirts off their backs kinds of people, much as the ranchers and farmers of these plains in Montana, and the staff and volunteers of the National Parks.

It’s the people I miss the most. We’re seeing this beautiful country and meeting the people who make it great. But today, of all days, I miss my friends and family and wish we were closer to hug each other and remember.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lori from San Diego permalink
    September 11, 2016 9:43 pm

    Love you guys, miss you. But I am totally enjoying all the photos. Keep on posting and I will see you in AZ, soon! xoxo L

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