Two-Plus Years on the Road And…..
…still rolling! We crossed our second year mark as full-time RV’ers on April 24, 2015 and still the gypsy spirit calls. In year two, we journeyed to fewer destinations, stayed longer and traveled more deeply.
Betty seemed to enjoy the relaxed pace as she wheeled us through Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. We settled into into a more comfortable routine with our 41-foot diesel damsel, trusting her to operate as expected, with healthy doses of preventive maintenance of course!
Life on the road is schooling us in becoming travelers instead of tourists. Lesson one is to travel with all senses. Close your eyes at the river’s edge. What do you hear? Water tumbling or flowing gently? What do you feel? Warm sun on your face or an icy wind chilling your cheeks? What do you smell? Fresh pines or the outhouse you are standing too close to?! It’s all part of the experience making it more alive and memorable.
The second lesson this vagabond life is teaching us is that people form the fabric of places. Like colorful threads, they weave meaning, texture, and emotions into our travel experiences. When you travel are you seeing faces or moving in a faceless crowd?
“Hey, you got any good food to eat?”, a middle-aged man called out to me from the driver’s seat of his SUV as I walked past in a remote area in Yellowstone. “No, do you?”, I questioned, taken aback for a moment. “Nope, just waiting to use the head!” he chuckled, grinning brightly, his wife shaking her head in amusement. We laughed and chatted briefly, our day brighter by this kooky greeting and jovial encounter.
In a gift shop, I met an elderly gentleman, his eyes soulful and kind. He acknowledged my greeting with a wistful smile. And then he told me his story. “This is a special trip for my grand daughter and I”, he began. “My wife and I planned to bring her to Yellowstone, but last year my wife was stricken with cancer and within 4 months she was gone.” His grand daughter, a young woman in her twenties, nodded. As Grandpa shared bits about their trip, his smile grew and his eyes sparkled. Their pilgrimage in remembrance of the woman they loved was creating healing, cherishing memories. And in that moment I knew she was traveling with them.
In year two, we never felt far from family and friends. You welcomed us when we showed up on your doorsteps. You graciously met up with us on the road. You rode along with us on our blog and encouraged us. Our travels are richer because of you! Thank you!
Enjoy our following photo reflections of year two.