Mile 10,103 – Best Part of the Trip So Far…

Fort Collins, CO – October 27

We appreciate all the inquiries as to how we’re doing. It means a lot. We have plenty of travel stories to share that will come in blog posts once I hit my stride and Liz decides to quit slacking.

But I do feel some urgency to answer a common question.
What’s been the best part of the trip?
And that is easy.
Seeing old friends.

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I mean it has been really, really great.

I thought I would write about this at the end of reconnecting opportunities, but this rekindling will be going on steady for the next few months or at least we have it planned that way. I am going to met a cousin I’ve never met next month!

As of 10/24 the number of years that have past since we have seen the friends we have been fortunate enough to reconnect with on this trip equals 157.
Weird stat I know.

But I just saw one of my very best friends in Denver who, due to distance, work and parental duties I haven’t seen in 10 years! So I hadn’t seen his wife or any of his three kids in that time. That sucks. It was great to end that stretch.

I saw an old high school teammate I haven’t seen since 1987! 29 years. I got to hang with my best buddies boys in Texas. And so on. Liz reconnected with some high school friends in Albuquerque New Mexico as well. It has been really heart warming.

The real heart charge is seeing my kids playing with my oldest friends’ kids. I went through elementary school and middle school with these folks and now, due to our travels these kids have been able to hang out together. To see the kids take off to play hide and go seek and hear them laughing and doing simple kid stuff, without having there noses touching something Steve Jobs dreamt up is icing on the cake.

It also has positive ramifications on our kids abilities to communicate and quickly make new friends I am hopeful. The oldest is becoming a bit less shy, and the youngest one is quick to latch on to a similar aged kid and start scheming, 2 heads are better than one, and less apt to be caught.

From only a year or two to 29 years the ability to see folks in their homes, and in their chosen locations of residence has been interesting, and a real blessing in all cases.

And the fact that many of these folks have invited this filthy nomadic crew to stay in their homes immediately shows that either they feel sorry for us, or they are still genuinely great people.

Here’s to more reconnecting to come!
( And warm showers, with proper water pressure so that we may wash away the road grime!)

Mile 8937: Get it in gear!

Well, we’ve been trying to Find Fun… right?
Whatever that means. So writing hasn’t been tops on our list.

We’ve been keeping notes about our adventures, but the goal after the work is done for the day is NOT to sit back down in front of the computer screen to hone our blogging skills. So we apologize, because many of our friends have chastised us for our lack of updates.
“Where are you now?”
“Is it incredible?”
“Did you steal from me, and my family before you left town?”
These are but some of the texted questions that have blinked up on our cell phones.
In all seriousness we appreciate the positive comments from friends about what we are doing.
So here’s a quick update as I attempt to get my writing groove going, and post daily!

We are currently in the Enchanted State! New Mexico.
Liz spent her formative years here, and so she is excited to return and show the place off to our kids. We spent 4 days in the Roswell area which was a bit of a homecoming for me as well. I have always wanted to visit the area where my intergalactic relatives landed in 1947. We hit the INTERNATIONAL UFO MUSEUM as soon we rolled into town. It was a cute little homespun museum with plenty to read, and fun imagery to let your mind wonder. I think the kids wanted a bit more, but I learned some things about government cover ups, and bad Alien movies, and we got a sticker for the Jeep, so I was happy.

We spent the next 3 nights at Bottomless Lakes, which were 15 miles southeast of Roswell, and remote enough you couldn’t hear any road or highway noise, which to me is what we are after when we settle in for the night. Windows open, sounds of crickets and frogs putting to sleep as the breeze blows through the RV. This hasn’t happened much. Bet what we did hear on two consecutive nights were Raccoons in our storage compartments underneath the cabin rummaging through our stuff in search of food, and expensive watches or whatever raccoons are after.

I say this because even at partially full this camping area was providing enough food for these marauders to get fat. We listened to them go in and out of the trash cans throughout the campground after dark each night seemingly unconcerned with the ruckus they were creating. But they weren’t satisfied with being simply ‘Trash Pandas’. They felt compelled to invade our space after a gold mine of dog food. Thankfully our stuff was sealed away in a bin they couldn’t crack. I few prods with a tripod later and they slinked off and back into a thicket of trees to plot there next ‘home invasion’.

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The Lakes were strikingly beautiful and alluring to someone that needs to swim in nearly every body of water he encounters… to say he has. If you read the rules after you do something, then you are exempt from the fretting that comes with doing something you know you shouldn’t. I didn’t see a sign. I am sure there are native American bones at the bottom of this lake, or a craft waiting for the signal to arise. The landscape in this state park begs this sort of pondering.

The flies were kind of crazy in numbers but didn’t bite. The park is surrounded by cattle country and maybe this contributed to the number of pests that hung out in the sunny hours. So we spent our time on the move, mountain Biking, Liz did her first real one, and is already looking at new mountain bikes, when all she needs are new tires. : ). The kids enjoyed hiking the same trails, and it is a win when you get a “I really want to do that again” and it doesn’t involve money, or electricity.

We headed to Albuquerque today and bypassed the Large Array unfortunately, because the youngest had a touch of altitude sickness. Either that or the eggs I made for breakfast weren’t nearly as good as I thought. We’ll settle in for work and homeschooling and a visit to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History.

Remember when I said being away from road noise is the goal?
As I type this I am approximately 100 yards from I-40 in a KOA in Albuquerque. If you close your eyes you might imagine the cars zooming by are waves crashing on the seashore that covered this area millions of years ago. Or you can turn on the AC so you can sleep. : )

Live each day with a thankful heart.