We full time RVrs tend to drift away from the places we planned on going whenever we see a sign pointing to something that sounds more interesting. Sometimes we connect with the road to the original destination a bit farther along, other times we simply decide it is BEST not to worry about it. We rarely decide to turn around. (Although we did back our 32 foot house almost a mile out to the road we'd turned from when the rustic lane stopped abruptly at a river with no bridge once .)
Jim and I were predisposed to this way of life since the day we were married. When we drove away from our family and friends in Adams, Massachusetts in our VW Beetle that day in 1968, we had the vague notion that we'd go to the Poconos for a honeymoon. I had seen all those heart shaped bath tubs in the bride's magazines. Well, we got to talking and dreaming and landed in upstate New York instead. There was a moment when we realized we'd missed the turn but when Jim asked if I wanted to turn around I said "No, let's just follow this road and see where it takes us."
If we had gone to the Poconos we wouldn't have been able to watch a play in the Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack, NY sitting next to an unknown (yet) James Earl Jones and his wife. We would have missed riding through Tarrytown and so many lovely little towns and meadows before they were paved over and covered with housing developments.
I would have not had the pleasure of having my newly "sophisticated" husband order for me in a French restaurant. He was so pleased because he'd given me a brand new experience; a huge platter full of frog legs. He blissfully ate a trout while I stared at these things- swimming in garlic oil- thinking of all the cute little frogs and toads that hopped around in my parents back yard. Let the record show that I ate them on August 5, 1968 a) so I wouldn't hurt his feelings, b) because I have always said I'd try anything once, and c) because I'm a penny pincher who was not about to leave a dinner that we were paying an outrageous % of our trip money for.
We've been following that road for more than 41 years now and the end is nowhere in sight. I firmly believe that was the BEST decision we ever made regarding our life's journey. Following it out onto the blue highways once our parenting days had been gently put away was an extension of that decision.
The freedom afforded us by our nomadic lifestyle has taken us to Sam's Hill in Washington- yes The Sam Hill - and a unique monument.
We've driven over a hill and gasped as the landscape became something resembling a black futuristic scene out of a science fiction film at Craters of the Moon State park.
Another curve in the road, around a thousand miles away, brought us to the equally unearthly sparkle of White Sands national Monument.
Pausing to decide which route to take in Southeastern California gave us time to see the sign pointing to Calico Ghost town. We had a fun day and Jim won the contest for the longest beard when his was only 11 1/2 inches long. (that was 4 years ago) That was a BEST gas usage day for us. We only went one mile from campground to campground!
In Liberal, Kansas we spied a tiny sign while stopped at a traffic light. " Dorothy's House", a few minutes later we were in OZ!
We explored a cemetery one time which was the final resting place for many local families, going back many generations. If there had been any question of where we were, they were answered by the oil wells which actually straddled some of the tombstones there in West Texas.
Not everyone gets why we live the way we do. They can't fathom why we would sell everything and roam around the country. A few months ago I picked up a new phrase from my friend Jaimie Hall-Bruzenak "the plans are set in Jello" It applies to us perfectly, particularly when you note how often our Jello doesn't set.
Our friend Chris has had a few plans in the past year or so and she delights in having the freedom to completely change them anytime the spirit moves her. She was going to tour Baja for a couple of months but she found herself in a little off beat Rv park near San Fillipe Mexico and fell in love with the quiet, the peace, the town, the dog and the people. The ocean, the beach and the etheral quality of the place is what she needs at the moment. So she's sitting out her time until she comes up with her new BEST plan. I would love to go to the spot she's at right now but it probably wouldn't be the same for us since we bring with us our own needs. Read about her magical days on her blog. I've linked to her arrival at the park but do read up to the present for a lyrical look at living life on a whim.
Today we had lunch with Bobbie and Jim Chapman. We first met them when, on the spur of the moment, we stayed at a Gypsy Journal Rally in Casa Grande in 2007, The two Jims were two of the homeliest contestants in the Cactus Queen pageant and that's a bond that shall never be broken. We were actually leaving the fair ground where that rally was being held because we'd been told we had to leave. Driving out, we ran into Nick Russell and he got us registered soon after. Later that year, they turned up in Coffeyville to work with Jim at Amazon.com
We still have a long way to go on this road of ours. Where will we be next year? Next month? I'll let you know when I find out.
This is probably the point when I should tell you we still haven't made it to the Poconos. Those heart shaped tubs full of bubbles still look romantic but it might take the BEST efforts of a team of paramedics to haul me out of one now.
On the other hand, having done it once, I've never had to eat frog legs again.
See ya down the road,