As I write this post, we have completed the first segment of our Great Adventure; we spent ten days with my son and his family in South Dakota. As I wrote in my last blog post, it will always be too slow when I travel to get there, and likewise, it will always be hard to leave.
My three grandchildren turn a light on in my heart, and I love them dearly – and I also truly enjoy the company of my son and daughter-in-law. Time there is precious. My husband also loves it in the Black Hills area, and we would love to live there at least part time. We have family in New Hampshire, too, though, so we are divided, and it’s impossible to choose one over the other. Sharing is the only solution, and we think perhaps next summer we may go to South Dakota and just stay there so that we can do some wandering around the state to places we have never seen. Perhaps difficult journeys out and sad returns home will be our continued companions, at least for the foreseeable future.
Tonight we’re in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on our way to Utah to Bonneville Salt Flats to watch the land speed record trials. The RV has been acting up since yesterday, though, so the drive today was unsettling. We’re towing my car, and yesterday the RV began lurching. We thought at first it might be seams in the concrete road because of the tow dolly, but that idea was proven wrong when we continued to lurch on different kinds of pavement. Now we think it might be a fuel pump problem, but it’s Saturday night and no mechanic in his or her right mind will be available, so we’ll see how it goes. We also need to replace the air conditioning shroud on the roof – it has been broken by debris hitting it and if we run into rain we might have to put our raincoats on inside! Fortunately out here it doesn’t rain often, and we can cover the unit with plastic if necessary. We’ll continue west tomorrow, hoping that we don’t break down, but we have roadside assistance coverage so other than a delay in our progress it will be OK.
We’re also starting to talk about what national parks we’ll visit after Bonneville. We’re going to stay in the Salt Lake City area for a few extra days to regroup, then we’ll start the national park surfing segment of our Great Adventure. Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and Grand Canyon (North Rim) are all on the list so far among a few others. But we’re likely to change our minds at any time, so we’ll just have to see what we decide when the time comes. It’s funny to watch people’s reactions when they ask us where we’re going. Some just can’t imagine going on vacation without a planned itinerary, and others, like us, are able to enjoy the spontaneity and wandering.
We do enjoy viewing the scenery while we travel around this country of ours. We have determined that every state really does have its own geography, and so you can often tell one state from another if you see typical photos. Wyoming, at least the eastern half, is lonely, and a great representation of the Great Plains.
It’s easy to imagine the Conestoga wagons traversing the Oregon Trail, or the cowboys riding for miles to round up all the cattle. We’ll be driving along, though, and suddenly the plains will open up a new and unusual land form. It keeps me paying attention rather than reading, and driving through new places is lovely and wondrous. We always make sure to keep the gas tank full – it can be a hundred miles or more between stations!
I’m thankful that we have this opportunity to explore our huge and beautiful United States.