Apr 5, 2007

1425 miles and worlds apart

Wednesday morning in Cimarron and it was time to hit the road. After dumping the holding tanks, making sure the antennas were down, and hooking up the jeep we were on our way. We were both in a quiet, reflective mood. Taos had an effect on both of us and we knew our trip was winding down.

As we drove east through New Mexico the grazing land and ranches were peaceful and the road was smooth. We would spend all of Wednesday on 2 lane roads. Through little towns like Springer, Gladstone, Clayton and Felt. In a few hours we entered Oklahoma, and a short time later Kansas. The miles went by and so did the towns. Keyes, Elkhart, Wilburton, Rolla, Montezuma and Dodge City. Past wind farms, cattle ranches and oil wells. Evening found us at the Flying J in Salina, where we parked for the night.

Thursday morning, after fueling up, we continued east. We were on 4 lane roads today with heavy truck traffic. After passing Topeka and Kansas City, we drove into Missouri. We pulled over to fix lunch at a rest area and it was soon time to head on. We were not in the mood to go through St. Louis so we detoured north to the town of Hannibal. Located on the Mississippi River and home to Mark Twain. I don't know if it was the gray, gloomy weather, or our attitude, but I'm not sure what to say about this town. We spent two nights in Hannibal. You know the saying.... If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything. So I'll leave it at that.

Saturday morning, we decided that we would drive through all the way back to Grand Rapids. So after a eating a quick breakfast we hooked up the jeep and hit the road. Illinois was uneventful including the drive through the Chicago area. We arrived in Grand Rapids at 5:30 and by 7:00 we had the motorhome put away, partly emptied, and had the first carload of stuff ready to take over to the condo.

We had been on the road for almost 3 months and now we were back. I hesitate to use the word home. Because for Judy and I the RV is just as much home as our condo is. We have learned and experienced much on this trip. We made new friends and were able to visit family. We drank 2 Buck Chuck in Quartzite and tasted Port with Chris and Teresa in Paso Robles. Judy finished knitting a baby blanket and learned to make beaded bracelets. I was able to attend a photography workshop. We saw deer, Jack rabbits, elk and elephant seals. We drove past towering redwoods and drove down into canyons. We drove up to Portland and down to Bisbee. We listened to a family sing bluegrass in the desert, and our grandson Nemo sing at Preschool. We went to art museums and admired paintings, and to the desert and admired the petroglyphs We drove on the 5 lane expressways of Los Angeles and the 2 lane roads of Kansas. And you know what? We didn't even scratch the surface of what's out there.

I would be remiss if we didn't thank some people who made our trip possible. Stan and Kathleen are both close friends and business partners. We could not have been away had it not been for their willingness to hold down the fort. I only hope those of you reading this have friends as loyal and faithful as we are blessed to have. I also want to thank our new friends Bob and Linda. They encouraged us to dry-camp out in the desert. Something we weren't sure about. We enjoyed our time together both at Quartzite and Petrified Forest N.P. We look forward to our paths crossing again.

We returned to Michigan with temperatures in the 60's, but as I write this, nature has played a cruel trick on us. As you can see in the picture we have had one last (hopefully) snow storm. We are ready for spring. Sunday is Easter and Melissa, Todd, Emma and Ella will be joining us for the weekend. In a week or so we will hitch up a U-haul trailer to the Expedition and head to NYC. Jonathan has been patiently waiting for his bed, desk, computer and other stuff. We look forward to seeing him and our future daughter-in-law Laura. We will post a few pictures and tell a few stories when we get back. We are so thankful that we were able to make this trip and that we were able to do it safely. What more could we ask for??

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