Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Where In The World Have I Been?

I intended to blog from the road when I set off spontaneously, a couple of weeks ago, on a 6,000 mile cross country road trip adventure, my first. I’m not really sure why I didn’t. I certainly had time to think and thanks to being able to listen to both local radio and satellite radio, I had plenty about which I could have blogged.US_map_-_states

My only companion and a great traveler was my English Bulldog, Mugsy, soon-to-be three years old and aka Mugs, Mugger, Bubba etc. Mugs loves to ride and he got the ride of a lifetime on this trip. He ranged freely from his bed in the back of the Jeep Wrangler (one of many I’ve owned but the first four door version) and the passenger seat with stops with his front feet on the console to get a better view and give me nuzzles of approval. Mostly he snoozed as he does much of every day.

I’ll write a few more blogs about the trip including observations about the places I saw and the people I met and the things I learned. It took place over the last 12 days of October including stops for a few days to visit my daughter and two grandsons in Salt Lake City, Utah and my Mom and my two sisters in Mill Creek, Washington, several towns north of Seattle. We were driving 7 days in all, including one unplanned all-nighter, both because it was over a patch of very familiar terrain and I suspect to preserve the well deserved reputation I earned during my college days Smile

A trip like this periodically crossed my mind during my during my two decades plus living and working in Durham, North Carolina, the only time I’ve lived on this side of the Rockies. The longest road trip I’ve had during my time here was to the Outer Banks and back and that was due to logistics like ferry rides, not mileage. By the way, the just-completed cross country trip was 2 1/2 times longer than my previous best, a 2,400 miler in 1978 down the Alaska Highway from Anchorage to Spokane. It also included non-stop segments that outperformed a 1,400 miler I did in an Austin Mini (one of several Mini brands preceding today’s BMW version) from Coeur d’Alene, ID to Reseda, CA. The real record on that trip was it included four female family members, each with a different idea of when we needed to make pit stops Smile

I started pondering a cross country trip more often after my retirement on December 31, 2009, just 10 months ago. I even contemplated doing it via the Harley Cross Bones. I postponed it until I had learned to fly an airplane in late September/early October. I wasn’t certain about the actual timing or the day of departure or taking Mugs along until the day prior. It gelled so quickly that I hadn’t even voted early, so getting back in time to vote today became a bookend to the trip.

Acquaintances, new and old, often observe that they never thought I’d enjoy retirement. I clearly loved my 40 years of destination marketing for communities like Spokane, Anchorage and especially Durham but worked at it so intensely that even close friends and family who are familiar with my spontaneous side are amused now because they know how rarely it has emerged over that period.

It feels great and the timing is perfect but I’m still a homebody by nature! Still contemplating a similar trip by motorcycle but I’d definitely need a sidecar for Mugs, don’t you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad that you are ok. You post so regularly that i was starting to get worried. welcome home! lenore