Posts Tagged With: adventure

Quiet evenings… Loud thoughts

I have spent this weekend getting a LOT done around the house. I mean putting up Christmas items, tossing the tree, re-covering the rig before it snowed again.. (and snow it did, the next day after I covered it). Cleaning the house, doing laundry, little tune ups to the house putting up weather stripping, just little knick knacky things that I would otherwise blow off. Replied to some emails, sent a few pics, putzing around. Trimming up the plants (we have a few now) repotting a couple that for whatever reason were croaking. (trying to grow a green thumb). And during that time, reading up on mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a new concept for me. for the most part, I run through life on autopilot. Seriously. I flit from day-to-day without committing much to memory. And this is a multi-layered problem. Having been diagnosed unofficially with ADD or ADHD, my mind wanders.. a lot.. ooooo look! a bunny! (where was i?) Oh yeah, here. mindfulness.

The other issue was a concussion I received in Oceanside, CA. Myself and five of my buddies went out into town and proceeded to get very very drunk. We were on our way back to the buses to head back to base, one of my friends was carrying another across his shoulders as he had completely passed out, and we had just turned to head towards the bus station. The last thing I remember was seeing my friend hanging from the other guys shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

I woke three days later in a complete stupor in the hospital on base. I was in restraints. I looked down at my wrists and like some really bad movie, I am strapped into the bed. The nurse came in, realized I was finally back in the real world and cut me loose. Turns out I had punched out the doctor in the ER. and, Just like that I am standing outside the hospital trying to figure where in the fuck I am at, who am I, and where in the hell do I go? I hopped a bus and got off at my barracks in the 22 area. I had no idea which room was mine. This was scary as hell. Finally one of the Marines I knew showed me to my room, and it took me weeks to get my brains back to functioning. My short term memory since then has had issues, and long term can be spotty at times..

So with this realization I learned on my own, new tricks to make a memory work, or at least appear to function. Many of these were subconscious, not something I understood, but they worked. Things like studying, if I spend 15 minutes to a half hour of intense studying, I have learned to stop, take a break for about five to seven minutes, surf the web totally random in manner, then get back to the books.. gave me a 3.91 in my Masters. The point being that there are always ways to work around obstacles.

With this in mind, I have been reading about mindfulness, the idea that our minds affect every waking and non-waking moment we have. and what we focus on, what we spend time listening to those little voices in our heads (yes, you have them too) try closing your eyes and focus on only your breathing. In 10 seconds or less your mind will wander down one of those interesting alleyways and it will take conscious effort to bring it back to focusing on just your breathing.

This mindfulness is the concept of teaching yourself how to think with discipline, and focus. To leave anger, hurt, resentment and all those nasty negative thoughts behind you and focus on what is important. The moment you are in.

I learned a lesson through a personal growth seminar that has echoed for me ever since. Your past is your past. learn from it, grow from it, but don’t live in it.. That time is gone. The future is a promissory note. and too many things can happen that can cause that note to vanish like a fart in the wind.

You have right now. Here and now. It is the miracle of being human, of who we are. The question is, what will you do with your moment? Watch TV? Listen to the radio? Focus on how happy you are in this moment? and continue that thought to the next. and the next and the next. Thoughts are creation machines.. You bring to you what you think. It becomes real in one manner or another. It can be the greatest gift one can have or the worst curse.

So for me, mindfulness, being attentive to your thoughts and what you think is becoming more and more important. Trying to wash away the negativity of the world through various means of communication is daunting. Facebook is one of those. For each positive saying or video clips of funny animals and such there has to be five incredibly negative posts about the government, the police, or humanity in general. It is something I have watched for a few years now, and it has not changed much over that time.

Mindfulness tells you to be careful what you feed your mind, it absorbs everything.. and those little voices that we all listen to day in and day out? Tend to echo what we absorb. And after a while? We cannot discern the ugliness from the world and the ugliness that comes from us. I think the point here (if there is one as this is the ramblings of .. oooo LOOK! a bunny!).. uh, let’s see, where was… oh yeah, the point here is be careful how you feed your thoughts and what your listen to. It can be the nastier side of the human race,

Or the most beautiful

Namaste.

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Categories: Adventure, Religious, Spiritual | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sleepless in Anchorage

Last night Lynda and I decided to have a snuggle night and with my tv (she won’t claim to own one) we decided on “Sleepless in Seattle”. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.. Innocent enough, and Lynda mentioned she had never seen it.

For those of you that have not seen it, the story is about loss and renewal. The story is of a husband who loses his soul mate to some undefined disease. The opening scene is from a graveside service with the boy and the dad standing at the grave site and his dad is trying to explain to his son that there didn’t seem to be any specific reason for his wife dying, that it was simply life being random in its selection of those it takes. and even more so: “If we start asking why, we’ll go crazy”.. I quit asking why her very, very quickly. Anger is an emotion that can spin out of control.

While Lynda and I lie on the couch, the year 2001 came roaring back in vivid color. My emotions, while under some sense of control, was given the reminder of what it means to lose a soul-mate. Something, even as I write can cause my eyes to leak. The movie went on that since his loss, “Sam” the person that Tom Hanks plays, cannot sleep. I remember that well. At the very best,  I could catch 1/2 hour cat naps once or twice during the day. And for those that know my penchant for sleeping at the drop of a hat, that is a big statement.

At that point in time, as far as I was concerned, my married days were over.  Sure, I would date, but the idea of finding another soul mate in this life time was zero. I had my time in the sunshine, Connie was my girl and she was gone, much like Sam’s in the movie. Eventually I became functional, but the words that Tom Hanks uttered hit home harder than I expected.. he was quoting me… “Wake up, take a breath, remember to breathe out, take another step”.. repeat. and remember to breathe in.. and take another step.

It was if “Sam” and I had walked in the same shoes down the same dark trail. Scary indeed. Lynda checked in with me a couple of times, but I was determined to watch the movie through. I can remember doing much like the character, lying on a couch talking to Connie as if she were standing right there. that was my new normal.

At some point in the movie there was a part where Sam was about to get mixed up with the wrong person, and his son fixed it for him. I can remember coming dangerously close to the same thing. Someone I was dating was looking for much more than I was willing to give. But in the end that ended well.

As the movie progressed it told of “fate”. of “knowing” when you have met someone that you have no doubt you will love for the rest of your life. That you have “found home” even knowing you had never seen it before, that this was where you were meant to be.

To quote Sam: “I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic”

When Lynda and I reconnected, I was nervous.. scared. Worried that again, I was making a mistake in reaching out to someone, but the funny part? I knew it deep in my bones that Lynda was the only one on the planet that had a chance of pulling me out of the world I had grown into.

When we met at the airport, that world began to melt away, the darkness, the loss, the hurt suddenly began to dissipate, evaporate. The passion was there, but there was something else. Like with Connie, when I heard her laugh at that restaraunt, I knew something was about to happen, and when I laid eyes on her, I knew.. I knew in my heart, that she was going to be my wife.

Lynda and I left airport terminal and went out to my truck. We hopped in and I started the engine. I reached over and took Lynda’s hand and the world stopped. I mean it stopped cold. That touch, that hand hold, took both our breaths away. At that point, I realized two things.

One.

I had judged every hand I had ever held based on that very same hand that I held from my high school days. With no doubt, every girl I dated, every female I had ever held hands with, that hand, Lynda’s hand, was what I judged every woman on, for better or worse. It was one of the most wonderful epiphanies I have ever had

Two

I had just become the luckiest guy in the universe. I had found what I deemed impossible, a second soul mate. I mean that. When you meet someone, that one person, you know it. There is, and was, no doubt, that Lynda and I would spend the rest of our days together, however long those days would be.  I describe it as the world suddenly “clicking” into place and the hands of fate had come full circle.

The movie helped me to remember that sometimes, when you lose something special, that in that moment, the universe is by far the most cruel thing there is. And in the next moment, when you find yourself staring at a magical place in time, that you use that memory to reach out instead of hide.. take that leap of faith and see what may be.

There is magic in this world, just remember to keep your eyes open to it. Sometimes it is something as easy as an email to someone you haven’t seen in 22 years.

May your new year be just that, a new year, full of excitement, adventure, fun, and love. Keep those that you care about close to you, never let them doubt how you feel, and live with a sense of urgency… Live the life that you dream of, and keep your eyes open.. The universe is stranger than fiction.

 

 

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Cancer, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Road trip from Hades

Trip from Hades…

 

Lynda and I left St Cloud, Florida, a nice quiet little lake in Florida that had herons, cattle egrets, and Sand Hill Cranes galore.. Even had a couple of gators and their buddies the turtles that would hang out on the beach during the day and just sun. Very relaxing, but also eye opening. Lynda realized that she no longer had the attraction to Florida that it once held for her. For me, this was a huge deal as we almost bought property there sight unseen.

We finally agreed that we liked the idea of Colorado as home, we had discussed that as teenagers. Then, Lynda’s uncle, Dan, had met his hot new 77-year-old honey and they had bought a home together and he was selling his at a pretty good price. Lynda woke up one morning at 3 am and had an idea. (She at least waited until I woke up later on) and asked “Why don’t we buy Dan’s house”? and the decision was made. We called her uncle and made our proposal.

I flew back to San Diego to see my doc, and to pick up Lynda’s car to drive to Grand Junction.. woo HOO Chrysler Crossfires do haul buns and handle nicely.. I spent an extra day in Vegas to hang with our friends, Vicki and Brad. What a great time. I left Lynda’s car in Grand Junction, landed a job at the same time (being late to the interview due to my own scheduling snafu) then flew back to Orlando where Lynda picked me up and the next day? The Hades launch was made.

I had noticed a slight vibration in the rig that seemed to be increasing, just a bit each day. And that there was a lurch of sorts when we took off from a stop.. I just chalked it up to the truck weighing a ton (3 tons to be precise). And off we went. We traveled through Georgia and into Arkansas with little issue along the way, other than changing the route a couple of times, but all in all not a big deal. We stopped by her nephew’s place where they had just had a little kiddo and we wanted to see everyone and that was very pleasant.

We loaded up into “Koko” and off we went. The vibration getting more noticeable and I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent. We pulled out of a KOA in the middle of the night, not knowing the way out of the park, with my truck in tow. I rounded this rather sharp turn, and instead of saying “honey, I can’t see shit, spot me outside”, I just said screw it, “I got this” and CRUNCH. Stopped the rig Lynda hopped out the back and sure as shit, I had swiped one of the poles that were already tilted from other hits on the side of the curve. I had mashed the running board on my truck. 15,000 miles or so with some close calls and Walla, I had finally run out of luck.

I jumped out, tired and frustrated and had to work with a hammer to get the truck disconnected from the rv. Got it parted, and backed the truck up. Still runnable, just cosmetic damage. So decided I would keep it, have a new paint job and some bodywork and keep it for a while longer. I also noticed I was getting warmer as the evening progressed. Later as we were coming into Oklahoma, I came off an off ramp that had a serious left turn, and the guy in the outer lane to me, just didn’t budge an inch, so I had a choice, take out the truck or take the curb with the back wheel. I took the curb

Ever been in an RV when you run over a curb on the rear wheel? It rocks like nothing you have ever sat in.. I thought shit was going to fly out of every cabinet and cupboard… Lynda went “HOLY SHIT” and I said a lot worse… but just a curb.. We arrived at the RV site in Oklahoma City and I am seeing stars… funny stars, when Lynda leans over and says, “Honey, I think you are running a temperature. I kind of ignored it wondering what has spilled out over the curb dance we had done.

Lo and behold the shower filter I had haphazardly installed had snapped off. It had been installed on the water pressure valve that keeps the water pressure down in the shower. Small plastic spindle that screws into the shower handles that when you turn them allows water to flow through the showerhead. I looked at it and thought, “ok, I knew I half ass installed that, so penalty box time”. So I went out and got my new trusty toolbox muttering to myself the entire time, and Lynda says “Honey, why don’t you take a nap”? Again, ignored her, then finally said, “Hey, I gotta fix this if we are gonna shower”.

In the meantime, the inverter gave us an error message and was beeping out loud. At first I thought the system was just goofed up from one to many bounces so I reset all the breakers and checked what I knew to check and to no avail, the beeping continued. Lynda finally grabbed the inverter manual and I read up on that. Turns out that the reason it was beeping was that the batteries were at a minimum charge and were not accepting anymore. I.e.? Your batteries are toast. Which means if we get new ones it is a 700-dollar investment and we are about to park the rig for 2 years. Something else we both knew was coming, we were just hoping to get to Grand Junction. So, solution? Turn off the inverter and use the generator.

I turned back to the shower in a temperature-laden haze and looked at the piece of plastic still screwed into the shower faucet. The only way I could figure to get it out was to get a knife, tap it down until it got a bite, then turn it and screw the plastic piece out. If that didn’t work, I can just replace the entire faucet and call it good, but the plastic piece is only 5 bucks the handles and plumbing are more like 50 bucks or better.

I pulled out my trusty scuba knife and opened it up.. thought I heard the “snick” of the blade locking into place and I put the knifepoint down into the hole where the plastic piece was screwed in and brought my hand down on it forcefully. Not real hard, but enough to get a substantial bite into the plastic.

 

Snick

 

The blade folded and closed and my finger was in it. Blood shot across the shower and all I can think is “Shit, this might be bad, that is a REALLY sharp knife”.. and I quickly reopened the knife, which sent more blood shooting across the shower. F&*K F&*K F&*K and I am trying to find a towel, anything, and find a washcloth. In the meantime, Lynda has a business call in two minutes and she sees the little spurt of blood in the shower. Now she is a little frustrated with me as I ignored her in the first place.. remember the “nap” suggestion? So she is scrambling trying to patch my stupid finger up and take a call and I am standing there somewhere between a really good fever and being pissed that I just cut myself AND haven’t fixed a damn thing in days.

Magically Lynda gets a couple of band aids on my finger and I just toss the knife into my tool bag, look at her and say “Know what? Gonna go take that nap”. And off I go. She looks at me like “DUH” and goes and takes her call. Over the next three days I let the temperature go where it will and finally on the third day I take some ibuprofen to dampen down a splitting headache. Next day? Starting to feel better. We decide we can fix all this crap when we get into Grand Junction. So other than a mild hack and a temp that comes and goes, I don’t feel all that bad.. Normally I would be flat on my back with bronchitis, but Lynda has learned a few things in alternative medicine, and while I may be skeptical, this is the second time I have stayed on my feet and haven’t ended up with bronchitis or worse. She is on to something

We finally end up in Albuquerque, and visit my sister. We go out to our favorite Mexican restaurant called Sadie’s, and I order a Chile Relleno. GREAT food and safe for me cause I am not allergic to them! Woot woot says I… They bring the plates and we dig in, laughing about the trip from hades and then I notice a taste.. something I haven’t had for…. Years. Potatoes… mmmmmmm and I am allergic as hell to them. They cause asthma in my lungs. Son of a …. So I take Benadryl that night and wake up, no problems.. I am impressed! Woot woot says I, dodged that bullet. We bid my little sister adieu and head off to Grand Junction.

Now that vibration? Is getting really bad. We pull over in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico so I can look at nothing I truly understand. The first time I look at the U joints? They look ok, not loose, not goofy, so nothing makes sense. We go down the road another 10 miles and I say ok, I have to look again. This time? Oh shit, the U-joint is breaking up. One of the clasps that keeps the yoke in place are broken. I don’t think we will make it much further.

We agree to take the Toyota off the back and have me drive it and follow Lynda to Farmington, New Mexico, 77 miles away. The entire way we are both saying “Just a little further, just a little further”. We pull into Farmington and I Google truck repair. We find Bruckner’s Sales and Service for large trucks. We pull in and they say “Yep, we can work on your rig, no problem”. Later the shop manager comes up to us and says, yeah, you’re right, your U-joint is out, and so is the Yoke, and we are checking the driveline. Turns out the driveline is fine, but the U-joints and the Yoke need replacement. They tell us that they can order them and have them in the next day and have us on the road by 1 or 2. GREAT shop. We get a motel room and just relax.

The next day we get to the shop and they are doing a great job, quick and the labor was pretty cheap. The parts? Not so much. All things said and done the job was about 1300 dollars for the job. About what I figured it would be. And the reason it failed? No grease. I thought a shop in Washington had greased it for some reason when they changed the oil. Live and learn. We pulled into Grand Junction and my list of repair work is finally stabilized.. and my finger, thanks to the fingernail being in the way is still attached.

The road trip for a lifetime is winding down for now, and the house trip for a lifetime (or for at least two years) is winding up. Stay tuned, Lynda’s uncle has agreed to teach me how to remodel a house… Anyone know where I can find my scuba knife to pound a nail into a shingle?

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Cancer, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ccccchanges… think that is a song…

Well, the fun part about this road trip for a lifetime is that we are fluid. Like the blades of glass in the wind, we know when to bend with the wind, and let go that of being as a tree that can often be broken in the gale force of a storm.

Lynda has taken on a masters degree in complimentary and alternative medicine. She and I have spent the last, what, 8 years researching alternative methods for treating cancer, as the standard therapies just didn’t sound all that good. And truth be told we will never truly know what was the better of two choices, alternative or standard, except that against all odds, she is still alive and very very healthy.

I am quoting statistics here, and for those fighting this disease, please PLEASE skip this paragraph, you do NOT need the following information rattling around in your noodle. Based on standard medicine’s therapies, once a cancer metastasizes to another place, it is referred to as stage IV. and that is considered to be terminal. Just a matter of time. The best they can do is just that, maybe, is buy you time.

There are, however, many people that have gone on to survive and for whatever reason, live on quite well, with no signs of cancer. Everyone that has survived has a different story. Some claim it was God, while others claim science, and still others claim a mixture of all of it. Lynda and I feel that what works for one person, may or may not work for another. We remain of the same opinion that while cancer is a devastating word to hear in the same sentence with your own name, it is seldom a health emergency.

Your doctor, depending on who that person is, may feel differently, and that for their own reasons. Our opinion is this, try the alternative therapies first. Those that promote healing, a healthy environment that cancer has a hard time growing in, and boosting your immune system as well as you can. Become your own advocate, research, listen, ask questions on EVERYTHING… and at the end of the day if these less invasive procedures don’t work?

Go give the western medicine a roll of dice and see what you get. If nothing else you may be in better shape to deal with chemo and radiation. It may fix you if the other did not… but remember, it is toxic, it is physically devastating, and may or may not work, that is something that you, unfortunately (or fortunately) have to find out on your own. But long and the short of it, you are on a path that is scary, full of trials and tribulations and will rock your world forever, regardless of outcome.

Yet, in that, for the first time in years, Lynda and I are truly planning on a future. I mean that. This road trip? It was the result of having a conversation with my younger sister, Daonne, while I was dealing with Lynda’s cancer having resurfaced. Lynda had some blockage, her intestine swelled shut. No reason why, just did. They finally agreed on surgery after a few days in the hospital. Turns out she had a single cell of cancer called a “strand” in the lining of her intestine.  Not on the outside, not on the inside but actually inside the wall of the intestine, just a single cell, but enough to piss off her intestine to the point of closing.

The surgeon that did the work said he had never seen anything like that before. And Lynda has heard that statement more times than we care to admit. So while I was home pretty much freaking out about all this as I had true flashbacks of watching my first wife, Connie die from cancer, my younger sister asked me what I was going to do if I lost Lynda.

Stopped me in my tracks. Cold. Never once, even during my freaking out did I truly think that was possible. I never let my mind go down that path. Ever. But, there I was, finally having to face my absolute worst fear. I spit out something to the effect of “Disappear” “Vanish” go on a permanent walkabout, travel the US, go skiing, go backpacking, but leave people alone for awhile…

I knew that if that happened, my world would be gone.. Just as it had done when Connie died. That was the day my world ended. and it started back up again when Lynda walked back into my life. and to be honest, if that happened, that would be it.. There is no other “Lynda” in my life..

Little sister processed that… not sure how or when, but later on, Lynda approached me and asked me if that is what I said. I told her “Yes, without you, I have no world to be in”. She said, “Well, if you would do that without me, why not do it WITH me”? and so our road trip for a lifetime began. Short spurts, buying the rig, living in it while we figured out what we could do or not do, and it came together. At the same time, we went for another PET scan to see what more damage had been done. The last time we ran one, we found four spots total. the original on her shoulder, two spots on her spine and one in her hips.

We were prepared for the worst. Lynda and I had finally tried out last shot, Lynda did a regimen of baking soda and black strap molasses for 3 weeks or so. She started off with one tsp of baking soda mixed with 1tsp of black strap molasses once a day, then three times a day, then 2tsp three times a day until she was up to something like 8 tsp of each a day… she started getting a bit loopy, so she came back down to 1tsp a day and started taking milk thistle as well as the baking soda made her liver feel “weird”…

We went into the PET scan with the expectations of “holy shit batman” it is worse. Dr. Sinclair gave us the results. two spots were dead. two were seriously fading and no signs anywhere else… Whatever you are doing? Keep doing it. Lynda took him up on that and began adding other items in. Raw Veganism, supplements that fight cancer without being toxic, boosting the immune system and removing every possible toxin she can from her system and from what she is exposed to.

So, for the first time in over two years? We are truly planning a future beyond next month. She is pursuing her degree. We are trying to buy a house in Grand Junction. I am interviewing for a position with Mesa county. We are looking at a timeline beyond next month. The road trip? I think for both of us, maybe subconsciously, was to avoid thinking too hard about next month or next year. Instead, focus on the now, the present, the journey, and that is still our focus, but for the first time in a while?

It looks like the journey might just be a bit longer than we imagined. Will see.

Thank you all for sharing our trip with us, as it will continue. We may settle in Grand Junction, we may not. It truly depends on a myriad of “things” coming together. We may not be able to get a loan for the home, and in that case, we will keep doing what we do.. The name of the game? Stay fluid, and enjoy the ride.

Hippiness

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Cancer, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Dash

I once heard from a guy or read in a book, I don’t remember which, that a guy was standing at a grave site and looking at the headstone. On that headstone was two dates. And he was staring very intently at those two dates. Someone standing next to him made a comment about the end date.. and how final it was. The guy looked over and said that those two dates had no significance, instead it was the “dash”. The point in between the two dates. “We are all born, and we all die, but the dash is the important part, how you live your life”. Then he turned and walked away from the stone.

That, among many things I have heard or read over the years had an impact on how we live. Lines that I often quote are some from “The Shawshank Redemption”…

Get busy living or get busy dying.

Lynda and I chose the former. When faced with some really shitty news, or given a dire diagnosis, everyone gets to make a choice. Sometimes that choice is to do nothing and let life take its course. One is to fight tooth and nail for every moment, and use every tool available to scratch out what is hopefully another minute of life. Another still is to choose a different path. Let the diagnosis do whatever it may, but instead of focusing on treating the disease, make the best educated choices you can, and then?

Get busy living.

So since Lynda’s dire diagnosis, Lynda chose to educate herself as well as she could, use the tools, but instead of just focusing on survival, to get busy living a life that is as packed full of stories that we could load into a lifetime, be it just a day away or fifty years away. We focus on the here and now, and keep an eye on the future. What people don’t seem to understand is…… that we get it.

Yesterday is a cashed check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is ready cash… Spend it wisely.

With that frame of mind, we are packing as much as we possibly can into this life, hoping for a future, but not willing to bet our lives on it. Instead bet on here and now, as that is our “dash” our important part. Our plans or our “bucket list” grows daily. And what shakes out is what shakes out. But that current list goes something like this:

  • Tibet – Being on part of a medical team to help the folks there, backpacking from town to town
  • Africa – A photo safari of the migrations there
  • British Virgin Islands – An island hopping trip for 10-14 days with close friends
  • Alaska – Road trip in our RV so Lynda can see all the majesty that I have seen
  • Europe – Greece, Italy, backpacking through Europe on a European Tran Pass and see Europe first hand
  • Diving in Palau
  • Diving in Australia
  • Visit New Zealand
  • Backpack on the Appalachian Trail
  • Backpack through the Black Hills
  • More backpacking in Alaska

Just a start, with Lynda doing her Masters, it may be a bit before the major push on this list. The Masters in complimentary and alternative medicine is another bucket list item for Lynda, and that is underway. However, while she works on this bucket list item, I can work on mine. What I will ask from each of you that follows this blog, take some time and make a bucket list. Day dream, play fantasy, and write down the things in life you would truly like to do… Then pick the top three.

Then make plans to do that bucket list item. What will that item take? How will you do that adventure? and plan your goal out. plan for the time off from work. plan for the expenses. Make that adventure your goal. Tell your friends about what that “bucket list item” is. Everyone lives in the thought of “I have time”. and I am sure that those people who went to work on 9/11 in New York thought the exact same thing. And it truly sucks to have your life cut short with no warning. And folks? That is usually the way it works. You are there one minute. And gone in the next.

So do Lynda and myself a favor. Let us inspire your “dash”. Let our adventures inspire you to reach yours. Use your passion, your imagination and your dreams to be your guide. Time is no ones friend. It is the one thing you cannot get more of nor can you get it back once it is spent. But you can make the most of what you have. Do that for us. Do that for you.

Make your dash count…

 

erick and Lynda bristlecones  2013 NOLS ELLE B

E&L IMG_2274

Erick Lynda Garrett -2 Table Rock Jungle Erick and Lynda

20131107_103749  IMG_3965

Namaste

 

 

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

I am shamed

I have been incredibly remiss in my writing on our blog. My uncle, the kind and generous (and ORIGINAL) JC has let me know that he is quite entertained with our sordid trips and adventures, so, with some prodding from my dear uncle Jack, here is our latest in adventures…

My wife recently ventured forth into the wilds of Connecticut and went to what she thought was a Vegan non-cooking class. Much to her surprise, and enjoyment, the course was much more than that. It was about healthy living, how to cleanse your body, and a chance meeting with some very interesting people. (And being a blooming Buddhist, I don’t believe in chance meetings, life hands us opportunities, and what we do with them? Well, we do with them). So with that, she met some really nice people and found a new niche that truly fits her passions. Health coaching while she pursues her Masters degree in complimentary and alternative medicine. She found that she had educated herself and helping people became second nature. In her mind, it was the next logical step.. pursuing education, and traveling to find new front yards.

Lynda found that the Masters in that specialty would give her more credibility, as well as better researching skills that are more credible versus “finding stuff” on the internet. This has me congratulating her as I know she has a true passion for this modality, this helping people to help themselves. Lynda spent the week with soon to be colleagues, and companions, and by the time she left the class she already had her first client. This is outstanding says I! Woot Woot! says I. Soon my wife is coming home for some serious Snugglebunnies! woot woot says I!… Of course all this in emails as my wife dropped her iPhone and much to everyone’s amazement, the voice side of the iPhone no longer functions. The data side does, so we are now limited to emails to one another. Woot Woot! says I! we can still communicate! I am a happy man.

Now, I get a phone call, from a number that I do not recognize. It is my lovely wife, and I go from “HEY Baby!” to… “Uh, what’s wrong”? Turns out she missed her flight. The hotel told her what time to be ready, and that she would be perfectly fine and on time. The cab showed up on time, she hopped in and off she went! Flying high and low through the exciting town of Simsbury to Hartford… She arrived at the airport, all smiles, going home! And the plane was boarding as she arrived at the ticketing counter. They lined her up for the next flight, number 2 in standby. Oh, and guess what else was happening at the same time? Come on, guess! Nope, nope and nope. It was Spring Break! and guess what was over sold? Yep, every flight Lynda tried to get on for standby. But m’lady was not to be deterred, with laptop in hands, she goes to Expedia and gets the last seat on the last flight that evening out of Hartford to Denver! woot woot!

Eight hundred dollars later and she is in the air! And we are still communicating through emails as the iPhone has not magically fixed itself. (I will have Steve Jobs look into this in his next life). But I have the time and arrival at Denver, and being in Breckenridge on a good day, is about a 2 hour drive. I decide to get a hotel near the airport and I will leave early as I have absolutely nothing else to do, might as well enjoy a few hours in Denver, and off I go! The snow is falling heavily, and I, being the safe guy, decide as I enter I-70, that slowing down a bit would be a good idea, and I gear down to 45mph. The guy ahead of me in a “dually” Ford (you know the kind that has four tires in the back of a BIG pickup truck) keeping speeds similar, neither of us wanting to test the great snow gods and their penchant for playing slippery games on ice and snow. We rounded a corner and to both our surprise, the traffic is at a complete stop.

The local gendarmes made the intelligent choice of stopping traffic on a curve so that to our amazement, you don’t see it until you are right on top of it. Guess what doesn’t work too well on snow and ice? Yes, brakes! The snow gods begin to giggle… snicker even, as they want to see just how fast the two of us can shut down our trucks before we plow into the waiting audience sitting in the non-moving traffic. Now? The eyes of Denver are upon us, wide and fearful the trucks both begin to slide.. this way, then that way. I am trying to judge which one is better, the sitting traffic, the guy in the truck or the meridian that is not but snow, grass and mud. The guy in the truck ahead of me manages to miss the sitting traffic where the people are in wide wonder with the “O” look on their face.. You know the kind.. the kind that right before a really nasty accident, all the spectators make that OOOOOOO sound as the victim gets creamed.

I use my driving skills from Alaska that would have made Mario Andretti proud. I swing between the still sliding truck and the traffic and launch down the steep embankment of the meridian that only snow, ice and mud, with some sprinkling of frozen grass. The crowd cheers on with that “OOOOOOOO” noise as I fly down the embankment and twist back and forth keeping it from doing a three sixty and tossing me into places that I really don’t want to explore. As the speed diminishes, my heart begins beating again. I look up and the crowd goes wild! I wave them a “Aw shucks I knew what I was doing” look and put the truck in gear and go forward.. Nothing. hmmm backwards. I have traction. Forward. slow, side to side, then nothing. Reverse! woot woot says I, and off we go for a city block, but not UP the way I want to go. Forward, and I find that I cannot climb the bank to the I-70 going West.  Solution? straight down the middle in low four, and to the road where the cops usually sit and up and over I go! woot woot says I, and back to the rig we go.

I return to the rig, no worse for the wear, but wanting a triple shot of tequila, and, knowing I can’t, I settle for just sitting in the comfie chair and relaxing. I will try again in a few hours. Time goes by and my heart slows, and my hands begin to return to their normal state. I can no longer bend steel with them… (or steering wheels). I get back in the truck and off we go to Denver. This time? a little slower and wary of those sneaky assed Snow Gods that damn near scored a home run.

I arrive at the hotel, and to my enjoyment, it is a very nice hotel, staffed by wonderful people. I lay low for an hour then head to the airport and pick up my wife. woot woot! Happiness and Snugglebunnies! We laugh about the day, and head back to the hotel. It is cold and slick but I am wary of those Snow Gods and I drive “vewy vewy cawfuwwy” as Elmer Fudd would say. We arrive at the hotel without any further incidents. The past is behind us. Plan to drive about a mile and a half to a Verizon store, pick up a new phone and head to Breckenridge. and in the distance I hear the Snow Gods chuckling again.

Next morning we jump up, we are invigorated we are going HOME! woot woot! so we pack our bags, say goodbye to the hotel and jump in the truck.. Start her up and guess what? Nope.. not that… Nope.. nope, steering doesn’t work! Seems my steering fluid is gone. but HEY! being the wrenchy kinda guy, I have some spare fluid in the truck no problem. Pour some in it works for about 30 feet, and back to almost impossible to steer. We decide to drive to the Verizon store where I try to figure out what happened. In the meantime, Lynda goes in to look at a new phone. “Mrs. Carpenter, how are you today” is how it started.. Then it went to, “Wellllll let’s see….” “No insurance on your iPhone”, and not time to upgrade, and well, looks like yer little “oopsy daisy” is going to run about 500.00. Not sure if Lynda’s jaw is still on the floor there or not. In the meantime the very nice gal at the store tried putting in a new SIM chip to see if that might work and the iPhone Gods and Steven Jobs were not looking out for her that day.

The gal at the store said, hey, we have options. and this is what they are. We traded in her half working iPhone and spread the cost out over a year. The new and improved iPhone 5? Came to an additional 27.00 a month on our bill. woot woot! (I think) and in the meantime, Mr “I can fixit” decides that this problem is past his skill set, and sets forth to find a solution. Together we decide to do another night at the hotel so Lynda can make her coaching appointments and so I can find a local repair shop. I call what I later discover is a local Subaru dealer who does not work on Toyota’s but, knows someone close by who does. I drive about 5 miles with steering wheel that truly hates to function at this point. I manage to make it to the shop and they proceed to order one hose and replace 3 others. They show me the hoses… cracked from years of use… and the pressure hose? Not sure, but my “Ride of the Snow Gods” may very well have knocked it loose, but they weren’t sure.

Regardless for 225.00 they had me out the door in a couple of hours. I was very impressed. I drove back to the hotel where Lynda had kept all her appointments and at the end of the day? All was good. We enjoyed the evening in the hotel, got up the next morning and played “Ground Hog Day” with no repeats. We returned to our home on wheels, thumbed my nose at the great Snow Gods, and retired to our living room, deciding at the end of the day, it was all good.

However, I had some errands to get done prior to leaving the next day to Kansas. I lept into my repaired truck and drove up to the office of Tiger Run RV Resort. As I stepped out of my truck, once again, I heard the chuckle of the Snow Gods… I brushed it aside, as I am done with you! Nyah! to you I fly the middle finger! Yes! See my poor opinion of you as it flies PROUDLY!.. and in to the office I go. I speak to the ladies at the desk, flirting a bit if you will, as I have overcome the trials and adversities that have beset and destroyed lesser men! We banter, we chortle, enjoying the last day at Breckenridge ready for NEW lusty adventures on the road.

I leave the office with a dance in my step and a smile on my lips. Once again, I hear laughter in the winds.. I pay them no heed. Leaping into my newly repaired and trusty steed, I fire her up and back out.. and the laughter in the wind? Yeah, it turns into one of those damn belly laughs. My steering wheel doesn’t work again. I go from happy as a lark to “I am gonna kill somebody” and head back to the rig. I pop the hood and discover that the mechanic that had worked on my truck (I know he was frustrated) didn’t put the clamp on one of the hoses, and it popped off. I found the clamp, put the hose back on, and clamped the hose down. No problem, “Mr Fixit” to the rescue! However, I was out of power steering fluid and the closest place was 2 miles away.

“No problem!” says I! woot woot! Let’s go for a jog says I! woot woot! So I go inside, dress warmly and head on down the road. Mind you I have NEVER run at altitude and we are at 9500 feet. I make it to the building center where I find two jugs of steering fluid as I blindly grope for them.. Running at altitude does wonderful things to your body.. your lungs, eyes, legs, yeah, pretty much all of it. But I am a tougher man than most! So out the door I go with steering fluid in pack and find the local jogging trail next to the road. (One I had not seen on my way to the center). I am a happy runner! woot woot says I

I return to the rig and realize that I just put every ounce of energy into that run that I had. I poured a jug and a half of power steering fluid into the truck, went inside and passed out. Woke up two hours later with my lovely wife gazing at me with sparkles in her eye and laughter on her lips.. and her loving words?

Over did it, didn’t ya?

and in the distance I hear that damn laughter again.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Colorado… land of dreams…

It was the back to school dance of 1980. I (Lynda) was starting my sophomore year: Erick was starting his Junior year at Goddard High School in Roswell, NM. That was when it all started.  Erick had seen me during the school year but I was going steady (remember that term) with a friend of his named Frank. Frank and I broke up over the summer and I was a single girl… until that Back to School dance. Erick wasted no time. He immediately asked me to dance and we danced all night together. Yes, he asked for my phone number and with much excitement I gave it to him.

When he called the next week (he was genius) he said that he was taking his younger sister to the circus in town and would I like to go. How could mom say no to that? He was such a gentleman. He, of course, met my parents and promised to have me home right after the circus. He opened my door and did all the things that a young man is supposed to do. Oh, and he cleaned up so nice. I was so proud to take his arm and hold his hand and walk next to him. Little did I know that 22 years later when I took that hand again it would take our breath away. More on that later…

As we began to get more and more serious in our dating he gave me a Promise Ring. It had our names down each side and a tiny diamond at the top. We talked about where we would go after we graduated high school. I had moved to Roswell in the summer of 1979 between ninth and tenth grade. My freshman year, 1978, was spent in Colorado Springs; CO. Colorado was greener than anything I had ever seen at the time.

My parents moved there from Oceanside, CA where I went to seventh and eights grade.  Oceanside was ok but it was a rough time for me and I was thrilled to leave. Colorado was different. I had always lived in the desert, never where the scent of pines filled the air and there was snow.  And yes, I had to walk a quarter mile in the snow to wait for the school bus. We had 3 acres just outside of Colorado Springs and we could look out over the city lights at night and see the tram lights as they went up the side of Pikes Peak. Under a full moon the snow on the mountains would glisten and reflect the moonlight. Twinkling stars were everywhere.

We decided after graduation we would move to Colorado and buy an A-frame house and grow old together. We talked about living in Colorado; what it would be like and what we would do.

Well, he had difficulty with a certain vice-principle in school. It was clear that Mr. Lair was going to do everything he could to see that Erick didn’t graduate. Erick knew he couldn’t support me without an education so he went to speak to the recruiters. He would have liked to join the Air Force but poor vision and glasses deleted that option so instead he enlisted in the Marines. He knew I would talk him out of it so he didn’t tell me until right before he left for boot camp. I was angry. No, I was Livid! But there was nothing I could do but let him go and promise to be here when he came home.

He came home after graduation from boot camp. OMG did he looked good. He walked taller and straighter than I had ever seen anyone walk. He was no longer a high school kid, he had become not just a man; he had become a Marine. He was home for about 15 days and then he was gone again. He had become a Marine, but I was still just a high school girl whose worth is measured by whether she had a date to the prom. Long story short, I lasted through boot camp but I didn’t have what it took to wait for him to come home again. So our romance ended with a letter.

It was 10 years ago; November seventh, 2003 when I got the email that said, “Is this the same Lynda Smith?” When he later asked, “What are you doing?” my response was “leaving a bad job and a bad relationship” He said, “Why don’t you come up to Alaska?” and I did. We knew that we had unfinished business. He met me in the airport with twenty-two red and pink roses (one for each year we had been apart) and a fur coat – it was winter in Alaska.

When we saw each other we both started running. he was trying to video me but dropped the camera to his side as the microphone of the still rolling camera recorded “oh my God.” We embraced, in the middle of the isle until security asked us to move. We gathered our things, I donned the fur and we walked – or should I say floated – outside to the parking area. Just like in high school he opened my door, helped me in and as I shook off the cool night air, he appeared in the driver’s seat of the Land Cruiser.

As if there had never been a day missed, our hands met on the console and our fingers interlaced. The moment our fingers found each other, we both gasped for air. The feeling of our hands together took both our breath away. Apparently every handhold for 22 years was unconsciously compared to that handhold. It was as though our hands found home. Once we found our breath, we kissed again. It was a long, hard, welcome-home kiss.

Now thirty-two years later as I type this we are traveling in Koko (our home on wheels) to set up in Breckenridge, Colorado for the ski season. He just asked me “how do you like our A-Frame” my response… “I think I‘ll adjust.” No, Koko isn’t exactly an A-Frame, I think maybe she is better.

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

We will spend the majority of the winter here in Breckenridge with our Epic Ski Pass. The Epic gives us access to several ski resorts in Colorado but also 2 in California and four in Europe – should we choose to go there. The month of December we will fly down to Belize where we will SCUBA dive the Blue Hole, tour the Mayan ruins in Guatemala, go hiking, cave tubing, zip lining, you name it.

And then? In January back here to finish out the ski season before meandering our way to the Florida Keys for more SCUBA diving.  We couldn’t do that sort of thing if we had a traditional A-Frame. So yes, I think I will adjust to our “A-Frame”

This dream took 33 years to bring to fruition. Let’s create another one that is 32 years in the making. But this time, lets enjoy all those years together. I love you, Babe.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Down time

Well, after an exciting and enjoyable hike in the Wind River Mountains, Lynda and I are going to relax in Kalispell, Montana. We need some repairs done to the rig that are over due (result of a generator fire in Wyoming where someone put their generator too close to some trees) The embers came down on our awnings so those need to be replaced.

Next we are meeting some friends, Greg and Aleicia Landon that I haven’t see in 10 years, and have wondered about for the past few weeks. I had remembered that they had headed down this way, then a few days ago, Aleicia found me on face book.. Small small world

So Lynda has to put in some work time tomorrow and Tuesday, and I will be doing some work myself, mostly on managing the Allstate claim, the repairs and so on. In the meantime, a friend sent us a few more photos of our backpacking adventure with NOLS. (National Outdoor Leadership School). Folks these people are amazing as are their courses. AND they are tax write offs, so we intend do do a few more.

I am looking at one of their course, hiking the Dolomite’s in Italy. Another one of those “bucket list” things…

Dolomites

We are also prepping for our month long trip down to Belize, which should be a divers dream.  We just finalized our costs for that with our travel agent, Christine Cotten. GREAT travel agent for two clueless travelers.

But for now? Dinner with friends.. Then while Lynda is working I will also look into day hikes in Glacier National Park. We may or may not make it to Mt Rainier this year, and if not, no worries we will catch it on our way to Alaska next year.

Now for a change of pace. I have read several blog sites that entertain our way of life. and it occured to me that a lot of “curve balls” in life have placed us on our current path. Those include some cancer scares, change in employment, and the desire to find something “different” in life’s path.

I have been reviewing the past 10 years or so that Lynda and I have shared, and those years have been the best in my life.. and I mean that. Never, in a million years did I ever once think that I would end up with my high school sweetheart cruising the roads of America, and living a life that I had buried many years ago.

We have made GREAT friends in San Diego, and we miss them terribly, but you know something? I do NOT miss life in the “Cube Farm”. I truly hated what I did. I have spent 10 years (and of that 10 years, the MAJORITY of that time) working jobs that went nowhere, created nothing specific, left nothing behind, and accomplished little.  I look back at that and remember the ONLY reason I worked them was a means to an end. They all paid really well.

I traded my life for money. Something you cannot recover, something you cannot undo. Once your time is spent, it is gone. and that should be a precious resource that a person doles out with great care. Instead? I blew those days, months, years.

There is some good in that life of “chasing the all-mighty dollar”. My wife’s health is on the right path, we have the means to support ourselves as we rocket down the road, and each step on our path has led us to where we are. But let me say this. I have had many friends who have never had the opportunity to step out of the “American Dream” and try living for a life’s adventure. To truly jump onto the road less traveled and see where it leads.

They lost their gamble with life. Their lives ended much sooner than they ever expected, and with that, their dreams of adventure cut short. I look at others that have found themselves at their twilight years some very pleased with their lives, others? Not so much. and now, adventure time is over. Their bodies are old and with that, adventure is watching a movie.

So I have a suggestion, take it for what it is worth. If you find yourself “lacking” in being passionate about living? Try having an adventure. Even if it is only for a short time. Let go of the “stuff” that you own, quit allowing it to “own” you. Look for what you are truly passionate about, what gives you that “rush” to live..

I look back at a book I read, and in that, it was all about a group of fish that learned to hang on to the rocks in a river for survival. They had been raised to believe that if you ever let go of those rocks, you would be dashed to death on the rapids below.

One such fish told his friends that he would rather die on the rapids than to die of boredom, and they called him insane. He released his grip and as expected, the rapids bruised him, and pummeled him pretty severely. But, as he went further down the stream he found that he was swimming in new waters, a life  much better than clinging to the rocks. and the other fish called him “enlightened”… Truth is you can choose how you live at any point in your life. and yes, there are consequences for those choices, but for us?

The rapids were not that painful, and swimming in the river?

One hell of an adventure

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Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, RV Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

And we are off

Well, a few weeks into our road trip FOR a lifetime, and the fun we have had.. and some interesting learning curves… We started off by enjoying the Hudson family reunion in Grand Junction, Colorado,

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followed up by our start with Ouray, Colorado,

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Then on to Salt Lake City where we picked up my nephew, Garrett Taylor.. (Mike Taylor and Ellen Taylor, we cannot thank you enough for letting us have him for some quality time)…

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Then we descended on Yellowstone where we spent a 3 day 2 night back packing trip in Hell’s Roaring River area, and also did a few other spiffy hikes in and around Yellowstone.

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and of course, “Butt Pucker Creek” where we forded the river to get to the other side for our camp site.. wondered if any of us were going to go swimming with our packs… and on that note, we did learn that if you are going to cross a swift moving river, unclip your waist strap and your upper harness in case you have to release your pack. (Thank you forest service video BEFORE we went on our backcountry hike).

We had our own beach for the day.

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and after a nights rest, we hiked back to our truck… two nights, three days, and it was fun

After that we trekked on to the Tetons

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Found some nice day hikes around String Lake (thanks Danny) and found Hidden Falls trail… not so hidden as it was loaded with people. and we discovered that if you want to get away from the people, you are going to have to do a 20+ mile hike to do it. There are some GREAT trails there, but you are talking 4 day jaunts that we didn’t think we were up to.. Day hikes are nice, but busy with people.. I think we enjoyed Yellowstone more than the Tetons.

We sat around and discussed what we wanted to do and Garrett thought that Mt Rushmore would be cool, so off we went. We stopped by Devils Tower, Wyoming, and wow, incredible country side and the Tower itself was very impressive.

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The day hike (1.4 miles) around the Tower was very cool.

Now we are in Spearfish, South Dakota so I can catch up on some maintenance on the rig, and so Lynda can do some work. We found a park here in Spearfish managed by the city, and it is gorgeous.. cannot recommend it enough. On one side note, the Sturgis rally is about to kick off. and bikers are converging on every town near Sturgis.. should prove to be interesting.

Now, all the side notes to things learned. We replaced our tires in Salt Lake City and I discovered that they did not replace the stem core’s in the stems. and crap often gets loose inside the tire (dust and whatnot) that makes the core jam and leak… so if you get your tires replaced, plan on replacing stem cores.. not a big deal, just a learning curve

Next item. we are still scratching our heads. We pulled into a gas station, filled up and Lynda hit the ignition… nothing. nada. zip, zilcho… and we noticed the transmission shifter flashing odd numbers. Well, Lynda the logical one digs through the Allison Transmission manual and we discover that our oil in our transmission is too cold.. WTF? that makes zero sense… but that is the code that is flashing… So after a about a half hour of trying to start the rig, we gave it 15 minutes hit the ignition and WALLA! we have engine roaring… So I checked the oil level and it was low.. not critically so, but low just the same… so figured out how to add oil to the tranny and we were off again.

We pulled into Spearfish and I have figured that is the time to do minor maintenance stuff… so here we sit, having an absolute ball, and our nephew is enjoying the time… Never, let me repeat this, never in a gazillion years did I ever see this coming… Sometimes life smacks you between the eyes… and sometimes it hands you a dream…. As we have been handed both over the past decade, never did I think that it would be better than anything I could have imagined…..

 

Road trip FOR a lifetime…

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Road Trip, Part Deaux

Traveling, the art of enjoying life while taking in what the world has to offer.

If you have read “About Us” you have an idea of what motivated us to begin this lifestyle change. And with that, our adventure begins. We are currently in the ramp up mode, saving money, working on ways to earn a living while we are on the road. And the downsizing..

Yes, major downsizing is still ongoing. We found it simply AMAZING how much crap we have accumulated over the years. and in that downsizing, some “landmines”. These are emotional landmines like a card from her dad who is now gone, or a plaque that her mom gave her. Or a picture of my first wife, or the myriad of little things that have nothing but sentimental value. It was a jaunt down memory lane, both good and bad, but interestingly enough, healing.

Now we are changing our mindsets, and after talking to our friends Don and Barbie who are currently traveling the US, we may change again. Our plan is simple. Go up the west coast in the spring time, across the US/Canadian border in the summer time, down the East Coast in the fall with the leaves, then over to either Utah or Colorado for the ski season. Then return to Key Largo for some diving… that in 2015. After that? Who knows. But the adventure is in a countdown.

Two years to setup financially, and gear wise. Our plan is to hike as many local trails as we can, and with that, we will begin training in 2013 with hikes with packs. At first, light pack hikes, adding as we go, learning what gear works well, what doesn’t.  Learn how to trouble shoot RV issues, and in that post those on line with video clips to show the problem, then the solution… (makes me think a little more logically knowing that there might be an audience).

This is a learning curve that never ends, but one we truly look forward to experiencing… so, stay tuned, this is a Roadtrip FOR a lifetime.

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