2001 - Departure Day!
We initially headed north
and stopped in Mena, Arkansas (who would have thought Arkansas was
so pretty??) to look up an old friend of Don's, who ended up not
being in town.
The state parks we've
stayed at have been fabulous! In Tyler we drove through a canopy
of huge pine trees that had an enchanted forest feel to get to the
site next to one of the nicest hiking trails I've ever seen that
wound around a picturesque lake. In Hot Springs, Arkansas we also
had waterfront property on Lake Catherine complete with a fishing
dock and the company of geese and heron. There I enjoyed a day of
being pampered in a restored bath house in - soaking in the warm
mineral waters, attendants leading me to steam baths and needle
showers, followed by a soothing massage: it doesn't get much better,
let me tell you!
Driving down the highways
and country roads - no matter what the scenery, there is something
inherently satisfying about being somewhere I've never been before.
Pulling into the parks, visiting with the attendants, getting the
RV all hooked again, greeting and swapping stories with the other
campers, spending a couple of relaxing days and then taking off
down the road to do it all again someplace else.
Our basic routine after
breakfast has been to go for a walk in the hiking trails located
in the park, do whatever else needs to be done or see whatever else
we want to see, then walk again after dinner, then sit around the
campfire watching the fireflies and stars. Needless to say, I'm
loving this life!
We're getting ready to
leave for Algonquin, Illinois now. Although I've enjoyed something
about every town and park we've been to, I get so excited when it's
time to hit the road again. As we were sitting outside last night
talking about the next leg of our trip, it hit me in a new way how
much I enjoy my new home. She is so comfortable and comforting as
I am getting more familiar with her. I'm finally getting everything
organized the way it should be after doing and re-doing a thousand
times. And not only am I enjoying my home all the more, I especially
appreciate that she takes me wherever I want to go!
I even love waking up
in the morning having to think about where it is I am that day.
We've been traveling about every 2-3 days and although when I start
working I'll have to be in an area longer, I find that I am ready
to hit the road after then. I actually start getting wanderlust
and am anxious to see what lies ahead.
We visited Unity Village
on Saturday and took the tour of the grounds and attended services
on Sunday. It was a beautiful place with a peaceful feel to it.
We walked the labyrinth where they said that when you enter, you
may pose a problem or question you want answered and that during
the walk the answer may come to you. As I entered and tried to think
of a problem great enough to ponder, it hit me how wonderful it
was that I really couldn't think of anything that I was that troubled
about - truly in my past an unusual state for me. Also, I had no
real questions because I know I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed
to be doing so what is there to question? Then the thought entered
my mind: "there are really no problems anyway - only potential
resolutions." So what I contemplated as I meandered through
the labyrinth was that everything that happens or is presented to
us in life is simply an experience - and the reason we are here
to begin with is to experience all that life has to offer. So there
really are no problems - only opportunities to experience who we
are in relation to any given situation - whether we deem it a problem
or a blessing, it matters not. Our only job is to experience it,
learn from it, discover and decide who we are now that we've had
the experience, and move on.
So today we are moving
on from Kansas City and heading towards Algonquin. I spoke to my
friend Judith recently and the timing for our visit is perfect.
She has a booth at the Renaissance Fair next week and we'll be able
to attend as her guests. We plan to be in that area for a week -
not only to visit with her, but there's lots to see in the Chicago
area that I'm interested in. As nice as it is to pack up and hit
the road, I'm also looking forward to staying put for a little while.
Cooler weather means more campfires at night and that's one of my
favorite parts of life as a full-time RVer.
Following Cedar Point,
our next experience was a night's stay at "Wally World"
a/k/a the parking lot of Wal-Mart at Ashtabula, Ohio. I didn't know
until reading in all the RV forums about how Wal-Mart actually encouraged
RV'ers to spend the night there. It's good PR for them, a free place
to stay for the tired RV'er just needing a place for 1 night on
route to a destination, and of course, you always end up shopping
while you're there, so it's not a total loss for them. Anyway, I
decided I wanted to try that experience out. So I did and now I
don't need to experience it again. The sounds of shopping carts
and blaring lights all night did not afford the best sleep when
you need it for the next day's drive. Oh well, I wanted to try everything
and it certainly could do again in a pinch. I suppose you could
also tell a lot by the name of Ashtabula - suffice it to say I would
not make that one a final destination again.
While I had planned to
spend the summer in upstate New York with a new friend, one of the
discoveries I made during the first part of this journey was that
I was already doing what I wanted to do. It's been great traveling
side by side with Don and neither one of us was ready for that to
stop. While this part of the journey has certainly been unexpected,
it's the best of both worlds, really - romance, great companionship,
total compatibility of goals and preferred lifestyle, loads of laughs,
and yet we both have our own homes which affords us the privacy
and alone time we also need. Pinch me, can this be real? Well, as
says the eternal truth: one day at a time is all we have anyway,
and these one days have been fabulous!
We spent the night on
the way back from Niagara Falls in a little park in the Adirondack
Mountains. By the time I parked Inspiration in one of the smallest
slots we'd been in so far, there was a crowd gathered around with
women cheering that a woman was driving such a huge machine and
had parked it so effortlessly. Actually, she is big but comes equipped
with a backup video camera with audio, and I have Don at the side
with his now-familiar signals, so under those conditions, it's really
not as hard as it would first appear to be. Actually that's a perfect
analogy for a lot of the problems we create and limitations we set
on ourselves - if we would just set about using the help that is
all around us, we would accomplish a lot more than we ever suspected
if all we looked at were the difficulties and the size of the perceived
Today has been a fantastic
day - we just took this whole day to recuperate a little. I was
able to thoroughly clean Inspiration, do laundry, etc. and get prepared
for the next part of the journey. I was still able to go outside
and spend a few hours communing with the babbling brook running
in the back of my home. That's actually the name of the park we're
in - the "Babbling Brook RV Park" in Westville, NY. A
new park, less than a year old, not crowded and quiet. I truly enjoyed
my day talking to the willow trees and the seagulls. It was really
nice to lounge in the lawn chair in the sun with the breeze keeping
me cool while the sounds of the water soothed my soul - it doesn't
get any better than this. Thank you, God!