Posts Tagged ‘highways’

Shifting Future’s Gears

November 16, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been writing quite a bit about futures lately and with good reason. My sister and I had big plans beginning next April. We’d wanted to implement them this past October and couldn’t. As everyone knows, the best laid plans are subject to change without notice.

And so it has been. This past Saturday during lunch, however, we began talking about those plans for April. That’s when the shift took place. We’ve wondered if we are pawns in someone’s cosmic chess game for a while now. I think we’ve gotten our answer to that question once and for all.

She and I discussed whether we could get everything ready to take off on our road trip before Dec. 1. I know. Any significant road trip takes a lot of planning and strategy. This one was worth months of both.

Anyone listening in would have thought we’d lost our minds. Give up a perfectly good apartment, stuff all of our belongings into long-term storage and hit the road? It’s a joke. Right? Well, no, it’s no joke. We were going to do this in April anyway. We’d wanted to go in October. What’s so bad about December.

Let’s see. It could have something to do with the fact that we live in Montana and have umpteen mountain passes to travel just to get anywhere out of the state. Heck, we have passes to go through just to get out of our valley. Ski season approaches on the back of a hare in a race with a tortoise. The jockey on that hare is INCOMING SNOW STORMS!

You see the immediate problem.

Okay, so we’ll crawl out of the valley, through the pass south of here toward I-90. Then what?

We’re going south for the first part of our country tour. That would mean Wyoming–got stranded there in a blizzard a year ago. Don’t want a repeat. Or there’s always Highway 93 South. That goes through many more passes, part of snow-covered Idaho and into snow-covered northern Nevada. Once we hit Vegas we could get to Arizona’s snowy north and go down to I-10 from there.

Nope, too many possible travel headaches. That leaves I-90 West toward the coast. Only two passes in that direction–both really long ones, but well maintained and careful driving will keep us safe. First hurdle planned for and conquered. Get chains.

So we get to the coast and then move south on the I-5. We won’t be making many stops if the weather is crummy. We need to get away from the northern coastline and winter storms rolling in with irrepressible, ever-changing La Nina, who threatens to bring the worst winter in 50 years.

We’ll be in good shape once we hit LA and San Diego.

I know that most won’t understand why all the rush is critical to us. Let me clue you in. We’re tenting our way around the U.S. for the next year+. That means everything we will be using will be crammed into a small car: tent, bags, year’s worth of clothing, cooler, cooking needs, computer, photography gear, everything.

Now you see the rush. We’re not fond of winter camping, though we’ve done it. If we can avoid it, so much the better.

There you have it. Once we’re on that southern road, we’ll be able to get online once/twice a week, update blogs and website, do email, send out our articles and such, and generally work our way through the country gathering material for our book.

Sounds like a fun time, huh? It will be. We’ve been looking forward to this for several months now. Not bad for a couple of senior ladies, don’t you think?

For the next many months we’ll be seeing friends and family throughout the continental U.S. We’ll be writing travel articles and the like as we go along to help augment the finances. And we’ll be learning about ourselves, our ambitions, and our potential. Our website will be up in a couple of weeks so that we can keep our friends apprised as to our progress. Those updates will keep everyone informed of how things are going, where we are, and what we’ve seen.

Wish us luck as we move into this next phase of our professional lives. We already know we’re in for the ride of our lives, but then, we’ve already lived fantastically full lives. This is the gravy and dessert rolled into one.

I do intend to keep this blog and Claudsy’s Calliope blog going during this trip as well, so there should be no real fluctuation there.

Writing and photography go hand in hand. How we utilize both may shift a bit into new territory, but I consider that growth. My poetry certainly won’t suffer from a change in scenery and neither will the potential for wonderful writing ideas. So much potential, so little time to capture it all.

I hope you follow along as we explore this country’s nooks and crannies, the familiar and not-so-familiar. Be sure and pop back here once in a while to see what’s happening.

Until then, a bientot,