The Long Vacation Ends

We are at home in a new strange place called Campbellsville, Kentucky. Kat has a three month gig here with Amazon. Pink and I are looking forward to some still time, and Kat gets to rejoin the rat race if just for a while. But maybe she won’t race. In most jobs there is a carrot out front: perform well and there could be a promotion and better pay. Here, we just enjoy the paycheck, the paid campground, low diesel cost, and in my case, the extra rest.

Fred's Lounge, Mamou, LA, Mile 238
Fred’s Lounge, Mamou, LA, Mile 238
Gator Bones Found in Cossatot Park, Mile 553
Gator Bones Found in Cossatot Park, Mile 553
Sunset in Impressionist Style, Tennkiller Ferry Lake, Mile 700
Sunset in Impressionist Style, Tennkiller Ferry Lake, Mile 700
Faraday's Cage, Inspired by Storm, Mile 877
Faraday’s Cage, Inspired by Storm, Mile 877
Replica of Lewis & Clark's Riverboat, Onawa, IA, Mile 1420
Replica of Lewis & Clark’s Riverboat, Onawa, IA, Mile 1420

It has been a long ride. The Red Sled has pulled Kat’s Cradle 7,000 miles since the beginning of April. We have camped in over 60 sites. We saw six National Parks plus Mount Rushmore, the Custer Battlefield, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Pictured Rocks National Seashore, four Great Lakes, Fred’s Lounge, and a dozen or so lovely campgrounds which prosper below radar. We’ve met so many interesting people we can’t remember them all, nor some of what they taught us. We learned many lessons on trailering; some from advice but more often from breaking things.

Carey's Bar in Vermillion, SD, Mile 1499
Carey’s Bar in Vermillion, SD, Mile 1499
The Honey Badger in Badlands NP, Mile 1935
The Honey Badger in Badlands NP, Mile 1935
Bad Art in Wall Drug, Mile 1975
Bad Art in Wall Drug, Mile 1975
Boxwork Inside Wind Cave NP, Mile 2018
Boxwork Inside Wind Cave NP, Mile 2018
Jackson Pollock's Muse, Horseshoe Bend National Rec Area, Mile 2405
Jackson Pollock’s Muse, Horseshoe Bend National Rec Area, Mile 2405

We’ve had to move because of grizzly bears, because our batteries ran all the way out, or because we had to move to take on water or to dump tanks. More often we moved because we wanted to see so much.

Yellowstone, Mile 2504
Yellowstone, Mile 2504
View From Our Picnic Table, Grand Tetons, Mile 2759
View From Our Picnic Table, Grand Tetons, Mile 2759
Lava Soil Wildflowers, Craters of the Moon, Mile 2904
Lava Soil Wildflowers, Craters of the Moon, Mile 2904
Wildfire, Glenn's Ferry, ID, Mile 3029
Wildfire, Glenn’s Ferry, ID, Mile 3029

It was too much. We saw so many memorable sights that we have forgotten some, and underappreciated others. We cannot remember some of the towns we shopped in, nor many of the parks. Nonetheless, next year we hope to see Big Bend in late February, get dental work done just across the border in Mexico, see a Spring Training baseball game or two in March, and see everything around Utah that we haven’t. That list includes Joshua Tree, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Grand Canyon National Parks. If we are lucky we will land a camp host job in Colorado or Upper Michigan or some other scenic place at high elevation with cool nights.

Broadway Bill and Diane, Mile 3239
Broadway Bill and Diane, Mile 3239
Smells Like Mr Chipmun Climbed the Tree, Ketchum, ID, Mile 3312
Smells Like Mr Chipmun Climbed the Tree, Ketchum, ID, Mile 3312
Music on the Salmon River, Mile 3430
Music on the Salmon River, Mile 3430
Run of the Mill Landscape, Glacier NP, Mile 3782
Run of the Mill Landscape, Glacier NP, Mile 3782
Last Stand Hill from the Top, Garryowen, MT, Mile 4316
Last Stand Hill from the Top, Garryowen, MT, Mile 4316

What have we learned from our travels? I think it’s “Don’t wait for retirement to travel or to live.” We have the rest of our responsible driving lives to do this, but I wonder if ten years will be enough. It’s a huge country and our pace did much of it injustice. I wish I had taken the time to talk to more people in depth, and to write every day. We will slow down, notice the wildflowers, smell the mouse repellent, and give thanks for our extended spring and long, cool summer.

Real Perspective of the World's Largest Holstein, Mile 4728
Real Perspective of the World’s Largest Holstein, Mile 4728
Teddy Roosevelt N P Landscape, Mile 4540
Teddy Roosevelt N P Landscape, Mile 4540
Miners Castle, Painted Rocks National Seashore, Mile 5811
Miners Castle, Painted Rocks National Seashore, Mile 5811

Life is good. Let us enjoy it while we may.

Fine Breakfast for a Cold Morning, Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Christmas, MI, Mile 5721
Fine Breakfast for a Cold Morning, Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Christmas, MI, Mile 5721
Named for Its Founder, Elder Duff
Elder Theatre, Jackson Center, OH, Mile 6461
Wally's Gold Airstream, Mile 6461
Wally’s Gold Airstream, Mile 6461

 

Rosie Red, One of Three Reds "Characters", Cincinnati, Mile 6607
Rosie Red, One of Three Reds “Characters”, Cincinnati, Mile 6607
Jay Bruce Before Scoring the Winning Run in the Second Inning, Cincinnati
Jay Bruce Before Scoring the Winning Run in the Second Inning, Cincinnati

 

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