Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grand Journey - Reflections

   Almost the entire month of July was devoted to a crossing the the U.S.A. from East to West and back via automobile.    Nancy and I were on a grand journey to see the U.S. on the off beaten track rather than the interstates.   Only on our return from the mid-west did we mostly stick to interstate roads.    We managed 6348 miles in 28 days through 16 states.
  From the geezer perspective it was a test of stamina to both see the sites, drive and adapt to new lodgings almost every day.   Nancy was a great relief driver and magnificently shared the load in every way.  I never had  to do laundry!
  One would expect that you could revel in eating out every meal.   However, after 26 days were were ready for a home cooked meal.   To our delight a visit with friends in Indiana provided both a delicious dinner and breakfast as well as a rest in a non-motel bed.
   Along the way we saw many sights, museums, gardens, parks, mountains, plains, rivers, deserts and historic markers.   Every day brought a surprise encounter with a place or person.   We were free to spontaneously visit a museum, garden, historic site or chat with a native of the area.   There were several geezer like encounters.  
  In Valentine, Nebraska I had a chat with a geezer motorcyclist on his Harley-Davidson trike.  His group was on their way to Sturgis, South Dakota as well as Glacier National Park.   On the way to view Mt. St. Helen's I had a great visit with a more senior  park ranger native of the area who gave a native's perspective of the eruption and recovery process.   There were numerous other friendly encounters with people of the geezer generation where they were eager to share their experience of living in that part of the world.
    We did pass by several signs alluding to ski areas in the vicinity of our route.  One would not expect to see a ski area in Iowa, but west of Ames, Iowa I chanced to see a small hill  of about 200 feet vertical with two double chairlifts.   Even Iowans have to have their ski fix.
    To preserve our experiences we both posted items on Facebook and Nancy was a routine blogger on her site.   Now that we are home, we are basking in the old comforts of a routine life.  We will continue to reflect on our journey and begin the process of sharing our experiences with friends and family.   Between us we have over 1000 pictures to refresh our memories.    
     Yes, it was a grand journey and we are thankful for the chance to experience a large part of our great nation up close and personal.


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