When we visited family and friends in Baltimore a local friend posed the question; “what was the best thing about the trip so far?”
While thinking about my reply, my mind whirled through visions from the “road movie”. I thought about deep clear rivers, green forests, panoramic foliage, skies as blue as Sept 11 and broader than I could turn my head. I thought about the mountains I so love. The roaring little creek where we beached the kayak and sat still and silent for twenty minutes (me too, really!) and cried at the beauty combined with the privilege to view it. Then, before I spoke, I realized the greatest part.
Trying not to sound perfunctory or patronizing I managed to form a sentence. The best part is the relationship and flow that Jane and I have formed with each other and the Tramper. Our symbiosis with every system is evolving as we create a system for every daily task. We “really like each other” as an observer asked about spending time in the small space. We LOVE each other these 14 years into our marriage. In fact, this time has us closer than ever. We do nearly everything together, 24 hours a day. It feels odd to run an errand without the other. We like it! We reeaally like it! (Jean-Philippe and Anne know how to pronounce that)
The systems requirement comes from the space and the road. We just don’t have room to leave anything unfinished. Every shoe, every type of clothing has a place now. We are packed for 4 seasons, downhill skis, cross country skis, Mt Bikes, kayak, hiking boots all take up space and could be in the way. We could each tell you how many shirts, long and short sleeve, pants, underwear and socks we have. Daily tasks, sleeping, cooking, cleaning, changing, getting water, all take on new meaning in this rig. Monitoring all power use, solar gain, water use, food intake, money spent all create an awareness we hope follows us home.
TWO OTHER CRUCIAL LESSONS HAVE SURFACED TOO:
The Earth is still very much alive and beautiful. The skies and seas blue, and the myriad of beauty thrives wherever you look. Leave the towns, get a mile off of a parking lot, look up and we are all still blessed with a miraculous universe and a world of wonder, mysteries and room for a curiosity that fills a life daily.
People are Wonderful! There is kindness, help, warmth everywhere we look. Even the places we weren’t looking. Strangers all seem interested in the Voyage. It seems every day someone is telling us they have a contact or friend further down our journey. Today a “stranger” showed me pictures of his farm and home, opening his doors to us “any time we get out that way”. I wish I could communicate the soft and wonderful net that is out there if you step away from the familiar. This country is full of WONDERFUL PEOPLE! Writing now I shed tears at the desperation I didn’t look at until we started away from our house. (traffic and daily news breed an underlying mistrust we keep under our surface, why else does someone blow up so easily at little things?)