Or does it?
If you read between the lines. If you’ve read all of the comments and our replies. If you’ve glanced at a map or noticed a change in our pace. If we bothered to tell you anything at all. Put these pieces together and take note. A circle is completed as we write from our Towson home. Travel decisions each day were affected by so many things. We left in hopes of “6 months to a year on the road”. A chance to bike, hike, ski and live wherever the day took us. One hundred and ninety days later we felt the calls homeward. Each day on the road we asked, “where should we go tomorrow?”
As we drove down from the Rockies toward Denver, my answer was “maybe we should head home?” This thought was cemented as we spoke of finances. A warm day of mountain biking was enough to detain us in Kansas, but not to change our direction. A few grey days on the road, and storms that kept threatening from the North nudged us Eastward. A final clear day, snow on the Ohio and Pennsylvania grass led us to see I-70 as a good way home, despite previous months of avoiding Interstates.
Locals had led us to unexpected jewels! Serendipity showed us safety and regular smiles! I got to ski a whole lot! We hiked peaks, canyons and caverns! Jane saw warmth and wildflowers! In fact, today we see the old tricks of March; wet snow, heavy branches and refrigerated blossoms. No worry, it melts fast this time of year.
The pressures that led us home were many. We ran out of paper towels. The Tramper account has seen only withdrawals for months now. Both of us need to find jobs and pay some bills. Marfa kept raising concerns about that big Continental Divide. If needed, I’d imagined a plan to rent a truck in Utah, towing the heavy Tramper over the mountain passes to Denver if necessary. With Jane driving the 4Runner sans trailer, it would do fine. The concerns continued, passes provided 25 mph crawls, but the transmission temperature never went out of control again.
Ahh, but the concern for this and other bits went on. The 5 Day weather reports gave us windows to travel in. (I won’t tow in snow and have even avoided rain as much as practical) Safety is always a lens of concern for me. My focus on joy and adventure is tempered by wanting to get home safe. My responsibility to “keep Jane safe” is not just a funny topic. Many nights were lightly slept in anticipation of noises or vehicles arriving nearby.
Yes, we crested one of the highest points in our journey, skied a few more times, and headed East. I poked fun at our nation; “they’ll be nothing to do between here (Summit County, CO) and the Appalachian Mountains.” “My cousin used to drive from Colorado to Baltimore in 36 hours. We’ll be home in 3 or 4 days”. Fortunately Kansas threw a surprise at me. The world is full of surprises. You’d think I would have remembered that lesson from earlier in the “Voyage”.
We have many thoughts to share. We have over 11,000 pictures to peruse and condense to a more sharable 100 or so. We have memories of our longest “vacation” ever. We have lists of new friends. We have blog and Facebook followers. And we have lots more to say. We will be looking back at the trip and looking at its impact on us. One visitor we met in Colorado asked, “How has your perspective changed”. I shied from an answer, telling him I will know more a few months after our return. If I don’t change actions or lifestyle, how can I say my perspective has changed?
We wonder if there are other questions out there. We are likely to post retrospective thoughts. Maybe a bit of logistics, maybe we’ll post what we’d do differently, perhaps a few suggestions for future travelers. I want to post a piece with all of the barns we saw. I see a whole post of cool things seen on trucks. Trains became our favorite night time neighbors. Wind energy prompted inquiry all across the country. We hope to add more thoughts and questions. Our life now has the vision of the Tramper.
Over all it was such a treat! Jane and I lived in a 70 square foot space, awoke and stayed together 24/7 and not once broke into fisticuffs as Jimmy Cotton, our new friend in North Carolina had feared. We truly hope that as we traveled, you enjoyed. As we posted pictures, you felt a fraction of the awe we shared. Surely if we can do The Voyage of the Tramper, whatever you are dreaming of is possible too!
I read every single posting and enjoyed them all. Scary, funny, beautiful, sad. I lived vicariously through you both. Much love and welcome home.
we missed you and yours while on the road. It really is fun to write and post all those sights and thoughts…had an audience too!
Loved the blog while you traveled and am sure I will enjoy more to come even though traveling is over for a bit. Sorry you missed the UP, but then now you have some places left to see. It’s all good!
yes the U.P.! We really do have to get there. In fact, there are lots of “Northern” places out there that we need to get to. Hmmm, we know how to plan better now too…? Glad you enjoyed reading, we haven’t written this much for years. Its kind of fun!
Welcome home!!! I really enjoyed following along on your blog and feel like I’ve been on the trip with you in spirit. Brought back some memories of places I have visited in the past. Hoping you can readjust to things and looking forward to visiting soon.
I look forward to visiting soon too! Glad the pics sent a good connection…twas really fun producing them too.
What a fantastic experience you two have had!!!! I can’t wait til the book comes out. I want mine autographed, of course. 🙂
you can have the first one while the ink is still wet! Glad you enjoyed, hope you have fun with what is yet to come.
Yea! I am really looking forward to it!
Congrats on your amazing journey. Here’s to many more. Keep blogging! Home offers many stories as well.
suburbanprincessteaacher, we plannin’ on it! So much to share. Our home is a good place for our adventure to continue. Thanks for your audience and interest.
Cheers to both of you, Im sure you had a fantastic time!
Lowe’s, you bet! The road lends a curious moment to each day. This trip already has us thinking about vacations, destinations of the future. returns to places to be shared with family…stops at new places or stops we didn’t make, and on and on!
Our memories and experiences are all any of us ever have, and you’ve filled up a whole bank of them! Do you think you’ll hit the road again at some point? Or maybe a different type of adventure? I’ve always thought houseboat living might be fun after this experience!
Snazzy turtle, Always wanted to build a sailboat…love the engineering, ribs, harmony, etc.
That would be a blast! I see another chapter in the future for you guys. 🙂
Jane- my friend Janet introduced me to your blog BUT late in the game. I have to go back to the beginning and read them all! My husband and I did this trip back in 1975 with a one year old in a canvas tent and a Ford Bronco and it has been a benchmark of our life ever since. We quit our jobs, took half our bank account with us and left half at home. Well next week we both retire and are heading off to repeat that long ago wonderful trip only this time in an 18 foot trailer with heat and a stand alone bed (getting older.) I can’t wait to revisit all those wonderful places and once again fell the freedom that only this kind of travel can provide. You and David have a wealth of memories to last a long time and who knows what waits ahead at retirement!
Susan – That’s fantastic! Enjoy your trip. As you well know, it’s wonderful out there!
Well David you don’t know me, personally, but as I was driving around in my hometown of Tallahassee, I saw the tramper. What a cool looking camper and jumped on the website while still in traffic to find out more. Well I have followed your journey since that day and it is very refreshing to see people doing just about anything they want to do and let the wind guide you to your next destination. Glad you made it home safely and it has been a pleasure following you two.
we often imagined a person looking up trampervoyage.com in traffic! Usually we figured it would be someone who was unable to pass our lumbering load on a narrow stretch of road. So glad you found us as we wandered. Tallahassee has fond memories for us, but I’m sure we missed all the best parts. Our path was but a thin line through the country. But we found pristine beauty and good people everywhere we went. Its so neat to hear that even “strangers” enjoyed our views. Be sure you visit nearby Cape San Blas. If you ever travel the Mid-Atlantic or Baltimore, write us a line and we’ll help you find the best diversions we can think of.
Welcome home! We really enjoyed your blog. Both of you have a wonderful writing style and were amazingly adept at capturing your insights
and emotions. Thanks so much for sharing!
thanks so much! We had fun and felt a sense of responsibility to keep up. The days flew by faster than we could write at times and we haven’t written so much since school in the ’90’s Jane continues to challenge me in ways that help us grow. Her literary sense sparked me way back at Essex Community College in undergrad. Glad you enjoyed! Likely lots of pics to come…
Welcome back! Yuo need to have a show-and-tell soon! Everybody bring a pot-luck something and visit! Michael
Michael – Coming soon is a slide show of trip highlights! And a map of where we went.
Get a job.
Doug – Ha ha ha ha!! Funny man. Yep, it’s a priority now to get a job and have some income again. We had a lot of other kinds of income (fun!, adventure! new friends!) on our trip but now it’s back to reality!
I am so glad we were able to meet you guys! We talked about y’all yesterday! I hope we see each other again soon. You were one of the highlights of our trip!
Hi Livingston Family – We love you guys and had a great time with you. I hope we can stay in touch and I’ll be following your new blog, for sure!
Welcome home you two! Your readers will have to adjust, also. 😀 I guess that the adventures can continue, however, in a different way, with a different point of view.
Diane – You bet! We’re just vain enough to believe that people might want to read about some of our adventures in Maryland as well as the travel adventures. And why not? I’ve seen people write an entire post about choosing which shoes to put on in the morning…
You guys are inspirations–thanks so much for sharing your adventures!
thanks for “tuning in”! Your comment comes at a good moment. Jane and I have been unpacking the Tramper and trying to transition to our lives…MUCH harder than it sounds. more to come