What an amazing trip we have had. Over the last 5+ months we have seen and done so many wonderful things, I’m glad that I blogged almost every day so I can remember what they all were. Some people say they would find such a trip to be exhausting, that it is too hard to be away from home for that long. It is clear that they do not understand that when we are in our motor home, the operative word is “home.” After so much time away, the first night in our stick built home felt more like being in a motel. There are certainly creature comforts that are better here. We love the blazingly fast wi fi speeds. We can get so much more done when we don’t have to wait patiently for a web site or email to load. In the kitchen I love all the counter space and the wide selection of meal choices the deep freeze provides. The high volume of water gushing out of the shower head is almost therapeutic. Our house feels so big; it’s as if we live in a mansion. But those things are inconsequential. As we travel for months on end, we meet many people who RV full time and have no home base. Some do so by choice; others cannot afford both an RV and a house. This was the first trip we have taken where I felt ready to be at home and understood that between four and five months is enough time on the road for me. I haven't read a single book all winter. Every night we research where we were, what there was to do there, where to go next, where to stay. It will be nice to think about other things - for a while.
My sister asked us what the high points of this trip were. Death Valley was especially impressive and even though we spent a week there, it is so large we couldn’t get to it all by car. The drive along the Pacific coast was also a high point, especially the section in northern California and Oregon. It was easy to access small portions of the coastal hiking trail from the roadside parking areas. And from those areas it was easy to photograph one magnificent view after another. There were many places to camp close to the ocean and interesting seafood places to eat. My sister was surprised that I did not mention Patagonia. While we were thrilled to finally get to see this highly praised part of the world, it came in second to our Pacific northwest when it came to nature and scenery. Both areas are on similar latitude and we were in the southern hemisphere during their summer, but the weather was better in the US. When you are trying to do things outside, weather is important. Our guide told us many tales of previous trips when the weather was far worse, but hearing that did not enhance our enjoyment.
Even though we saw a great deal, the bucket list out west remains long. Unfulfilled items include all the national parks that were still covered with snow when we passed by - Yosemite, Lassen, Crater Lake, Mt. St. Helens, Mono Lake, North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We also didn’t make it to the Columbia Gorge or Okanogan in British Columbia. It’s conceivable that at some point we will feel like we have seen it all. But it’s hard to imagine ever having that feeling.
And so we settle down to enjoy the area where we have grown up and spent all our lives and the friends and family that make it special to us. For a while.