Winter is Coming!

We’ve been binge watching Game of Thrones in the evening after dinner. That is, when we’re not going out after dark to drive through Arches and places like that. In GOT it’s a phrase that is repeated over and over. That, and the phrase, “The night is dark and full of terrors.” Back here at “home” in our trailer we find that the phrase “winter is coming” means something a little different than what it means in GOT. For one we don’t have White Walkers to deal with, thank God!  But we do have winter to contend with and it’s bringing our northerly traveling to an end. Our northerly traveling has been so very interesting, educational and downright enjoyable. I’ve been surprised and flabbergasted by turns. We’ve seen things we didn’t expect and things that were better than we expected. We started this journey on July 15th and, in terms of miles driven, we’ve driven to Australia and half the way back.

My western states map shows our progress highlighted in day glow yellow. It’s a giant loop going north, then east, south and west from the Pacific coast to the Rockies and then to the southern deserts. We have loved (almost) every minute. Yes, there were times – especially early on – where we weren’t sure we made the right decision and were ready to pack it in. It took adjustments to go from a big house to a tiny trailer crammed with 2 dogs and a cat who were adamantly against such a major disruption. But they endured and we endured and we all eventually hit our stride. The trailer is home.

A horseman I know and greatly respect is fond of saying, “Adjust to fit the situation.” He is talking about horse training but, really, isn’t this great life advice? We’ve had to adjust. Sometimes we adjusted well. Sometimes not so well. In the end, and by in large, I’d say we’ve adjusted quite well. We could go on this way for a long time.

As we’ve traveled, we’ve learned a lot about this great country of ours. We’ve learned how incredibly geographically diverse and beautiful it is but we’ve also experienced how politically and psychologically diverse the people are, too. We chose to go out during a very challenging time and it really affected our travel. Most people were kind and thoughtful but some people were downright selfish and rude. Kind of like how we always are but even more so. Before Covid it was easy to ignore or forgive rudeness but now it’s front and center and hard to let go.

Someday soon we will be moving back into a house. We don’t know where exactly yet. But it’s going to feel weird to have so much space. The rooms might echo for a while as we figure out, “Do we really need so much stuff?”

Here are some pictures from various places on our last leg from Arizona to Oregon.

An ingenious person made use of a “toadstool” rock at Cliff Dwellers, AZ and built their house.
I defy you to assert that these drawings, based on real Navajo antiquities, are primitive. At Marble Canyon AZ
The builder made excellent use of abundant and local natural materials at Lee’s Ferry AZ on the Colorado River.
I enjoy the view and cool waters of Lake Powell at Lone Rock Beach near Page AZ.
You had to have been there. There’s no way to get a good idea of the scale any other way. It’s BIG. Zion NP
Again, Zion NP. Look very, very closely in the middle and slightly to the right. There are 2 people walking. That’s the scale.
Abert Rim in Oregon between Burns and Lakeview. Windless, the lake is a perfect mirror. There are bighorn sheep down there at the water’s edge.
Another planet. Not of this world. But it is. Lake Abert OR
I had to include this. Maybe it’s why OR has clean roadways. California get a clue.

In our next leg we will be finding permanent winter quarters. I’ll be writing about that process and showing pictures. It ought to be a discovery, too.

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