Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Trip Is Officially Over

Yes, we have completed our travels together.

We arrived at my mom's house late this afternoon, and Scooter was waiting for us. My sister, who had been taking care of him, dropped him off so he'd be here when we got home. A fatter Scooter than when we left (I suspect my brother-in-law, who can't resist giving Scooter treats from the table) greeted us with great enthusiasm and then proceded to shake his sock. He's a chubby, happy boy, and we're glad to be reunited with him.

This is our final map with all the states we visited on our trip. We put the state on the map if we even so much as set foot there (the way we did with Rhode Island). This doesn't mean we did genuine sightseeing in every one of these states, just that we were there.

In the West, we only missed Colorado, which I believe I've seen but can't for the life of me remember when that might have been.

In the Northeast, we missed Delaware and Washington DC (which doesn't have a sticker for the map). We missed Kentucky and the Great Plains states altogether, plus the northern Midwest, doncha know. Oh, we didn't drive to Alaska or Hawaii either.

We've been asked on occasion what our favorite places were that we've seen on our trip, and for both of us the most fascinating was Mt. St. Helens for the Ranger talk on the regrowth since the eruption.

Niagara Falls was the most exhilarating. Lubec, Maine, had Monica's Chocolates. And always for me, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone (Part I and Part II).

Last night at the RV Park we stayed at in Kilgore, Texas (home of the Kilgore Rangerettes), I overheard a conversation between our next-door neighbor and the manager of the RV Park. They were talking about full-time RVing. The manager and his wife are full-timers, and they find a job managing a park in the South during the winter and in the West during the summer. This summer they've got a job lined up in Wyoming.

I don't think I have the disposition for full-timing. It seems like a rudderless existence, best suited for people who don't have roots anywhere and whose marriage is all the relationship they need. RV people are friendly, really an enjoyable group, but they come and go--or you come and go--so it seems as though the ties would always remain weak.

And yet thousands of people do it and love it. They visit their kids who are strewn around the country, and they stay put in one place for weeks or months at a time. And they wouldn't go back to a stick house for anything.

Maybe it's because I'm on my own, but it sounds like it would be a lonely way for me to live. Traveling around the country with my mom was wonderful, but I'd be miserable alone. So I'll be going back to my stick house, which I hope will sell someday.

All that remains now for my mom and me is unloading and cleaning the motorhome, and then packing my car for the trip home. My sister gets my mom's company back with her again, and I get to drive: I-20 to I-10 to I-8 to I-805 to I-5 to Hwy 76 and then to my house. I hope not to be driving nearly as much for quite some time.

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