Fall is here and it's a busy time for me. Lots of teaching and traveling again. My 48th birthday is fast approaching and of course, another year of aging, causes lots of reflections on the past, present and future.
Tomorrow for my birthday, I am leaving for Wisconsin to play with friend, Pam. We are heading to Valley Ridge to spend a few days painting with Flora Bowley. Really looking forward to it.
As I was reflecting, I realized that I never finished up my few last stops on my cross country trip, nor did I really sum up my feelings about the trip.
I'd sum up my trip by appreciating the time alone. Yes, it was long stretches of driving, getting bored, getting tired, getting sick of public bathrooms (yuck) and eating gross on the road food! But I really, really, appreciated the time of being by myself. I was in charge. I did what I wanted, stopped wherever I wanted and didn't have to answer to anyone other than myself. It's rare thing for sure!
The only thing that was a bummer was I found some of the mountainous driving to be a bit scary. After I drove through Yosemite National Park, I had to drive over the Tioga Pass to get to my father's place. It was, in my opinion, harrowing and nerve wracking! Driving a mountain road with no guardrails at 9000 feet with other drivers tailgating was scary! My brakes started smoking because I was braking so much. I found my SUV to not handle well driving on mountain roads. Getting through that was the most challenging aspect of the trip. I was happy to finally hit the flat plains of Kansas!
The hardest part of the trip was to say goodbye to my parents. As I grow older, so do they. It was hard to say goodbye, not knowing when I might get a chance to see them again. (my parents are divorced with my dad living in Nevada and my mom in California).
If I could add a wish, I would wish for more time (and money!) to spend alone, exploring my home state. There is so much to do there and alas, I didn't have enough time to do 3/4 of the things I wanted to do while there. I think fondly of my time on the road and look forward to my next trip.