Wanderlust

Wanderlust… The call of the open road… Mid-life crisis… Insanity.
Maybe.

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Grand Canyon National Park

April 9-17, 2019

Sunset at the Watchtower

John’s Writing Assignment: Compare and contrast your two visits to the Grand Canyon.

Glorious! Both times. There simply isn’t another word for it.

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Meteor Crater – near Winslow, AZ

April 2, 2019

Meteor Crater Visitor Center

I wasn’t too sure about going to this site. First, it was privately owned and operated which makes me suspect that it was “just another tourist trap.” Second, being privately owned, how pristine and impressive was the crater? I shouldn’t have worried. It was spectacular and well worth the time, money, and effort to visit.

Aerial view of Meteor Crater

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Sunset Crater, Wupatki, and Walnut Canyon – near Flagstaff, AZ

April 1-3, 2019

Mother Nature keeps hitting it out of the park.

Sunset Crater

Sunset Crater

If you stand on a flat area and look around, every peak you see was once a volcano. The still snow covered San Francisco Peaks appear to be a small chain of mountains. It’s actually the remnants of a single volcano.

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Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot

March 27-28, 2019

It never ceases to amaze me what “primitive” peoples could accomplish. Those men, women, and children who built and lived in Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot were masters of how to live in harmony with nature. They used the skills passed down from generation to generation and what nature provided to create not only amazing buildings but amazing cultures. Everything they needed to sustain their society – land, water, plant and animal resources, and farmland were close by. Although their world may have been small, they were far from isolated. They did have contact with and traded between other cultures.

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Fear of the Unknown

March 25, 2019

People we’ve met have asked how we live as we do. How did we make the leap and give up everything that was familiar, comfortable, routine? Many have thought about doing it but the fear of the unknown has stopped them.

For me it was easy. I needed the change and felt restricted in my old life. I wanted out! It was much harder on John and I know he did it for me. This life isn’t for everyone but those that are interested, take heed; don’t let fear of the unknown control your life.

When I first met John (many years back), he was living a very neat, orderly, and planned out life. He wasn’t overly rigid in his plans but he also wasn’t comfortable with last minute changes. He liked to know what was happening days in advance. We are very different but that’s OK. People are who they are.

Dating me was hard on him. I disrupted that calm, peaceful lifestyle. If a Saturday dawned with beautiful weather, I’d toss any random plans we had and suggest we run off for a day at the zoo or a hike in a park. This would throw John off to no end. Our conversations would go something like:

Holly: It’s a beautiful day, let’s go to the zoo.

John: What? I was going to mow the lawn. We were going to hang out at the house and grill burgers. We can’t just run off somewhere. We didn’t plan. We have to check schedules. What about lunch? What time would we be back?

Holly: I don’t know. Grab the daypack, well pick up subs and chips and picnic when we’re hungry. We’ll just hop the subway and head out. The lawn and burgers can wait for tomorrow.

John: But… But!!

Sometimes we rolled out, sometimes it was too much for John to handle. I tried not to fry his brain too much but I know dealing with my personality was stressful to him. Nothing neat and organized in my brain. (Why did that sweet, quiet man ever ask the crazy lady out in the first place?)

Jump to about 30 years ago. I was a Boy Scout leader… Outside, camping, hiking, canoeing, checking out critters, doing basic first aid and survival stuff. All things that were pretty foreign to him. He was a rocket scientist, a computer guy, an enginurd. He liked things neat and orderly, not crazy with mud and leaves and bugs and snakes. But he rolled out with me and learned all that stuff he missed as a kid and his confidence grew. The woods were no longer part of the greater “unknown”. He accepted the outdoors and he lost his fear.

Jump again to our life on the road as it is today. We are sitting in our motor home in Arizona sipping coffee. I’m typing and John is reading the newspaper online. The sun is rising over the mountains. The birds are singing and calling from the trees around us. A cute  little ground squirrel is frolicking outside my window. Life is peaceful. Life is good.

We have plans for today and a site for tonight. After that, we don’t know. We are aiming for the Sedona area tomorrow but we may divert. We aren’t stressing over it. We’ll find a spot to camp and something cool  to see or learn.

More importantly, John isn’t stressing over it. It’s not a scary “unknown”. He drives the  rig with confidence (this man can pull off a U-turn on a 28 foot motor home towing a car… in traffic!) He has learned how to check and maintain all the basic systems in the rig. He isn’t a fix-it guy but we accept that and hire someone as needed (just like we did in the house in the suburbs). He can set up camp and be chilling in a chair enjoying life 15 minutes after he backs into the site. He is a happy, contented man.

All this was scary at first but not anymore. We still have unknowns but we don’t fear them. My advice to those that are considering a life on the road, just do it. You’ll be confused. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll find your way. 

John originally agreed to one year on the road then he wanted his old life back. Two months into the journey, he let go of the tether to the house and the old life. The fear of the unknown was gone. He was ready for the adventure. We tossed the one year limit.

It took a bit longer to reach the the level of comfort we enjoy today. At first he needed to know we had booked sites for at least two weeks out. He wasn’t comfortable totally winging it. Eventually be became comfortable with that and we seldom know where  we’ll be more than a few nights out. We embrace the unknown… And we roll!

Holly

 

 

 

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Biosphere 2 and Catalina State Park

March 24-26, 2019

We hopped on over to Catalina State Park to position ourselves better for a visit to Biosphere 2 where we planned to catch some very cool science.

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 1 is Planet Earth.

Biosphere 2, a mini-Earth, is a closed system. What does that mean? Simply put, once the doors are sealed up whatever’s in there has to support itself. Nothing is added and nothing is taken out. The air, land, water, plants, and animals have to work together to sustain themselves.

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Titan Missile Site, Sahuarita, AZ

March 18, 2019

There is ONE Titan II missile remaining in its missile silo. The silo and payload area have been rigged so it cannot be launched and a there is a hole cut in the cone of the missile so Russian satellites can see that no warhead is on the missile. The other Titan II missile silos were destroyed. Everything on site has been declassified so you can take pictures on the tour.

Tital II - Missile complex

Titan II Missile Site

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