California: On January 1, 2017, I was camping with friends as we kicked off the new year. I was on the western edge of the continent, nowhere to go but east. And so I headed out, aiming for the other coast, but without a firm timeline or big plan.
Arizona and New Mexico, with a side trip to Texas: I surprised myself by absolutely falling in love with the high deserts of eastern Arizona and southern New Mexico. From Chiracahua to the Sacramento Mountains, I camped and hiked and listened to birdsong morning and evening. I was only going to stay around this area for 2 or 3 weeks, but I ended up spending most of February through April here.
Colorado: As I headed north in late April, the cold weather that had dogged me for months wasn’t ready to give up. I got snowed on in Denver in early May, 6 inches, and my pipes had a bit of frost in them!
Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri: The plains states were revelations of their own: big open sky and wheat fields that made my thoughts wander even as I tried to imagine how the pioneers felt walking through this harsh country. And then there was Carhenge, one man’s tribute to Stonehenge, using that most American of inventions, the automobile.
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky: It wasn’t all smooth sailing: from a blown tire to a broken finger, I had some challenges to deal with along the way. Also, two broken phones (one drowned, one dropped), and a busted windshield. If there was a theme to my spring, it was something along the lines of “What’s gonna break next?”
Tennessee, North Carolina: The social highlight of the trip was definitely the Altoiste rally in June, where the campground was filled with Alto trailers and owners, all of whom met through a Facebook group. I was still dealing with hand pain and cast limitations, but I enjoyed getting to know everyone, and a few birds of prey as well.
Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania: By the time I hit Lancaster and my friends’ house, I was ready for the cast to come off and OT to begin. In between appointments, I got to know Amish country pretty well. It’s beautiful, and there is a LOT of corn growing going on here.
New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts: Since I’d lived in the tri-state area back in the 1980s, I mostly sped through it on my way to Cape Cod. I was ready for this cross-country trek to be done. The photo below is proof I that I finally made it coast to coast
It took me 201 days, 20 states, three phones, two sets of Subaru tires, two sets of trailer tires, one hand cast, and 7,134 miles to get to the East Coast.
I’m gonna relax here a while.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.