A few months ago, I started looking at the ideas I had for traveling around in 2022. And that’s when I realized my ideas weren’t going to work, it was just too much driving and too many miles, and so I started thinking how to change things to do less of both.
My original idea was to hang out in the Southwestern desert until mid-April, then head over to San Diego for a gathering of Alto owners. From there, I’d go up the eastern side of the Sierras, exploring territory I’d not seen yet beyond Manzanar and Lone Pine. And then, Oregon, Washington, and, by mid-July, Vancouver Island for another Alto gathering. After that? Well, that’s when I took a hard look at the map. I needed to be in Gainesville, Florida, by US Election Day, November 8th. I’d be signing myself up for a about 5400 miles of driving in six months worth of traveling. Yikes. I felt exhausted just looking at this route, to be honest.
I thought about that up-and-over cross-country drive for a few weeks. I could go across Canada, but I have the feeling campgrounds will be hard to come by up there, due to the pent-up demand after two summers of not camping all that much due to, yeah, COVID-19. I could go across the northern US states, but I just did a lot of that last summer. I could do Kansas and Nebraska, but just the thought of those flat, hot states in the middle of summer made me start to question my sanity.
One of the biggest questions I’ve asked myself during this vagabond life is why the hell I lived in, and fell in love with, both Massachusetts and the Pacific Northwest. They are opposite sides of the country, so it seems like I’m forever having to choose where and who to visit. I want that Star Trek transporter, or a flying trailer, and I want it yesterday. I went down the west coast from Vancouver to LA in 2019, but I haven’t spent more than a week in Mass since 2018. My last long visit there was in 2017, which is five years ago, so I am way overdue for a Northeast tour.
While I was thinking on all these things, I looked at my states map on the door of my trailer. Almost taunting me were the empty places for Oklahoma and Arkansas, as if they were challenging me to go that route. OK, I thought, maybe I will. At that point, I was debating which direction to go after the family reunion in early April in eastern Arizona that would get me to those two missing states. Friends mentioned they’d be in Taos for a month. Hmm. I haven’t been in Taos for a few years, and that was just a drive-through on the way to somewhere else. I could do Taos. And then head east, moseying along the panhandle of Texas to OK City and maybe the Ozarks.
Hmm, the Ozarks. Never been there, and so it was added to the route I was building in my head. From there, it wasn’t all that far to western Kentucky, where the family of the one grandfather I knew was from. I could stop there, then shoot up to Indiana to visit my oldest friend in the world (literally, because we met as the only two new kids in eighth grade). New York State and Massachusetts beckoned, with friends in both states from the times I lived there (NY in the 1980s, Mass in the 1990s). And then it would be a pretty nice slide south to Florida by Election Day.
I started making reservations, locking in Memorial Day and July 4th, and then I was committed to the general “head east” direction. If there’s one thing that is painstakingly detailed, it’s planning a route six months in advance, which is as early as most public campsites let you reserve ahead. I did a few every day, although some days I got really pumped and would do a month ahead, whee!
As it turns out, the newer routing is about 4700 miles, or about 700 miles less than the original 2022 idea would have been. I get to drive less, visit some new places, see friends in several states, and it just feels way less onorous than the Vancouver drive would have been.
So, Am I Psychic?
So why is the title of this post about not being psychic? Because gas prices have gone insane this last month. The US gets around 3% of its oil from Russia, and yet the price at the pump when up 25 cents in one weekend, less than a week after the US sanctioned Russia for attacking Ukraine. The last time, I filled up my tank, I winced just a bit. So I’m glad I changed routes, which means less driving and less gas purchase. driving less. Sometimes, it’s just sheer luck how choosing a direction works out.
If you were someone I was going to see in San Diego, Bend, Seattle, Vancouver Island or any West Coast stop, I’m sorry, but it won’t be happening in 2022. Maybe not 2023 either. So many places, so far apart when you’re driving with a trailer behind you.
Choices are the hinges of destiny.
Edwin Markham (Poet)
24 thoughts on “Am I Psychic? Not Quite…”
We’ll be away for four months traveling to Michigan/Minnesota/Wisconsin, but we will definitely be back by the end of October in plenty of time to vote! Laura and Kevin are close friends and just visited us here in Apalachicola. So if you’re coming this direction on your way home and want a place to stay overnight….:-)
(BTW, for some reason your comment section isn’t recognizing my URL. It’s http://www.ravenandchickadee.com)
Wow, what a nice offer, Laurel! Could I do take you up on it in January when I’m headed from G’ville to Gulf Shores? I’d love to meet you two…
I just searched back through your posts to figure out where I last commented, LOL. We would be happy for you to stay with us. Email me, that way I’m sure to see your response and we can put you on our calendar. 🙂
Thanks, Laurel, I’d love to meet up with you so I’ll drop you an email.
No idea why your subscription isn’t working to notify you of new posts. Hmmm….
Annie, looks like you’ll miss your namesake and I in SD and Bend! Sorry to miss you but now retired and racking up the miles like a youngster!
Rack up those miles, Aldon, and congrats on the retirement. We’ll meet up some day, seems all Altoistes do eventually 🙂
Glad to hear of your travels, I understand completely about the gas situation. We have some trips planned with our Alto this summer and that’s a true consideration. Looking forward to connecting with you at some point in the future
I may return from Germany in 2022, early in the fall if I do. Otherwise, I’ll be back in 2023. Thanks for continuing to keep us all posted of your travels!
Oh, sounds like you’re making some choices, Larry, best of luck figuring out what works for you. I hope to get to Berlin in 2023, we’ll see how Europe is doing then…
Sounds like fun no matter which direction you drive! That’s one of the things I look forward to some day, visiting friends across the country and seeing new stuff!
I, too, have wondered what the implications of Florida’s voter suppression efforts will be, but we just received our ballots for some local city council election with plenty of time to respond. I thought we were going to have to request each ballot separately going forward, but I guess not? Or maybe that will be the case for the big elections that matter? Yep… you’ve got the right idea – just go to freaken Florida and do it the hard way if you want to make sure your voice is heard.
Looks like you will not be coming to MA/NH this summer – places to park your trailer are hard to find – impossible last summer – but maybe not so tight this summer. I hope to see you one of these days Annie – I am not traveling much at all now – but i hope to see the grandchildren in Carmel at some point – where they now have a house. I have wonderful memories of the birthday bash in Victoria – years ago. I was still mobile then – not much at all now. Take care of yourself.
Things work out the way they are supposed to…
My thought, with the cost of gas, was to fly to Gainesville for the days you need to be there and leave the trailer safely parked somewhere, maybe with the Indiana friend. That would save a bunch of gas. Maybe not enough for the plane ticket and lodging, but wear and tear on you and your rig must count for something.
Then I have to find a place to store my trailer, rent a car from Orlando, etc. And I do want to get to Gainesville to hang out with my erstwhile housemates and stay in one place for a few months to get some personal business done (like that dental cleaning that’s overdue!).
How do all those full timers vote? Never thought about it.
Whatever route you take, it will be an adventure.
Absentee ballots can work, but the timing can be tight! I do miss some minor elections, but I’ve never missed a big one in my entire voting life.
Annie, have you thought about voting absentee? That way you won’t have to get to FL by any set date. Maybe have the ballot sent to a friend c/o you? Will save on gas.
Florida is one of those states trying really hard to make it difficult to vote by various means, including absentee ballots. Getting it at the house, then mailing it to me somewhere I can get mail, and then mailing it back before the deadline is a huge challenge. Given this election includes governor and 1 US senator, I want to make sure my ballot gets there and counts, despite the legal hurdles the FL govt is throwing in the way.
Same thought as Dave re absentee votoing. My wife and I do this regularly. One year our ballots were hand delivered to us by a park Ranger at a west Texas state park. He’d even driven from a different nearby state park to where the ballots were actually mailed. We were in the parks’ data base so he came to find us. Impressed we were!
Looking forward to seeing you this summer, Annie!
Excited that you are passing through Indiana, just hope it isn’t the first couple of weeks in June. I was disappointed to miss you the last time (evil sidewalks) you came through. If late July, we can do my 3 year streak run together. You have been an awesome supporter and tempting me with some semi-vagabond dreams of my own for the future.
Last couple weeks of June, most likely, first Terre Haute and then camping south of Indy. Seems like we should be able to meet halfway from one of those points!
Either works for me. My college alma mater is in TH so always enjoy chances to visit campus. I also live on the south side of Indy so may be very close to the campground you pick there. Definitely looking forward to it.