Finally: We Are on the Road… Did You Miss Us?

The book cases are gone, as are the books, and almost everything else. Packed up and shipped east or given away. The house feels lonely now, but soon it will be occupied by someone who is excited to have a home in the woods. The sale is pending!

My blogging friends Linda and Karen from Texas called yesterday and wanted to know where in the world were we. It was special for them to check up on us. They caught us between Death Valley and Las Vegas.

Peggy and I hadn’t dropped into a black hole and simply disappeared from WordPress as people sometimes do. We had forgotten how much work goes into moving and selling a house. It’s number three on the top-five list of stress producers— right after the death of a loved one or divorce, and before having a major illness or losing a job! There was no time for blogging during the day, and by night, I had reached zombie status. Sitting and vegging were about all I could muster. I had gone beyond couch potato; I was a couch turnip.

Anyway, long story short, two weeks ago, Peggy and I made a final walk around our house, hooked up Serafina, the trailer, to Iorek, the truck, and drove up our road, honking as we had promised our neighbors we would in a final farewell. Beep, Beep, Beep-Beep, BEEP—BEEP. 

Peggy and I took a final walk around our house and said goodbye to the Red Buttes, the Oregon pioneer rose, Peggy’s garden, the deer and so many other things that we had taken joy in.

Saying goodbye wasn’t easy. We had lived in our little home in the woods for 11 years— longer than either of us had ever lived anywhere since heading off to college. We had come to love the five acres we were responsible for with its irrepressible wildlife and even gotten used to the deer pressing their noses up against our windows to see what we were doing inside. Or leaving their babies sleeping on our porch as the moms went off to browse. That speaks to how much the deer trusted us. It gave a whole new meaning to baby-sitting. Then there were the squirrels and foxes and bob cats and cougars and bears. Oh my! Bald eagles flew up and down the canyon and soared into the air where they were joined by osprey and hawks. Numerous other birds lived on our property or stopped by on their way elsewhere. Watching them gather at our bird feeder and determine who was boss provided endless entertainment. Having a national forest in our backyard and a river in the front yard wasn’t half-bad either. Nor were the views of the Siskiyou mountains, a scant ten miles away with their snow-covered peaks and incredible sunsets. 

Last, but certainly not least, Peggy and I had great neighbors. They were a diverse group that came from widely different backgrounds but genuinely liked each other, almost a miracle in this age of irreconcilable differences.  On Friday we had them all over for a going away potlatch party, which, in case you don’t know, was a tradition of the Northwestern American natives where the chief would call everyone together and give away most of what he owned at an opulent feast. 

Our potlatch didn’t quite qualify. For one, we weren’t chiefs; for two, our opulent feast was a beer, wine, booze and pizza party. Papa Murphy’s did the honors on pizza and we cleaned out our liquor cabinet for the beer, wine, and more serious alcohol, like 98 proof rum and Tom’s Blackberry Surprise. The surprise was the amount of vodka he added to juice from the five-gallons of blackberrys we had picked last summer. Drink a little and it tastes good; drink enough and it is the best concoction you had ever downed. There was plenty of alcohol to make everyone happy. An opulent feast wasn’t necessary and the pizza was scarfed down. 

And finally, we didn’t give everything away. Hardly. We’d already sent a 16’ x 8’ packed moving pod off to our daughter’s home in Virginia with our treasures— mainly books, book cases, a buffet, art, a couple of comfy chairs and some heirlooms. We had also made numerous trips to Goodwill and the dump. And, while we had shipped 30 boxes of books to Virginia, we had also given 15 to Friends of the Ruch Library to sell to benefit the library. Peggy had been the president of FORL for six years. To top it off, Serafina and Iorek were loaded to the gills with everything we might need for the road— Plus. Peggy kept stuffing things into Serafina or showing up with bins for me to find room for in Iorek. Even with all of that, none of our neighbors went home empty handed. There were still couches and beds and chairs, and kitchen supplies, and lamps, and food, and sporting equipment and left over alcohol. There was even a 24 roll pack of TP from Costco. That would have brought a fortune at the beginning of the pandemic. People would have killed for it. We could hardly give it away.

As tough as saying goodbye was, Peggy and I were more than ready for our new life of full-timing. After all, the name of this blog is Wandering Through Time and Place!

With two weeks on the road behind us, we are almost human again. What we did, actually, was drive down to Reno where we camped out for a week while we relaxed and reacquainted ourselves with life on the road and our new trailer. And then we drove on to Death Valley, getting there four days before they closed the campgrounds for the season. A blog is coming.

A teaser from my next blog. This was taken along the 20 Mule Canyon Road. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

We’ve now moved on to Las Vegas and are getting ready for our next National Park, Zion Canyon. We have four travelling companions along: Bone and Eeyore of course. They’ve travelled with us for over a quarter of a million miles. This time, however, they have been joined by Goofy and Iorek’s avatar. Goofy has been hanging out with me since the 70’s when a friend learned that one of my in-law relatives had been responsible for the creation of Goofy and, I might add, Bozo the Clown. I identified more closely with Goofy. Yuk, yuk. Iorek’s avatar was sent to us by Chrystal Trulove, one of our close blogging friends, as a Christmas Tree ornament. He told us that he would much prefer to be on the road with us than be packed away in a moving pod.

Goofy is patting Bone on the head. Bone is dressed to travel in his quilt. Usually, he runs around naked. Iorek, who is new to our menagerie, peaks out from under Eeyore’s ear.
And finally, me, happily settled into Serafina, the trailer, and back at blogging. Our Murphy bed morphs into a comfy couch, only a part of our Africa quilt is showing! (Photo by Peggy.)

57 thoughts on “Finally: We Are on the Road… Did You Miss Us?

  1. Huzzah and hooray! I’ll be back later to read more closely, but it’s good to see that Newton’s 3rd law (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) has a bit of a corollary among humans: one phone call, one blog entry! So good to see you again, and of course good to talk. Later!

    • Thanks, Linda. And yes you and Karen inspired me! Grin. I’m excited to back to writing, photography, blogging, and sharing with my friends. I’ll be checking in on you soon. –Curt

  2. Great to “see” you back, Curt, and nice to hear about your last days at your house and the push ahead into your new adventures with Peggy and family. Looking forward to enjoying your adventures as you journey across this big and beautiful country.

    • Thanks so much, Jet. Many, many adventures ahead. They already started with Death Valley. Have you ever been there? It is one of Peggy and my favorite National Parks. Next up: Zion. –Curt

      • Yes, I have been to Death Valley, but not Zion. DV is a curious and delightful place on this planet. Wonderful places for great adventures. Have fun Curt.

      • I really feel for those who have missed experiencing Death Valley, Jet, at least in the fall, winter and spring. Maybe not so much in the summer. Grin. Thanks. –Curt

  3. Good to see you back Curt. Lots of wonderful memories you left behind and soooo much work I can imagine! Enjoy your wandering and Zion Canyon. I’ll be anxious to see your clicks and commentary!💖

  4. Glad to “see” you around Curt, I was actually wondering too, last week, how the sale went..
    Saying good-bye is never easy, especially to so many friends (including the ones from the wood🙂), but one adventure starts with ending the other one🙂
    Wishing you safe wanderings!!
    Christie

    • It’s good to return to my blogging community, AC. It has always been special. Thanks. I am looking forward to sharing out adventures again, not to mention having them. 🙂 –Curt

  5. Good to have you back, Curt.
    Believe it or not, having “been there, done that,” I suspect that down the road you will wonder why you have so much. We keep downsizing, but whatever space we have seems to fill up again. But one thing you will always have are some wonderful memories of the last 11 years.
    At the moment, however, I envy your time on the road again and look forward to your reports.

    • One time, Ray, before Peggy, when I downsized for my bike trip around North America, I got down to what I could carry on my bike plus a few boxes of books that I stored. Wonderful memories of out home in the woods, yes, and lots of fun photos and blogs to help the memories. Thanks Ray. Appreciated. –Curt

  6. Curt and Peggy,

    What a great start on your adventure. You both will be missed as you already know. I will be looking forward to each of your blogs. Stay safe, have fun, do lots of what you love and be happy. Barbara.

    Ps. Let me know if it is better to email you directly.

    • Loved the FORL photos featured on Facebook yesterday, a reminder of a special community and friendships. We are just now feeling we are back in the groove of traveling, writing, and playing with our cameras. This all makes us think of you, too. Peggy and Curt

  7. Yes, of course we missed you!! (But seriously, since Covid, I have stopped going and asking how people are when they haven’t posted. Frankly I’m afraid of the answer…)
    What do you mean # 3 on the list of stress producers? I am going to die in this home for sure – I refuse to ever move again, unless I come into a lot of money and someone does everything for me!!
    Love your traveling companions and you and Peggy stay safe in your travels!

  8. I missed you Curt! I’m so glad to hear that you and Peggy are on your way! I’m very much looking forward to reading about your new adventures. I agree that moving can be so stressful and it takes a while (months) to acclimate to your new environment. But what an adventure! I know that you and Peggy will find happiness wherever you are together. 🙂

  9. Hooray Curt and Peggy! There’s no better feeling than closing one chapter in life to begin a new one. The world seems shiny and new. And being back on the road is a feeling all travelers relish. Congrats on the sale of your home – I certainly understand the bittersweetness of it. James and I have been talking about you during your absence, hoping that all was going well with your transition … and wondering where you might be. Now we know and it sounds glorious. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures. Wishing you both all the very best, Terri.

    • Thanks so much Terri. That was a long haul for us! We are going to miss our home in the woods, which we loved, but the truth is, we also love wandering for the pure joy it brings. We will settle down again (will probably have to— Grin), but for now, each week will bring a new adventure. Hi to James. It’s good to be back! –Curt

  10. Congrats, Curt. When I saw your post, I did wonder where you’d got to! A great wrap up of the life you’re leaving and a sense of anticipation for the one ahead. Have fun at Zion. I’ll be there in less than a month. 🙂 Can’t wait. Happy Travels.

    • Thanks D! I’m glad to be back in the blogosphere, and even more glad to be back on the road, once again exploring North America with it’s incredible beauty and remaining wild places. Zion is always special. When you add that Bryce and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are both within a days drive, nature doesn’t get much more impressive! 🙂 Looking forward to your future post on Zion. –Curt

      • Ha ha. We’re taking 2 weeks to do S. Rim, N. Rim, Zion, and Bryce. We have our hikes planned out and I Can Not Wait. I haven’t been to any of these places yet. I’m a bit envious of your new adventures and look forward to Peggy’s photos (and yourse Lol). 🙂

  11. Oh I’m so excited for you! What an adventure you will have.
    I know the feeling of letting go of a beloved home and having to sell/give away everything. It’s daunting to say the least. But you did it!
    Wishing you every wonderful thing on your journey.
    Looking forward to updates.
    You guys better come up to Vancouver sometime!
    Don and I are off to Croatia and Greece in a couple of weeks. Whooohooo!
    Alison

    • Croatia and Greece! Whoo-hoo indeed. I know that the two of you love wandering even more than Peggy and I do.

      Daunting? Yes when you are in the midst of it. And our place truly was home, especially in light of our love of the outdoors. But adventures await and our little trailer makes a perfectly fine home!

      Thanks, Alison. Hi to Don. Enjoy your next adventure! –Curt

  12. I really enjoyed the details you provided above. There’s always something bittersweet about goodbyes, even when a multitude of hellos await — but you know what Woody Allen said: “The longest journeys may begin with a single step, but the best journeys begin with a moment of temporary insanity.” Here’s to even better journeys in the future!

    • Here’s to temporary insanity, Linda! We will toast it tonight. 🙂 I’m prone to bouts as often as I can get away with it. Fortunately, my buddy, is as well, although not quite as often, which is a good thing since a little stability is good on occasion as well. 🙂 Thanks. –Curt

  13. Hey Curt, nice to hear from you, I was beginning to wonder. I’m starting to get back into the blogosphere as well, but my transition doesn’t turn the world on its ear nearly as much as yours does. Here’s to many a new adventure!

    • Thanks, Dave. It’s good to be back, especially considering the alternative over the past couple of months! Peggy and I are adapting quickly to life on the road. We should, given we had four years of practice in the past. 🙂 And it sounds like I should be welcoming you back to blogging as well! –Curt

  14. Hey Couch Turnip! Glad you’re feeling better and have had a chance to unwind and breathe deeply after the move. Your home is almost unrecognizable in that shot and somewhat painful to see, after having seen it alive with a family living there. I’m sure it will be alive again soon with the new owners. Congratulations on the sale and being DONE with all the stuff you had to do there. Whew. But oh, how sad it was to see the familiar shot of the mountains and imagine you and Peggy saying goodbye to the trees, the trail, the deer, the rose, the view, the river, your neighbors. There must have been so many competing emotions.

    Anyway, off you go! It’s nice to see Iorek’s avatar asked to go along with you. I think he will have more fun that way. And nice to see Goofy there too. I remember you told me that story about your relative with Goofy connections when I posted a photo of me hugging Goofy in Disneyland!

    Thanks for the post. The phone call was basically the same reason for my email two days ago: um, are you guys alive? ha ha. Next time I’ll know to call! You are in some of my favourite places in our country. I really love to camp in Death Valley, and Zion might be my favourite park of all. Have a wonderful time and enjoy spring out there. You’ll get to see all the waterfalls in action before they dry up!! Hug that beautiful Peggy for me. Sending lots of love from Pedro and me. ❤

    • Missed the Email, Crystal. Sorry. Haven’t checked in for a few days. It’s a bad habit of mine. I’m always promising myself to be better— for all the good it does. Grin.

      Yes, Iorek’s avatar is having a blast. He hangs out with Bone a lot. I’m pretty sure that Bone is corrupting him with his tales of Burning Man.

      Excited about Zion. It’s been a while since we have been there. Way back in my youth I once backpacked out of the canon straight up and over the walls. It was 105° when I came back down. A cold beer has never tasted so good.

      Big relief! Sad, but you know about our wandering ways. In the end, there was hardly time to feel sad. I’m sure it will come when I go through our umpteen hundreds of photos.

      Thanks, Crystal and my apologies for disappearing. It’s good to be back. –Curt

  15. Yes, Curt. I was wondering why things seemed so different the last few months. You don’t know what is missing till it’s gone is a line out of ‘Winter In America is cold’.
    Glad to have you back.

  16. Perhaps is that a shit cloth, as we Peace Corps called that African cloth print, I spied above your head? We’ll anyway good luck being true vagabond in this new chapter of your life!

    • Certainly a traditional cloth, Dave. We are quite fond of it. Never heard the phrase during my Liberia Peace Corps experience. And thanks, we are indeed enjoying our new adventure! –Curt

  17. What fun to see you launching yet another new chapter in your adventurous lives!!! Happy travels and explorations! 💥

    That first shot of the house makes it look so empty and abandoned…. 😒

    • Thanks, Gunta! After three weeks going on four we are finally beginning to relax. We are exploring around Bryce Canyon now.

      Poor house. But the new buyers are eager to move in as soon as the sale is finalized and have already fallen in love with the property –Curt

  18. Nice to see your update about the house and your start of full-time travel. I think I must be one of those bloggers who has fallen into a black hole, but I do plan to eventually scratch my way back out! Happy travels to both of you!

  19. Having just spent the last six months cleaning out and preparing my parents home for sale, I can relate. We are under contract at last and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My folks never threw anything away and this was a daunting and emotionally wrenching task. Now I am eyeing my own packed attic and basement and reconciling myself to downsizing. I envy you and Peggy the nomadic life. Enjoy your new clutter free adventure in good health ✨️

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