At the top of my lungs I yelled, “I DIDN’T WRITE YET THIS WEEK BECAUSE I WAS BUSY.” The emptiness of the void brought my own voice back to me, diminished just a little, ‘I DIDN’T WRITE THIS WEEK BECAUSE I WAS BUSY.” Turns out that few minutes each night I don’t write where I feel pangs of regret and maybe even some kind of personal-guilt (which is, I think, a mostly Catholic thing) really don’t matter. There’s much to be proud of of and happy about. Out here in my corner of the internet are some 900,000 words, so there ain’t no flies on me.
I guess the past two nights I’ve been doing work. Not sawmill-work but instead the lustful work that is getting to 80% on the itinerary for our coming RV odyssey. The approach has been more structured than I first thought it would have to be. At first I was trying to fit a trip into a number of days, but realized quickly this wasn’t working. Realizing I had to first set some boundaries, I instead started by defining the average miles we’d be willing to drive on a driving day. Next, I defined a driving vs. not-driving ratio to ensure we had sufficient “off time” to where things would feel like a vacation instead of an extremely long drive with no real destination. With those two guideposts, it was easy to come to reasonable totals for both total trip miles and total trip days.
Oh and things are moving forward. We have a start date, we have budget, we have an end date, we have a better-than-rough route, we have a good number of “zero days” sprinkled throughout. In fact, today I put $300 down to reserve our thirty foot RV. Not only that, but I made the motions at work to get the slotted time away. I mean, things are coming together, and I’m a little more sure this thing is actually happening – even if the cost is somewhat “extravagant” for a family vacation (although, as six-week-long vacations go… eh…). One day in the future, when I get each night’s campgrounds defined, I’ll share a more detailed itinerary. But tonight I’m excited enough about the major stops and locations that I just wanted to run them down.
8,200 miles. Where are we going? What are we seeing? A day at Crater Lake. A stay with my family in Oregon. Four days in Yellowstone. Half a day at Mt. Rushmore. A morning at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A day at Niagara Falls and a day at Antietam. A couple days to tour DC. A two-day drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway with a back-country overnighter. A dip into the deep south to hang with our southern folk. A day in the Ozarks. The better part of three days in the Grand Canyon. Hoover Dam and a day in Death Valley. Independence day with friends in the California high desert and then back home again some forty-five days after we leave. Those “days” I mention are what I call “zero days,” no-driving days, stoppage days. On top of that we put thousands of (hopefully scenic) road underneath us.
Yes I’m sad that we had to cut Glacier and Badlands and Arches and the Rockies and the Keys and New Orleans. But man, I think we’re doing really well for six weeks.
There’s still lots to be defined and tons of details to settle. That means I should get my nose back in these books and websites and sign off now.