Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wanderlust



The travel schedule this summer has been hellacious. I consider summer to be the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, even though the regular calendar says it doesn’t start until June 20th or so and is still going strong well into September. Summer weather can creep over these date boundaries too. It can be hot in May and still hotter in October. I don’t use the weather, especially with these climate changes that are so evident in the world today, as any kind of bellwether for a season, and I travel in all the seasons, or have in the past, but this year it has been all summer on the road.

I did the motorcycle trip out west and then putted around the midwest in Iowa, Missouri and South Dakota. Over 5100 miles worth. Then the big trip I just completed, another 6600 plus miles in the van. In, around and between these trips were local trips. But some of my local trips are a couple of hundred miles. I mean, I went to Spooner Tuesday and put over 300 miles on Goldie, the new Ford Focus. Then there was the trip up north to Red Cliff and the one to the Sundance in Red Lake. Man, I tell you, I’m wracking up the miles.

On the latest trip, I went to Colorado, Redondo Beach and Northern California to visit friends. One of the friends I visited was Hal, who I rode motorcycle with in June. His bike is still in my garage with all his riding gear. He wants to get back to Wisconsin and finish the ride. You might remember that he rushed home via commercial airline to be with his wife who was suffering from some complications with her dialysis.

We discussed how we might accomplish the task of getting his bike back. I could load it on a trailer and at some point just haul it back. But Hal decided he wanted to finish the trip he started. My dear friends Hal and Ellen lost their daughter to breast cancer last summer. Literally on her death bed, Hal made her a promise that he would come east, which he rarely does, and see some old friends. It was on this trip, doing exactly that, that he was summoned away back home to help out his spouse.

The decision has been made. Hal will take the train into Chicago. The Amtrak from Emeryville, CA, near San Francisco, across the continent to rural Princeton, IL. Hal’s brother lives in Princeton. It is about 60 miles from Chicago. Chicago is where Hal and I both grew up. He has some roots there and some old friends, and he is bound and determined to see them and fulfill his promise to his daughter.

I’ll travel to Chicago sometime in August and pick him up, bring him back here to Wisconsin. We’ll tune up the bikes a bit. Adjust this, tighten that and change the oil. Then we’ll ride again, west. I’m not sure of the exact dates and I’m not sure how far I’ll ride with him. Maybe all the way back to the west coast.

Some other local Minnesota and Wisconsin friends might take part of this trip with me as well. There is some interest with a few riding buddies from here. We’ll see how things develop. In my wishbook of trips I want to take, I would go back to Northern California and visit a bit more out there before heading back via the high desert area down near Barstow. There, I’d set up an appointment with Thornie. Yes, of Thorne’s World, the blogger. She is a world class tattoo artist, (I’ve seen many examples of her work), and I want some work done on me. I’m in the act of getting the information now about how this might be accomplished.

After the tattoo session, I’d head back home. But I also have been invited to Hot Springs, SD for a reunion of sorts with a couple of Army buddies. Then there is a wedding in Northern Minnesota in late August and another in Cornucopia, WI in October. I mentioned to the kids that we’d try to make the annual buffalo round-up at Custer State Park in South Dakota the first weekend of October too. Also in October is the annual big reunion in Seattle for the 22nd Infantry Regiment Society. Another Army buddy thing.

All these opportunities to travel have me confused. I put the brakes on for a while and I was really liking being a homebody. Not like the old days when I’d write the Monday Mystery Tour and recall one of the many road trips I made over the years. I just can’t do all these trips. Not that I don’t want to, but there is just not enough time and events overlap dates and I made a commitment to be here for the kids as they will center after school activities at our house this school year. I promised to be here!

We bought this house last March too. I like it here. As I mentioned, I have become a homebody and felt like I was really grounding myself. I even have a dog now. Now, seems like I have more opportunities to travel than I ever had. But I really want to be home. I have many projects to do here. Things I want to do. Some of them are related to fixing and remodeling things, others are art work and crafty, and still others are of the hanging around the neighborhood variety.

Oh well, problems some others wish they had I guess. Wondering which trips to take and which to pass up. Money is a big concern too. I’m broke. I hate to travel on a shoestring every time. You can eat only so much peanut butter and jelly. Although the freshness of the seasonal fruit in California was a wonderful repast to partake in on our last jaunt.

Anyhoo, like my friend Batmo says, I have my work cut out for me. I’ll be around a while until the road calls me again. Been the story of my life and I like it. Now, to decide which trips I’ll make and which I’ll miss. Then again, I think if I like home so much, why do I think of leaving at all? Can’t shake that old wanderlust as easily as I thought.

Years ago, the Grand child, singular, was but one and a little baby in diapers. Our lifestyle was nonchalant and we were easily tempted away from our rented apartment living situation. Now, you can’t swing a dead cat without hittin’ a Grand kid around here and leaving isn’t so easy. But I like the challenge of having decisions to make about when and where I’ll travel to next.

In the meantime, I’ll be around and I sure have plenty of stories to tell. I’ll leave this post with a few more pictures of my past trip. I know, it’s like me making you watch home movies, but that’s what you’ll get today. It’s raining here. If you are having a slow day, here’s something to look at.


Arches National Park near Moab, Utah


We all got a kick out of the name of this park in Rexford, Idaho



My two beautiful daughters enjoying the sun while boating the Pacific


Hollywood


Mendocino, CA Aiko Annie is at the far left, hangin' with the Spado's


Foggy ocean image


Tree huggers from the Midwest invade California redwoods


We didn't see any in the Oregon Outback. We had a nice picnic though

Peace to all.

14 comments:

This Eclectic Life said...

I love the photos, Spadoman. You can make me watch home movies any time :-). I thoroughly understand the wanderlust. Sometimes I don't enjoy travel because it is just for work. I go to a hotel, go work, come back to the hotel, go work, come home. Period. Other times, I get a longing to just drive somewhere with my camera. Then there are days I want to "nest." There isn't time for it all, but if we try to enjoy every step of the way --- I figure that's the best we can do.
If you find yourself in my neck of the woods, I'll feed you better than peanut butter...

Mel said...

I think I can remember tiring of sammiches...but at this given moment they sound darn good to me!
;-)

Hal sounds like a wonderful fella to have an adventure with. And it's just one more to the list that's already in the making....

Wanderlust.
*sigh*
When I see the photos you post of places I've been and places I've not been--it plants that seed in me to wanna go, see and explore.
There's soooo much eyecandy to feast on, yaknow?
And a return visits have never given me the same view twice. I guess that's the glory of going, huh?



Oh....and I laughed at "you can’t swing a dead cat without hittin’ a Grand kid around here". I might have to steal that one! LOL

betmo said...

i had a pbj sammich for lunch today :) it is a catch 22- i miss having you around for the daily cuppa- but you do have such nice stories and pics upon return from a wanderlust trip :) my family never stayed in a motel or hotel- we slept in the back of the truck- dad had one of those fords that the seats folded down and laid flat and we had our pillows and stuff while the parents sat in front. packed a cooler and slept in rest stops. and yes, lots of pbj :) good memories of watching for license plates and state welcome signs and getting truckers to honk their horns by making the universal sign for honking :)

Annie said...

Ha! Glad you posted the picture of all of us together, Joe. What a great space in time that was. Let me know when you will be headed north or south on 101 again... maybe we could meet in Hopland, or Willits.

This Eclectic Life said...

I passed a blogging award along to you ... just so you know!

Thorne said...

Ah ho, Mashkoday Biizhiikiins!
Welcome home from your travels and safe journeys when again you depart. I too am glad you post photos; they are gorgeous. I want to sit and meditate where those 2 holes in the first image seem to converge. (But I prolly couldn't climb up there. hehehe). I'm so looking forward to your good company (and the good coffee you promised *wink) and to the honor of doing some ink for you.
Mitake oyasin.

Anne said...

Great pictures, Spadoman. I'm happy for you that you're getting to do all this great stuff. I've thought for a long time that I would like to learn to drive a truck, to be able to see sights like this. Maybe when both kids are grown. The world doesn't have enough lady truckers.

susan said...

The photographs and stories are wonderful as always. It's true that commitments make travel more difficult and not less but the time will come again. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy being settled for a little while.

All the best and please visit again for my response to a misunderstanding.

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