Grandad with the boys

We left behind 15 years of potlucks and parties, sleepovers and soccer games, 80 acres of quiet solitude, crisp mornings, mountains speckled with the red and gold of autumn, our friends and family, and the sweet dogs. Some goodbyes were harder than others Papa, Montana and Taco, Joan…but it was time to go.

The farm was rented out. Papa was settled in the cabin to “care take”. The dogs were with their new families. Most our “things” had been given away, sold or packed in the barn. What was left was packed in the Pilot. One suitcase a piece, one backpack each. Plus a couple of skateboards,laptops and a guitar. We were set. 3 tear filled boys and Philip and I waved goodbye and headed to our first stop Saint Simons Island Ga.
A few days of rest and the kind of love and laughter that can only come from a visit with Phil and Margaret! As we head west to New Orléans it felt like the real start to our journey. New Orleans to Austin fairly uneventful trying to find some rhythm with homeschooling….The long haul across Texas was a wonderful surprise the Hill Country was beautiful. Rolling hills, perfect weather to have the windows rolled down and music playing those few days passed easily but it took much longer than we anticipated and we needed to be in Utah so we headed north. Sadly, missing a visit with my sister and her kids in their new home town of Phoenix. As we crossed into New Mexico the weather turned cold and we were greeted in Moab with the first signs of winter….

Riding in Moab

The big boys had a great ride near Arches and Arlo and I had a long and “mindful” hike. I’m so used to hiking with other mamas and kids chatting away or hiking alone quickly lost in my thoughts. Hiking alone with Arlo in this unfamiliar landscape was such a lesson in being present in the moment… Every time I wanted to speed things up Arlo would pull me back with a thoughtful question or comment about life…life of the things around us the plants, animals and the rocks. I saw things through his eyes that my own no longer take the time to see.. It was a gift to have those hours alone in the canyons of Utah present with  Arlo and present in the moment….

From Moab to Park City.

It’s low season in Park City so we end up in an amazing luxury hotel for not so luxury hotel prices! The boys were in heaven with the fancy robes, big tv and the heated outdoor pool and hot tub right outside our room. Bright moon night white clouds floating silently overhead as the snow flakes fall into the water and melt. the boys hush, the silence is bliss for those few seconds and then their laughter echo’s through the deserted resort….Funny how when I look back to these events only 5 or 6 weeks ago the sweet moments shine through into my mind not the hours of bickering and nagging Philip and I constantly questioning our sanity for taking a 3 week road trip across America in our Honda Pilot with an almost 14-year-old know it all, a 9-year-old gangsta and an active 5 year old….the journey before the journey I guess.
We head over to Ketchum, ID. to Trick or Treat with the cousins. Had such an amazing visit as always.

Batman rides the streets of ketchum

It was great to catch up with family and friends. Beautiful hikes under the blue blue sky, trail runs in my favorite spot. Easy place to be….maybe home someday…. From there it’s on to Bend to visit the Nakato’s and their amazing cattle ranch!! This was one of the highlights. Beautiful spot and so great to stay a few days with good friends. It was extra special for us this time too because the kids are all big enough to create there own friendships it was nice watching them unfold.. we will be back!

California here we come………..
Through the magical redwoods on down the Ca. coast. Every curve down the 1 brought yet another awe-inspiring view. Seemingly impossible each one somehow more jaw dropping then the last. Santa Cruz surf spot, the streets of San Francisco all fantastic. Philip had never been to SF and now this is he new number 1 big city…maybe someday???
Finally the day has come to leave the Pilot, our bikes and a few things we no longer need behind (shout out to Jeff for taking care of that very big hassle for us) and board the plane for our 18 hour journey to the other side of the world…………………..