October 9, 2021. Another extended boon-docking adventure has wound up back in Austin, Airstream in the driveway until we finish cleanup, 3 days thus far of sorting mail, paying bills, and checking for oddities in the yardscape. Enough. Time to indulge, share one of the many poems that emerged during these recent travels.
I’ve long had a thing for ravens. Their “black” includes blue highlights when the sun shines on them just so, and they are full of antics that capture my fancy. The part of New Mexico we just visited is home to many ravens, seen in small groups of 3 or 4 as well as solo – their silhouettes punctuating roadway skylines and their quirky calls penetrating forested mountains. Difficult birds to photograph! Especially in flight. But I got lucky enough to make do. This image is a composite of bluffs in the El Malpais National Conservation Area plus cooperative ravens from the next day (far more “accurate” than failed attempts to capture both at once!)
The poem began as a haiku, then grew into a series, composed in the passenger seat as we rolled along the Continental Divide in New Mexico.
July 27, 2021. Traveling again. Collectively adapting to togetherness in limited space of the Airstream. Patterns that worked in the past require adaptation with addition of a 2nd Labrador – doubling obstacles in hallway and accumulation of fur thus increasing our desire to all get outside! Of course, periodically we have to maneuver around dogs and each other to clean house. Usually this realization sends both humans and Labs into a tizzy. After recent sweeping up of fur and frustrations, I was struck with the absurdity of it all … and how I thoroughly enjoy indulgence in travel, complete with challenges and chores. A togetherness bonding experience! Affections in all directions growing steadily.
June 5, 2019. Greetings from South Llano River State Park (TX) – first pause on our summer travels.
Getting away takes major effort (well worth it!) – this poem reflects on that, as well as the beauty of Texas hill country. This year the yucca are spectacular. This collage shows the scene – a bit blurred as pausing to take photos is impractical when towing an Airstream! The closeup is of a yucca blooming on the trail to one of the bird blinds here at the state park.
April 30, 2019. How to convey a magical experience? I was so into it while it lasted that “make a video” never occurred to me. The image here (collage of a prior moon photo with clip-art) hopefully conveys the impression of moving along at eye-level with the Good Friday full moon – view constantly bouncing due to varying swag of heavy black power lines. What a start to a weekend camping trip with a loooong drive down to Seminole Canyon State Park (West of Del Rio Tx). Who knew Austin’s I-35 offered a moon-viewing deck?
July 23, 2017. Traveling still, now in cooler temperatures and higher elevations. This afternoon’s rain kept us campsite-bound – an agreeable pace! I’ve encountered several times lately promotions for “forest bathing” – Japanese Shinrinyoku – preventive healthcare practice of getting oneself out among trees. Research proves its value. My experience here bears witness.
July 19, 2017. Traveling, taking in (our first time!) the 20th annual Woody Fest in Okemah, Oklahoma; WONDERFUL music experience for anyone considering what to do in future Julys!
Research led us to Pine Trees RV about 2 miles out of town – w,here we were under pines, overlooking a beautiful pond, at the end of a gravel road. Blissful! Those trees were most welcome in Oklahoma July heat.
We discovered a female kildeer thought so too – her “nest” barely out of traffic’s path. Speaking gently, approaching slowly, it was easy to get close. But the moment I crossed her perceived boundary, she tripled in size and fierceness. And I apologized! (Right after snapping this image …)
July 4, 2016. Still traveling. Have now twice been over a stretch of Interstate 40 with the power to literally make one’s insides churn. The speed limit is 45mph, but trucks go faster and there are many trucks! Turn after turn after turn – eastern edge of Tennessee, in the Cherokee forest. I traveled this road several years back with the bad luck to be driving after dark, in incredibly dense fog. I pulled off on an exit that went uphill to a gas station – nothing else in sight – inside asking about places to spend the night without getting back on the freeway. The attendant raised his eyebrows and recommended a little back road that would eventually get me to town. His comment on the fog: “Well, these are the Smokey Mountains; you should not be driving at night.” Uh-huh!
No way to stop for a photo on either occasion – the collage is my best attempt at contrasting the two experiences. The twisty road is derived from Google Maps reflecting the actual curvature..