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.
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 …)
June 16, 2017. Big changes often involve multiple facets fitting together. Such was our decision to go from a small travel trailer to a larger one. Not just the trailer changes. The tow vehicle must also change. And after months of planning, selecting, and financing our dream – one last essential piece about did me in: something called a weight distribution hitch that serves to help Blackie (truck) and Silvie (trailer) move smoothly together. Using friction to control sway – fascinating. A variety to choose from, but a strong preference for the kind we had with the small trailer (only bigger). Precise measurements of the trailer still sitting on the dealer’s lot an hour’s drive South proved elusive, highly frustrating in ordering the new hitch. A few cross words flew between the two of us piecing together our bits of understanding (and not!) of hitches and measurements … but ultimately all came together. And in the process, the weight distribution hitch emerged as symbol. Notice those chains. Ties that bind.
We’ll be rolling through Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and New Mexico shortly. Trusting our hitch!
January 31, 2017. Lately, a series of dreams have occurred driving solo in my Rav4, and while I puzzle over the varying symbols (a horse in the back seat, a bear hauling me and Rav4 up a huge tree) the constant of behind-the-wheel is perhaps of greater significance. Pondering if the Dream Maker is promoting solo travel, I found my way back to this poem.
My last big solo drive was January 2013, to Taos NM for a meditative intensive. I was quite hyped about going, both for the experience once there and for the long hours driving. Driving solo is a unique meditative experience in and of itself.
But going entails separation … this poem wrote itself between home and Taos. While I have no photograph of the departure scene beyond the poem’s imagery, I do have the contrast view a few hours post arrival. Parting words of caution rang in my ears as I skidded into Taos along with a major snow storm, icy roads, and much anxiety. Nothing prettier than an undamaged car, blanketed down for a few idle days.
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..