Life on the road is always different. Different place, different scenery, different situation.
When hitting the road after an extended stop it takes some adjustment to get back into the travel life.
After leaving my mother's home in Pennsylvania we rolled into Ohio and spent a lovely evening with my cousin, but the next day we hit the road again and rolled into Michigan and almost all the way through. This push to get somewhere can lead to mistakes and it led us on an out of the way excursion that ended in nothing but a waste of fuel and sixty mile round trip trek. Sometimes pushing to get somewhere can be a disadvantage but it took some time to adjust to this reality once more.
On Day two in Michigan we reached Wilderness State Park camping right next to a stunning Lake Michigan.
It was breathtaking. The lake looks like an inland sea with all of the colors of the Caribbean thrown in for good measure. Our first night at the park the lake gave us a taste of real weather with wind gust up to forty miles per hour. The every-day-hero even went up on the room and took down the vent cover over the bathroom vent. It had a broken panel clip from before and with the wind so fierce we were worried it would fly off.
The next day we were off to Mackinac Island on the ferry to see what we could see. The island was beautiful and being off peak season there were very few people there. This island has no cars other than emergency vehicles. Instead everyone rides bicycles or uses horses. Not that's my kind of place. Since we were a bit early for the season not everything was open but there was more than enough to see and we walked our feet off trekking everywhere. The island is full of history, walking trails and fudge.
We spent one more day in Wilderness State Park then hit the road once more heading for the Upper Peninsula. Our original plan was to go to another park there but the weather was so horrid, wet, and cold that we decided to roll on. As a matter of fact we rolled all the way across the peninsula and down to Green Bay Wisconsin. I have to say driving along the lake in the rain and seeing the waves lapping at the shore was pretty spectacular. The power of nature that has shaped this place can be awesome.
After a night in Green Bay we moved on to Minnesota where we finally started to adjust to the fact that we were on a journey and not just traveling to another destination. We had pushed through so much and then we remembered that this was about seeing things and experiencing, things not just going somewhere.
We stopped in Monticello MN and actually got a real campsite, something we seldom do. We took the time while there to not only do laundry but to hop in the Cherokee and drive all the way to Walnut Grove to the Laura Ingles Wilder Museum. This was a delightful outing and we learned so much about the author, dividing out the fact and fiction of her writings. Although this museum is not as famous as some of the other Ingles locations it is where most of the stories from Little House on the Prairie took place. This was when we realized it was alright to slow down and enjoy the ride. A very good thing because our next stop on the road would prove to be a longer delay.
Leaving Minnesota behind we struck out for North Dakota with a good deal of excitement. We had planned to stop in Fargo but decided to push on to Jamestown and spend the night at a Walmart. We arrived at the Walmart in the late afternoon, leveled the coach and headed to the store. On the way, glancing at the Jeep we noticed some splatter. John quickly discovered that our little home was leaking fuel. I have to say I am so thankful to God for the fact that we stopped in this town. There is a very good diesel repair shop and it was only three minutes from where we had spent the night. We have now ordered the part but it won't be here until Monday so we are spending the weekend camped in their parking area.
Yesterday we went out and explored the area in Jamestown and discovered that it boast the largest Buffalo sculpture in the USA, a Buffalo Museum, and a wonderful frontier town with authentic buildings including this general store and Louis L'Amour's writing shack. This famous author was from these parts and is a favorite of my whole family. I'm glad I didn't miss this opportunity to see these places. Once again, however, we are a little early for the season and the buildings themselves don't open until Memorial Day weekend. Still it was worth a wander along the board walks and there was a great deal to see.
Making the transition from stationary to on the move has many stages. The daily scenery can change, but sometimes you need to remember to slow down and take it in. Leaving this time there was too much push to reach the destination of Alaska at the beginning but we adjusted and are glad we did.
There are also adjustments in tweaking things on the coach as we roll. Just like taking off the vent cover, which we have now replaced with a new one, or stopping to change out a fuel line. Maintenance is always going to be a part of the daily roll and if we don't accept it we will struggle to enjoy what is to be found around us in this great nation.
Finally, there is an adjustment to the heart and soul as the trek begins and you once again say good-bye to friends and family that you love. You miss people no matter where you are but in life there are always good-byes and you can't always control that. Life is a journey with a road that we cannot plot on a map and say it goes from point A to point B. We can only know that when we put our faith in God's plan that we will end in the right place. Situations will change as we travel on this journey of discovery, exploration, and growth. There is joy in the daily sights and sounds of this world. The mundane, and the remarkable alike. We need to open our eyes and our hearts to see them. Yesterday as we stepped out of the repair shop understanding that we would be staying here for the weekend this caught my eye. although the image is a bit blurry because I had to zoom in, this robin's song bright and full of joy drew me. The little creature was perched on the exhaust pipe of a mechanics modified work truck, its sides splattered with mud from the daily grind, but the robin found a sunny perch to welcome the new day. We, like Mr. Robin need to lift our voices and welcome each new day with joy, hope, faith, and love.