On September 23, we arrived back in LA, where we landed on June 1 after departing Mexico. Our 115 day road trip, in red on the road atlas map below, covered 15,000 miles and transited 32 states.
Our travels’ purposes included reconnecting with friends and family, keeping our travel skills sharp, and viewing our present lives through our pasts’ prism. Our accomplishments on all counts leave us pleased and energized.
Under our friends and family plan, we visited our daughters (twice), all eight of our siblings, twelve nieces and nephews, nine first cousins, six more removed cousins, and an aunt and uncle. Friends dating to elementary school opened their homes, or provided tent space in their yards. Renewing these connections refreshed us following our first cruising season and have primed us for the upcoming season’s distance from these good and dear folks.
While land cruising and sea cruising are very different, they both require the two of us to closely coordinate, clearly communicate, and live with uncertainty about where we will be at any given time and what exactly we will be doing. Additionally, each mode requires keeping gear organized and maintained. By the end we had set into a comfortable groove. As was the case on Elizabeth Jean, Eulalie did much of the driving, while Eric planned logistics and entertained the captain.
Last, but not least, our trip down so many memory lanes grounds us well in our current odyssey. Eualie’s trip to Rochester reconnected her to her first sailing days as well as memories of her 6th grade science teacher Mr. Kolb, who sparked her passion for ecology. Eulalie’s visit to Echo Hill, where she in turn taught ecology to young students, is a direct path to her work at the Seattle Aquarium, and Salish Sea Expeditions. Eric’s visit to Canyonlands and NOLS contacts reminded him of his love for wilderness wandering and his hope to complete a significant travel. His visits with his mentor and friend from the Williams College Mystic Seaport experience reminded him of his trail to the University of Washington Institute for Marine Studies, where he and Eulalie met and from where they launched their professional as well as personal lives.
We even found the real memory lane on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
At the end of the road, we sold our faithful Prius to our daughter Jean’s friend Anna Tan, here pictured with her partner, Peter Owens and Jean. We are happy to have the car sort of, kind of in the family. We are also a bit sad to be letting go of another tie to our past lives.