T-minus 18 days

Walkabout: A temporary return to traditional nomadic life, taken especially between periods of work or residence and usually involving a period of travel through the bush.

There is way too much to see and do to limit travels to the American version of an annual 2-week vacation from work. And rather then wait for our retiring years, we’re taking the opportunity to see the sights while we still have the knees and lungs to hike the Rockies, to bike the Appalachians, to kayak the Inside Passage.

So we’ve compiled a map – and recommend this to any of you. We took a 44″ map of the US and hung it on the wall, using post-it flags to note where we definitely want to go (red), where we’d sorta like to go (yellow), where we’d go if we were in the neighborhood (green), and where kind souls who’d let us borrow their shower are located (blue). Separately, we’ve made a book noting each flag’s point of interest. Immediately, we noted a dearth of destination flags in the Midwest, where we currently live. Hmm. This is going to take some time.

map

The Sportsmobile van has solved many of the comfort problems of living on the road without being a huge and expensive RV that cannot fit in a normal parking stall. All we need in order to stop for the night is a flat piece of ground – free camping in BLM property, inexpensive public campgrounds, friend’s & relative’s driveways, or big-box chain-store parking lots (you know the one I mean, but we won’t shop there – are we taking advantage of them?). And having our own kitchen allows us to eat cheaper and healthier then normal road fare.

So we put the house on the market this spring to see what would happen, and a week later it sold for a good deal more then we’d expected, giving us the ability to save a chunk for the next home down-payment and still afford to travel a while. But our timeline has suddenly gotten rather short.

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March 19 – House sold. Asked for $155,000. Sold for $183,000 after a bidding war.

March 21 – Rita gave notice at her job. Currently, the boss is still threatening to velco her to her chair, but is actually jealous of the trip idea. Scott has by this time spoken with his various clients and made arrangements.

April 2 – Garage sale on Jenifer St. We’re hauling what we don’t want to store over to Michele’s place because the city has chosen this spring to start tearing up the street at our place. Oh well, there’ll be more pedestrian traffic over there. Any truck-owners are welcome to assist in the shifting of stuff.

April 9 – Keepsakes and furniture starts heading over to a storage facility . . or rather, several different locations. Thanks to those who’ve volunteered to store some of our eclectic gear for several months, and especially Scott’s Mom for taking in the library.

April 15 – Rita’s last day. Final weekend to see the local yokels and empty the house. Again, oh truck owners, your presence would make our lives so much easier.

April 16 – House cooling party. The quintessential house warming party involves house warming gifts. We want to get rid of stuff. Bring a bag (and BYOB, except you should drink our wine) Monetary donations accepted of course. Also, see the last showing of Scott’s photo gallery and tour the new “home”.

April 20 – Close on house, hand over keys, and be officially homeless.

As of this writing, we’ve still got to sell vehicles and find a home for the adorable 14 year old grey indoor cat (healthy, fully armed but friendly to bipeds). Any takers, please contact us.

General trip plans include starting off to the east, visiting relatives and friends and the Smithonian, then heading south to the Smokies. Swinging through the home town to grab our kayak trailer, we’d then be working our way to Alaska by mid July, and back to Glacier by August, followed by some time exploring the Rockies and Pacific. How much we do and how long it takes really depends on how much fun we’re having, how long we can stand to live in close quarters, and how long the budget holds out.

We will continue to be electronically connected to the world and hope you visit our site at www.fx4.net while we catalog our adventures – hopefully meeting up with many of you while on walkabout.

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