Road Trip

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My family went on a road trip last week. Our first very long drive since we took the kids to visit my family in Michigan a couple years ago, and our first real road trip since Yarrow was born 6 years ago. We had an amazing time! This was such a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us, few animals to leave behind, an eclipse to discover, tons of time together just to talk and laugh and love. I am so thrilled that I went along with this trip, which was totally Seth’s idea!

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It was different though, in an unexpected way. We are different, obviously – we’ve settled down on our lovely patch of land and set down roots to last a lifetime. We have two kids and a dog who need more frequent stops and safer lodgings than Seth and I ever did on our own. We had chickens, ducks, and guinea hens to hurry back to and care for, instead of just letting the journey last.

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But traveling is different too. It feels different on the road. America feels different. Campsites for travelers (not merely vacationers) were few and hard to find. Traffic was overflowing highways, and even our beloved back roads were busy and less welcoming. I didn’t feel at home on the road anymore. And I realized just how different this country is than it was even 10 years ago. Everything feels restless and unsettled, everyone seems just a little more lost.

Our little journey was lovely, we were a little cozy clan on the road. The kids were amazing and Luba was such a good dog! My husband is always amazing and resourceful and he makes the whole shifting country familiar for me. But on the return drive, in Pennsylvania we talked about how much it’s changed, and how it’ll be a long while before we do something like this again. My home now is a steady place of birches and pines and wild-animals in the night. Brake-lights and busy streets are happily distant and I want them to stay that way. I’ve changed, we’ve changed, the world is changed.

36662124861_a827fb946a_kWe’re talking about our plans to become more rooted here, more tied to the land with our animals and way of life.. a little less ‘of the world’, I guess. And ‘family vacations’ were never something we planned on doing anyway. Still it feels a little sad..on our drive we saw glimpses of the old expansiveness – a motor-inn and some helpful and kind mechanics..I wanted to know more of them.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. masha says:

    Reblogged this on Y is For Home! and commented:

    I wrote a bit about our recent drive down to see the eclipse! The natural world is so amazing, so overwhelming in it’s magic and beauty!

    But..Do the roads and this country feel different to anyone else? A little less friendly, maybe? What do you think?

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  2. Adrianna says:

    Road trips are so fun. I wish we had planned better for the eclipse… we had friends in Kentucky and South Carolina that we could’ve visited. Next time for sure!! we usually take a 1000+ mile road trip every summer.

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  3. We were able to go to Yosemite and San Francisco for the first time ever this year (we live in Indiana!), and what I mostly noticed was how no one enjoyed the beauty of nature or being with each other. It was cell phone and selfies 24/7. That really saddened me. Most people now just take a pic of a waterfall (or one of him/herself with the waterfall in the background) and leave. Not very many lingered to just enjoy the beauty and majesty of it all. And at every restaurant, most of the people were on their cell phones instead of talking to one another. It was so sad to us! But we did meet a lot of nice people too! They are just harder to find!

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  4. Your pictures are captivating, and fascinating!

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  5. Ginny Kochis says:

    I admire you. I’m not sure I could ever live off the grid, though the idea is appealing. I’m happy the trip went well for you, but sad that it was a different time and place than you expected. Perhaps the world will go back to what it once was. We can pray and hope for that, right?

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  6. spovlock says:

    You have such an adventurous heart! I can relate to your nostalgia.. there’s something poetic about roadtrips; they make you daydream and think in ways you don’t normally. I hope you feed that expansiveness and sense of adventure!

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