“In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.” ( Carl Sagan)
What have you missed most as a result of the prolonged uncertainty of the Corona pandemic? As a traveling fool enjoying his freedom of retirement, the answer for me this spring might seem obvious to those who know me. For it’s road trip time of the year and he and his wife are not traveling. This beautiful butterfly must remain stuck as an ugly moth in its cocoon until further notice.
As April proceeds slowly now, logic then dictates that we have very little choice on this matter. For unselfish sacrifices to wear a mask, social distance and stay home must be made now for the sake of health and the better welfare of my country.
Yet the most serious side effect of this current period of social isolation seems to be our deep sense of loss now in being unable to spend “quality time” with our circle of friends now across the country. Clearly, connecting to each of them by “Zoom” is not a suitable answer to this dilemma. For we both deeply crave for a welcoming hug, unmasked smile, or intimate dinner conversation with each of them right now. Perhaps you can get an idea of the depth of our emotional connection to our travel friends in the following photographic memories from past road trip visits.
Weather conditions during the early portions of our road trips can often become extremely wet or cold. So we look forward to warming up during the late spring time thaw with a relaxing walk along a rock strewn creek with my wife’s former high school girlfriend and her hard working husband in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains.
Whenever we make our way steeply uphill to visit a like-minded soul mate at his apartment in San Francisco, I’m rewarded with stunning views from his patio of the downtown below and beyond. As an “avant-garde” art collector, his latest wall paintings in his living room also arouse my visual interest.
We first shared the company of two endearing athletic enthusiasts when we actively explored the Alaskan coast with them in the 1980s. We thus strive to revive such youthful energy now as they lead us on long, invigorating walks amidst wild, Pacific coast nature near their home in coastal California. Sadly I cannot locate a picture of them below. You will have to settle for us.
Road tripping for three months each year can create homesickness at times with few opportunities for authentic companionship. So why not adopt a treasured pet or two for awhile? Thus a former neighbor family who now resides in Idaho always offer us the warm hospitality of their family cat, dog , and maybe even a few chickens when we visit.
No “Generation Gap” exists in our close connection with two ambitious millennials we annually visit on our road trips in Nebraska. So we will quickly accept their invitation to spend a rewarding day with them at their family cattle farm when invited.
Whenever we traverse Southern California on our road trips, we always appreciate a quiet escape above the pervasive smog and freeway madness below. Fortunately, an old neighbor buddy from Florida and his entire family warmly encourage us to stay at their exclusive mountainside home when desired
My wife’s best friend from grade school, who now resides in Oregon could best be described by me as an energetic risk taker bursting with intellectual energy. So it would be expected that in passing north through this region, our typically intense visits with her and her similarly “brainy” husband will center around deep seated issue discussions/engaging literature readings to indulge our minds.
It’s indeed a rarity in my life when a long-standing personal connection with a family member in my life results from a choice rather than an obligation. Yet our typically enjoyable visits in spring or summer with my wife’s youngest cousin and her outgoing “hubby” in Northeast Ohio inspires my passion to continue supporting legendary sports teams in this region marking my birthplace and childhood home.
A common interest in MLB baseball sparked a longtime friendship with a caring physician and his supportive wife in South Florida. Whenever we visit them in Nevada these days on our road trips, they always take time away from their busy medical routine to share with us fresh words of wisdom, engaging baseball stories, and love of family.
At the end of our road trips, we often lose patience for ambitious sightseeing in our preoccupation to get home. Under these circumstances then, what’s wrong with “gearing down” to share a beer or two with a life loving friend in Virginia ?
*Please note that I now post a daily travel thought concerning the Corona issue from a photographic travel perspective on my Facebook page. Just click on the Facebook button that I recently added to my Word Press home page if desired.