Well, here we are at our last HH overnight on our inaugural trip, about 40 miles from home (there are STR guests there for the night, in case you’re wondering why we stopped short less than an hour away) at a golf course in Gansevoort, NY. This one has a lovely bartender that knows how to make a proper G&T and is stocked with Beefeater, so I’m a happy gal (plus I got to video chat with friends and family earlier today for an added bonus).
This summer was full of things that I wanted to accomplish. I had every day planned out between 16 June and 11 September (with a few flex days (intentional, obvi) thrown in there so as to not be too rigid (HAHA)). I had myriad boxes on my checklist, and I daresay not one of them got checked off. I had PTSD workbooks I wanted to do. I had my good camera to take pictures with. I had my sketchbook and pastels to sketch the wilderness every day. I had my copy of The Little Prince that I wanted to have its annual reading somewhere spectacular. And not any of those things happened.
INSTEAD….. I got the opportunity to grow in ways that I wouldn’t have if everything had gone according to plan. I got the opportunity to become more flexible (really – I am at least moderately better at going with the flow than I was before), and not live my life according to the calendar. I got to problem solve, and get out of my comfort zone, and challenge myself, and listen to my gut when things didn’t feel right. Or when they did feel right. I got to realize that although sometimes I thought I was missing out on adventures by continually returning to a certain spot, that might have been the adventure.
To go from a trip where I wanted nothing but solitude and to swan from here to there being by myself, to finding a place that I truly wanted to be, with people that I grew to care about and that grew to care about me. To meet Lonnie & Barb and have them completely take me in, just like Bill & Anne do for me back home. To have that community welcome me back each time; to feel like a regular at trivia and at The Dock. To meet the funniest dude in the world (other than cousin Stevie), and have him feel like an instant best friend. How fucking cool is that?
Now I can’t wait to get home (and that’s yet another change in itinerary, since we’re heading back earlier than expected, but look at me, adjusting and whatnot!), and unload a bunch of shit from the van that I’ve come to realize has no business accompanying me on my travels. It was so cute to think that I was going to use my hand-crank washer as my only method of laundry. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. That was truly adorable and naïve of me. No, never again will it grace the interior of Hecate. Why waste two days (not to mention 10 gallons of my precious and hard-to-come-by water) doing laundry when I can go to a freaking laundromat (thanks again, Annie, for giving me quarters, since you do indeed need those at small town facilities)? My lily pad water mat did nothing but take up space in the gearage. It only came out to get loaded back in, and it is clear to me that its only use will be at the end of the Graney’s dock back on Little Lake. Why did I ever think that I needed a jacket in the summer, or three tarps, or my foam roller?
This has been my best summer e̶v̶e̶r̶ yet, and I got to have encounters, large and small, with people that I would have never crossed paths with otherwise, and connect with fellow adventurers. Reflecting on all of this gets me a little verklempt. Not that this was handed to me, because there’s been years of saving for it, and I’ve gone through blood, sweat, and tears to get here, but I am so grateful and excited for the life I’ve created, and I can’t wait for the next adventure!
Some Numbers -->
Days on the road: 82
Miles driven: 5957
Average MPG: 17.5
Hours driven: 162
Speeding tickets: 0
Beginning cruising speed: 51
Ending cruising speed: 62
Max speed: 72 MPH
States visited: 8
Harvest Host Locations: 29 (there were a couple of repeats, and obviously I just moved in at Garden Golf for a clocktick)
Boondockers Welcome Locations: 6
Wild Camping Nights: 16
Friends/Family Nights: 10
People Commenting on either Gatsby being a horse or needing a saddle: too many to count
Pants Shit: 0
I’m calling it all a win.