It's been an odd summer and I feel the need to check in and say hello.
Let me start by saying that if there is one single lesson I have learned in this lifetime it is this:
ALL things are temporary.
As one gets older and friends and family pass away one's own mortality becomes a center focus of daily life. This is not morbid or bad - it is the truth. As far as I know I'm only getting this one crazy and beautiful life and, as I get older, runaway time seems to become more precious.
I lost my best friend Richard in 1983. I lost my Mom in 1995 and my Dad in 2004. My mentors, John Fitzpatrick, Bill Dickson and Bill Slout are gone in the last 5 years. My uncles and aunts and cousins are now nearly all dead. So, I work to remind myself that this too will be my fate and it 's always too soon, isn't it?
Everything changes all the time. This June my youngest child, my daughter, graduated from high school and is heading off to college in Oregon this fall. Man, I'll miss her.
All things are temporary.
Perhaps it was the accumulation of events or simply random but I had some minor health problems start in May that precluded me from traveling. Now, to be sure, I've suffered with mental health problems in my life - depression, alcoholism and even PTSD - but this was different, each day was physically painful, and it scared me and worried me and motivated me to start doing things I want to do before it is "my time" or until I am no longer physically able to do what I can do now.
I missed my summer trip to the Grand Canyon and I know I'll never get this summer back again. It bummed me out.
Life is different in your 60's. When I was young and I had to miss some experience it was not big deal, after all, I had years to make up for it. I no longer have that luxury.
So... this summer, while going to physical therapy and doctor appointments and diagnostic tests, I have been travel planning in earnest. Life is short and I want to get a good look around before I go! As Simone de Beauvoir said,
"Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay".
So, we have to get cracking. As my grandfather would say, "we're burning daylight".
I have big plans for 2020. Let's hit the road.
Next year, I have 4 major trips planned. In the Spring I'll do a southwest tour in Arizona and New Mexico, and in July I'll be at the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) convention in the beautiful city of Baltimore and in August I'll be in the Northern Rockies. And also...
In June, I'll potentially be meeting a few friends in Chicago and then driving the "Mother Road" all the way back to Los Angeles. I will be finalizing the dates and plans and sharing them with my friends who follow the southwest dude's travels on my blog and through social media. Why don't you plan on meeting me in the Windy City and we'll all motor Route 66 back? You can join the gypsy caravan. My plan is to take 12-14 days to drive the whole enchilada. Of course, that may not be your cup of tea and that's cool - I'll take you along vicariously and share my photos when I return whether you like it or not!
Of course, I have many other ideas for traveling next year, too. I'll certainly have my desert time and I'll be at Death Valley in January.
But how about the rest of this year? Well, I am starting to feel better. It seems like the physical therapy is working. In a few weeks, if I'm OK, I'll be taking my annual central coast trip to Gaviota and Morro Bay. I'll be going to San Diego to see my Dodgers play the Padres with my pal Tracy, and then I'll be helping move my sweet daughter to her college dorm room in Corvallis, OR and taking a leisurely road trip home. In November, I'll be meeting the two best camping buddies a guy could have in Big Sur and in December I'll go visit my Bay Area family who I miss and love so very much.
Then...it's 2020 and what promises to be an epic travel year.
“So have adventures. Go exploring. Drive around at midnight. Feel the wind running through your hair.
Life is so short, my darling. And there's no day like today.”
― Morgan Matson
All things are temporary.
This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.