We spent our last month in the Colorado high country filling up on wildflowers, super moons and the history of hard rock mining. Char and Johnny paddled the San Miguel River, biked Lupine Trail and volunteered at the Rocky Mountain Biological Research Lab in Gothic, catching butterflies and sampling aspen leaves with a giant sling shot. Thank you Rachel and Burke! I hung out with Max and contemplated the sound of one hand clapping. We camped on Independence Pass and rolled into Boulder, in mid-July, for good. Pooof.
That was three weeks ago. I’ve delayed writing the final blog post of Travels with Charlie (and Johnny and Max) because I don’t want our trip to end. I feel like I should be able to wrap it all up with a pretty, pithy bow, share a few lessons learned and embrace home sweet home. Home is sweet for sure, but I can’t wrap up our trip with a bow. I can’t wrap it up with string or duct tape, a bungee cord or words.
We still have fur in our teeth and dirt under our nails. I am still wearing the same ratty jeans with holes in the knees and frays on the seams. We clip key chains onto our belt loops, plan outings around moon phases and call every vehicle a “rig.” We are culture shocked by the number of forks in our fork drawer and the number of shelves in our pantry. We have not yet exactly announced our return…it’s leaking out face to face at Ideal Market and the coffee shop.
But, there has been a series of uncanny, undeniable signs that it’s time to be home. My wallet, lost the week before we left for the trip, turned up at a bank 13 months later. Charlie’s phone, lost mid-trip, is in the mail to his office as I type. The rv is officially for sale on Craigslist and we bought a Prius. Johnny is playing soccer, Charlie is back at work and Western Slope peaches are here!
We’re getting a lot of, “so, where was your favorite place?” Alaska, the Redwoods, the olive farm in Sicily, Ruby Beach, hundreds of magnificent places over thousands of miles and not one day the same as any other. My favorite places, though, were the long stretches in between destinations, the unplanned space where we simply became travelers. To Charlie and Johnny and Max, I am so thankful for your huge effort, deeper than ever love and trip saving humor and resilience. To our family and friends, to River Network and the amazing people we met along the way, you are what matters. This is what matters most and our trail never ends.
to be continued…..