Where Adventurous Minds Come Together

We almost gave up.  We almost turned around just one week into our ride and abandoned our year’s worth of planning.  Almost.  Within the first week, the hard drive on my computer crashed, the Nikon d70 died, and the Colorado wildfires threatened to shorten our trip without our permission.


By the time we rolled into South Fork, Colorado, the skies had filled with the smoke of yet another new fire.  Colorado was burning, and we felt helpless in the fires quest to swallow the entire state.  Once again, we found ourselves staying in a cabin, not a campground.  Because of the heat and smoke, we had to abandon our desire to start in northern New Mexico.  Our new starting point was to be Del Norte, Colorado.  Unfortunately, no one had informed us that Del Norte is not exactly the best little town to bunk for the night.  Upon seeing the abandoned cars and shady characters in the hotel parking lots, we unanimously decided to head back east to South Fork, a much friendlier, cleaner community.  A new fire had started along Highway 149 and the smoke was quickly filling up the valley.  Helpless.


We awoke in the morning to find conditions unchanged.  There was no rolling along the Divide today.  To take our chances of being caught in the fire or the thick smoke would’ve been a very dangerous and silly move no matter if Jack was with us or not.  We headed north on 149, the smoke having thinned some since the night before.  It was a stunning ride along the twists and turns of the valley.  We rolled along the Rio Grande watching fly fisherman as they flicked theirs wrists back and forth as if following along with a symphony.  We stopped for a brief bit after we successfully emerged from the smoke.  Terry, Jack and I stood and marveled at the San Juan Mountains that spread before us.  As the winds whipped through the valley, we found ourselves in more than one Dorothy moment.  What’s a Dorothy moment?  Rolling through wind tornadoes.  There were 2 substantial wind tornadoes that were as wide as the 2-lane highway.  All you can do is stay loose and independent of the bike, allowing the bike to dance its way through, all the while being whipped from side to side.  It’s a brief moment in time but slightly scary nonetheless.



We hopped on our bikes, destination Lake City for grub.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take the smoke long to find us. With the bikes parked in front of Poker Alice, we watched as the smoke crept over the mountains like fog along the coast.  It was awesome to watch but reminded you that you needed to eat quickly and get back on the road before visibility became too hazardous.  After stuffing ourselves in record time, we hit the slab (Ugh…slab) once again in search of a place to tent it for a couple of days.  We had mapped out several options along Highway 70.  The spots boasted camping lakeside and activities for all.  Uh huh…  In truth, it was dust camping right next to the highway, no trees, no water, blah.  Truth in advertising?!?  We once again found ourselves on a side street, map in hand, frustration mounting.  Gunnison held nothing of interest as far as camping and another night of hoteling it made all of us cringe.  We headed north on 135 towards the Rocky Mountains on the hunt for a tent space.  We finally checked with a local who pointed us in the direction of Almont and the Taylor River.  After riding several miles without any luck, we were at last greeted by a small, well-run state campground.  Salvation!  With only about a dozen spaces, we were fortunate to find the last spot along the river.  We rolled in, kickstands down, and steered Jack in the direction of setting up the tents.  Now, generally Jack is quite happy to set up camp.  But on this occasion, not so much.  It’s hard for a kid to realize how cool it is to be able to do what we do.  Jack has no bar as far as measuring how fortunate he is to go on these adventures.  He doesn’t see that in comparison to other summer vacations, he has it pretty good.  So when the child starts whining about what he hasn’t done or seen, the moment starts to get a little tenuous.  For all of us, the frustration of equipment failure, the fires, plans gone awry, all of it had now poisoned each one of us.  Jack kept complaining that he had yet to catch a fish, I couldn’t lose the dark cloud over my head, and poor Terry had to deal with the 2 of us.


It wasn’t until I was doing laundry in the river that I exploded.  Maybe it was stubbing my toe.  Maybe it was Jack, once again, having to be sent to his tent to chill out.  But, something set me off and there was no going back.  I turned around, looked at Terry and exclaimed, “That’s it!  We’re done!  I’m tired of everyone’s attitude.  I’m tired of Jack and his constant complaining!  I’m tired of all the planning and trying to create something that isn’t!  I’m done.  I’m done.  We’re going home.”  Needless to say, I was met with a blank stare.    But, Terry knew it.  We all knew it.  This was not the trip we had advertised to our friends, family and media.  It was literally crumbling before us and it felt like there was no way to recover.  We went against everything that we had been preaching to everyone else the last 6 years – the plan is to have no plan.  We planned.  We failed.  We were epic fail personified.


Jack was devastated.  Terry threw things.  I opened the map to plan our route home.  I felt hollow inside.  An entire year wasted.  Planning, saving, schedule revisions, done.


It took a better part of 2 hours before I started to realize something.  We’re not quitters.  We are forever telling ourselves that failure is not an option.  If we left that campsite the next morning, we had failed.  We were teaching Jack that when life hands you a tricky situation, you take your ball and you go home.  I looked at Terry and said, “Maybe we don’t need to go home.”  We stopped, sat down and talked.  He and I realized that we had veered from our norm, allowing commitments to friends and press to guide us on our journey.  We weren’t failing.  We were just doing it wrong.

After some time to cool off, it was decided that we would stay and camp for a couple of days and enjoy the sounds of the river and the lack of people.  It was time to reclaim our “selves” and come back together as a team.   It was also time to start crossing some items off of Jack’s travel bucket list.  First up – horse back riding!  Time to trade in one horsepower for another (bad pun).  To Jack’s utter delight, we spent half a day meandering the mountains of Colorado.  He was just beaming as his horse trotted along the trails and climbed the mountainsides, away from the veil of smoke that had surrounded us in days previous.   Oh, the smile on that kid’s face…

Back at camp, we knew we had done the right thing.  As Jack roasted his marshmallow over the nights fire, Terry and I sat back and sipped some whiskey, the only proper drink during sunset in cowboy country.  We just looked at each, smiled and shook our heads.  Another crisis averted.  Nobody said this was going to be easy, and that’s a good thing.  As you travel through this life, solo or otherwise, you have to learn what failure means to you.  Is it not taking that risk?  Is it not doing something because of fear of the unknown?  For us, it would have been admitting defeat and scurrying back home.  And then, what would we have learned?  What kind of lesson would we have taught Jack?  Not a good one, that’s for certain.  Our kids need to learn how to take a nasty situation and turn it around, not wait for someone else to fix it for them or just plain ol’ give up.  There are no life lessons to be learned when you are constantly being rescued or say “I can’t”.  In this generation of trophy kids, we need to start teaching our kids that you get a prize when you earn it, not just because you showed up.  Our trophy?  Simple.  It was just what you read.  Camping along a river, Jack on mallow duty, and Terry and I winding down.  It doesn’t have to be tangible, just obtainable.  Cheers.

I did already start a blog entry a couple of days ago but found myself not in the moment.  It felt forced.  A lack of “genuine feeling” was missing.  We are currently in South Fork, Colorado, and the mood has struck.  No inhibitions.  Only a slight filter for the family readers.  Away we go…

Those of you who are constantly on the run with work/family/life know how hard it is to allow yourself to “check out”, removing yourself from the daily dash and constant chaos.  It’s tricky.  Why?  Aren’t we supposed to be on the GO at all times, running from place to activity to deadlines to madness?  Those of you who know Terry know that it takes at least 2-3 days for us to settle, to slow down, to stop checking emails.  This time, it’s taking us almost a week.  Not sure why.  Maybe it’s because our audience is larger.  Maybe it’s because we feel we NEED to put something out there.  Huh… When you remove yourself from the norm and force yourself to take a step back, it can either drive you mad or be the welcome mental vacation you’ve been desiring.  I was on the path toward the first choice but made the conscious decision to slow down and watch the world pass me by.


It’s cool to know that friends (AKA “Family”) want you to swing by as you’re on your way out.  It’s even nicer to know that though you’ve only met these people once, they instantly became part of the Adventure Trio family.  Our first stop took us to the Sierra foothills to visit Chris of Overland Journal.  We could’ve/should’ve stayed longer, talking about riding trails and road closures. But, alas, we needed to make it over the hill to Gardnerville to spend some time with another friend and savor a home-cooked meal.  As we wound our way around Lake Tahoe, memories of my childhood raced through the brain.  I had learned to waterski in the “OH, so flipping cold!” waters of Incline Village.  Snow ski weeks were spent at Northstar, homemade lunches eaten in the parking lot on the tail gate of the Brady wagon.  But, our ride around Lake Tahoe would not have been complete until we hooked up with Grandpa Higgs for a few miles along the eastern side.  As we rounded a sweeping right hand turn, there was Dave, “Grandpa Higgs”, waving his arms to get our attention, proud to show us his new FJR.  Once we settled into our room in Gardnerville, J was nice enough to pick us up at our motel, our own personal chauffeur to his abode.  We met his lovely wife, Angela, and spent the evening chatting it up in his very cool lounge.  Yes, J had converted a room in his house into a whiskey lounge.  With a Manhatten in hand, the swapping of stories commenced as we noshed on pulled pork, freshly made slaw and other delectables.  The night went by quickly, and we soon found ourself back at the motel.  Who knows what this trip will bring.  I just need to remind myself to let it happen, not try to make it happen.


We always forget how beautiful the ride is on Highway 50 crossing Nevada.  I know, many of you may not believe me.  But, those of you who have driven the Loneliest Highway know the beauty of this 2-lane road.  The winds were lacking their usual 30 mile an hour gusts.  This was somewhat unusual, but a very welcome gift for us.  We had heard/read rumors that the Shoe Tree had been cut down by a jilted lover last year.  Are you sure?  I see a large tree to my left with a couple hundred pair of shoes hanging from it.  Ah, rumors…  You have to have your stops planned when rolling across 50.  The towns are spread out and not all of them have a restaurant or even a gas station.  Our usual lunch spot in Austin was closed.  The International closed?  What’s happening to our small towns?!?  The big “night out” restaurant in Eureka?  Closed.  It was only 2 years ago since our last crossing of this area.  Going through these towns help to remind us that if you don’t support your local businesses, they may no longer be there to support you.  Our destination today – Ely, Nevada.  Why?  When a town boasts a hotel with an indoor pool surrounded by the rooms with a bar/restaurant that looks over the entire hotel, how can you go wrong?  Jack is happy.  Terry and I are happy.  It’s a Win-Win situation.  With over 300 miles under our belt for the day, it was time to hang up the riding suit for the night.  But, why is my computer not booting up?  REALLY?!?  You mean I’m now carrying a 6 pound rectangle that won’t work and is now known as the biggest, heaviest charging station?  Nice.  Whatever.  Looks like I’ll be shipping the brick home.  Thank you, Eli, for offering your Apple services, but I think this one is dead in the water.

The next stretch of highway after Ely was going to bring some challenges.  The last time we rolled south toward Pioche, Nevada, it was raining with threats of thunderstorms. Just 2 years ago as we rolled south of Pioche and turned left to head east to Cedar City.  Just a couple of minutes later, sky had completely opened up, thunder breaking overhead and hail slamming against our helmets.  This time through, the skies were clear, but the winds were constant.  Over 246 miles of gusting cross winds no matter what direction we turned.  Just as we thought we’d free ourselves of neck-jarring gusts, the winds would shift and we would once again find ourselves rolling sideways.  At least it’s not thunder and lightening.  Just please get us to Utah safely.

Our plan was to avoid the heat of southern Utah and head straight for Zion.  Not our original plan. But hey, you must remain flexible as the weather is what truly dictates your direction.  That and a 10 year old.  And with temperatures of over 100 degrees set for the week, we wanted to gain some altitude and hopefully cooler temps.  Zion it was, fingers crossed we could score a campsite along the Virgin River.  First come, first served and it was Father’s Day weekend.  Keepin’ the faith.


This was my mantra as we pulled into the south campground of Zion National Park.  We leapt.  The net appeared.  We scored site #63 right next to the Virgin River.  Make your jokes now…  The plan was to camp for one night then push on.  That was the original plan.  It didn’t’ work out that way.  Our bodies told all of us that it was time to settle in for a night or 2, to enjoy the landscape and the fact that we didn’t have WiFi.  Fine by us.  Though our mental maps told us to press on, our brains decided otherwise.  We spent the next 2 days hiking up The Narrows and swimming in the Virgin River.  Life was good.  Almost too good.  We could’ve spent our entire 4 weeks nestled in that locale.  Jack was in 10-year-old boy heaven.  With a river, a stick and pollywogs, he was good to go.  And Terry and I?  When little man is happy, we’re happy.  Nuff said.  We did meet an interesting dude that was sort of camped next to us.  Jobe, as he came to be, was “paying” some other hikers to park his van in their slot.  Sorry, Jobe, but they really didn’t want you there.  And, they were probably tired of hearing about your doomsday prepping .  We get it.  The world is going to end.  But, could you just roll with the rest of us and be happy?  There are something interesting cat’s out there.  It was time to leave our compound and push on.  We weren’t thrilled, but we knew more adventures were to be had. Onward.


We always hear of places we just NEED to see; places that will make a difference in how we respond to our surroundings.  Truly, Utah is such a place.  Highway 12 through Escalante to Boulder is BY FAR one of the most magical, breathtaking rides in our lifetime.  Seriously, I tear us just writing this.  There is so much natural beauty to be had.  From the twists and turns to the elevation drops and climbs to the narrows of the road…magic.  And please, take your time to stop in at the gas station/store in Boulder.  It has everything you do and don’t need.  It is the last of our truly great markets.  This is our first time taking in the southern part of the state beyond Capitol Reef.  We rolled through parts of it 2 years ago, but did not experience all that it has to offer.  Now, it is our time.  After making some miles beyond Zion, we settled in Torrey, Utah, for the night.  The place we stayed offered a fabulous cabin with a kitchen and 2 bedrooms.  Quite the score when traveling with Mr. J.  It was our little apartment for the night.  Laundry facilities?  Nice.  Hot tub?  Even better.  All the Borden’s were satisfied.  The next morning we were rested and ready to roll east to Colorado.  We knew that there wasn’t much to be had beyond Hanksville as far as food and gas.  We were fortunate that they even had a gas station!  But, we knew better than to say, “We’ll just gas up at the next town”.  Just a hint – there is no next town.  When you travel south on 95, you are in Wille E. Coyote and Road Runner country.  No joke.  The scenery is beyond any picture, painting or description.  I don’t care how much you paid for your camera, it will not capture the essence of this part of the country.  The cliffs boasted a deep red that is beyond description.  The skyline went on what seemed forever.  I may sound a bit cliched.  But, unless you’ve experienced it, you can only rely on cliches.  You feel helpless in its beauty.  You are small amongst a land of giants.  In short, you feel puny.  Mother Nature wins.  With plenty of water and snacks on hand, it was on to Blanding to regroup and meet our newest friend, Charles.


We stopped in Blanding, Utah, at a BBQ place.  Don’t quite remember the name.  Doesn’t matter as it’s one of the only places to eat in the town.  Our waiter was truly a delight.  Imagine Charles Nelson Riley with splash of Jack from “Will and Grace”.  Throw in a side of that odd little actor from “True Blood” and you have our married waiter, Charles.  We liked him straight off.  He was full of information about the area and places to stay along our route. I could’ve hung out for hours catching up on town gossip and Hollywood talk, but we did have to push off and make some miles.  Liked us some Charles.  Moving on…


Durango was our first night in Colorado.  Unfortunately, there was a Can-Am gig going on in town.  Alas, most hotels were booked.  Hmmph.  Not to worry.  Leap and the net shall appear.  We did finally settle on a little place along the main drag.  Room available?  Nice.  We’ll take it.  Okay, so the Can-Am thing was a tad annoying.  For those of you not in the know, a Can-Am is that new-fangled 3-wheel bike.  Imagine a bug that moves really fast.  Ugly?  Yes.  Does it have a clutch?  Not from what Jack noticed.  They were EVERYWHERE!  Maybe it’s just us, but it feels like a wanna-be bike.  Don’t hate us just yet as we were not the only ones!  The best quote from a Harley guy, “I’ve been seeing these Can-Am things all over town.  I don’t know about you, but I’d be embarrassed to be on one of those things.”  Sorry, Can-Am’ers, but we tend to agree.  The night in the room was good.  A grocery store was nearby, so a slightly home-cooked meal was to be had.  Yes, Applebee’s was at the hotel, but ICK!  “Yes, I’ll have the Cheesy Cheese Fries to start and a Cheese Covered Steak followed by the Mound O’ Fake Ice Cream Sundae to finish.”  I KNOW!  They have salads, but the dressings?!?  Maybe we’re just food snobs.  It was a roasted chicken with a salad and fruit that night.  Cheaper, tastier, healthier.

We had already decided that we were going to do a late departure the next morning.  The Nikon D70 had decided to no longer work, and we needed to find a replacement.  For those of you keeping score:  Electronics 2, Credit Card 0.  The only place in town to replace said DSLR?  Walmart.  Oh, how we LOATH Walmart.  The politics, how the put out local mom and pop’s.  None of it is good.  But, on this day, we had to succumb to the ickiness.  As Jack and I walked in, I kept him on high alert for People of Walmart picture opportunities.  There were a few, but none worth noting.  To the camera section we headed.  They had what we needed and at a good price.  CURSE YOU, WALMART!     Away we went with our new Canon t3i, feeling slimey for feeding the machine but thankful we were saved.  It’s quite a push/pull with the conscience.

Now, we are settled in Colorado just a couple of miles from our Great Divide entry.  The smoke hangs thick in the air from all the fires, but we’ll find our way.  As always, the plan is to have no plan.  But, a final word from a family we met up with during lunch today…  We stopped at a BBQ place in Durango to grab some grub and charge our new cameras.  We met a family who had just lost their 23 year old son.  He was killed in a non-motorcycle accident in Mexico during a vacation.  He and his dad were planning a moto trip to Alaska within the next year.  Today, we rode in honor of Michael Garcia and the Garcia family.  This is yet another reminder for all of us.  Life is too short to say, “Some day”.  None of knows when our day will come.  We may be 23, we may be 73.  No excuses.  No reasoning out of life.  Live for those who are no longer with us.  Live for those who say they can not.  Inspire those who may need that push to leave the norm.  As we always say, “Don’t ask why, ask why not”.  Good night, our friends.  Sleep well.  Dream hard.  Live beyond your expectations.  Cheers, Sandy



Frantic.  Scattered.  Nervous.  Anxious.  Scared.  Spinning.  Excited.  Prepared.  Ready.  This was our Thursday.  It is just a sample of the feelings that swirled our brains yesterday as we prepare to hit the road for 4 weeks to ride the Great Divide.  It was our last full day to tie up those last minute projects at work and to bang out those emails that really should’ve been sent days ago.   The house?!?  I have to clean the house!  Wait!  I haven’t received an inked confirmation from our neighbor about watering the plants!  And our dog, Hank?  I can’t get a hold of our friends who watch him when we’re gone.  And this bloody ankle of mine!!  How am I EVER going to be able to ride over 1,700 miles of dirt on the pegs if I can barely walk?  Oh, how we get inside our brains and just scramble them till they’re liquid.  That, my friends, is how Terry and I spent our Thursday.  And Jack?  How can you deny a 10 year old a day of play with his neighborhood buddies?  The quiet did give me time to manage my projects though the voices in my head insisted on having their own little going away party.


As I sit here in the quiet of the morning, sipping my last home-brewed cup of joe, I slowly begin to remember why it is we do what we do.  To many, we seem foolish in our choice to ride motorcycles all over the states with a 10 year old on the back of Terry’s motorcycle.  We know it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay.  But for us, to be able to spend uninterrupted time together as a family, to show Jack the world beyond the usual, to meet the people you would never meet unless you take the road less travelled.  That is why we’re out there.  While there is a time and place for a structured classroom education, nothing even comes remotely close to the lessons Jack learns on the road.  He’s learning to read the sky for weather changes and what different cloud formations mean.  He played bluegrass with a world-renowned band on Vancouver Island.  He hiked all the way to the arch in Moab, sitting under its shadow as he scanned the skyline, pointing out our route and where we were camped.  He’s played his guitar on tour buses in Milwaukee, an open mike night in Kansas and by campfire most everywhere.   How many of us can say the same or even have anything to compare?  I surely cannot.


Oh, the people we’ve met.  Amazing how the kindness of strangers presents itself when all other options had been exhausted.  From a home-cooked meal when we were hungry to a home to use when we needed a place to crash to a car to drive when the bike was down.  We truly are a land of giving people.  But, why does the media choose to show what is wrong with our society instead of what is good?  Because it makes for better ratings?  Huh.  That’s too bad.  We turned the news off long ago.  It is a conscious decision.  After travelling for so many years and encountering so many wonderful giving people, we decided not to march with the masses and think for ourselves.  And you know what?  We are a much better family for it.


Terry is often asked just HOW he can manage to take off for 4 weeks.  It is very, very difficult to be gone for any length of time when you own your own business.  You are a part of the day-to-day operations as well as run the numbers, the projections and keeping your fingers crossed that Europe doesn’t completely crash.  It has taken many years to acquire a crew that Terry can trust.  You must also start the trip planning a year in advance.   Yes, a year!  And now, after we’ve put out all (most) of the fires and become 90% confident that we’ve got all of our ducks in a row, we roll.  Please, don’t get me wrong.  We know we are fortunate enough to be off the grid for the first 10 days or so.  But, like with anything, Terry has to start managing some calls and service requests from the road.  I have a job that I am able to write from the road.  I like that.  This is our life.  Either you accept it and move on or fume that you still have to work from the road.  We choose to accept what we yet cannot change.


As Jack enjoys sleeping in his bed one last time, as Terry finishes his last email, as I finish typing my last sentence, we know that soon the rubber will meet the road.  Did we forget something?  I’m sure we did.  Is the house clean?  Sort of.  Is there such a thing as getting it all done before you leave?  No, and that’s okay.   Our journey awaits us filled with the unknown, dictated by weather and a 10 year old.  We continue to learn from each other and those we encounter.  And as long as you remain a student of the world, you will find the peace and inner strength you never thought possible. And, isn’t that a beautiful gift in and of itself?  Cheers.


It’s hard to put into words when just a glance or a look will suffice.  Words can be overused, overstretched and pushed out of the scope of their proper meaning.  When you find your true “family”, you don’t have to talk much.  Just listen, take in their stories, learn from their lives, sit back and be who you are as they are more than willing to accept you without the strings.  I’m talking about Overland Expo and the true “family” that comes together for one short weekend a year.

First, I must say that I’m putting the word “family” in quotes as to not disrespect my blood family.  All of you know what I mean when I say your connections with certain like-minded friends go beyond just having each other over for barbeques or birthday parties.  With your true “family”, every day is a celebration of life, of love, of the willingness to allow yourself to put down your walls and put up yourself.  Please don’t get me wrong.  We love our families, most of the members of them at least, but tend to feel the pressure to conform, mold to their specifications, show-up when it’s “expected”.  In true “family” style, you are only expected to be honest, to be respectful.   Listen, learn and share.  When you are surrounded by “family”, it is natural.  Yes, it’s okay to blend family and “family” as you may be fortunate enough to find those kinds of connections within your childhood circle.  But, not all of us have a mother, a father or a sibling to count on when life interferes with living.  With our Overland Expo “family”, we have found our birthday party.  Our family was continuing to grow.

With Carla, we have found not just an editor but a sister, a friend, a mentor.  She knows how to bring people together, to find the common bond that holds us together for years to come.  She’s good at that. Upon arrival the day before the official set-up, we found our wisest “family” figure already relaxing under the pines, Ara and his buddy, Spirit.  With open arms, we were greeted with warmth and continued mutual respect, talking as if no time had passed.  “Did you get your tires yet?”  “Are you feeling better?” These were questions we had been chatting about for months leading up to this moment.  True interest is what each other have been doing.  Hank and Spirit sniffed and licked as if they, too, were happy to be in each others presence once again.  “When are Nicole and the kids getting here?” Jack asked over and over.  Not to worry, little man, they will be here very soon.  Not a few hours later, a honking of the horn and a wave out the window signaled their arrival.  Running to give hugs and introductions to the newest members of the “family”, the kids finally met and Paul became a part of the “family” as well.   Jeff was a soul that we met briefly 2 years ago during a moto repair in Iowa.  With only 4 hours of time together in person but years together via technology, the relationship was formed.  Our family was continuing to grow.

In rolls Alison and Bill.  Having only spent a short time with Alison last year, I knew that the length of time didn’t matter.  It was the quality of the time that was special.  Once again, an instant bond.  Bill was new to the Trio, but became a quick part of the festivities, having solo traveled to many countries, educating his self, becoming wiser after each region.  Carl and Wen-Ling strolled in as dusk approached.  They weren’t staying with us, but that was okay.  Our bond was solidified last year with a quick ride back to our camp for pasta eaten by headlamp.  We hadn’t met Wen-Ling last year but that didn’t matter.  Just hearing about her made the introduction much more meaningful.  Our family was continuing to grow.


As more “family” rolled in and set up by the masses, we watched as faces beamed, stories flowed over glasses of wine and cold beer, hugs ending each conversation.  Jules, T-Roy, Spence, Paul, Jennifer, Shawn, all “family” that journeyed 2 to 24 hours just to share in the OX energy.  Sure, business cards were exchanged, as that’s how we start of the moment, but it’s physical contact that ends the moment.  Living Overland, our lovely neighbors, quickly became part of the “family”.  Amazing what asking to borrow a pair of tongs will turn in to.  They were foodies as well, bearing a FOODIE sticker on their rig as a badge of honor.  The gentlemen to our other side did not camp at their site but that was fine.  They were good people who even offered up one of their campers for Terry and I to stay in on the last night.  Ah, the honeymoon suite, fitting as it was our 19-year anniversary.  Ted found himself making his way to our camp on more than one occasion.  He knew where to find good food – fine cheeses and meats in the evening, British style back bacon in the morning.  There’s a reason why this man has lived over 80 years.  He knows how to make the proper choices.  Nothing is contrived.  All is good.  Our family was continuing to grow.

As Roseann and Jonathan watched their “family” grow to over twice the size of the previous year, they stood in utter amazement as 2-wheels rolled in, 4-wheels rolled by and 6-wheels?  8-wheels?  Such admiration for all no matter how many tires carried the load.  Presentations and panels, demos and dirt, all was good with our “family” world.  But with great times must come great ends.  The Trio had to depart much too soon.  Jack stood motionless but not emotionless, his little face covered in muddy tears.  My face was wet as well.  How could I not tear up?  To watch our 10-year-old son wish to stay forever with his “family” made Terry and I ache.  Oh, the pain of having to say goodbye.  Stoic faces from the men as shedding a tear may completely shatter them if one happened to slip out.  I do not possess such a gift.  Hank and Spirit said their canine farewells.  The Trio reluctantly put the Burb in DRIVE and headed out.  It’s so hard to say goodbye.  The memories we shall treasure.  There is a respect and admiration for those who make the choice to wander rather than settle, to learn from all rather than learn from a few.  What a blessing to be so fortunate.  The new “family” members we have acquired.  Lorraine, J., Tiffany, Chris, Adam, Ken, Beau, Krista, Gus, too many to name though I wish I had time.  Why no time?  Because, life interferes with living.  But there is one thing that we know for next year’s Overland Expo…our family will continue to grow.

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