It is our six month anniversary of living and traveling in Hobbes.
Six months ago we were saying teary goodbyes to friends, emptying the last bits of our life from our house and packing Hobbes’ nooks and crannies. The last thing we brought out of the house – a bag of garbage – rode with us for awhile until we found somewhere to dispose of it.
It was in the single digits, snowing, when we pulled away from our house. I felt elated and slightly scared and relieved and sad.
Since then we’ve driven 16,000 miles across 19 states and stuck our toes in Canada. Lemhi swam in two of the United States’ three major rivers as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We’ve been up to 9,000 feet and below sea level. I’ve taken 15,879 pictures and filled two journals. We’ve camped in 108 different locations. Hobbes has averaged 14 miles per gallon. Mike has biked 1,067 miles. We didn’t keep track of our hiking mileage (hey, you can’t track everything), but there’s been a lot of hiking.
What do we have to show for it? We haven’t bought any souvenirs on the road, so there isn’t much in the way of trinkets. But here’s what I see: Hobbes is a little dirtier and a little more worn than when we started. But now we trust him to get us from point A to point B – he’s as solid an adventure rig as we could have hoped for. I see postcards and stickers from places we’ve been pinned up on our bulletin board. I see sand hiding in the shoe bin from White Sands, a perfectly round pebble from Campobello Island, a parole ticket from Appomattox and a paper atlas covered in highlighting. I see Lemhi relaxing in the place between the driver and passengers seat – his favorite spot when we’re driving – his toes covered in sand from a week by the lake. I see new shelves Mike and his dad built to help us organize better. I see a list of articles to write and of groceries to buy. I see my home of six months, and my home of the next year. Are there things I miss about my life in Idaho? Oh yes. All the time. I miss my friends and my backyard. I miss the wildflowers and camping on the shores of Redfish Lake. I miss my home office with the window facing the mountains and the desk I built. I miss never thinking about electricity or cellular connectivity or the fullness of the black water tank. Some day that life may be mine again. But for now, my life is here, on the road, with Mike and Lemhi and Hobbes and my camera and the freedom to explore and move and live on the edge of society.
I’m exactly where I need, and want, to be. Thank you for following along on this journey. Happy six months, Wild Places.
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