The focus of life on the road ebbs and flows based on our location. Throughout the winter in the southwest we spent a lot of time in remote locations, scrambling on cliffs and mountains, and exploring ancient ruins.
Now that we’re in the East and closer to friends and family, we’re spending time having long conversations over meals, visiting museums, and enjoying the company of those around us.
Which isn’t to say we aren’t adventuring. Oh no no no. There’s still plenty of adventures to be had in the East.
After wrapping up my work retreat on the Chesapeake Bay we drove to Washington, DC. We spent four days in the city, parking in the driveway of our friends Karen and Jim. We spent many hours drinking cappuccino and talking about life.
We saw many friends in DC: dinner with my friend Theron and his daughter, lunch in Columbia Heights with Dent friends Zack and Laryl, and met for coffee with my colleague Andrew. It feels great to connect with friends while traveling, and I expect we’ll do even more as we get closer to the Northeast.
Between seeing friends we explored the area. I travel to DC a lot for work, so we didn’t frantically tour every Smithsonian on the Capital Mall. We did go to one museum: the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture.
We managed to snag two entry passes and joined the hoards of people on Mother’s Day. It was crowded and a bit overwhelming, but the museum tells the story of the African American experience in the United States. I’ll need at least three more visits to even get a feel for the place.
We also explored the United States National Arboretum. The Arboretum is a 450 acre research and education center located in northeast DC. They always have something in bloom, and you can drive narrow, winding paths through the park. My favorite was visiting the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum on the grounds. They have bonsai on site from the 1800’s, as well as a bonsai that survived Hiroshima.
A favorite band of mine, Reckless Kelly, was playing in Alexandria over the weekend. I recently wrote an article on them, so I reached out and told them I’d be at the show. They made space for us at a reserved table and after the show we hung out with them late into the night. It was fun to spend time with them and meet their friends. We met a fighter pilot turned yogi, a woman who works on the floor of Congress, and a handful of people that travel to Idaho for the Braun Brothers Reunion each year.
We waved goodbye to DC on Monday and have been touring battlefields ever since. Well, Mike has been touring battlefields. I’ve been touring battlefield parking lots and working. That’s a-ok with me, I’m not quite as excited about battlefields as Mike. In the past few days he’s thoroughly explored both Antietam and Gettysburg.
We continue to make our way toward upstate New York. I’m ready for the weather to break, the last few days it’s been over 90 degrees and muggy. I know, I know, I was complaining about the cold all winter, wasn’t I? 90 degree days are tolerable for humans, but almost impossible for Lemhi. The poor guy has an awful lot of fur.
Subscribe to my newsletter, Wild Places, for weekly updates from life on the road.