So Far….

From the North Rim of The Grand Canyon

Hello, one and all!  It’s been weeks!  Weeks since I’ve written.  Weeks since I’ve had a steady connection.  Weeks since I’ve organized my thoughts on what’s happened on the road.  I’m staying put for a few days in Napa, California and will once again be filling your inbox with posts from The Stretch 2012.  In the meantime, here are some things I’ve learned since I started this trip almost two months ago.

1. As soon as I start feeling really sad to leave a place, I know it’s time to go.  I’ve learned that part of that sadness is actually fear that the next stop won’t be as special.  But, every single stop is spectacular in its own way and you just never know what’s around the corner.

2. Grocery stores that sell ‘coons for cooking leave one full paw on the skinned animal so the buyer knows it’s indeed a ‘coon and not a cat.  Promise.

3. Dining alone is not so bad. I actually like it.  I don’t even bring a book with me anymore.  Most of the time someone will invite me to join them.  If I end up alone for the whole meal the bartender usually sends a round on the house.

4. Earthquakes scare the crap out of me.  People who live in California sleep through 3.8 earthquakes.  I contemplated packing my bags and leaving the state as soon as it happened.

5.  Hospitality is the true sport of kings.  I now fully understand what it means to make someone feel at home and welcome.

Las Cruces, New Mexico sunset.

6. Saying “yes” leads to way more interesting happenings than saying “no, thank you”.

Almost as good as new.

7. Broken bones heal.  It just takes a while.

8. Above about 3,000 feet one cocktail feels like two… or more.

9. Sex cult members would like for you to join them but if you don’t want to they don’t seem to mind and still want to be your friend.

Highway 1

View from Highway 1 vista.

10. Esalen in Big Sur, California houses the mac-daddy of all hot springs experiences.  I wish I could show you pictures but photography would likely be discouraged at this clothing optional enclave.  I now judge those who take the option.

11.  California Highway 1 is the coolest, spookiest, most harrowing drive I’ve ever taken and I’ll do it again and again.

12. Seeing two national parks in one day is seeing one national park too many.

13. Sacred Peace Pipe ceremonies are usually not open to the public and are not advertised on the community bulletin board.

14. Checking your car’s tire pressure is super easy and when all the tires are right it’s a huge relief.

Standard uniform.

15. I like wearing the same four outfits over and over.  I wish I could ditch half the stupid stuff I brought with me— like the sequined tank top that’s shedding shiny discs all over the bottom of my suitcase.

16. Everyone has a story and everyone has the propensity to be a teacher.

Open road. Totally alone.

17. Gas station attendants across America agree that beef jerky is the most popular snack sold.

18. Lying down on the double yellow line of a quiet freeway gave me a sense of freedom I’ve never felt before in my life.  I hadn’t seen another car for more than two hours so I stopped my car in the middle of the road, blasted a random CD I bought in Austin, and laid down on my back right on the double line.  Like a star fish.  Stared at the sky.  Laughed and cried at the same time.

19. At one certain pueblo, no one wants to discipline the War Chief’s unruly and aggressive dog.  He’ll goose you and then back you into a corner nipping at your ankles.  The dog, not the War Chief.

20. I’ve fallen head over heels for the car I’m driving.  When I spot it in the parking lot I all but skip toward it and give it a hug.  It holds the contents of my entire life, provides shelter, and takes me to every single new adventure.

My one true love.

Categories: People on The Stretch, Stays on The Strech | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “So Far….

  1. so,so glad you Get It ! I thought it was just me !

  2. Pingback: So Far…. | Home Far Away From Home

  3. Meg Varney

    THERE SHE IS! Don’t you just love it when we are the authors and not the editors. Go out into life! If only for a chance to dance with your own soul! 🙂 XO

  4. Alexis

    Welcome back! I’ve missed your posts but this one was worth waiting for.

  5. Debby Manuel

    Eating breakfast in our Black Mountain cabin and absolutely cheering for you! What a great list of the best reasons to do what you’re doing! Lots of love, Debby and Jim

  6. Nancy

    Waiting at the LaGuardia airport for our long-delayed flight home and thinking how happy I am that you are on the open road and not in NYC this summer. Lee and I are enjoying following your travels. Be safe.

  7. Sue

    Kari…I am so enjoying your travels and especially your neat, nutty, etc. way you express yourself. Thank you for making all of this so much fun.

  8. Sue

    Oh, my comment actually went through this time…I guess I cannot do it from Facebook…But, I have tried on several ocassions. Anyway, this lisit is illuminating and quite a few I find myself saying; yep, that’s me. Again I loved this and all that you have written so far..

  9. Susan Tedder

    I love this one plus all the others!! You truly GET IT! Missed you so much at the wedding. M and H were in Big Sur for 3 days and loved it!!!
    Take care. Guess this means KK will have to look for a new car!
    Much love,
    Susan and Warren

  10. Sandy

    so happy to see you smelling the roses in life, Kari dear!
    i’m following you now, as it looks like so many of your friends are…many wishing we had half the courage and humor that you do…
    xoxo Sandy

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