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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Monday, January 26, 2009

heading for warm

well, the first week of the trip has passed in a flash. i was determined to get to warm as quickly as possible, but did take some time to meet up with a few vandwellers on the way. i got to meet judith in north carolina, and she is sweeter and gentler in person than she is online. her place is tucked into a quiet piece of woods, and mutt was delighted with a little off-leash time there. i got to see bernie and mar again....i had met them at the mini vandweller convention in early november at john nomads place during my first kayaking adventure with michael. while at judith's we spent time touring and comparing our different rigs.....it is always such a learning experience and very inspirational to see how everybody is set up. judith seemed to like the astro rondyvan for it's compactness and good gas mileage. it sure was cluttered at the time from my frenzied pack job the day before.....

the next day i met possum in south carolina for breakfast at perkins. it is amazing how comfortable i feel with people i have never met in person before, having only established on-line friendships, but possum and i were yakking like the old friends that we were, chowing down and surfing the fastest wifi i had ever seen. it was so good to finally meet up, possum!

now the trip gets a little fuzzy here. i drove straight through the day and evening. it turned out that by altering my trip south to I-10, i would be able to meet up with phoenix near baton rouge. i know i passed through atlanta that night.....the skyline of the city was breathtaking. what i can't remember is if i made baton rouge that night, or if i had a stop in between. either way, i finally met up with phoenix at the tiger truck stop, where i had my first cajun food. it was good, except the part where he told me that the crayfish etoufe had frogs in it! ewwww. our visit was, as always, too short!
something about gas pumps makes people spit out their gum. look at this gum universe. i never see that anywhere else. this truck stop is called the tiger truck stop for a reason. there is a tiger there. things in cages really grieve me, and i had to be convinced by phoenix not to set the tiger free. the next morning, i was excited to see a sign that said "save the tiger" but when i got closer
it was nothing about saving the tiger, it was about saving the profits they made by having an exotic animal in their truck stop :-(
tony has never known anything but captivity in a tiny cage. he has no tiger family, no companions, no purpose. while i was there, he simply paced, around and around, in an endless circle to nowhere. it was a stark reminder of the gorilla in "ishmael" who banged his head slowly and endlessly on the bars of the cage, not knowing what freedom was, but instinctively knowing there was something else beyond this existence.....
i hate cages of any sort, but a zoo would be a blessing for tony, with more room to move and other animals around. i hope they lose their bid to keep the tiger in grosse tete.
okay, on to happier stuff. i was having a hard time keeping the kayak from shifting to the right and off the siderail of the roof rack. a little duct tape, and a hammer, and that baby hasn't moved in over 2,000 miles :-)
the "islands" in truck stops are mutt's oasis. we always park with the sliding door next to one, so we can look out at something besides asphalt. this one was in mississippi, and one of the prettier ones i've seen.
and finally, texas! in a truckstop outside of houston, i traded out my mukluks for my teva sandals! one of my first "vandweller" dreams actually involved a horse and saddlebags, where i would roam the west with what i could pack on the back of my horse. of course, i was in grade school, and mad to meet johnny yuma, but the same essential theme repeated itself throughout my life, trading the horse for a bicycle and panniers, or a stick and a bandanna, a backpack, or a van....it took a few decades, but i'm living my dream, and it makes every day kinda breathtaking.....

stay tuned, because on my way to austin, i stumble across my first cowboy and the coolest house of worship i have ever seen......

2 comments:

Carolyn said...

So glad you're in Austin. Hope you post a lot about your thoughts there. I'm ready to head that way!

RovingWeaver said...

When I was in grade school, my vandwelling dreams were on a grander scale than a van - my parents had a converted schoolbus as our camper, and I wanted to get a double decker bus and convert and live in THAT (I wanted to be an author) and move every few months to a different town so I could see the whole country. :-) Hopefully at some point I'll get the van - I KNOW I don't actually want the bus now!!