In a complete blur, we’ve completed the first three weeks of our seven week journey. As I mentioned before I set out, I knew Stage 1 would be completely bonkers in terms of the pace and what I was trying to accomplish. But as of yesterday, we’ve entered Stage 2 and we will be able to ramp down but only a bit. We’ve got some tough choices to make in terms of the sheer volume of wonderful places to visit vs. slowing down enough to actually enjoy the journey.
So at the end of three weeks, the Overland Expo to TBEX expedition looks like this…
U.S. States: 18
Canadian Provinces: 1
Time Zones: 4
Laundry list of events:
- Spent 3 days at Overland Expo in Flagstaff with awesome blogger folks
- Put our feet into the Pacific Ocean for the first time
- Nabbed our westernmost geocache
- Reconnected with old friends in California
- Cooled our jets in the delightfully slow pace of Taos
- Returned to Great Sand Dunes
- Drove three days from Colorado to Toronto
- Detoured through two REI stores to remedy a tent emergency
- Made it through TBEX in Toronto
- Visited Niagara Falls
- Fell in love with the Museum of Play in Rochester, NY
- Visited the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY
But all those are just stats and bullet points. More important is…
What I’ve learned so far.
- The pace thus far has made balance very hard to achieve. I’ve learned to set expectations of image processing and posting the story as we go aside so I can enjoy most of the journey in between long hard driving days. Of course, I’ll face the daunting task of playing catch up later…
- Don’t underestimate the toll that days of hard driving can take. After the haul from Atlanta to Flagstaff as well as the one from Colorado to Toronto, I was completely drained. One good night’s sleep was not enough to recuperate, diminishing the quality of my time at Overland Expo and TBEX.
- Facetime with colleagues is not only fun and awesome but essential for true connections to be forged.
- The conversations with the boys that are prompted by what we see in our travels are amazing. Those unguarded, honest moments provide great insight into their hearts and minds.
- Long-distance travel with and without the kids are completely different beasts.
- Urban travel is very taxing to me. I go into survival mode until I can get back into my tent.
- The power of visiting places in person simply cannot duplicated by reading books and watching videos. Travel is crucial to understanding the world around us and our individual place in it.
- And, as always… you absolutely have to roll with the punches. Your second-most vital piece of equipment (i.e. tent) craps out? You just have to solve the problem on the fly and keep on.
What’s Coming Up…
I have indeed deviated from the final plan as it stood on the eve of departure but I’ll detail the whys and wherefores as time permits. The remainder of the journey will take still take us through the northeast US and Eastern Canadian provinces but probably not as slowly as I’d like. That remains to be seen however…
Keeping up with Camp Granola…
Again, getting blog posts written and pictures edited for them is proving very difficult. Hopefully the slower pace will allow me at least some catch-up time but I am posting vigorously to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Flickr so be sure to follow along on those channels.
So you other crazy road-trippers out there… what have you learned on the road?