We made it across the vast North American continent, and are 5 months into our family adventure. What a trip it has been. Since Utah we have explored, camped, hiked and biked in some of the most beautiful natural surroundings the high desert of the USA threw at us.
Janey-Rae has been a champ. Now she is getting spoiled in California sunshine, and we are having a nice break at our cousin’s house. We had a lovely bike ride around the hills in Copperopolis California, not too far from Yosemite National Park, and a scenic drive and short walk in the snow blanketed Sierra mountains which bodes well for the ongoing dry years this part of the world has suffered for nearly half a decade. Now we’ll get spoiled too; good company other than ourselves, big beds, central heating, big spacious rooms and staying put for a few days. All this will refuel our tanks as much as Janey’s tune up and transmission fluid change will prepare her for the next leg of the journey, which at this point in time is all uncertain as a return journey across the northern USA is out of the question at the moment as winter settles in and has covered the mountains and roads with snow. Somehow or another we’ll be staying put out here in the west to see in the new year and wait for the Spring thaw. For now though we’ll enjoy the area of Central California with our cousins Joe & Judy as our guides and kind hosts.
As a family we have survived the small confines of living in an RV. Even though our motorized home is 9 meters (29 feet) long, it still throws up challenges to a family of four living in such tight quarters. Luckily Louis & Francesca get along well and have mountain biking in common. They have biked in some of the most beautiful and challenging landscapes America boasts along the southern corridor of the country.
Angie & I have done some biking as well, but with a set of walkie talkies shared between us and the kids we happily go off hiking most of the time while they search out trails for their bikes. A few handy apps help us to find hidden and otherwise unknown places to explore on foot and two wheels. So with the help of some modern technology combined with our 1989 internal combustion engine we have been able to marry the two to keep it all interesting.
Visiting family and catching up with an old neighborhood friend in Las Vegas was an interesting interlude along the way. A surprise meeting up with now 90 year old Aunt Mary in Arizona the day before Thanksgiving also was an added bonus. Little surprises and meetings with familiar faces is always nice for all of us. The backdrops of Las Vegas and the beauty of southern Arizona just adds a little bit more icing on an already tasty cake!
Meeting the right people at the perfect moments helping us navigate the unknown has continued as well. We picked up two hitch-hikers who just happened to be a French couple on their year-long journey. We camped together for the night and had a good practice with our (my) dormant French language skills.
America is so vast and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands that abound out here in the west has helped keep our sleeping costs to a bare minimum. We never stay in RV parks as they are way too expensive and with our needs being met by constantly charged batteries, a clever shower set up, BLM lands and the occasional State parks we have managed to sleep well and stay sorta clean and showered! With a few family and friends dotted along the way throwing intermittent luxury at us, we have crossed the continent in a certain style only Janey-Rae and creativity could give us.
WIFI has been intermittent, but when we get it it is nice to receive news from friends and family. It’s always good knowing that the world is still turning elsewhere than on our wiggly trajectory course across America.
No matter what you hear out there, life is going on, people are both helpful and hopeful. Yes the world is throwing up lots of challenges to us all at the moment, but we gotta keep those dreams alive, and know deep down collectively we are all better than any political process or what the main stream media want us to believe. Take a page from the words of the song below. Although dreaming shouldn’t only be focused on this diverse wonderful state skirting the Pacific Coast in America, why not share a bit of that California dream with us for the moment!
Enjoy the journey. Peace, Joe