We made a few stops on the way from Kansas to Cody, Wyoming, including Rock Springs, Pinedale and Jackson as well as a pleasant trip through Yellowstone NP. With a little extra time, we made a quick day trip to the Flaming Gorge Dam from Rock Springs.
The dam captures the Green River and creates a huge and beautiful reservoir. For the geology buffs, the associated canyon walls, cut by the Green River, expose rocks over 1 billion years in age.
Apart from the remarkable engineering feat required to construct the dam, the beauty of the area is well worth the visit. The Visitors Center provides the fascinating story of its construction and the surrounding geology. For those interested, it also created a wonderful fishery.
Then there was the Buffalo Bill Dam. Built on the Shoshone River after rather remarkable technical and other struggles including the first labor dispute/strike. The dam, just West of Cody, was named for William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Completed in 1910, it was the tallest concrete dam in the world – and no steel rebar was used in the construction. Nearly 90,00 acres below the dam were opened to agriculture as a result of the irrigation waters it provided.
The visitor’s center allows for a trip down the inner workings of the dam to the thundering spillway, as well as an excellent video describing the construction. Keep in mind there was little in the way of mechanical help at the time of its construction – enormous human labor was all that was available.
If you look carefully at the top of the dam picture, you will see a small human figure providing a sense of scale.
In addition to this amazing structure, a visit to nearby Cody is always worth the time – a step into western culture and history.
It’s just days now before we move on. Full time RV living is on the very near horizon. Scrambling to sort, pack and move to storage those things we intend to keep – that is, what we will want if/when we move back into a house. Working our way through the list of all the last minute preparations: set up bills for auto pay, changing address to our mail service, stopping home electric, fuel, internet/tv, pest control et al …. and all that needs to be timed with our scheduled settlement on the house – just days away as I write this. Then, it’s all just mechanics. The real ‘moving on’ isn’t about this.
How to balance the sadness of leaving a long established home and removing an ‘anchor’ for your adult children who still think of this place as home against the excitement of new adventures. After gathering the family here for so many holidays and other celebrations, it’s time to pass such traditions on. Many have done this. We certainly are not alone. Yet each finds their personal way forward. Getting past the highs and lows can be a challenge. The highs feed the energy that’s essential to keep the processes moving, and encourages the planning for visiting new places, revisiting old favorite places and looking up distant friends. Inevitably, the lows arrive about 2 in the morning and you begin racking up a troubling sleep deficit amid all the second guessing. There are much deeper, personal issues that nag and come to the surface unbidden, often unwanted, at not always convenient times. This is the real stuff of ‘moving on’.
Lest friends worry about some apparent depression, rest assured we’re finding that balance, and are focusing on the exciting times ahead. Having been retired for several years, I am soon to have my wife join me. We will have the precious commodity of time together – a gift, we know only too well, that lacks any certainty.
If you’ve read this far, you will recognize the emotional aspects of the leap we are about to take. Writing this for me is but one piece of the balancing. And, perhaps it shares something of value for others who find themselves in similar transitions. In any event, it helps to know that we will look back on all this at some point with a good ration of humor – so, you’re welcome to laugh now either at or with us later!
Here are a few pictures of our beautiful motor coach, and we will have good times making it our home for however long it works…… you’re welcome to follow along here!
Well, it’s winter. The calendar said so on December 21st, but the ground was clear and unfrozen, and temps were still in the 60s. Sure didn’t feel like winter, and it wasn’t a white Christmas regardless what the music said. It feels like winter now, January 10th, after several days in the teens or below and daytime highs still below freezing. We fired the wood stove for the first time this season….
As for enjoying our new motor home, we can only watch and wait for warmer weather and the time to get away.
It’s the waiting. I’ve never been a very patient soul – my wife will verify that. We have this beautiful escape machine sitting in the driveway all prepared for the cold. Then we read all the FB posts from friends and others who are traveling through the southern regions or settled in sunny, warm RV parks. I try to maintain a generous, happy sense for their good fortune – operative word here is ‘try’.
In any event, the clock moves inexorably toward Spring, due this 2017th year on Monday, March 20th – just 69 more days as I write this. Meanwhile, the S&B home will go on the market soon – step 2. Step 1 was the purchase of our Tiffin Phaeton 36 just a bit over a month ago. Step 3 will have us wandering with our new home being far more mobile.
As a firm believer in the adage “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”, we have only very loose plans as to where we will first head. But we have friends and family scattered about the Country, some fixed, some mobile. And, we have beautiful places we want to visit again or for the first time. The time and ability to do so is a gift we both treasure.
So, keep a close watch. You may see us somewhere down the road in our new home christened Fawkes – you know, the phoenix that keeps being re-born of Potter fame. Feel free to track us here for stories and musings from the road.