Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shiloh To Shallow

Fortunately I really like driving the coach. That makes getting from point A to point B half the fun - maybe more. And that's a good thing especially at times like this when we are changing the part of the country we are going to explore. Shiloh, LA might have been a milestone if this were the first trip into that state, but we've chalked up that state previously and so instead of a giant thrill, Shyloh is just a map tack on the map headed westward. Not that there is anything wrong with Louisiana. We like that state; some parts better than others. Same is true of Texas, where this evening we are camped out in a cold and blustery Shallow Creek RV Park, a half day's ride from Dallas, TX. Tomorrow's run will take us past Dallas and on up into Oklahoma- a state we have not yet visited at all. So crossing that border, entering that state, visiting that venue for the very first time WILL be exciting. I've got my "first time going into this state" song ready to belt out! There is a certain palpitation the heart experiences with each thing that is new. There is a certain calm about doing what has been done before (travel wise that is). But I'll be honest: the venture into Oklahoma is not for a thorough exploration of the world of wonders that awaits us there. Not this time anyhow. Rather it is for the express purpose of working towards our goal of visiting every state by coach that we can visit by coach. As we roll into the very beginning of our third year in the business of full time "coaching," we have but seven states left to fill in on our electronic blog map of the visited states. Time spent in each state this time around is a matter of priority (or not) and a function of what can and can't be fit in to a certain time frame within which we must work at this point in our lives. Seasonality has a great to deal to do with those considerations as well. I cannot, for example, begin to imagin how, while headed to the southwest with winter coming up quickly, we can possible make it to North Dakota- which will no doubt be the last and most difficult state to hit. To some states (like Alaska) we have dedicated over three months. To a few others, less than three days. No insult intended. They are just further down on the "to do" list than the rest. Admittedly, there is a sense of "hurry up" to reach the goal of the 49.

But back to the points on the map. The drive itself is of great value. Driving back and forth across the country (did I mention we crossed the Mississippi again for about the 7th time) one learns a great deal. It's a matter of seeing with your own eyes what a place looks like. Whether the people you talk to along the way are helpful and friendly, or otherwise inclined. Whether fuel prices are higher or lower. Whether businesses are open and thriving or struggling and perhaps even closed. What topics are most discussed. What energy sources have been developed. The geography of the place. The flora and fauna. Points of interest that are discovered in some small way even as you blow by them on the highway at 55 miles an hour or so.

"Hey, would you make a note of that?" I'd like to come back here another time...."

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