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(Almost) Coast to Coast

Sorghum and safflower, cotton and corn. Roadkill armadillos in Missouri, ‘possums in Kentucky. Ferry boat rides across the Ohio river, and in the North Carolina Outer Banks. Lots of hardwood trees beginning to turn color in the east and midwest, and golden cottonwoods in the southwest. Mountain bike rides in a number of small “spaghetti bowl” trail systems tucked into state and county parks, as well as national forests. (Lots of roots!) Five dollar jars of homemade apple butter made by employees of a state park in Virginia, proceeds going to a conservation organization. Four nights at an Arbnb on a farm in Tennessee, where we were befriended by a couple horses, a rooster and several hens, a lone duck, and an irresistible little kitty! A resident roadrunner in our site at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas. A night in a wind farm in the Texas panhandle. White knuckle drives through bustling metropolitan areas, and leisurely cruises (watch for the speed trap!) through near-empty small towns. Packed occasionally into noisy, smoky campgrounds, and other nights in nearly empty ones. Five weeks and two days away from home, two people living together in a van.

These are snippets from a road trip that my wife and I took in October and the first week of September. We traveled from our home in Klamath Falls, Oregon, to the Atlantic Ocean and back, the impetus for the trip being a wedding in Tennessee. As a lover of maps and the land they represent, I was in heaven. We started with the idea that most days we would drive 4 or 5 hours at most, and that we wouldn’t drive after dark (one collision with a deer is enough for me in one lifetime), and we stuck with it. We usually tried to camp somewhere that we could mountain bike right from our campsite. We ran into friendly and helpful people everywhere we went. And the mundane for the residents of each place we visited was often exotic for us, like the Osage orange/hedge apple (who says you can’t compare apples and oranges!).

Here are a few images from our trip, some previously posted on Facebook, a few new. Future blog posts will visit a few special locations along the way in greater detail.

Mississippi Riverboat

Campground Daredevil, Lake Glendale, Illinois

Biking in Kentucky

Fungi, Virginia

Chesapeake Bay, Virginia

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

7:30 AM Ferry to Mainland, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Muletown Farm, Tennessee

Bridge, Missouri

Impending Storm, Missouri

Longhorns, Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma

"Closed for Winter," backside of a drive-in movie screen between Turkey and Quitake (New York & L.A.), Texas

Shoe and bike fence, near Caprock Canyons Park, Texas

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

El Malpais, New Mexico

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