Vanishing Roadside http://vanishingroadside.com Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:58:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Route 66 Postpartum http://vanishingroadside.com/route-66-postpartum/ http://vanishingroadside.com/route-66-postpartum/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 03:10:40 +0000 http://vanishingroadside.com/?p=2046 Wikipedia defines postpartum as: "A postpartum period (or postnatal period) is the period beginning immediately after the birth of a child and extending for about six weeks." Why is this word floating around my consciousness in relationship to the road I'm longing for? the great Mother Road of the US of A? I am now and have become "a child of the road", a mere few times traveler who has now driven the entire length and breadth in one shot. Read more...

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map-of-route-66-from-los-angeles-to-chicagoRoute 66 Postpartum

Wikipedia defines postpartum as: “A postpartum period (or postnatal period) is the period beginning immediately after the birth of a child and extending for about six weeks.” Why is this word floating around my consciousness in relationship to the road I’m longing for? the great Mother Road of the US of A? I am now and have become “a child of the road”, a mere few times traveler who has now driven the entire length and breadth in one shot. And I’m longing – longing for the open road. I’m part of the “all the way gang” in the Ride for the Relay – we started at the beginning in Chicago and we all traveled the entire way to the Santa Monica Pier together. Why was I choking up crying when I got my husband on my cell to tell him I had made it to the Pacific Ocean? This road has gotten inside of me and now I am a part of IT! This feeling of connectedness to a road is something I cannot explain.

I followed the lead of a dear friend who lives in LA to meet him at The Autry Museum in Pasadena and see the wonderful Route 66 show they have mounted there. GREAT idea! Just the perfect ending to my trip. Why after he left and I strolled around the gift shop did I want to buy just one more token of the road to an already to full suitcase? Why did I begin to cry as I walked out to my car and took one last picture of the sign of Route 66 that I had already left, silhouetted against the museum backdrop? This feeling of loss of connection – I can’t put my finger on it. I’m irrationally emotional and I don’t know why.

On the plane trip home I finally started reading a fun book my dear friends Phyllis and Stanley had given me at the outset, “Billy Connolly’s Route 66″ – a Scotsman with a reality TV show in Great Britain who came here to travel the road. I enjoyed his take on it – and yes – I needed more. I couldn’t let it go yet. I hung on his every word about his travels on Route 66. I wanted to be there with him again – right now.

Then when I got home, with no time yet to look over my own photos, I started delving into Michael Wallis’ classic “Route 66, The Mother Road”. I found myself fascinated more so than ever with the entire history of the road – how the advent of the automobile created a huge demand for roads in America – in the 20’s! They had to come up with something – struggles struggles between localities – old roads – what to name the roads – on and on – and finally they settled on this grand title for this road “Route 66″- and then it was “The Main Street of America” and John Steinbeck christened it “The Mother Road” during the Dust Bowl when so many devastated folks found solace traveling to Cali from OK! Then WWII – and huge rounds of soldiers and tanks and troups traversed the road. It was THE most important road in America.

And then, pause – the Interstate Highway System in the mid 1950’s and slowly slowly she turns, step by step, inch by inch – most of the dearest most dear, most important highways in our land was side stepped and all the little towns forgotten to time. This road was “left behind”- no longer relevant. And most of the towns had little to do but throw up their hands and admit defeat. (Thus the brilliance of the movie “Cars” – my fav – have to own it now ).

So how does this all fit into my story? I have been documenting and cherishing the icons of our roadside past for many years. I just couldn’t help myself – why – because I love the sensibilities – because I’m a fan of great design – because the people that created these great mom and pop businesses had a lot of heart – and the folks that helped them create their buildings – their signs were real artists and artisans – not corporate zombies using templates created by robots!

So I’m already a fan of everything that Route 66 embraces. But I think if I were to really analyze this unexplained sentimentality it would rest in the place of reverence. Because Route 66 had such an important place (in what I now see as “world history”) many many people have realized the value in preserving what is left of it. And because it has now gained value as a tourist destination (unbelievable how many people from all around the globe come to visit here), new fans are making investments to maintain and/or revitalize old failing businesses and keep the road alive for everyone to appreciate. There is something essentially “American” about the values of preserving this kitsch and camp – the “down home” authenticity that’s not stuffy or pretentious, but just plain American – that Route 66 speaks to!

But in the end – nothing can attest to my longing – maybe it’s not really “postpartum”. Maybe it’s just that the experience of being on this glorious road across America was heartfelt. There were so many aspects to it – from the mission statement of the Ride for the Relay group – to find a cure for cancer. These folks lived every day as though it was their last! and put their heart and soul into every inch of the ride too. From the passion I have for saving the imagery from our American roadside – for now in photos – some will be made into large paintings at some point in the future. And then there was the huge incident which changed the whole ride for me from just “a photo journalist having a great time – to a human being who has lost some of the most important things in my life” kind of trip. I will have to create this entire story as a separate chapter, as it certainly deserves that. In the meantime, I’ll end by saying that I now know that I am more than just a fan of a great American road (or “The Great American Roadside”). This great American road is now a deep part of my heart and soul that I will not long forget.

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Lessons from the Road http://vanishingroadside.com/lessons-from-the-road/ http://vanishingroadside.com/lessons-from-the-road/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:50:40 +0000 http://vanishingroadside.com/?p=2033 Sunday September 21, 2014, written on the flight from LA to NY
First day of fall, autumn equinox

How perfect to return home on this day when the light and dark are equal. A mirror for the experiences I’ve had on this epic journey across America. The fellow next to me on the plane has the flight plan on his video monitor and within a few hours we have already crossed nearly half the country. I’m looking at that overview of the landscape I just traveled over many days and marveling that now in a plane that same distance is being traversed in no time.
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carSunday September 21, 2014, written on the flight from LA to NY
First day of fall, autumn equinox

How perfect to return home on this day when the light and dark are equal. A mirror for the experiences I’ve had on this epic journey across America. The fellow next to me on the plane has the flight plan on his video monitor and within a few hours we have already crossed nearly half the country. I’m looking at that overview of the landscape I just traveled over many days and marveling that now in a plane that same distance is being traversed in no time.

Just a few days ago, Jen and I were welcomed in LA by a dear friend who was my gracious host for the several days. She asked me: “what was your favorite thing from the trip?” Wow! I was dumbstruck and had no idea how to answer that question. However,in thinking more about it I had a profound realization of something I’ve experienced before on cross country trips: the miracle of how the landscape, topography, geology, geography unfolds as you’re moving through it. One moment everything around you is flat with nothing in any direction as far as the eye can see, and the next moment you spy a few rivulets emerging. Then the rivulets begin to deepen and expand and are suddenly shaping small mesas, which continue to grow into larger mesas, and eventually become enormous high plateaus, and we are tiny specs in the valley below. And as a whole, this great American landscape we call home is really something to marvel at! We are blessed to live within this “land of the free” – to be able take off and explore the grandeur of the open road – this is my biggest take away from the whole adventure.

That and the amazing lessons I learned when my bag with my precious journal and iPad went missing. Social media and Facebook are annoying to some, tolerated by others and addictive to many, myself included these days. I loved writing my daily blogs and sharing my photos and tidbits from the road on my website and Facebook page. But it wasn’t until I pulled myself together enough to write a brief post about my bag being stolen, that I truly understood the breadth of the community I’ve surrounded myself with. I received such a outpouring of love and support that I was truly humbled. People encouraged me to be strong and carry on and I really got that making it to the end and enjoying the rest of the trip to the fullest extent was what I needed to do.

I let go. I hoped for a miracle, someone would find my bag, my stuff, an angel, and I let go. I chose to be present and carry on. I even summoned up my courage to take a ride on the back of a motorcycle for the better part of the morning because “hey, when’s the next time I’ll have this opportunity?” It was amazing!

We persevered! We supported our fellow riders as they struggled with extreme heat going through The Mohave Desert. Even the trusty little Toyota Echo endured the heat and made it with flying colors all the way to the Santa Monica Pier and its new home in San Francisco. We were most grateful for that!

We said goodbye to our teammates and then Jen and I said goodbye to each other. It was poignant. This marvelous adventure had been completed successfully and now it was over. I had several great days in LA visiting old friends and doing yoga classes at the edge of The Pacific Ocean. I got a taste of the good life in Santa Monica and see why so many people love it there. But by now, I was feeling a bit homesick and ready to feast my eyes on our golden Catskill mountains and my sweet hometown of Woodstock, quirks and all.

The last day, just yesterday, I opened up my new iPad and finally went to my Route 66 page on Facebook which I hadn’t been able to log into on my phone the whole week. I opened a message there and my heart nearly stopped. A woman in Ash Fork, Arizona had found my bag and journal strewn about on the road (on Route 66)! She said they had been beat up a bit, but she was able to find the address on Facebook and wondered if I was missing something! My heart was pounding as I wrote back to her, YES YES I can describe everything I had and exactly what the journal looked like. I waited for a response. I looked her up on FB – was she a real person or another predator? I found her page and lo and behold she appeared to be REAL! And looked like a genuinely nice person! I sent her another message from my personal page thanking her and still waited for a response. And then finally she wrote back and told me that she had my iPad as well!!! Wow!

I gave her my address and told her how very very grateful I was and thanked her again. She has truly restored my faith in humanity! So now I will wait and pray for safe passage all the way around.

The lessons I learned from this great adventure on the road of life?
1) Trust – in the face of the great unknown, whatever challenge, I am supported by the goodwill of others, even total strangers. I am not alone.
2) Be open – to the miracles that are awaiting out of any experience, even those that on the face of it seem “negative”
3) Be grateful – for my good health and good fortune to be able to experience a journey so rich in every way. For my dear husband Richard who gave me his blessing to go, allowing me to feel so much more for having had this journey. For the love and support of so many who I now know really care.
4) Be willing to let go and feel the depths of my feelings. In doing so, I was able to be with the death of a dream, get support to carry on, create something new, and ultimately perhaps find the original dream all over again!
5) Continue to stay open to other insights that I haven’t begun to discover yet.

That little icon of the plane is inching closer and closer to the east coast and Richard and my sweet black lab Molly will be waiting for me at the airport and in a few short hours I will be back in the “security” of my cozy home and busy life. I will never forget the power of this journey of self-discovery on Route 66 and hope it has been enriching for you as well.

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Route 66 Ride for the Relay – Day 12 http://vanishingroadside.com/route-66-ride-for-the-relay-day-12/ http://vanishingroadside.com/route-66-ride-for-the-relay-day-12/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:08:25 +0000 http://vanishingroadside.com/?p=2023 Route 66 Ride for the Relay - Day 12

Everyone was up early packing their bikes and mingling in the guest room of the Hampton Inn - it was a sea of green shirts - the official color of the ride this year and the team shirt for the end of the ride. Many pictures would be taken today of this group of folks dressed in kelly green!

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Route 66 Ride for the Relay – Day 12

Wednesday September 17, 2014 – San Bernadino to Santa Monica
The End of the Trail

picture of the End of Route 66
Everyone was up early packing their bikes and mingling in the guest room of the Hampton Inn – it was a sea of green shirts – the official color of the ride this year and the team shirt for the end of the ride. Many pictures would be taken today of this group of folks dressed in kelly green! I have to give big kudos to the Hampton Inn chain. We stayed in quite a number of them on our journey across the US and they really are fantastic! The one in San Bernadino not only had a lovely cocktail shindig for us on Tuesday night, but the breakfast buffet in the morning was excellent with scrambled eggs, sausage, home fries that weren’t too greasy and of course the obligatory waffles, yogurt, cereal and all the other good stuff you typically see on a Continental Breakfast.

Our meeting started a few minutes late past 8:00, but no one was in a huge rush today as we only had 70 miles to travel to the end of the route (that would take us close to 2.5 hours due to heavy traffic – welcome to LA!) This last meeting was filled with emotion. The energy in the room was just love, love, love. Many people stood up and shared how they were nervous at the beginning of the ride (felt like an outsider, wondered how they would get along with others or be accepted, afraid of the challenges of the ride, and many more). In the end, everyone agreed that the tone Rodger and his wife Sue created (along with great assistance from other leaders in the group) really allowed each person to feel embraced and taken care of.

I certainly felt a huge outpouring of caring when my bag was stolen. One especially kind woman named Linda just put her arms around me and invited me to cry on her shoulder. She promised to pray for me and the safe return of my journal. What a comfort to fall into her soft arms and be embraced by love. This feeling of looking out for one another was present each moment on the road as well. If one of the bikers pulled off to the side of the road, my new friend Gary was at the tail end and would stop to see how he could help. Everyone kept an eye on everyone else to make sure the whole was maintained. They looked out for us in our little gray Echo too and Gary loaned us an extra CB radio he had so we could stay in touch – although it often was pretty hard to hear because of static.

A really miraculous thing happened at the meeting as well. There had been a contest a few nights before regarding the blue box where all the contributions were stored from Chicago to LA – this was the money people added to the overall donation throughout the ride. We were each invited to put a piece of paper in the box with our guess as to how much was raised during the ride. I took a wild guess of $13,000. Rodger went through all the tickets to find the guess that was the closest and guess who won? ME!!! He presented me with a crisp $100 bill as the winner! I took that as a blessing to go forth and buy a new ipad, which was one of the first things I did when the ride ended – thus this blog post is being created on my beautiful new device. Hallelujah!

MA wins $100
Rodger divided everyone into smaller groups of five or six bikes for the final push to the pier. They all knew from past years that this is one of the more dangerous legs of the trip for a group of bikes trying to stay together. We tagged off with the last group and our good buddy Gary. I knew he would help us stay close to the group and watch out for us, which he certainly did. Wall to wall cars the whole way in made it very difficult at times to stay together, but we managed to keep it together and felt such a rush to see the shimmering highlights dancing on the blue Pacific Ocean! WE MADE IT!!!!! I’m getting a bit teary-eyed even thinking about it. Who knew this would make such a deep impact on me?

We all parked in the lot next to the vast sandy beach, during a record heat wave in LA – to see people of all shapes and sizes wearing every kind of skimpy outfit. We are definitely NOT in Kansas anymore! We were up the stairs and onto the Santa Monica Pier and made a bee line straight to the End of Route 66 sign – a wave of green shirts spread out all around it – my turn – my turn. Pictures snapping – all sorts of combinations of people with their arms around each other smiling and snap snap snap! One surly tourist from France pushed us all away and demanded the spotlight while he and his partner got their pictures taken there. Boy did that seem different from our state of mind!

Mary Anne and Jen make it to the end of Route 66

We slowly wended our way – sort of in a dreamy state – down to the end of the pier for our last group photo. We had each been given a flower to throw in the ocean in dedication to someone we knew who had died of cancer. I of course took a moment to send deep love and affection to Claudia Ainsley who not more than 6 weeks ago purchased 5 raffle tickets from me in her support of my ride. She didn’t even know at the time that she had cancer. And now she’s gone. I know she was my angel the whole way across the country – so I thanked her deeply for her support and pray she is at peace.

This truly was the deeper meaning of the ride for all who were present. Many tears were shed. All the miles of travel, all the adventure and great times, all the fabulous Route 66 roadside attractions were ultimately for this cause. Our group was so proud to announce its fundraising total to date of $38,777.48 and Jen and I were also thrilled that we topped our goal of $5,000. Our YouCaring site has so far logged in $4,575 and we collected $760 in personal checks made out to The American Cancer Society. People have asked me if they can still contribute and the answer is “yes”. Here is the link if you would like to donate. 

And both Jen and I would like to deeply acknowledge each and every person who has given in support of us and our commitment to help find a cure for cancer. We so appreciate your support and it’s been a pleasure having each one of you ride along with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Route 66 Ride for the Relay – Day 11 http://vanishingroadside.com/route-66-ride-for-the-relay-day-11/ http://vanishingroadside.com/route-66-ride-for-the-relay-day-11/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:22:44 +0000 http://vanishingroadside.com/?p=2015 Tuesday September 16, 2014
From Barstow to San Bernadino, California

We stayed in Barstow Monday night with the ordeal of crossing the vast Mohave Desert behind us. (It actually wasn't so bad for Jen and myself because we had the luxury of being inside an air conditioned car, but the riders really suffered). They told us there had been hotter days in previous rides Read more...

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Route 66 Ride for the Relay – Day 11

Tuesday September 16, 2014
From Barstow to San Bernadino, California

We stayed in Barstow Monday night with the ordeal of crossing the vast Mohave Desert behind us. (It actually wasn’t so bad for Jen and myself because we had the luxury of being inside an air conditioned car, but the riders really suffered). They told us there had been hotter days in previous rides, but 110 degrees sure felt brutally hot to me. Especially when you looked around and could only see desert and spots of sage brush stretching out in all directions and craggy brown mountains off, way off in the distance. Thank goodness our Quality Inn had a fabulous outdoor pool that offered relief from the heat at the end of the day.

We all gathered for our second to the last morning meeting and discovered that today was going to be a very easy day with only 70 miles to travel to San Bernadino. This would be our last stop before being poised to make the final leap to the Santa Monica Pier on Wednesday morning. I decided that today was THE DAY and now was the time to finally take Gary up on his offer to ride on his motorcycle!!! I just couldn’t get my courage up until now, but heck – it’s the last day and if not now when? So I ran up to our room and quickly threw on some jeans as the riders were preparing to leave.

route-66-motorcycleGary has one of the coolest bikes and trailers in the group and told me that everywhere he goes people stop and take pictures of it. It’s not so much the bike itself (a Honda Goldwing) but his trailer – it looks like a mini Corvette! Rodger (the group leader) also has a super cool mini car trailer and the two of them often parked their bikes together near the front doors of the hotels. (I imagine this was to ward off potential vandals or pranksters).

So away I went for my first motorcycle ride in probably 40 years! It wasn’t as hot as yesterday, but it must have been pushing 100, so it felt great cutting through that warm air and being full out in the 360 reality show – riding a motorcycle – wow! The first leg was relatively short as we stopped at a Route 66 train museum in Barstow – good – gave me a chance to ease into this whole thing. So far, so good.

Our next stop was going to be The Bottle Ranch – out in the desert and this meant going fast on the bike. Whoopie! He was thoughtful and kept his speed in check, but you can bet I was holding on tight to my camera which I had nestled between his back and my chest. What a great way to take pictures – no roof, windshield, or windows to roll down. I stayed on the bike with him all the way to The Summit Inn – our lunch stop – a famous Route 66 stop that according to legend was Elvis’ favorite spot to dine when he drove from LA to Vegas. So cool in fact, that Jen and I were invited by Rodger to sit with them for lunch at Elvis’ special booth!

After lunch I chose to get back in the car and ride with Jen, but I have to admit that on the last day of the ride I was really happy to have had the experience of knowing what these folks have been doing the last 11 days. Really really cool!

At 5:00 the hotel manager in San Bernadino had a reception for all of us and it was great to hang out with these kind people one last time. Judy, the photographer for the ride, had put together a slide show from last year’s journey and people cheered as they saw places and friends who were here again or those who didn’t make it. I stayed a long time and really enjoyed schmoozing with folks I hadn’t had a chance to connect with before. The mood was like one big family now. Jen and I had been affectionately named “Mary Anne and Ginger” or “the blondes” and although we originally looked very different than all of them (easterners, driving a car, always typing away on our phones) we are now ONE with this family – this Route 66-lovin’ family. It is truly heartwarming to be a part of this group of lovers of the “road”. And I have a huge new appreciation of the motorcycle culture and the open road now – so thank you Gary Gallo for your persistence in inviting me for a ride on your fine machine!

We will hit the end of the road, the SM Pier with a bang around noon on Wednesday – as Rodger has permission for all the bikes (and us) to drive out onto the pier and park! Then I’m sure there will be festivities and of course the long-awaited raffle drawing. I sold a lot of raffle tickets back home and we will wait with baited breath to see who wins. I will keep you all posted.

Once again, thank you for coming along on the ride. It’s been a glorious experience!

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Loss and Gratitude on the Road of Life http://vanishingroadside.com/loss-and-gratitude-on-the-road-of-life/ http://vanishingroadside.com/loss-and-gratitude-on-the-road-of-life/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:24:15 +0000 http://vanishingroadside.com/?p=1999 Loss and Gratitude on the Road of Life

Sunday September 14, 2014 - Day 9
From Winslow to Kingman, Arizona
Monday September 15, 2014 - Day 10
From Kingman, Arizona to Barstow, California
I'm writing from Barstow, after an amazing last supper hosted by the Mexican restaurant at the Quality Inn where we're spending the night. It was 106 degrees today as we crossed The Mohave Desert, and Jen and I were blessed to be in an air conditioned car. Read more...

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Loss and Gratitude on the Road of Life

Sunday September 14, 2014 – Day 9
From Winslow to Kingman, Arizona
Monday September 15, 2014 – Day 10
From Kingman, Arizona to Barstow, California

route 66 bikersI’m writing from Barstow, after an amazing last supper hosted by the Mexican restaurant at the Quality Inn where we’re spending the night. It was 106 degrees today as we crossed The Mohave Desert, and Jen and I were blessed to be in an air conditioned car. Many of the riders had real issues with over heating (both physically and mechanically with their bikes). They wore cooling vests and many of them dowsed themselves with water at every chance to help bring down their body heat, but the unrelenting sun could not be reckoned with. Several people went down and had to ride in the only other car the rest of the way.

I was imagining how the early travelers on Route 66 would have dealt with such a huge expanse of desert heat and sun, moving at a much slower pace than we were? It’s easy to understand why so many didn’t make it all the way.

WinslowYesterday started out great with a photo op in front of the fabulous mural that accompanies Jackson Browne’s statue “standin’ on a corner” in Winslow, Arizona. It’s funny as the store across the street has the Eagles songs from that same album blasting as you get your picture taken there – and some very creative folks have painted a mural that depicts the reflection of a flat bed Ford with a cute girl hanging out the window looking at him. They also have a beautiful old red flat bed Ford there for added dramatic effect!

Next we headed for the Grand Canyon. I have been there several times, but this was a first for Jen and I knew how powerful it would be for her. As we approached the park I was taken by the Flintstone Village on the left side of the road and had to stop in for a few postcards and to grab some shots of the funny buildings all reminiscent of the cartoon series of yesteryear.

We arrived at the Canyon and started looking for a place to park – not an easy task on a Sunday around noontime. It was packed out! Lot 1 was full so we proceeded to the next lot which also had a number of RV’s. We found a spot where some folks were leaving and decided to take our valuables from the back seat and put them in the trunk (that being the bag with my ipad, my visual journal of the whole trip, and a slew of cool postcards I’ve purchased along the way.) I tucked it on top of all the other luggage, slammed the trunk and off we went to see the Canyon.

It was as awe-inspiring as I remembered it. I decided it’s really not worth taking many pictures of it – as photos really can’t begin to capture the majesty of the place. It’s too grand to be condensed into a small reproduction – or even a large one. It’s something that to my mind can only be experienced to know what it is.

We knew we had a long day still ahead, so we made another stop or two along the rim and then headed south and west again through Williams and Seligman. Both great Route 66 towns that I had already done some serious documenting several years ago. I got some new shots though that I’m excited about – especially at Delgadillos Snow Cap – a seriously fun attraction on this stretch of road.

We rolled into Kingman late – around 6:30 and the crew was gearing up for dinner at the steakhouse just down the road. We opened the trunk to pull out our bags and I noticed immediately that my bag with the ipad and journal were gone. How could this be? We looked everywhere in the car – but of course never found them. We eventually deduced that they must have been stolen at the Grand Canyon. I felt sick to my stomach and shaky all over. My ipad has been my lifeline to this blog, to all of you. Not to mention, all the cords to transfer my photos from my camera were in that bag too. But really the most upsetting was the loss of my journal – something I planned carefully for months before the ride – this was my special accounting of Route 66 from start to finish – my tailor made memory book that I would refer to for years to come. I had purchased an instant camera so I could take pics and enter them as we went along – I would always know what belonged where on Route 66! All of that now gone!

I was numb. I felt like something had died – been taken from me. The death of a dream – a project aborted. Where to start? Jen whipped into action and put an ad with a reward on Craig’s List. I called the police and the rangers at The Grand Canyon to report it. What else? Change your passwords – use “find your phone” – but I don’t think I ever registered it? or did I? (turns out I didn’t so there’s no way to track it). I’m sure by now it’s been wiped clean and someone else is purchasing it for dirt cheap. I know that all my photos are in the cloud – that I’ll be able to reload all my apps – that I will get a new one and regroup. But the journal – now that’s never going to be replaced. My prayer is that some kind soul will find it and seek me out to return it. But in the meantime, I’m present to the predatory universe we live in and how one must always be thoughtful and mindful of protecting the things we love.

In this moment, I’m present to my desire to finish this amazing ride with gratitude for all that has gone so well:
1) for our little Toyota Echo which will soon be delivered to its owner in her new home in the Bay Area – she’s been a champ on the road!
2) for Jen’s willingness to come along on the ride and have such a blast with me. We have gotten along swimmingly and will go home much better friends than when we started. And for her letting me use HER ipad to write this blog!
3) for our good health and vitality the entire way – this ride has been challenging in so many ways.
4) for the excellent weather we were blessed with from start to finish
5) for my amazing husband Richard who said I could follow my heart’s desire and wished me well for a 2 1/2 week vacation from him and our business
6) for the organizer Rodger Fox who planned such an amazing itinerary for all of us
7) for the great group of people who chose to come along for the ride
8) for the great group of donors who have helped us raise $4,500 which we’ve donated to the American Cancer Society
9) for my angels who told me to put the envelope with my very important documents on the back seat instead of in the black bag
10) for still having my cameras, my iphone and my money and credit cards
11) for my desire to shake off the disappointments of the past (yesterday!) and start fresh – get back on the horse – and not let the goons win. They can’t take away all that I’ve loved about this trip.

So I wasn’t able to share as many photos today as this blog is an experiment with my phone, a tiny screen and a new app! It’s still full of love for all of you and for this amazing opportunity I’ve been given.

 

Sent from my iPad

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