Sunday, September 29, 2002

Making The Plan

Plan K. I have researched and charted 11 different possible travel itineraries for our Big Rancho Road Trip. I dub myself: The Nat-vigator, Queen of the Compass. I love maps. I love anticipating the fork in the road. I love bleak desert horizons, and lush green valleys. I love buttes, mesas, canyons, ridges, arroyos and moraines. I love 'mooing' at cows in the pasture, and speculating on the lives of people in remote and strange places. I like to know the roads, and I love to get turned around and dropped in a new part of town.

I want to see The Crazy Horse Monument, and The Grand Canyon, Parfrey's Glen, and The Giant Redwoods of coastal California. I want to sit in our vehicle and wait out a rainstorm, and drive at sunrise to a really good breakfast diner. I want to wear my favorite wool socks and rest my feet on the dash while we sing "She'll be coming 'round the mountain," with all our improvised verses. I want to see ducks, deer, quail, foxes and rabbits, buffalo and geese, Fall color, roadside stands and giant monuments to bass, lumberjacks and moose. I'll keep an eye out for lawn ornaments, early Christmas lights, pig farms and scarecrows. I want to sit in a forest, with my family, and smell a rich, humus, pine and smoky fragrance, and all around us will be trees, ferns, mist and God.

I will chart and prepare, anticipate and speculate, and then we will pack and load and check our lists. Once we leave the driveway I will submit to moods and weather. We will see and do things we could never plan or anticipate. I want to see the things and places, that I did not find in my books or maps, but that we will recall fondly for the rest of our lives.

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