We had been goofing around down at the Shoshoni River’s edge in Rex Hale Campground in Wyoming just outside of Yellowstone. Mark was perched crazily on a big rock, and I was just getting ready to snap his picture when he yelled to me.
Recently I recorded a short Reflections podcast called Messy Middles for my website OnlyByPrayer.com. The gist of it is that at the start or end of a project, commitment, or goal we are filled with enthusiasm and energy. But it’s in the messy middle that dreams fade, marriages fail, jobs lose their luster, and parenting seems not quite so fun.
Phase 2 Challenges
Well, this week we hit the messy middle of our trip. Since we started Phase 2 on June 6, we’ve been through Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. We’re currently in Nebraska. As we’ve traveled through the heartland, we’ve discovered the beauty and isolation of wide, open spaces on the prairie. As we compared that to the southern hospitality and beautiful spots we found in the south, we felt a bit of a letdown from the constant discovery of people and places that inundated Phase 1.
I grew up listening to my mom sing “Way down upon the Suwannee River.”
I never knew what a magical place it was until this week when Mark and I saw it for the first time while camping at Suwannee River Hideaway Campground in Old Town, Florida. The owner put in a 1500-foot river walk through a Cypress swamp down to the river.
Today was quite the day. We started out in Sun Palms, Florida, at the Tampa South RV Resort. The staff there is stellar and were amazing at helping this trailer-towing newbie. Will and Brian helped me with everything from hitching and unhitching to giving me all kinds of useful pointers on easier ways to do things. Thank you!
So I set off down the road in good cheer for Palm Harbor and the first thing I hear from the GPS are the dreaded words “Do a U-turn.” There’s no doing a U-turn when you’re towing a camper with only two lanes to U-turn it. That set me into a minor panic because the GPS kept blathering “do a U-turn” every five seconds, while I knew I had to find a street to turn on where I could do a square to get back on the highway headed in the opposite direction. I picked a road, praying it would lead to highway access, and fortunately it did. Both Miss GPS and I calmed down. Progress.
We’re a husband and wife who are ready to kick up some dust by biking across the country. That is, Mark will be doing the biking and Jane will be pulling the trailer and doing a “little” biking on the side and some hiking too.
Along the way we hope to slow down and explore all the side roads and little towns we’ve never had time to do before (that Jane always wanted to do and Mark not so much).
This trip is a bucket-list item for Mark. You see, it kind of runs in the family.