Covid X-Country Blog 11/20-3/21

 

 

An Introduction:

James and I took off from Boston in our camper van during November of the Covid epidemic. Rising contagion and the prospect of winter travel made us uneasy, but James’ mother in Oregon was scheduled for a pacemaker and our new grandchild was waiting for us in Kansas. We felt we had to go. Heck, we wanted to go! For the first time in 35 years James did not have to go into the hospital and could do his research job on Zoom, and my art classes were on zoom and I had my sketchbook. So we went. We stayed out way longer than I thought we would. My blog is my effort to document what we saw. There are 13 entries.

The Final Stats:

130 Days away from home
12,000 miles
365 Hours in the Car
Highest Elevation: 11,300 Feet/Altitude (Monarch Pass, CO)
Lowest Elevation: 200 Feet Below Sea level (Death Valley CA)
18 States: MA NY PA OH IL IN MO KS CO UT ID OR CA NV AZ NM TX OK
46 People Friends/Family
Highest temp: 82/Death Valley CA
Lowest temp: 3/Gunnison CO
Most Water: Portland OR
Most Snow: Mammoth Lakes CA
Driest Spot: Death Valley CA
56 nights sleeping in the Van
74 nights sleeping inside a building (that’s me: James enjoyed the van alone a few more nights than I did 😊)

#1 Boston to Kansas

Covid X-Country Blog
Getting ready to leave Julia and James’ (plus Isabel)’s excellent adventure began Saturday morning 11/21.. We are in a camper van heading west into red states and hoping for the best in the pandemic and widespread post-election social unrest. 🙃 Destination: Grandchild in Kansas, Family in Oregon and California and assorted friends between. Will we…
Read More

#2 Lawrence, Kansas

Covid X-Country Blog
    Ramsey and dogs along the Kansas River…     the house Time has flown by since we made it to Lawrence, Kansas November 22nd.  Thanksgiving was our new pod: myself, James, our son Ramsey, his wife Erin, their gorgeous one-month-old daughter Fiona, Erin’s mother Nancy, our daughter Isabel and three excellent dogs. We…
Read More

#3 Across Kansas

Covid X-Country Blog
Hello from the road. We have cut loose from the Kansas mothership, aka Ramsey and Erin’s house in Lawrence. Tonight we are camping in the parking lot of a forlorn wildlife preserve near the border of Kansas and Colorado. As we pulled in we saw a hand-crafted cross decorated with plastic flowers in the headlights.…
Read More

#4 Crossing the West

Covid X-Country Blog
We are rolling down the wide plains of Eastern Oregon on Interstate 84, headed towards Portland, our destination for the next few weeks. The wide and glorious Columbia river is on our right as we descend into the hippest city of them all.  A week ago we were in Kansas with Ramsey, Erin and our…
Read More

#5 Portland for the holidays

Covid X-Country Blog
    Holi-daze 2020 with Pat, Felicity, Helen, Norris and Maisy❤️ Happy New Year! Hope you had a good holiday, what ever that means in these times. May your resolutions be easy: we all deserve that. James and I have been living in our spiffy new camper van in my brother-in-law Patrick’s very flat driveway…
Read More

#6 Oregon to California

Covid X-Country Blog
Sketching while watching the inauguration. Parked in the front garden   Hello from sunny California. Watching this historic inauguration so far from home but still in this country is a good experience. We finally have two adults in office.. and one is a woman. Hooray! We left Portland, Oregon six days ago, after four weeks…
Read More

#7 Mammoth and the Sierras

Covid X-Country Blog
  It’s a beautiful day in the Owens valley of California near Mammoth Lakes and the Nevada Border. We are hanging out with our son Stoddard and his girlfriend Kira who are fly-fishing on the Owens river with gear they got for Christmas. We are enjoying a craft Kombucha. It is warm in the sun…
Read More

#8 Death Valley to Las Vegas

Covid X-Country Blog
  Death Valley: Summer temperatures reach over 130 degrees, average rainfall 2 inches annually: an endless expanse of rocks and gravel and as far as you can see. Death Valley is all that is left of Lake Manley, the body of water that once covered it thousands of years ago. Much of the Valley exists…
Read More

#9 Nevada into Arizona

Covid X-Country Blog
  Our road trip wasn’t supposed to go on this long; I can’t believe we haven’t gone home yet. However, sitting in the sunset eight miles from Trump’s border wall to Mexico I am happy to still be on the road. Progress East has been slow. Every bivouac offers better birding and new revelations about…
Read More

#10 Bisbee, Arizona to New Mexico

   If you have not seen the movie Nomadland, I recommend it. I signed up for Hulu so I could watch it at our Air B&B in Bisbee Arizona. We are not RV Nomads, but we have seen them everywhere. We can check into Air B&B’s, and that is a big difference. Southern Arizona is…
Read More

#11 New Mexico

Covid X-Country Blog
   Heading East We are racing across the prairie to the strains of the “Orange Blossom Special” hoping to make dinner at my son’s house in Lawrence, Kansas and I suddenly think: “I am going to miss this”. Objectively, I am not sure why. The night before we slept in the van in the brightly…
Read More

#12 Back to Lawrence, Kansas

Covid X-Country Blog
Greetings from the mid-West. My blog has stalled out in Lawrence, Kansas, captive to 5-month-old Fiona Meigs; incontestably the most adorable child ever. We are living with my son Ramsey and his family. The van sits silent on the street, except for odd trips to the local food co-op and wildlife refuge for walks. Otherwise…
Read More

#13 Home Again

Covid X-Country Blog
We are back from our cross-country van-life travels (most recently at Ramsey, Erin and Fiona’s place in Lawrence, Kansas), and are enjoying the comforts of home. It is nice to have a house, turns out. It is nice to have a kitchen we can both be in at the same time, and a real bed…
Read More
Menu