cleaning out the kitchen.
This adventure has ended. We are home.
Bye. Until we travel again.
"Leave your prayer concerns on the altar," reads a sign near the door.
I walk forward, again to snoop, and read the first concern. It's from
O.C. and my heart breaks: "My dear Rose and sweet Kevin, I can finally
let you go."
Loss is so painful. So permanent. God can and does heal. Especially
A single serving overwhelms a large dinner plate. And us. We can't eat
it all. Still, we manage to pack away enough to make the evening jaunt
with the dogs less of a workout and more of a waddle and roll.
On that walk, we encounter a fellow and his greyhound, another man
(alone with his iPod) and a bunch of school girls riding bicycles at a
historical site marking the 1736 homestead of William Horton, a
military guy made famous because someone decided to preserve what's
left of his house.
We meet a man today strolling the hard-packed beaches of Jekyll Island
(off the coast of southern Georgia) doing what we dream of doing one
day: living on St. Simons Island (next door) and playing on Jekyll.
We're there in spirit, at least. After piling more than 11,000 miles
on Otto during this criss-cross country journey, we're still more than
1,000 miles away from home, but we feel "home," hanging out on "our"
islands: St. Simon and Jekyll. So we will stay a few days. And soak in
some new memories.
Jacob's problem involves lots and lots of blood in his very watery
stool. OH MY! And he's crying and crying. OH NO! Now Josh has runny
We stop into a Gulf Shores Welcome Center and are directed to a vet
just up the byway.
A few tests and $98 later, we find out it must have been something
they ate. Perhaps the Chinese Allen laced their food with the night
The sun is setting. The beach will have to wait.
The picture above is from before the tummy troubles. That's Jacob
going head to head with Allen.
How can that be? I aim to race out the door and find it locked. Fumbling with the deadbolt I holler out "JACOB!"
He ambles out of the bathroom. WHAT?
How did he fit in there?
We arrive in town on Saturday night to a gazillion roadblocks and cops
flagging us AWAY from the intersections we need to use to arrive at
our Wal-Mart. We stop in a shopping center, fire up the computer and
find a new Wal-Mart location away from the congestion.
We are unaffected, because we look forward to the River Walk, the
Alamo and a new dog park for Josh and Jacob to enjoy.
The dog park, while hard to find, is one of the best we've been to: It
has plenty of space to keep the doggies from congregating in a pack.
Live lectures by volunteers perfect our Alamo experience (and I find a John McGregor, a possible ancestor, died during the seige).
Finally, we aim for the River Walk and an early dinner in this
unequaled tourist attraction.
As we arrive, we notice there is no river. There is mud. The water was
was drained Jan. 2 for annual repairs. It returns Jan. 9. We leave
Think of it this way: How many tourists get to see THE BOTTOM of the
We head toward the Rio Grande. We know it is there. We want to sit on
the banks, dip our toes in the water. Say we've been there.
Silly us. After fording a dry landscape of cotton fields, ghost towns
and abject poverty, we find a border crossing with high wires and lots
of signs blocking our view and access to what must be the Rio Grande.
We stop. Turn around and pull off to the side. We take pictures. The
guards are watching.
Several hours later, we come to a multitude of flashing lights forcing
us and all traffic into a border patrol inspection station on I-10. Is
it possible they are looking for us? Could they possibly have decided
that our behavior at the border crossing was suspicious?
So we spend a few hours at a rest stop, shower, read, eat. Peaceful
time. Then we head on our way and eventually stay the night at a Wal-
Mart Neighborhood Market on an Indian Reservation (or near one) in
Tucson, AZ. We stay up after 2 a.m. watching TV. How fun.
Paved and hard-packed trails lead us past cactus and other plants from
deserts throughout the world. There's life from the Sahara, the
Kalahari, the Mojave, the Sonora. The varieties are boundless.
Enormous saguaros reach to the sky while octopus cacti squirrel around
the pebbles and sand. Quail bob around the ground in family units.
Cactus wren tease each other. It's 71 degrees. On Jan. 2.
In the morning, as we drive around, we find the others: acres and
acres of sturdy, flat desert speckled with motor homes dry camping for
We also find Quartzite is an oddity. We've never seen so many motor
homes in one place. And more, we hear, are coming. So we are leaving.
We stop for lunch at Tonopah Family restaurant and dine on real
hash browns and funny-tasting sausage (which the dogs enjoy because we
don't). Like Quartzite, it's dusty here. So dusty.
On the way down side: The roadside desert is incredibly trashy.
Sure, there's dust everywhere and lots of tumbleweed ... that's not
what I am talking about. It's the broken glass, plastic bottles and
paper wrappers that soil the experience. What a shame.
I'm Nancy Fasoldt. This blog documents my journeys, most often with my husband, Al, and Jacob, our Standard Poodle. Otto is what we called our first RV. The name is now synonomous with adventure. Come along. Pretend someone left the gate open.