To my children, some of whom have reactions to my comments:
If your mother is a writer, you will be mentioned in her blog. Didn’t Agatha Christie say that? Actually, I went looking for famous women writers to blame for the quote and almost anyone that came to mind never had children. I shall contemplate the topic and perhaps expound on the correlation between literary fecundity and maternal success. After all, this trip is about birth and parenthood.
I also must forewarn my family, friends, and cyber readers. It would be a mistake to take my travelogue too literally. Now re-reading Steinbeck’s supposed memoir Travels With Charlie and commentary on it which notes that Steinbeck was at heart a novelist, and he added countless touches – changing the sequence of events, elaborating on scenes, inventing dialogue – that one associates more with fiction than nonfiction. And, uh, um, “It should be kept in mind, when reading this travelogue, that Steinbeck took liberties with the facts, inventing freely when it served his purposes, using everything in the arsenal of the novelist to make this book a readable, vivid narrative.”
Yes, I’ve been accused of making stories better. But it will remain ‘true’ in the way all good novels or narratives are true. End of caveat.
Now on with the trip, which has not yet begun. We’ve left the planning stage and are now in the packing stage. Figure a month away, a least 5 days between laundry opportunities, temperatures ranging from 20 to 80 degrees (or even more extreme if wind/chill is a factor and the expectation of lots of northwestern precipitation and possibly snow/ice/mixed conditions. We need a bathing suit for the hot tub on the ranch and shoes/boots that can deal with mud and goat dung. (Update: The temperature this morning in Amarillo—one of our stops—is 1 degree! Will Barkleigh be able to do his business in those temperatures? How cold does it have to be for pee to freeze before it hits the ground? Maybe this will be a cashmere sweater topped with my rarely used New Zealand angora sweatshirt opportunity. I slept in that combination in an UNHEATED room in a sheep farm bed and breakfast during a blizzard in New Zealand so the boys could bungee off a famous bridge. Wait! Sheep farm…goat farm…blizzard…jumping off a bridge…I’m thinking metaphoric déjà vu.
Oh yeah, the goats. Josh and Giulia are living on the Lazy T Ranch owned by his good friend Tucker and his wife Jessica. Tucker and Josh go all the way back to Hampshire College and have had many adventures including building the Temple for Burning Man several years ago. Tucker had secured the contract and hired Josh as the “master carpenter.” Giulia had come from Italy to volunteer and was given free housing. Her assigned roommate: Josh! The 100 Acre Wood ranch is a small community with several houses and other living accommodations including I think a teepee and another Airstream, various art projects, and a large fabrication shop. They have a farm, logging operation, and goat dairy. I’ll describe it better once we arrive.
Josh and Giulia bought an old Airstream several years ago and creatively rebuilt it from the frame up. It has a one-of-a-kind gorgeously crafted interior with various pop-up space-maximizing furnishings.
If you are curious at the gestation of the Airstream “Arte Maris” (Puzzle: Can you figure out where the name came from?), you can watch the amazing time lapse story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL_NPxaZdQk&feature=youtu.be It is 25 minutes, but very amusing and an amazing feet for the two of them. Note that this Airstream is higher than most and has hidden storage capacity.
And for the gestation of Grandbaby “Sprout” Courter go to this charming announcement video:
Next up: What can you really fit into a Prius if you really have to