There are traveling events that unfold, unexpectedly and delightfully…like new friendships.
Jim and Connie and Ed and I were camped near one another at Dead Horse Ranch State Camp Ground in Arizona, back in the spring of 2015. As we eyed one another's vans and bicycles, we struck up a conversation which continued around a campfire that evening. The following day Connie and Jim went one way and we another. Facebook kept us loosely in touch, but mostly we didn't know much about one another's travel plans. Or for that matter, about one another.
|Connie, Fran, Ed & Jim|
Keystone, Whidbey Island, WA
We did know Jim and Connie were traveling in a Sprinter and were bicycle riders. They were in the process of purchasing a new, slightly larger van. Their home was for sale so they were cutting all ties to a permanent address. They now "reside" within a Post Office Box in Texas as they put on the miles…44,000 miles this year.
The following year (3/16) we received a text from Jim, "We're in Death Valley. We see on Facebook you are in Joshua Tree. We could meet you there." They did, to our delight, and we deepened our first short meeting with three days together at Joshua Tree. Then we all separated again -- us for New Mexico and Jim and Connie for Texas, but as is the case with RVing, our routes were unplanned and unpredictable beyond vague destinations and deadlines.
|Joshua Tree riding|
Jim and Connie's new van and full-time home…
|Connie with their new rig|
A few days later, after spending the night at Roosevelt Lake, Arizona and then a morning visit to Tonto National Monument, we were headed down from the monument when a text came through from Jim, "Are you at Roosevelt Lake?" Me, "Very close, yes." Jim, "Us too."
We hooked up again, enjoyed lunch together and then caravanned together for another few days.
City of Rocks State Park, N.M…
White Sands National Monument, N.M…
Then, it was goodbye again…
Just two days ago (11/16), a text, "Fran, we're catching a ferry in Pt. Townsend tomorrow AM, would like to drop by. Don't have your actual address." And so it happened again, another meeting, another deepening-our-friendship visit.
We met in Langley and then shared RVing at Camp Casey State Park. What a wonderful tonic for the grim political climate we've been immersed in. Thank you Jim and Connie for elevating our spirits.
|Ed, Jim, Fran & Connie|
|Keystone, Whidbey Island|
Ed and I watch, as they drive away, wondering where and when we will meet again…
In conversation regarding keeping track of travel and exercise statistics, Jim chimes in with…
"The only parameter I'm interested in is smiles per mile."
~ Jim McEver