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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

I know that Friday entries are usually devoted to gratitude and this week I am very grateful for a number of things. It's just that I have other things on my mind these days. The clutter in my head makes me want to get on a bus and go for a really long ride. After we left the REI store and the couple with the great teardrop camper on Monday, Michael and I headed over to a grocery store for no reason in particular. When we came out of the store and there was a guy sitting in a VW Westfalia camper van parked right next to our scooters. He was very nice as I invited myself to stick my head in the window and look around. 

Later on over dinner, Michael and I discussed what kind of traveling setup we should go with. Do we get a camper? If we get a camper, how do we haul the scooters? What kind of vehicle should we get to pull everything? Finally at some point in the discussion of camper vs motorhome, I said "I don't think the vehicle matters. I don't think that's the point. It's the journey that matters." I just want to go. I just want to get in the car and go. I don't want to have to think about it. I. Just. Want. To. Go. Yesterday, my friend Scott posted something about raspberries being ready for picking and come on over and get some. They live in Utah, but I couldn't think of anything more that I wanted to do. Before I knew it, I was looking at a map and driving times. I just suddenly, so badly wanted to, no, needed to squeeze Shelly and Scott's faces between my two hands. Which is ridiculous because we haven't seen each other in ages and our only contact is through Instagram and Facebook. 

I've never been to Utah. I'm sure there are stamps I could get along the way. Did I tell you guys I lost our National Parks Passport? No? Well, sometime after getting the last stamp in Acadia and dropping off the rental car, I lost our parks passport and I'm really sad about it. It is just so unlike me to lose something like this that Michael and I have both been a little stunned and just expecting it to appear on my desk one day. I don't think that's going to happen. My wanderlust is not coming from guilt to reclaim some stamps though. For as long as I can remember, this has always been the time of year when we'd load up the camper and head West, into the mountains to escape the Oklahoma summer. This is road trip season. It has been imprinted into my DNA to long for the open road and to throw everything in a car/van/truck and head West or anywhere really. 

I can't understand why I haven't figured out a way to make it easier to escape for a weekend at least. The car should always be packed with a tent and a sleeping bag and the plastic tote containing all the cooking supplies. Instead the gear is spread out and scattered between the garage and the basement. Now I'm thinking that this is how I should spend my time this weekend, gathering supplies and preparing for a little spontaneity in my life. I have to plane out spontaneity. I want to be surrounded by forest. I want to sit for hours listening to the sounds of a stream and maybe even hold a fishing pole in my hands. When's the last time I did that? I can tell you. August 2006. That was the last trip I took with my Dad to Colorado. We all thought if we fled Oklahoma that year, we could escape the horrific memories of the year before. Of course we were wrong because those horrific memories continue to haunt us in different ways and will for the rest of our lives, but we finally saw a bear. So..that was something. 

I guess if this was still a Thankful Friday entry, I'd be thankful for that last trip to Colorado. I'd be thankful for catching as many trout as I could eat and then some. I'd be thankful for that moment in the middle of the night where I got up to go to the bathroom and as I walked back to my tent, I looked up into the night sky. The view of the universe made me dizzy, like sitting in the front row of an IMAX screen. I'd be thankful for being able to witness those two little otters playing in the street and thankful that we didn't hit them with the car. I'd be thankful for that bear. I'd be thankful for Dad imprinting traveling across the country into my DNA. I'd be thankful for the time.