Where are we?
Nothing like a crisp, blue, Winter day to cross the river. Now passing Rattlesnake Butte (thank goodness it’s too cold for those vermin). Beautiful landscapes. Anyone know where we are?
We live in a world of instant gratification. Our documents can be received in the blink of an eye. We are able to call anyone, anywhere, anytime, we choose. News travels at the speed of light. What happens when we stop to truly wait for something?
Wait for it….
Are you still with me?….
Finally the moment arrives! The anticipation of an event bursts into reality. Like bubbles floating on the wind, bursting at the slightest touch of a blade of grass. The wait is over!
The past few months have been an epic marathon of anticipation for me. I had to wait for my favorite holiday. Then I had to wait again for another. Christmas couldn’t get here soon enough. The celebrations of birthdays stood patiently in line waiting to be noticed. Snowfall in my region was waited on by me (alone, I think). 2015 couldn’t get here soon enough. I happily ushered out 2014 and embraced the start of a new year! With all the activity around me I have not been on a roadtrip in a while.
My anticipation is nearing it’s end! I leave in just a few short hours on my first family roadtrip of 2015! I love traveling in the winter. The cool crisp air is refreshing when you step out of your vehicle, for a much needed stretch. Traffic is lessened by the absent vacationers. The scenery is clear, vistas are not hampered by foliage. I feel free!
As I gather all the added essentials for our winter excursion, I feel warm. The cozy moments gathered with loved ones feel….warmer. The warm splash of an indoor swimming pool, while you look out the huge picture windows at snow drifts, feels warmly refreshing. The smiles of the kiddos warm your heart and soul. The wind will howl. The snow may fall. The winter weather will continue to slow travel plans. Yet it is the anticipation of this winter roadtrip that makes all the extras worth it.
Travel well my friends!
Home again! I love being on the road, but coming home feels wonderful too. My work leads me on journeys. This past week I discovered winding trails, small oasis retreats, historical markers, and so much more! What astounds me is I found all this in Kansas. I live in Nebraska. You would think Kansas is just an extension of Nebraska, yet it is not. They are very different in so many ways. From architectural designs to community forums, each state has their own personalities’, and I loved discovering all I could in one long weekend.
A friend recently asked me how work was going, just normal chit chat, between friends. I expressed how much I love my work. As the conversation progressed my initial response of love, was soon overshadowed by the dawning knowledge, I was having a very hard time dividing my work from my play. I find myself working when most are relaxing. Even traveling for work I was not taking time to play. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my work of exploration for the sheer joy of it. Treading up a hillside just to see where the path leads, poking my nose into a local store just to meet new people, taking photos of a run down school house just to share it with anyone who will listen, those are the events that keep me working.
The problem I have seen in myself over the past few months is I stopped shutting work out. That distinct line between your work life and your ‘real’ life is very fuzzy right now. I know I am not the first entrepreneur to feel this, and I am sure I won’t be the last. What I want to stress to every independently employed person is to not lose complete sight of that separation. Find time to shut the work away, look to others to distract you from your to-do-list, embrace the life you created with a clear mind ready to be wholly present for the ones who count on you.
My travels took me through the rolling hills of northern, central Kansas. Stopping occasionally for little points of interest, I quickly realized someone’s quirkiness is probably someone else’s pride.
I came across a small rural community that beckoned me to leave the blacktop highway for a visit. As I drove down ‘main street’ the sounds of the passing traffic lessened and gave way to children’s voices and a mower chewing up a resident’s lawn. The city park was quietly entertaining a few children as caregivers chatted under the picnic shelter. I found an empty picnic shelter of my own and settled in for writing inspiration. Needless to say it wasn’t there. So, leaving my respite, I wandered down the street to what seemed to be the town’s gas station. Looking for a Dr. Pepper to quench my thirst the first thing I noticed when I walked through the door is the aroma was more of a bait shop then convenience store. The outside appearance of this establishment was unadorned. The inside, however, was a spectacle. Not only can you re-fuel your vehicle, you can pick up lunch, dress a wound, bait a hook, or buy a fishing hook for that matter! You can also choose a new light fixture for your home, buy a souvenir to take to that home, and then indulge in a custom blended, soft-serve ice cream cone (if you can get past the fishy smell)!
All in all my stop in Randolph Kansas was not what I expected but an adventure in the unknown.
When people speak of traveling through Nebraska and Iowa the most common thought is ‘boring’. I can see how that can be the conclusion as your car rockets across the flat plains of Nebraska at 75 miles per hour along I-80. Traveling East towards Iowa on I-80 your first sign of a metropolitan area is more of a dehydration desert mirage. You believe you are approaching a major urban area and then the interstate curves and skirts the edge of Lincoln and in 7 quick exits you are back to rural Nebraska. At least the rolling hills are a change from the endless open prairie. Rounding another curve you are blasted into sprawling communities consumed by the Omaha Metro area. Two design elements were necessary when this area was settled, water mobility and future rail access, Omaha has both. This river town planted itself righteously on the banks of the Missouri River and grew West. Requiring all travel along the interstate to carve straight through the city.
As you cross the Missouri River into Iowa the city continues only now it is Council Bluffs. The community is aptly named for it is positioned on and in the bluffs of a millennia ago ice age. Ice bergs the size of Texas carved through this area creating for us spectacular bluffs along the rambling river that seem so out of place on the prairie. As you climb into the western hills of Iowa the terrain seems to roll instead of lay flat, but after the first twenty rises and falls you realize you might be trapped in a Groundhog Day type of repeating cycle. When you finally reach civilization again it passes by quickly and the other side of Des Moines feels a lot like the first three Easterly hours of I-80.
My recommendation, to really enjoy and get to know these beautifully historic states is to leave the interstate system. Travel along the hills of Nebraska. Journey into the seldom explored gems of Iowa. Most of the true joy of any area is not found along the road most traveled. Soul Experiences Tour and Travel