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Traveling Memories

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The Hickman Bridge at Capitol Reef National Park

When I was five, I sang my way across the country one summer while my dad drove his Toyota truck with the Lance camper on top, my mom in the front seat, and my sister with me in the camper reading. Now as we travel, I sit in the passenger seat knitting my way across the country. Although I am the designated driver to back up the trailer, Stephen drives the trailer everywhere. I tend to veer off to the right lane and sometimes nod off while driving, so I haven’t been promoted yet to driver. As we’re all eager to stay alive, it’s probably best that we stick to what we do best.

Zane is the same age now as I was when my family took our trip across the country to visit my dad’s family in New York. I remember bits and pieces of that trip, and I wonder how much of this trip Zane will remember. As we travel, the days fly by and if a week goes by without a blog post, I feel so far behind. And then I remember what it was like before the internet when news traveled much slower. Everything is so immediate now. Here are a few photos of our past week.

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Riding bikes in Carbondale, CO on the Artway trail to Aspen

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Zoey riding along the bike trail beside the Colorado River

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Zane and Mama 

Stephen and I rented bikes in Carbondale, Colorado and took the kids on a 9-10 mile bike ride along the Colorado River. We stopped a few times and ate lunch along the river. It reminded me of the days I rode my bike from Long Beach to Seal Beach.

As I read the news, I search for words of blessing and hope as we travel around the country. I turn again to one of my favorite writers-John O’Donohue.

For the Traveler

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.

~ John O’Donohue ~

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Two Days in Zion

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Friday we celebrated Stephen’s birthday with a BBQ dinner in Cedar City, Utah at Charlie’s. It got two thumbs up from Stephen who never was able to find a good BBQ place in California. I expect everyone to comment now below on what their favorite barbecue restaurant is in California!

Saturday we hiked into Zion National Park. We wanted to hike the Narrows and Angels Landing, but we soon realized that both would be too difficult for the kids. Instead we hiked Pa’rus trail and the Lower Emerald Pool trail. The upper trails were closed due to boulders falling and blocking the trail.

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The Lower Emerald Pool hike had two small waterfalls that we hiked under, spraying us like a shower. It cooled us off from the close to 100 degree weather. We ended the hike with some soft serve ice cream at the Zion Lodge (the “we” being Stephen and the kids, I got a mango smoothie).

Sunday I took the kids to play in the Virgin River while Stephen hiked the Narrows on his own. I sat on a rock in the river finishing up the book “The King of Ireland’s Son” by Padraic Colum which is a collection of stories I will be telling the kids (often told in Waldorf schools in second grade).

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Stephen said the river reached his waist at one point. There were so many people hiking the Narrows trail that day. I’m hoping we’ll get to come back at some point either when the kids are old enough to hike it or just the two of us.

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The Oregon Trail to Boise

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We left Canada on Saturday morning, catching the 7:40am ferry from Nanaimo. We stayed in Anacortes, WA that night then drove on to Kennewick, WA on Sunday. Monday we stopped at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center before arriving in Eagle, ID near Boise around 10pm Mountain Time.

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Zoey imagined herself riding in one of the covered wagons. We’ve been listening to the Laura Ingalls Wilder audiobooks while driving. If we don’t play the story she says she’ll get carsick. Zane listens but prefers silence while driving unless Stephen plays Walter Wanderley or John Coltrane. Below is a sample of a travel journal of someone on the Oregon Trail. I aspire to write so descriptively, but I’m out of practice. Wi-fi has been unreliable in the RV parks where we’ve been staying. Last night I had intended to write but little guy wouldn’t go to sleep unless I was lying next to him and by 11:00pm I gave up hoping that I’d have time to blog.

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Yesterday we stayed around the RV park for most of the day, going swimming in the morning, then heading to a local municipal park in Boise that had a nature center with 6 ft. sturgeon, rainbow trout, and salmon.

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The weather has been hot here, in the 90s, but we enjoyed a cool rain last night while we ate dinner outside. Soon after I last wrote about our hot water problem, we started getting hot water again. Now we’re in hot weather, I don’t care if we have hot water! Tomorrow we leave for Utah. We plan to stop at the Shoshone Falls State Park in Twin Falls, ID and then will arrive in Salt Lake City for one night, then on to Zion.

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Eight Years Ago

IMG_3053Tomorrow my little girl turns eight. Do you remember your 8th birthday? In my classes we’ve been remembering when we were 12 (the middle school years). I have a hard time remembering specific ages. I always remember 9 because it was the year Frankie was born. I guess 8 was the last year I was the baby of the family. Zoey wants us to have another baby but it’s not in the stars for us. She really wants a dog for her birthday, but we can’t deliver on that either just yet.

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Hatley Castle in Victoria, B.C.

Over the weekend we visited Hatley Castle in Victoria. The tour only included the first floor because the upper floors are now administrative offices for the Royal Roads University. We enjoyed visiting the castle gardens with the huge Western Red Cedar trees.

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Stephen and the kids took me to Goldstream Park next to the TransCanada Hwy where there is a waterfall and big rocks the kids enjoyed climbing.

IMG_4063.jpgIMG_4061.jpgBelow is the birthday verse I am giving Zoey. She continues to teach me so much everyday about being fully alive.

Bright golden sun o’er all the world is warming,
Tells me now that new summer days are forming.
Be filled with Light!
My Spirit can take heed
Let thoughts take flight
From winter’s darkness freed.
With joy I see the beauty
Nature everywhere is showing
And I shine like the stars and flowers
Dancing, laughing, changing, growing

 


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A Lesson in Recycling (It’s not what you think)

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Zoey sharing Zane’s bed instead of sleeping in her upper bunk.

The hot water dilemma continues. Last night the hot water heater switch was turned off, yet we were able to get hot water. Tonight it’s cold again. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the hot water heater switch is turned on or off or whether it’s running on electric or propane. I have noticed that we tend to get hot water more in the afternoons or evenings, but never in the morning.

My first week of classes have ended. It was an exciting week in Physics and Chemistry from burning magnesium over dry ice, adding sulfuric acid to sugar, making cheese, and many more experiments. Next week I’ll begin Roman History and the Middle Ages for Grade 6, Health, Nutrition, Hygiene, Anatomy & Physiology for Grade 7 & 8, Coppersmithing, Singing, and more Eurythmy. Tomorrow we are going to visit Hatley Castle in Victoria. I’m looking forward to having the weekend to spend with Stephen and the kids and to do some exploring around Victoria.

And last of all, a short conversation Stephen overheard as the kids were lying in bed trying to go to sleep.

Zane: “Zoey, I think I’m all out of boogers.”
Zoey: (talking about the boogers) “Don’t put them on the sheet. You can put them in your mouth.”
Zane: “I know, that’s what I’m doing.”

 

 


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Day 26 of Traveling

It’s quite difficult to keep a blog going when you don’t really like to be on the computer. The kids and Stephen are in bed. It’s 9:55pm. I’ve started, deleted, and restarted writing this post several times now. We haven’t had reliable wireless internet in the last two campgrounds we’ve stayed at. Here’s a brief update in photos.

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Zoey with her cousin Tessa at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA

 

For the past 2 summers I have been in Canada for Zoey’s birthday. This year she really wanted to celebrate her birthday with her classmates before we left on our trip, so we had an early birthday celebration for her in June. She had another early celebration of her birthday last week. Seven more days until her actual birthday. She’s turning my favorite number.

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Sand Art display at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma

It was rainy and cold today, although Stephen disagreed with me about the cold part. It was in the 60s I think which is cold for July for this Southern California girl. I am looking forward to a hot shower tomorrow morning in the campground bathroom. We have propane in our tanks because I can cook on the stove top just fine, but we have no hot water. I’ve taken one too many cold showers recently. Anyone have any ideas why this might be happening?

We’re staying just outside of Victoria, British Columbia for three weeks. My summer Waldorf teacher training session ends July 19th. Three of my classmates were denied entry at the border, so I feel pretty lucky we didn’t have any problems getting across. It sounds like I may need to get a study permit/student visa for the next session in November even though it is only 1 week.

Tomorrow my day begins with a half-hour of singing at 7:30am, Math for grades 5 &6, Christology, Physics for grades 6, 7, 8, and our last class of the day is Eurythmy.

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The Sea Captain pilot at an airplane museum in Victoria


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Summer Solstice

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Eating dinner at the Open Door in Sisters, Oregon

Today marks the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. We are now in Troutdale, Oregon near Portland at Sandy River RV Resort. Our site backs up to the Sandy River.

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Since my last post, we stayed three days in Deerwood RV Park near Eugene, Oregon and then before that stayed at a RV park between Bend and Sisters. We took the kids to the Lava River Cave near Bend, Oregon where Stephen and I had been in 2010 when we did our California to Washington road trip. I think the kids were more impressed by holding their flashlights in the dark than the cave itself.

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IMG_3989.jpgGive the kids a little green grass, and they are happy as clams.