Bringing baby home

The loneliest road in America

We did it! About 5,200 miles in 15 days. Whew! We arrived in Portland yesterday afternoon, tired but happy campers. Joanne and Seaton were a couple of hours behind us and stopped for tea so we could catch up on their adventures.

All in all it was a great trip but far too fast—we never spent more than a single night in any location. This leaves us with a terrific excuse to travel south again. There is a great deal of empty country out there, most of it incredibly beautiful—at least to someone who loves emptiness. I find it reassuring to know there is still so much that is untouched and unsullied.

It’s clear though, that small town America is in trouble. The communities once supported by family farming and local industry are mostly empty storefronts, the housing generally substandard and frequently adorned with rusting cars and machinery. Most of the manmade additions to the West’s stunning landscape add little in the way of beauty.

The last legs of our journey were through cold and occasional snow, but the Casita held up well. In Battle Mountain, Nevada, we pulled into a car wash to remove what we thought was a lot of road dirt. Turns out that under that dirt was about an inch of ice, which quickly came off with some judicious spraying.

Despite the cold and wind, everything worked well. It’s a little tough lighting the outside pilot light for hot water when the wind is howling around you, so sometimes we just heated water on the stove, just as we always did in the VW campers we’ve owned. It felt even more like home.

Now what?