Sunday, September 30, 2012

First Day back on the road…


Moon rise over my van last night as I hooked up and pulled out of Rifle, CO.


This morning I stopped in at a Health Food Store and the clerk said:  “It’s a beautiful day, be sure to get Outside.”   OUTSIDE????   I been outside for four full months.  Told him I was not going to feel guilty about not being outdoors today.  Then I went and swam laps in a hot springs pool (Glenwood Hot Springs Pool) built in 1888, soaked awhile and hit the road.  Have been wanting to do that all summer but it costs $15 a day.

The drive out of Glenwood Springs CO eastward is pretty nifty… very narrow winding  road with steep canyon walls and…


… with a river running through it


…and an interstate (I-70) running through it


… and Amtrak running through it.

The grade up over the mountains gets to over 11,000 feet… and is a pretty tough haul for SwankieWheels and the trailer.  But we made it… sometimes only going 30mph.  As I drove off southeastward… I felt a twinge of pain that I was not going northwestward  to be with my son during his hip surgery.  But he is an adult and has family to care for him… and I need to stay true to my own dreams. Our legacy to our kids should be… to be true to ourselves.  That’s not always easy.

I have been trying to make a route map in Google Maps but don't find
it very user friendly, so here is my tentative route:
Hays KS
Wichita KS
Pawnee OK
Rogers AR
Springfield MO
Little Rock AR
Jackson MS
Mobile AL
Wellborn FL
Texoma TX
Sanders AZ
Show Low AZ
Quartzsite AZ
I come up with about 3700 miles. I'll be lucky to have the gas money
to accomplish this all in October plus maybe the first week of
November but I'm giving it my best shot.

Once I get to Quartzsite, I will spend the winter there, with
exception of a trip to Monterey Bay, California in Jan. 2013.
Some folks I really really wanted to visit are just too many miles off
this route to make a stop to see them affordable this trip. I'm so

By the way, I no longer sleep in houses, so if I am visiting you, all
I need is a level place to park my van home (+ 12' trailer). I have
COPD and can't deal with pets and things that come with indoor living
(just regular house dust, etc.).
I have reviewed all the notes I can find about places to kayak and
people to visit, hope I am not forgetting anyone or any place.


Fall colors are at their peak and the Aspen are loosing their leaves.


Today I made it through Johnson Tunnel (at about 11,000 ft) all the way past Denver out onto the open flat Eastern plains of Colorado.  Yeahhhhh!

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Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.