The Countdown is On
Happy June, everyone! We hope those of you in New England are enjoying this early taste of summer. We’re staying cool indoors today, putting the finishing touches on our upcoming travel plans. For the past month or so, we’ve been busy mapping out three separate adventures in 2013: an old-fashioned road trip through the western U.S. and Canada, a European slow-cation, and a Pacific Northwest park-bagging loop.
All that trip planning has been in addition to the task of figuring out things like where we want to live for the next year and how we want to balance work and travel as we continue down this path of self-employment. For the most part, we’ve answered the big questions, and we can freely go forth into the universe for another round of aimful wandering.
So what’s ahead during WPG’s main travel season this year? If all goes according to plan, our adventures between June and October should bring us to 27+ states, 4 provinces, 5 countries, and at least 10 new national parks. (Once an analyst and project manager, always an analyst and project manager…) I plan to complete my quest to visit all 50 states (just three left!), while M should be able to check off the lower 48. Along the way, we’ll visit other sites of interest within the national park system (including several lakeshores and monuments) and run in two half-marathons (one in MI and one in UT) as part of our marathon training plan (which will culminate with a final 26.2 on Achill Island in Ireland).
We’ll travel by car, plane, bus, train, and foot…possibly including an epic walking journey through one of Germany’s most scenic river valleys. (It depends on how we feel after the aforementioned marathon…) And like most of our prior trips, we’ll overnight in a mix of hostels, hotels, and campgrounds. Based on last year’s experiences, we’ve further pared down our gear, ditched some things we didn’t need and upgraded a few key pieces of equipment. (I have to admit, when camping on the road, there are few things better than a good night’s sleep, so I finally conceded to a backpacker-style air mattress…and a pillow. The horror!)
We’ll be posting here on WPG as we go, and we’re looking to mix things up a bit. In addition to our long-and-twisty narrative posts, we’d like to do more frequent shorter posts and upload more photos or videos. Frequency will depend on our relationships to the giant grid in the sky (e.g., do we have an internet connection?) and to ourselves (e.g., do we have something to write, or do we need to sit and be still for a while?). Part of the journey is the sharing, and part of the journey is the experiencing.
And, of course, part of the journey is the waiting! T-17 days or so until we hit the road for the first leg, and the excitement is building. Our travel journals have been designed and assembled, and our passports have been renewed. So, too, have our spirits, after a winter filled with wondering and waiting. We are overflowing with optimism and ideas, both on the home front and abroad. We’re busy readying our gear, wrapping up local commitments, celebrating birthdays with family, and visiting with friends before we set out. We might also log a few posts here on our early May adventures, like the anniversary trip to Acadia National Park we took two weeks ago. Just as we were last year when we set out on our first round of adventures, we’re happy that you’re here! We invite you to come along for this year’s ride. –J