After maybe a full five years of discussing, researching, planning and preparing, we FINALLY left home for a cross-country road trip this past June!
We left our home in Southern California bound for Chicago first, then Ohio. Along the route we had FINALLY decided on, were pre-paid motel reservations made thru Travelocity, and carefully prepared lists of things we wanted to do and see at both destinations, and along the routes in each direction.
Two weeks would fly by fast, but we did accomplish at least 90 percent of the to-do items on our list. An unexpected overnight in Wyoming for unexpected car repair stole a whole night and day from our schedule of events halfway from home to Chicago, and a surprise night and day in Memphis, Tennessee on our way home from Ohio for yet ANOTHER car repair issue snagged another day and night of our time.
Not to mention the extra cost for unplanned motel rooms. Luckily, being “seasoned” travelers, we had planned for extra expenses and didn’t have to melt plastic to take care of these “detours” to repair shops.
But you might be wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this post, and so now I explain…..
…We both love animals, appreciate all they have to offer as we observe them in their natural habitat or as pets…I have always enjoyed watching the hillsides, the meadows, fields and catching sight of a wild animal.
Oh DEER…..oh Dear…doe, a dear, a female deer, was the first remarkable wild animal to gaze upon as she stood on the side of the road, arching her graceful neck to reach the leaves of some tree she was nibbling upon. Her baby was at her side. It was a beautiful scene, we approached before I could get the camera ready and we sped past before I could do more than just look.
This was in Utah, and from that point all through the day and into evening, it seemed we saw a deer here, a deer there, and sadly, a deer on the side of the road.
Deer standing together in a green field, heads down as they grazed, one deer standing on the side of the road looking across the highway. Another deer drinking from some pool of water not far off from the side of the road, and two deer that scampered into a little copse of trees before we could get a good look.
In addition to the beautiful deer who graced our journey were future steaks and burgers grazing in their fields, and some sheep. These of course were not wild, but fun to see, anyway.
We had remarkable sunrises and sunsets and met some awesome people along the way. We apparently missed some supremely bad weather, rainstorms with hailstones and near-tornado winds, and even the mosquitoes waited til we left the Midwest before they swarmed out to cause their misery.
We met with family, saw some sights, each day different and fun. No one became ill or was injured during our trip, and aside from the two relatively inexpensive car repair moments, it was a wonderful vacation!
We arrived home on schedule after all, the house was still standing and all was well. I just recently purchased a large scrapbook for our journey mementos and pics and notes, and handed postcards to some friends and neighbors, since I took the address book, but didn’t manage to write on, address and send any cards.
We have reminisced, shared some of our favorite stories with friends, and keep in mind the 10 per cent of planned events on our “to-do” lists that still need “done.”
Of my favorite memories will always be the moment I stepped up onto the Chicago sidewalk amidst the magnificent high-rise buildings, after my first-ever ride on a Subway, and the night we sat on the front porch of my cousin’s beautiful Craftsman style home with a light rain falling all around, enjoying her delicious home-made cheesecake and margaritas.
We don’t see wild deer here in the Southern California desert where we live, but other creatures regularly visit even our fairly suburban neighborhood yards…like the three bunnies out front this morning, and hummingbirds who don’t even care if I am sitting with my morning coffee less than five feet from their breakfast.