The full-time RV lifestyle allows wandering souls to live, travel and explore America's highways and back roads in every form and style imaginable. From a brand new quad-slide mini mansion motorhome with a Lexus SUV in-tow, to an old pickup on its last leg, belching smoke and buckling askew under the weight of a slide in camper that's seen better days.
Both motor-homer and pick-uper are pilgrims of the road; one well pensioned, the other on social security. But they share a common and equalizing dream... to roam free as eagles, move according to mood and season. They eschew time-clocks for hide 'n seek, spending their last grains of sand on new territory as equals in wild and woolly places throughout the last vestiges of the untamed west.
I share the disease—have dreams I can't shake—people and places I've yet to meet. I totally "get" Marco Polo, Columbus, and Lewis and Clark's inexplicable need to reconnoiter the unknown at the expense of comfort. But since Bobbie and I are self-sponsored, our excursions tend to come true in bits and pieces... between fundraising "treadmill" assignments, you might say. That's the price some must pay to bail sooner, rather than risk later. Making a living is like car maintenance, a necessary evil. But make no mistake, there is a difference between making a living and making a Life. Put aside limits that beget regret. Hindsight is 20/20; go forward and don't look back. Try not to dwell on shoulda's and if-only's. Personally, I never was very good at waiting, and it turns out that that impatience changed my life.
The BCB has become a "Song." I share it because it adds purpose to my RV life... something that went missing toward the end of our first sojourn back at the turn of the century. I'm older and wiser now. I realize that Dr Spock was a big fat liar, that children of the 60's are not the center of the Universe, and, in fact, that the world doesn't even know most of us are here... never mind changin' it. Eventually we learn to swallow lessons of smallness and take our rightful place... settling for affecting one person at a time.
I have shrunk. Now I just do what I feel called to do and find ways to share it... thinking there must be other restless souls like me... playing the waiting game, procrastinating, dealing with Life's curveballs and feeling trapped by circumstance. They're out there, lurking in shadowy pools of curiosity—clinging to anonymity like it was a rope and life-saver—watching dreams sink like the Titanic. I did that, till one fine day a little "straw" broke the back of my "camel." Someone I knew died way too young.
Suddenly, I felt the lie... that living vicariously is living fiction; it's not really happening, that its someone else's life I was infatuated with. As in high school, most of us are not king of the prom nor quarterback. Hell, we couldn't get a date with a cheerleader if our lives depended on it.
So now I do my bit part to open hearts and minds to a life some never dream is possible... lead eyes to landscapes that beguile and stupefy, lend ears to the yip-howl of coyotes crying at the full moon. This is sweet redemption for plodding various treadmills year in, year out. It is my time, and I take no guilt in that... as long as something of value comes of it.
Goals and purpose on the road are as varied as people and the rigs that house them. From a quest to search out the worlds greatest cinnamon roll, to building houses for Habitat For Humanity, to volunteering, to blog entertainment; who are we to judge one is more honorable than the other? Maybe the guy looking for the cinnamon roll crosses paths with someone in need, and graciously lends a hand and friendship.
We can't all be Bill Gates when it comes to philanthropy and saving the world. Who knows, maybe Bill Gates isn't giving enough! Recall Jesus's comment in the book of Luke. "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them (the rich); for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had..."
Those who are of modest means and think they can't make a difference miss the simple essence of the widow's story, not to mention the greater joy that comes from reaching out. Tis always better to give than receive. Along the way, while doing some of the things that brings pleasure and meaning to my existence, I'm just hoping my "little things" add up to the widow's two copper alms.
Cue Elton John:
If I was a sculptor, but then again no,
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you...
I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses, well they've got me quite cross
But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song,
It's for people like you, that keep it turned on.
These time-tested words of wisdom from Francis Bacon should give you pause:
"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake..."
Now for some photos of our hike with Susan and Maikel... Hugh Norris Trail, to San "something," to Dobe Wash... making a big loop through beautiful Saguaro National Park on a sun-gorgeous day.
Stay tuned for Sabino Canyon and our hike with Wandrin' Lloyd to Hutch's Pools... another real beaut. Now go take a hike and think about what Mr. Bacon said. Have a great weekend!!! And thanks for sharing the BCB adventure.
Mark and Bobbie