Navigating This Year’s Homecoming

Homecoming’s are momentous occasions with much excitement and anticipation. Also, travel can be highly stressful during a Pandemic.

Like most little kids, in the 3rd grade I would draw pictures of mountains with trees, flowers and birds. Sporting my rainbow Mork suspenders (from the 1978 hit TV show Mork and Mindy) and blue Nike tennis shoes, I drew a little Jeep way in the background climbing a snow-capped mountain in the clouds. Little did I know that I was manifesting my future of living in the mountains of Colorado and driving a Jeep (sans suspenders).

As a visual practitioner, I continue to draw out my future in a map-like fashion and help others do the same. Over the past few weeks I have been doing the work. It’s emotional, taxing and quite unknown. My plan A to Z seems to be working albeit a bit shaky at times. I rest in knowing that’s the reality for many/all of us. Although I wish it weren’t the case.

It’s a 900-mile trip (one way) and will take me two days to get there pulling Flo. I have a campsite reserved with a few backups depending on how far I get and what I encounter.

Prepping for this trip back to my hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas to take care of my mom is complicated by the pandemic. Had our leadership been more vigilant about containing the virus, my trip would be much safer by now. Instead I’m reading the COVID reports and I’m going to a place where there are 5x the number of cases. Unfortunately this little first aid kit won’t help much. I’m taking all the necessary precautions with masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, etc. to minimise my exposure. And packing a lot of food, water and pulling Flo so I don’t have to rent a hotel.

I have a weird infatuation with First Aid kits. I’m always checking to see what’s in them and making sure they are stocked. This time I found a cold compress and wish I had a bed made of ice. Flo will be an oven after being in the hot sun all day.

So as I drive away from the crisp mountain air and through the plains of Western Kansas, the little girl inside me squirms with anticipation—Artemis in me reassures her safety.

Just past the summit on Wolf Creek Pass in the Rio Grande National Forest.

And as always, being on the road with Flo is an adventure.

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