The Turtle Takes Off on August 6th, 2011

The Turtle, my 1981 Toyota Sunrader Mini Motorhome, will be taking me on an almost 8,000 mile journey to Glacier National Park and beyond. Wish us luck and tailwinds!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Maritime State of Mind

The Coast of Maine, New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy, and Nova Scotia are all about the boating life. Sailing on the Atlantic or Get-N-R-Dun. Leisure or livelihood. In my case, inspiration. Just sitting on a cliff and watching the sea adventures or seeing a boat slumped safe after a rough ride. I can relate to that. I am often following alongside the sea in The Turtle. When there is rain and fog, I feel like I am out there boating as well. Sailing, scanning the horizon, pulling in some delicious memories. The Turtle is Getting Her Done for sure.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hunting Island Christmas

This  was The Turtle's second year at Hunting Island, SC. We arrived just before Christmas Day, 2014, in a pouring rain that could have hydroplaned us into the marshes on either side. When we got to Hunting Island State Park, it let up a bit. I checked out my reserved site only to find  a sea of puddles. The Turtle is no puddle jumper, I thought. Let's see if we can get a spot closer to the ocean and nearer to my friends, Carol and Jim, who were traveling from Athens, GA pulling their brand new Lance trailer. As fortune often has it for The Turtle and I, there was one spot left. And what a spot! Only a few feet from the churning ocean. If we are going to get wet, then let it be by something more majestic than a soppy pond! All of the above photos were taken from The Turtle's windows. The rain did not stop until Christmas morning (first and last photos).
There were many breaks in the weather those few days before Christmas, but the view from inside was nothing short of a miracle. And the miraculous is really what the season is about. Nature provided this for us. There are no seasonal reminders except for the poinsettia in the foreground of the Turtles back window view. And as the days progressed and receded like the ocean, I was to find many more miracles awaiting me. Including the raccoon that ate our appetizers, while Carol, Jim and I were enjoying a fire made from dried palm fronds.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saga on the Seas of Hartwell

Lake Hartwell, made by the Savannah River and the Corps of Engineers, can sometimes look like the sea upon awakening. This trio forgot something back at the dock. I had fun capturing their images and I imagine they will have fun fishing. But isn't the best part of the day the earliest of the morning and its foggy forgetfulness?

Waterfront Property, Inherent Wealth

Once upon a time, I  had waterfront property. Now I am home and landlubbed. Looking from my loft window, a sea of blue-green and red- gold washes up on the breeze. In Winter, I see Max Patch in the next county gleaming like a glacier. Or, I can peer down on my teeny pond where the American Bullfrog who sat on a lily pad all summer, dives deep into mud for refuge.  Last week I parked  The Turtle on the shores of Lake Hartwell, Georgia at the end of a cove and watched the world go by. Without moving an inch. Except when I hung my Lumix around my neck and took off pedaling  my little red folding bike before dawn. My launching for this trip was along the shores of the Swannanoa River near Black Mountain. My eyes have seen The Glory reflected in water moving and water still. Still I can't quite figure out what to do with all this wealth I inherited.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Good Samaritans on Turtle Trip #4, August 28 to Sept. 26, 2014

 Linda Pharis and me, Roanoke, VA
 Linda and John Pharis, Roanoke, VA near Tinker Creek
 Pat Dougherty and Max, Goode, Virginia
 Pat Dougherty, Goode, Virginia near Bedford
 Carol and Oscar Phillips with Amos, Roanoke, VA
 Amy Messegee, Purcellville, VA
 Me, Amy and Sabrina, Three generations
 Amy Messegee and her daughter, Sabrina Vanderbilt in Purcellville, VA
 Amy and Tom Messegee, Purcellville, VA
 Amy and her Aunt Peggy
 Newell Eaton and Alli Middleton, Albany, NY
 Martha Fricke and Ruth Gingerich, Charlevoix, MI and Hartville, Ohio
Jeff DeBell and Mary Fitzgerald, Roanoke, VA

I am not sure I would have made it without my friends and family on this trip from my home in Spring Creek, NC (near Hot Springs and Asheville, ) through Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York (The Hudson River Valley, Albany,  Adirondacks,Lake George, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Niagara Falls) Ohio and West Virginia. But I am sure I had a hell of a lot more fun by including them in my itinerary! Thanks to all of you. You are priceless.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

OHIO..AS far as the Eye can see-O

OH Ohio, You bring us back and now we can see as far as times forgotten. To the tops of tall corn rows or along  banks edged with golden-rods. The river of the pioneers.  Lined with captain's houses overlooking beauty while powering progress with black chunks mined in earnest. Steubenville. Home of Dean Martin. Who flew with the flamingos to fame. Amish entrepreneurs. Flea Markets. Slinky, satin and pearl-ropes at the indoor hall of flame. Seduction. Plain and Simple.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

One Amazing Turtle


The Turtle moves me. What can I say? To so many places I would never be able to see without her. To a strength I never knew I had. Her heart is small but powerful. A mere 4 cylinder putt putt engine pulling such a top-heavy load. The Turtle should be showing up at antique car shows.Instead she is chugging up mountains like The Little Engine That Could. Both of us chanting, I think we can. I think we can. And we have. Across the United States and parts of Canada and in every direction for the past 4 years. Anything more we are blessed with at this point in our journey, would be like double frosting on a triple layered wedding cake, and I would proudly place The Turtle on top of that confection in a heartbeat.
How can one leave home and never have left home at the same time? That is what it feels like when I am camping in The Turtle. I am the driver, but many times it feels like I have been transported to my camping spot by something else. I wake up in the morning to see a new scene as if I were on a train in the sleeping car or on a cruise ship sailing between exotic islands while I slumbered.
 At other times, I am working hard to keep things ship- shape in, out, around and on top of The Turtle.
I am the chief cook and bottle washer. The mechanic. The map reader. I keep the fires burning and the tanks full. I cross my fingers a lot and my toes and whatever else needs crossing to keep her on the road.
She has taught me to stay in the moment, to let go at every turn, and to trust myself.

I thought I paid for The Turtle, but it turns out she was a gift from the Universe. I thought I was the sole owner, but I am sure my friends and family own a share. I know this because they treat us as if we were their own with loving care when we arrive out of nowhere at their doorstep.