After traveling with my favorite human,(husband) and my dog for three weeks through mostly Red states, I came to a profound realization that is too big to not share. Sometimes the revelations are only for yourself, but if I can influence one person, it is worth taking the time to put my thoughts to paper.
On a mission to travel as much as we could on a budget, Frank created a buildout for our Toyota Rav 4, we stored our clothes and cooking essentials under it. Had a back up plan to sleep on the build if we got caught in a rain storm. Loaded up the top of the car with a roof rack and a bag with our camping gear and took off with an agenda. We wanted to see several states and National Parks. I have to admit, after wearing a mask in California for so long, I was ecstatic to go to states that would not require them.
We went to Bend Oregon the first night, Coeur d’ Alene Idaho the second night. In Coeur d’ Alene we hooked up with some of my lifetime friends that will be my friends until I die. Sat by the fire and chatted like it was yesterday. Pretty certain we voted differently, does it matter when your friends?
Glacier National Park was the next 2 days, met an incredible couple from Sedrow Woolley, Washington. Moved on to Yellowstone where we camped next to 3 young gentleman from upstate New York. They were cynical because someone stole their headphones from the last campsite. I left them a note with $50 in it just to show them not all people are assholes. From here we moved onto Deadwood South Dakota. We had a resy at a place in Cody WY but blew past it because both of our instincts told us to keep going. We arrived at our campground in Deadwood late, got set up and bam! A doozer of a thunder storm blew in with rain pouring sideways. We pumped Kona full of CBD, sat in the car, watched movies on my phone and hoped everything was still dry when it passed. Did I mention, we were in a tent?
South Dakota is an absolute incredible state. We stayed there for 5 days. Did all of the touristy stuff and camped too. As we were there, we became famous in our campground. We were known as the couple who were sleeping in a tent during the thunder storm. Haha. We were also known as the liberals from California. The people next to us were bikers from Topeka, KS and we had so much fun with them. They brought us peach moonshine. There was also a group of about 5 older (than Frank) biker men who loved walking over to chat with us every night. They fell in love with Kona. When I met them, one of them had on a blue Air Force hat. I said, “My Dad was in the Air Force”. He said “My other hat is RED”. I smiled and said back to him, “I prefer Red, White, and Blue.” We became fast friends. The entire camp ground was mostly bikers, being certain we were the only ones not packing a gun, just trying to hide our weed. We laughed about it and I have to admit, we felt more safe there than anywhere.
The bikers are beautiful people and know all of the amazing highways in America. They gave us several suggestions, that we took. Rearranged some of our itinerary to go these routes. It was totally worth it.
Highway 550 AKA Million Dollar Highway in Colorado is by far one of the most beautiful roads I have ever traveled. It was friggin amazing. We camped 2 nights in Colorado, went to Mesa Verde, Page Arizona, visiting Horshoe Bend, then onto Zion to our glamping tent. Under Canvas Zion. This is a whole different post as it was too amazing not to share every detail. From here we were planning on Bryce, but they are having some serious monsoon season and floods, so we changed it up and headed to my favorite place. The Beach. Santa Barbara does not and did not disappoint. Kona swam in almost every state, but she came alive at the beach. As did Frank and I. It was so nice to be back home in California. Yes, this state has issues along with all of the rest of them. But I love my safe liberal place of refuge.
What I learned from our travels through these amazing places and people we met along the way.
I am Red, White, and Blue. I have very mixed opinions, some very liberal, some very conservative, but they are mine. Other people have theirs, and I respect that. Our Country is AMAZING! The people who live in our country are amazing. When did a World Wide Pandemic, a vaccine to stop it, being black, or being a police officer become political? What will it take listen to each other, respect each others decisions, and stop trying to change everyone. I am privileged. I am a white women not born in America, but raised in America. I do not even try to understand what it is like to be Asian, Black or Gay, or anything else. I have experienced my own family pretending that our black family members are not really there. It breaks my heart. They are my blood. I LOVE MY FAMILY! I have experienced being a white female in a Muslim community. IT SUCKS.
Can we all find the RED, WHITE AND BLUE and get passed the devision that is making our great country so divided? What does it take to find the respect? When do we start listening to each other? When do we open our hearts? When do we start caring about the humans again? When does America become what it was meant to be? When do we get past the hate?
When do we become We the People…..