One of my favorite apps on our Steem blockchain - SteemItWorldMap - is hosting an awesome contest, to begin the New Year. Emphasis? Our four favorite travel posts which we pinned to their map in 2019!
😧 👌 Wow! Having wondered what the occasion would be to motivate me to write my next Steem post, this is it!! 😊 👍
Why? It was the prospect of reliving, for a few hours, one of the greatest trips of my lifetime - my "Road to Recovery" trip, with the story beginning here and ending here (in the post illustrated above).
In my recap of this lifetime memory, I wrote the following:
"In 31 days, I drove 4,984 miles through a part of 8 states - Colorado, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. I recreated some special memories, as well as experienced some new ones - starting in the American Southwest, then out to the Pacific Coast of California, up into the Pacific Northwest, and back home in the Rocky Mountain West."
Now, almost one year later, this contest has given me the opportunity to reflect back on all that I experienced and relive it in my memory, while putting together the following post.
Let the fun begin!
"R2R" Note: My "shorthand" way of referring to what I first wrote about in my Reflections: My "Road to Recovery" Trip post. "Road to Recovery" <=> "R2R" ... 😉
Picture Viewing Tip: SteemPeak and the @steempeak team provides the best UI on our Steem blockchain. I would suggest using it to read the posts linked to this one. You can then click on any of the pictures for a very nice enlarged view (use your mouse's thumb wheel, if you have one, to zoom in and out ...) of them!
Favorite Post #1: R2R Travelogue 11: Mendocino, California
Day 11 - Thursday, 1 February 2019
Have you ever visited a place where you find words are inadequate to express the impression made on you by the experience? My visit to Mendocino, on the northern Pacific Coast of California, was one such experience for me.
Mendocino is an old (at least for the western U.S.) town, as we can see below. It is quite small and along Highway 1, right on the Pacific coast. You do not want to be in rush, if you ever chose to drive there.
Built in 1878, the Mendocino Hotel & Garden Suites provided a wonderful, as well as very affordable ($40 per night!), place in which to spend the night and from which to begin a remarkable day.
Once packed up and loaded (as I was only there for part of the day), I enjoyed the following extraordinary views on a remarkable day in the "dead of winter."
Unforgettable views were readily available in every direction with many fine and easy places to walk.
If these pictures whet your appetite to learn more about this beautiful part of California, click on any of them and they will take you to the post, for the full story!
On this month-long trip by myself, at the top of the list of places I would like to return to share with my beloved lifemate, Mendocino is it! And the #1 reason I selected this post as my Favorite #1.
Favorite Post #2: R2R Travelogue 4: Catalina State Park in Tucson, Arizona
Day 4 - Thursday, 24 January 2019
The post above represents a wonderful new memory, since I had never been there prior. In beginning the trip, however, part of the "master plan" was to relive some wonderful old memories.
This post covers the place and memory at the top of that list - Catalina State Park, which sits just north of Tucson, at the western end of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The goal was a day-long hike back down along the year-round flowing stream found in the depths of Romero Canyon. To reach amazing places like this one:
Here is my "highlight reel" of reliving this remarkable experience in the Sonora Desert of southern Arizona.
Finally safely down (with only minor "damage" ...), I got to relive a 25-year old memory. It was awesome!
Below this final picture, in my original post, I wrote this:
"For most of my countrymen, this is about as close as they are going to get to experiencing what I have presented in this post. Sadly, they are just not going to put in the effort. And, therefore, will never see what you have been presented here."
If these pictures whet your appetite to learn more about this quintessential experience in the Sonora Desert of southern Arizona, click on any of them and they will take you to the post, for the full story!
Memories shared with others are the best. This post was based on my desire to relive a very special memory with my firstborn child created 25 years earlier! And the #1 reason I selected this post as my Favorite #2.
Favorite Post #3: R2R Travelogue 7: Sabbath Rest and Morro Bay, California
Day 7 - Sunday, 27 January 2019
As you can see below, with this view just a block down the hill from where I had spent the night, Sunday, the 7th day of my trip began in the most wonderful of ways.
I had just spent the first week of my trip in the Sonora Desert of southern Arizona. This first morning by the ocean could hardly have provided a greater contrast. What a great day it was. And what a difference one day makes. It was heaven sent!
Taking my time throughout that day, to make the most of it in this little seaside village, here is a brief "highlight reel" of what I experienced:
If these pictures whet your appetite to learn more about this wonderful, quiet, little place by the sea, click on any of them and they will take you to the post, for the full story.
Which includes a little bit of philosophical content at the end of it, about what this particular day meant to me!
The whole point of this trip of a lifetime was to begin the process of recovery. Of my health and vitality. This 7th day, not coincidentally based on what I believe, was a turning point, where I began the process of "resetting" and "dialing back" in earnest. Something I will never forget. And the #1 reason I selected this post as my Favorite #3.
Favorite Post #4: R2R Travelogue 20: Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. In winter
Day 29 - Monday, 18 February 2019
Even in the "dead of winter," there was a lot to like about the thought of reliving previous trips down one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in America - the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. Which is part of the trail followed by the famous Lewis & Clark Expedition!
Starting the day in Lewiston, Idaho, at an elevation of about 700 feet (213 m), ~ 240 miles (386 km) later I ended up in Hamilton, Montana, after crossing Lolo Pass at an elevation 5,233 feet (1,595 m).
Along the way, I would be driving my trusty little truck up through what was recorded as the hardest single part of the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1805. They barely survived it!
Thankfully my little 4 X 4 Ford Ranger made it over the worst of it relatively trouble-free. Here is a brief "highlight reel" of what I experienced:
Crossing over Lolo Pass into Montana, with the deteriorating road and weather conditions you see in this last picture (not enough light beyond that point to stop for any more pictures ...), an hour or so later, I did get a nice reprieve at this fine, remote location in Montana:
The excellent meal at Lolo Creek Steakhouse temporarily provided a very satisfying end to what had been a long day, with steadily deteriorating conditions, as the day wore on. Driving on to my night's lodging in Hamilton, Montana, though, it was already below 0°F (-17.8°C) while I was unloading my truck for the night ...
- Note: While not a particularly easy trip in the winter, nonetheless it was a "piece of cake" compared to the original Lewis & Clark expedition. One of the principals, Meriwether Lewis, died at the age of 35, 3 years after completing the expedition. Cause of death was ruled a suicide, with PTSD from the expedition considered a major contributing factor.
If these pictures whet your appetite to learn more about this remarkable stretch of highway through the Idaho Panhandle, click on any of them and they will take you to the post, for the full story!
For as far back as I can remember, I have been most at peace and lived some of my best experiences and created some of my fondest memories in the Great Outdoors. More than once, in the midst of these times, I have wondered if I was born in the wrong time and am more of a pioneer at heart.
If so, there is no better pioneering story I have ever read than that of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. Which I wrote about in this dedicated post, on Day 23 of my R2R trip.
Celebrating my "pioneer's spirit," this portion of my trip was along one of the most spectacular sections of their famous trail. And the #1 reason I selected this post as my Favorite #4.
Postscript for SteemItWorldMap 2019 Contest
In wrapping up the writing of my "Road to Recovery" recap post, I wrote the following:
A lot of history has been covered in these posts. And in our history books and in the "good ole" days, we read a man was heavily dependent upon a good horse.
Well ... Here's my horse! 😉
My great little 2003 4 X 4 Ford Ranger just turned over 150,000 miles (241,400 km) as I was getting close to home. Once back home, I have taken it in for a "check-up" and it was pronounced "fit" and ready to go again! 👍
Sad to say, almost a year later, my little truck's odometer has just barely gone over 152,000 miles (244,600 km). It's been spending a lot of time sitting in our garage. Waiting ... Waiting ... 😞
Maybe writing this post will be the beginnings of dreaming about our next "road warrior" adventure! 😉
"Giving back" and "Pay It Forward" are more than words to me. An important part of this trip was the posting I did for those of my Steemian friends who had asked me to "take them along."
It was important to me to acknowledge their role in what this trip became in my "thank you" post:
In it, all of the rewards I made on the most successful series of posts I have created on the Steem blockchain were shared with them, who were such an important part of my motivation:
Without the input of all of these Steem accounts, each in their own way, this great trip's posts more than likely would never have been written. And, therefore, neither would this one ...
Thank you all again! 😊 👋
For me, it was very difficult to limit my choices to these 4 above, as I have really enjoyed reading through these posts again and reliving these wonderful memories. I cannot improve on what I was inspired to write in closing my original recap post, when I wrote the following:
"I have a renewed appreciation for the natural wonder of this world and all that has been created in it. As well, I have renewed my respect for the rich diversity of this great country which has reminded me of what I wrote in one of my original Steem posts - Observations: Gratitude and the Simple Things:"
"The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me."
"For whatever remains of my 'number of days,' I have been blessed with this wonderful opportunity to relive and create lifetime memories. And the posts about this trip "immutably enshrined" on our Steem blockchain will always be part of them."
Thank you to the SteemItWorldMap team for their inspiration to come up with this contest to begin the New Year. Win or lose, this contest has been a real blessing to me. Hopefully, it will be a source of a little dreaming for some of my fellow Steemians for what "might be" in 2020.
I’d love to hear any feedback you may be inspired to provide.
Until "next time," all the best to you for a better tomorrow, as we all work together to build up our Steem Communities and increase the value of the Steem blockchain! 👍 😊
- Image sources: My trusty smartphone - a Samsung Galaxy S9+ !