Time to Think

By the time I reach Virgin, Utah from Bryce National Park, it’s late afternoon with only an hour left before nightfall. I don’t typically like to arrive so late, especially when I don’t have a “Plan B” in mind. But I am headed to my favorite boondocking spot which I have had all to myself the past three out of four Novembers (I didn’t go last year, as I was back east.) I am hopeful that it will be no different this year, particularly since I am a few days later into the month than I have been in previous years. It’s a lovely spot with fantastic views. I am hopeful that I will have it all to myself again this year.

As I drop down from the highway and crest the terrace, I get a sucker punch to the gut. A quick scan across the landscape in the shadow of the mesa, and I count eleven rigs within earshot of “My Spot.” I think I now know how the Indian scout must have felt cresting the ridge to reach his secret hideout, only to find a circle of covered wagons dead center. My secret hideout which I have had all to myself for three Novembers is “secret” no more.

My private spot is private no more.

I had this circle all to myself three Novembers in a row. I don’t like buying into the old adage “All good things must come to an end,” but…..

When I was first introduced to this beautiful boondocking spot by a group of friends back in 2014, Campendium, the leading site for campsite information and reviews, wasn’t even launched yet. Now, there are over 50 reviews posted for this area. The times, they are a changin’. And they are a changin’ FAST!

Fortunately for me, “Miss No Plan B,” there is a young man outside his rig when I pull in, the sun sinking low in the sky. There is no place to comfortably park in the “circle” where I have always parked without crowding the others.  I feel like weeping. But the young man comes over to greet me, and asks if I am looking to park. He tells me he and his full-timing family are leaving at 8:00am tomorrow morning, and if I don’t mind his two noisy young kids for a night, I am welcome to park alongside, backing into his space when he leaves. I am extremely grateful, as the Walmart back in Hurricane, UT is my only other option.

My favorite walk from the boondock spot along the canyon rim overlooking the Virgin River reveals lots of other changes as well. First I see signs that the roads are now closed to vehicular traffic, but still allow hikers and bikers. The further I go, the more restrictive the signs.  The “vehicular traffic” is replaced with signs saying the paths are closed. Period. As I experienced in Sedona, it appears the initiative is to now “corral” boondockers into designated areas. As I walk along these paths, I find evidence of human waste and toilet paper piles, broken glass bottles, and even a sectional sofa. Is it any wonder?

People using BLM lands as their own personal “dump” is contributing to the loss of boondocking.

Roads that used to “spider” off to afford more privacy are now blocked off.

First they blocked the campers…

And then they blocked everyone…unless of course, you have “permission.”

But it’s not just the boondocking area that’s changed. I arrive at the Zion Visitor Center at 11:00am on a Wednesday morning in November to be greeted by signs stating, “Parking Lot Full. Park in Town.” This is supposed to be the off season! Midweek! But I circle the parking lot for 20 minutes. It’s like a feeding frenzy with not even a single parking space to be had or a signs that anyone plans to vacate.

In the past, this would have been no problem. I never minded parking in the giant lot right outside the park gate and walking in to catch the shuttle. But now, all of Springdale has enforced a new metered parking system that charges $1 for the first hour, $3.50 for the second hour and $22 for the day. There is no more “Free Parking” to be had in the town of Springdale. Thank goodness, I don’t have to pay to enter the park, thanks to my Geezer Pass. But can you imagine having to pay $35 to enter the park, only to be told you must also pay an additional $22 to park outside the gate?? Springdale’s greed has put undue pressure on the park, as now people are parking on curbs, in ditches, and in between boulders to avoid having to pay. And drivers are extremely aggressive in jockeying for an empty space.

The Virgin River runs through the heart of Zion.

There’s an unusual haze in the air during my visit. I don’t think it’s smoke. The only thing I can figure is construction dust, since roads leading in are all under construction.

Photography class?

In my opinion, not only the parking, but the entire vibe of Zion has drastically changed. Only as recently as 2015, the shuttle was only necessary on November weekends. Now, three short years later, “Parking Lot Full” signs greet the visitor at every turn on a November Wednesday morning. Thanks, Utah Office of Tourism for those much needed “Mighty Five National Parks” and “Grand Circle Tour” ad campaigns!

My visit to the once beloved Zion this past November has made me face the question, “Am I done?” And if I’m done, then what’s next? How much longer will I have the patience to tolerate the growing RV population that seems to be inversely proportional to limited campground availability or shrinking public lands?  Or those who seem intent on abusing them? As more and more people “hit the road,” it becomes increasingly frustrating and harder to find quiet places to commune with nature. Lately, I see more of my neighbors than I did in my “sticks and bricks.” Is the answer a more rugged rig with higher ground clearance?  Can I be content to find exploration and adventure away from places with an ad campaign?

I feel bad for those bright and shiny new nomads who post on the Facebook Fulltimers group, “We did it! We sold everything! Tomorrow is the first day of our new lives as full timers! We are taking our four kids, three dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree on the road!” Sadly, they won’t find the same ease and freedom I found just six short years ago. I feel a shift…. It is starting to feel more like a “push” to find a parking place rather than the “pull” of adventure. That’s big.

The off season is a good time to take stock of the past year and figure out which direction I’d like to explore in the coming year.  Coming off the road for a period gives me a break in the day to day routines of migration, navigation, maintenance, etc.and gives me time to think.  Stepping out of the Winnie for a period helps me look at my lifestyle from a broader perspective and frees me up for a more creative approach to how I want to spend the remaining years of my life.

The Zion Plein Air Invitational is my favorite fall event.

I find such inspiration in watching these artists transfer their emotional relationship with this revered place onto canvas.

If I can’t paint, I at least love being inspired by those who can.

The Plein Air artists of the future..

Artist, photographer, and part time Yosemite Park Ranger and High Sierras trail guide James McGrew.

He is a frequent winner of the Invitational “People’s Choice” award.

When a red shouldered hawk flies over during the painting demo…

I also must ask myself how much is the exploding nomad population that is causing discontent versus an early case of the seven year itch. March, 2019 will begin my sixth year on the road living full time in the Winnie. I originally set my intentions to do this for four years. Seven years is the longest I have lived anywhere outside of my childhood home, a place that exists only in my memory. So is it time to make a change? Create something new with my life? And if so, what?

I don’t know any answers to these questions. All I know is, it’s time to think…

“Five percent of the people think;
Ten percent of the people think they think;
And the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
~ Thomas Edison

40 thoughts on “Time to Think

  1. As always, wonderfully composed, beautiful photos, Suzanne. However, when I read your blog this time, looking at the photos, I felt like crying. Your words brought home more strongly what I’ve been reading elsewhere about the growing RV population and the stagnant (and perhaps even dwindling) designated places. How sad. 🙁
    Have a safe and meaningful Christmas, Suzanne, and a healthy and happy New Year.

  2. A sad state of affairs, indeed. We’ve learned to take our pleasures in small sips as opposed the the big gulps that once were available to us, fiscally and physically. And “physically” is now bifurcated into “personal” and “geographical” meanings.

    It’s still “A Wonderful World” and accessible, but the joy is becoming more difficult to extract.

  3. What a great post Suzanne. You are echoing my words. I’ve been restricted from venturing west to the great boondocking spots of my past and now I fear that I’ve missed my window of opportunity for spiritual time alone in Nature. I could see it coming when the mainstream started magazine articles, tv shows, documentaries about “cheap” living on the road. Not to mention those making a living running full timing boot camps. I don’t think more campgrounds will help the problem. Not even sure the up coming whopper economic depression will. Sorry to hear you share my sorrow. Hope you figure out what to do and will share it at least wirh kindred spirits.

  4. Beautiful place, it has been since 77 that we visited Zion in late September. I appreciate your sharing, thanks.
    All things change, pretty soon the government we now have will allow all the places you have shown us in Utah to be mined, drilled, paved and filled with vacation time share condos.
    Good luck with your coming introspection, just remember to bring out the good along with the negative. You have described so much awe inspiring beauty that I would hate to see your blog disappear.
    Happy holidays.
    allen and deede

  5. I am in year 12 of fultime travel and hate that I have to agree with you totally. I can only hope that since we are at the peak of the baby boom that the next nine years will be at least a gradual decline in numbers of boondockers. Merry Christmas.

  6. Suzanne,
    You strike a discouraging chord, yet there is still hope! If you want to continue your search for solitude while full-timing you are probably faced with a change in your setup. There are still wonderfully beautiful and isolated places to explore and enjoy (catch up with Glenn’s Instagram postings on To Simplify). It will, however, probably require that you bite the bullet and trade your beloved Winnie for an overlander of some sort. I know that our Winnie hates gravely washboarded roads but a different rig could make the difference between your giving up this life style that you love and adding a few more years to your explorations (and our enjoyment of your wonderful postings).
    Have a wonderful holiday, enjoy SM ‘d A, and BE OF GOOD CHEER!
    Scott & Jan

  7. It is a sad note that there is an increasing number of folks that use boondocking locations as a place to party. Much of popular Clark Lake near Borrego Springs is now closed, due in large part to irresponsible treatment. San Diego (as of Aug 2018) now accepts ‘urban’ boondocking (subject to parking regulations). I’ve witnessed tanks being dumped into storm drains and continue to participate in litter clean up.
    Have you considered a blog on responsible boondocking? I know it should be obvious! I’ve thought of doing one on ‘urban’ boondocking, but know it would not reach the folks could use the information.

  8. Zion is one of our favorite parks for many of the same reasons you love it. We have only visited it in the off season, hopefully there is still such a thing.

    If you need someplace to hang out in South Dakota this summer, you are always welcome!

  9. A tear came to my eye when I saw the photo of the dumped sectional sofa, for it is a literal sign of our times. I don’t fully agree an “overlander” rig is the answer to your current musings about where to go from here. A rugged mile or few beyond the crowd would only buy so much time. The writing on the wall (your wall, in this case) is italicized in bold print. Too many people in too many rigs are searching for a great unknown which has already been discovered and photographed and written about.

    My travels are largely from my armchair as I sit facing 110 acres of field bordered by woods. I used to dream of going where you went, seeing what you saw…but the truth is you may have already ridden the highest wave. Were I to follow your footsteps now I’d be sharing a well worn path with folks breathing down my neck. Because of that, the peaceful landscape I view from my window garners greater appreciation than ever before.

    I find such delight in your blog, Suzanne ~ my hope is that as you take time to think about where to go from here you will decide to continue to search for new discoveries and that you will find joy in that endeavor.

  10. Exquisite photos as always. You give such gifts to us! Bryce and Zion are two of my favorite places in the world. I found such peace and healing energy there. Perhaps it would be best to not go back and have those memories dashed. I understand your quandary. Too, reinventing oneself is always exciting, even with or in spite of the unknowns on departure. Like others I can’t imagine, having followed you for so many years, a day when you might not post your thoughts and photos for all to share and delight in. You lead me to ponder, to learn, to question, to further appreciate, to respond with action. As I said, you give such gifts to us! Merry Christmas and may the coming year be your BEST ever. Abrazos, Barbara

  11. Your writing as always is evocative . You capture the changes and the feelings we have had over this shrinking freedom to roam. It is a changing world and we are all searching for a place of happiness in it . Sounds like you are on the cusp of something new and exciting and we cant wait to see what that is. M&E

  12. I think I understand your feelings about not being able to find the “unoccupied spaces” anymore. For me, all those unoccupied spaces in Mexico have changed and are now “discovered”. No, I don’t travel in an RV, but for the last 40 years I’ve traveled the back roads and villages of Mexico.

    Talk with John while you are here. He traveled by RV throughout Australia and says the spaces and RV facilities were amazing.

    I’m so glad we had time today to “hang out” and catch up. Enjoy your adventures in the next few months, but take time to reflect……..an empty beach is where I have always figured things out – just saying.

    Feliz Navidad and by the way, your Santa Helper skills are as great as your photography skills………..

  13. I found the best part of this post to be the part where the young guy, who perceives your need and offers you his camping spot. A fine example of providence. Here’s a word to think about while you’re taking some time to think – selflessness. Merry Christmas, Suzannne

    • Hi, Jim. I cleaned three cat litter boxes before breakfast so my friend could go away for Christmas. Does that count as “selflessness?” I am not sure what “selflessness” has to do with not wanting to live elbow to elbow in a home on wheels.

      I feel as if your comment is insinuating that I am somehow lacking in this aspect. While in Texas, I raked 10 loads of leaves for my Mom, vacuumed her house, bought her groceries, took her dog to the vet, helped my brother load and unload a 17 ft U-Haul, then build shelves for his storage, took my niece shopping for clothes, hauled a duffel bag across the border filled with goods my friends can’t buy in Mexico, and donated my Christmas budget to RAICES. I just don’t find these things particularly blog-worthy.
      Merry Christmas to you too, Jim.

  14. I agree with you on all points regarding the changes in RVing in the last six years. Though coming off the road has its own struggles and myriad of questions too. Moving into a house with no furniture is not without its challenges, it can take some time for the new place to feel like a true home. But hey, life would be boring without a little shake up now and then!

  15. I am an occasional reader. The title of this post caught my attention. You describe a sad situation at Zion. I’m so glad that I was able to experience Zion with my children years ago and again within the past few years. I might not go back. For me, the lesson in this is to take advantage of opportunities when they come around because there might not be a second chance.

  16. Excellent post Suzanne, reading it makes Allison and I pretty happy that we had the chance to enjoy Zion several times before the “sea change ” that is transforming the place, and not for the better. We have been in our new house for about three months now and have not missed the road. The bus is winterized and in storage, but it remains to be seen what we will do come spring………we shall see. Enjoy your time off the road with your mother and family. Allison and I wish you a Merry Christmas.

  17. After reading a blog post last year about being in Zion IN JANUARY and not being able to park, I knew we were on the glide slope to the end. There are just too many people in the parks. Utah has ruined their good thing with the advertising. We’re still hoping for one more trip to a different park, but Zion and Moab are off the list. I’m glad we have the house now, if it all gets to be too much with the crowds, at least we have somewhere to fall back. I do miss the visual delight of Zion, and I am so happy we got there when we did. As I think about it, there are many places that I say that about. Feliz Navidad, and may your contemplations be fruitful.

  18. I’m sad to see the circle full of people. I agree with you that there are too many people in the “wild”. We started camping at Zion in the late 70’s. We could just drive in and pick a spot in the campground then sign up with the ranger. We are loving the Parks to death. I hope you continue your blog, no matter what your decision. I always enjoy your writing and insight.

  19. I failed to mention in my comment above – you always have a place in San Miguel while here should you need one! I offer your own room and bath, and use of the rest of mi casa and outdoor spaces to you. I’ll give you a key to come and go as you please. If the room is free you are welcome to it. Would love to host you!

    • WOW, Barbara! What an incredibly generous offer! Thank you so much! I am cat-sitting in San Antonio this week (Coon’s Casa de Cocinas.) I know it’s a busy time, but let me know if you would like to meet for coffee or a cocktail. Feliz Navidad!

      • Oh I must have missed something – I didn’t realize you’re here! Cool beans. Yes! I would love getting together for a cocktail. Better yet, why not come to mi casa for one, and jambalaya? Wednesday around 4:30 ish? Sunset on the roof deck and to watch La Parroquia light up?

        Send me your email and I will send you directions. It’s easy peasy – I’m in Mexiquito just two blocks past Fabrica Aurora. This way you can check out where you’d be staying if you ever care to. : ) Feliz Navidad to you as well!

  20. Merry, Merry Christmas my friend. Your pictures and prose are beautiful as usual, and I want to go back there badly! I have friends in St George and they talk about how crowded it’s become, so I understand your question of…..what’s next? The answer will come to you! Safe travels and thank you!

  21. In reading over the comments generated by your post, I’m afraid I may be a lone dissenting voice with my own response. While I cannot disagree that it’s getting really crowded in certain places out there, I am equally convinced that there are plenty of boondocking spots and opportunities to communicate with nature that still remain. The West is HUGE. Maybe it will be a bit more challenging, but there are lots of adventures and beauty still to be explored. And I say this to you even though you seem to have been everywhere.

    In fairness, the centerpiece of your post is Zion and the surrounding area. Zion is one of the 3 most popular national parks. I t will always be crowded. Likewise, ANY boondocking spots in close proximity will also get crowded. You were lucky a few years ago when your friends introduced you to it, that it was then uncrowded. On the otherhand, I’m pretty sure from your description and photos that I know of your spot. And I was there a year ago in November/December. And guess what? Maybe only a camper or two when I was there. But, no doubt. The times they are a’changin. So, rather than doing anything drastic, do your thinking to include new possibilities in new less crowded locations. When I think of boondocking, I certainly don’t think of Natl Park locales. For the same reason I would never attempt to look f or a campsite in a big city. Or ANY city for that matter. At the risk of repeating myself, there’s still plenty of open space in the West. It’s all a matter of what your looking for.

  22. Things are changing drastically, in our 13th year full-time the boon docking spots we enjoyed at times have gone away, but we still keep moving around just because thats what we like to do. I found you blog from Al at the Bayfield Bunch.

  23. I fear we bloggers have contributed to some of our favorite places being overrun. Terry and I have been having some of the same conversations about what the future holds for us. We were considering buying another travel rig, but wonder the wisdom of doing so, given how crowded it is getting out there. Our international travel list is very long so perhaps we should focus on that. One of the reasons we have decided on some housesitting gigs is because we don’t have a travel rig and this gets us to some interesting places to explore. Lots of questions to consider, but unfortunately no answers yet. Hope your time stepping out of the Winnie gives you some inspiration on your next transition. Happy holidays Suzanne!

  24. One of the benefits of being older is that we were able to visit many places before they became overrun with tourists and/or RVers. Key West, Cedar Key, the Bahamas, Zion, Bryce, Glacier and more were special and just far enough out of the way to not be crowded. But no more. We no longer visit popular National Parks because we don’t enjoy being elbow to elbow when trying to be alone. We still find the occasional unique spot, but it is becoming more difficult to do.

    I notice one of the earlier commenter’s attempted to make a political statement out of this, but I truly believe many of the closures are due to pristine locations being ruined by inconsiderate boondockers. It is a shame to be hiking or camping in the wilderness and finding piles of toilet paper and excrement or trash strewn about. It is the people that have no respect for nature or other people that are causing the problems. As someone said, we campers and boondockers are loving the wilderness to death.

  25. Our first visit to Zion was the end of October and we will never return for most of the reasons you mentioned.

    Somehow I see Mexico being more in your future. FYI, that wee studio down the road from me here on the Isla is empty all winter.

  26. Getting away from it all was much easier when I hit the road 20+ years ago. We bloggers must take some responsibility for this over crowding. Lately, I stay home to avoid all the people.

    Planning a lunar eclipse campout Jan 20th at Kofa if you’re interested.

  27. My family obligations have ended and I am on the road once again. It is not quite as care free as when we first met but yet it offers a freedom to staked to a upkeep of a traditional s & b. I agree, it isn’t what it was, but it is what it is. I keep looking forward….
    My current moto is “Life isn’t about finding yourself, It is about creating yourself.”. So that is what I am currently doing. I am living on the edge with my back to the crowds where ever possible and looking forward to make it the best possible. I am spending the winter in Arizona as a Johnny come late to the party. Karen

  28. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Walt Kelly

    Pogo’s observation applies on several levels. RV’ers who dump garbage and party loudly all night? Check. Travelers of all stripes who love to gather up at the most Instagram-worthy sights/sites? Check. A surfeit of RV’ers in general? Check. Our private expectation that we can have paradise all to ourselves in a nation of 330 million? Check. Especially the latter – and it is the only factor over which we have any influence as it affects our RVing pleasure.

    I am puzzled, Suzanne, about the boondocking site outside of Springdale. You refer to it as BLM land, yet the new signs seemingly indicated it is private property. If the latter, the owner’s actions are surely justified. (Or do Federal and private lands share a border at the site?)

    Sorry to learn of Springdale now becoming a cash cow, but it was inevitable – just the expansion of what we have done to the park. Loved it to death. My darling wife and I last visited in spring 2015 and didn’t encounter any problems parking our View in Springdale but timing, sometimes, is everything. And we had a powered site in the NP campground.

  29. Isn’t this explosion in boondocking and exploring, in part, a result of the fine work you do “advertising” your awe inspiring lifestyle? MANY people read this and want to share in your experience, we certainly did. And each of those people may, or man not, share in your knowledge, priorities and values.

    The picture of the old couch told me a story with many options: people who went to “party”, and clearly do not share in our way of loving this place; or people who couldn’t afford a rig, so dragged an abandoned piece of furniture out to sit around a campfire (I see a fire ring of rocks) and revel in stars they can’t see from their home in an overcrowded city center; or a place to sleep by a warm fire because they no longer have a home – city center or not……

    We all need to learn to share, and respect the ways in which others share. Isn’t it lovely we can all share these wonders, wherever we find them, with those who want to share them too? “We” make a community, with all of our diversity, and bloggers are the modern-day educators and advertisers of all these options.

    Clearly you have inspired people to value the spaces you love, wasn’t that your intention?

    We share your love for these places, and are discouraged by the disrespect shown them by some in our community. I personally am horrified at the litter and trash in these sacred places……but, I’m also deeply disturbed by the myriad plastic bags used in grocery stores that end up in the oceans and landfills.

    Suzanne, you have done a fabulous “first” part of your goal in sharing your love of these sacred places. Maybe now the “second” part of your task begins with helping to share a better way of respecting these ancient temples, and hearing how others want to share them with you.

    May your 2019 bring you to new heights in your love of open spaces and may those who share that love with you take you to new and very special places.

    • Hi, Meredith. Thanks so much for your comments. And no, that was not my intention.

      I don’t believe we have met, so just a couple of clarifications, if I may. My blog is a personal blog that I write for two reasons. One, it serves as a medium to share my travels with my immediate family. My very astute 90 year old mother is internet-savvy, and also traveled extensively in her younger days. She loves following the blog as I “virtually” take her places she is not able to go. (On a side note, as a mother who ran a pretty tight ship and prides herself on her child-rearing, she might take exception to your comment that I need to “learn to share.” 😉 And I am pretty sure she would agree with me, regardless of the reason, dumping one’s used couch on public lands is not an acceptable way to “share,” no matter how bright the stars or warm the fire.)

      The second reason is I have a terrible memory, and if I do not write down where I have been, I simply cannot remember where I was this time last year. Whereas I can keep my writings in a Word document and my photos in separate file folders, the blog affords me a place to combine the two.

      I do not “advertise,” nor do I do anything to promote the blog via social media. I have a very small following, mostly friends and family. Ninety percent of the names you see in my comment section are either friends or relatives.

      If you will notice, I do not specify coordinates or directions to any of my boondocking spots, and if they are not already reviewed on freecampsites.net or Campendium, I do not write about them at all. It is my opinion that the explosion in boondocking is due to a “perfect storm.” 1.) The rapidly expanding coverage of the internet, enabling young professionals to telecommute with greater ease, 2.) Wider acceptance and accessibility to tools that allow young families to now home school their children from the road, and 3.) social media sites such as Instagram which allow people to fund their lifestyle either by obtaining “influencer” status (which also contributes to the problem by adding geo-tags,) or vlogs funded on youtube. My personal blog which has been neither advertised nor promoted is, excuse my candor, “a fart in that wind storm.”

      I do not fault others for pursuing the same dreams I have pursued, or even those who have found a way to make a living promoting their lifestye by revealing their own “secret spaces.” They are just as entitled as I am. But that doesn’t stop me from complaining about crowding, encroachment, and lack of respect on my own personal soapbox. 😉

      Happy New Year to you as well,

  30. Damn – It used to be only in Europe that you had to fight for a seat on one of the 20 tour buses and elbow your way in for a spot in front of a thousand strangers struggling to get a glimpse of some famous what-cha-ma-call-it. Yep, Sis you’ve got it all wrong, tone those personal skills, polish up the shuffleboard and domino skills and put on a full apron for the potluck tonight and circle that wagon – don’t be so selfish LOL.

    We travelers are all living on borrowed time. And I’d have to also agree with your friend Babs in her review of Mexico. After backpacking, busing and driving up and down the Panamerican Highway for the past 12 years, it’s the same anywhere you go. More and more people and more and more abuse of the land and more and more disrespect for the land, customs, and historic sites. A vision I can’t get out of my own mind was at the Teotihuacan Ruins in Mexico last year. I was sitting on the sidelines marveling at the place, deep into dreams of what the place must have once looked like and while imagining the commerce and ceremonies that took place there when I saw cresting the wall a group of 3 couples that walked in, all in hipster attire where they set up a tripod and formed a human pyramid in front of the main pyramid of the sun, snapped about 3 photos and quickly departed. All finished with this historic site in about 10 minutes. I know Instragram will love it.

    Still if we can’t succeed in screwing everything up, globalization certainly can. Revisiting Honduras ten years past, last year I was amazed that the absolute center of La Ceiba had turned from a village of culture into a shopping mall with Popeye’s Chicken on one corner, a McDonald’s on the other. Further down the road were a Burger King and a Little Caesars. This was now in the heart of the city as their sole high-class restaurant-row offering which stood as the most luxurious restaurants in town. It was tough on me remembering this was once a place that thrived with the culture of hundreds of unique Mom & Pop eateries.

    A younger man once scorned me while informing me that I was wasting my time traveling. He said that everywhere I wanted to visit had been photographed and videoed and written about and he said I was wasting my time with my need to see as much of the world as possible in person before I die. He went on to say that all of everything in the world existed within electronic access, all at my fingertips. Offended at first, I now see that maybe he was just a little ahead of his time. It won’t be too long before there is actually nothing more than more of us striving to get a glimpse of more of what no longer exists.

    So see the world now, and get that apron pressed … potluck’s at 7 ;-).

  31. Hi Suzanne, Just checking in to see where you have been traveling lately. It’s so sad to hear of your bad experiences lately, especially with the misuse of the BLM areas and park crowds, resulting in closures and restrictions. I also think we have loved our National Parks to death as mentioned. I can only imagine the abuse they have endured during the government closure. Read a horror story about damage at Joshua Tree due to disrespectful visitors. I enjoyed your brother’s post also, loved his dry, cynical and honest humor. I think the the problem is deeper than just over advertising the beautiful parks and advantages of living a nomadic lifestyle. I think the culture has changed, so may people are no longer courteous of others. Many do not cherish quiet time with nature nor their own thoughts. Don described it so well with the young man asking why he travels. Technology has improved our lives in so many ways, but it has so negatively impacted our ability to slow down, experience something with all our senses and treasure those special moments. Those things cannot be placed in a file folder or displayed on FB or Instagram. Keep your spirits up, it is hard especially in these difficult and tragic political times. I worry about our country and the future of the younger generation. Don, see you at the potluck . LOL

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