PART 1: We Get on the Road
PART 2: Hot Springs, Arkansas
PART 3: Adventures with Starr
PART 4: The Tennessee Loop
PART 5: The Intensive with Starr
PART 6: The Way to North Carolina
PART 7: The NorthEast Loop
PART 8: Washington D.C.

PART 9: Movin' West to Columbus
PART 10: We Cross the Great Plains
PART 11: Montana Adventures

PART 12: Oregon
PART 13: Northern California

PART 14: Central California Adventures
PART 15: Southern California Adventures
PART 16: The Return

Part Sixteen A; The Return, through Sedona

Out of L.A.

Wednesday, we packed and left shortly after noon, driving back into L.A.’s infinite roads of traffic. There are places where I’ve lived for a long time, such as in Florida, where I’ve seen the original roads add side streets, then morph into a city with freeways etc. Somewhere in the back of my mind, however, I still remember when it wasn’t congested and how long on a road, now wider, that I used to travel before a traffic light. I think this while sitting at yet another congested intersection. I wonder who is left in L.A. that remembers what it was like when it was a smaller city, and when all the satellite cities were wilderness. Must be pretty old! I tried to use my imagination to picture a smaller, less traveled L.A. but it wasn’t possible. As we worked our way through one memorial parkway to another one to yet another one, I had plenty of time for thought. But I was more focused on holding the resonance of flow and safety. There were lots of sudden changes made by little fancy cars into our lane in front of the slow monster we were, and I was concerned that we may not have time to brake if need be. I held onto the door, admitting that I was over-reacting but unable to stop. And the memory of the breakdown coming into the city was still strong in my mind. We were heading back into desert, where I always have felt the most uncomfortable. Probably the impact of the “merging lifetime” Lazaris has told me about, I thought. That’s where Daniel and I had met and starved together in the desert when we both escaped from our tribe.

The tension about braking continued until we finally began leaving the greater metropolitan area and suburbs and seeing more and more desert around us. Gradually, we reached the last of the subdivision building and into a section with only subdivision announcements, often with the majestic entrance gate being built. Past San Bernardino and onward towards Barstow, we traveled with a huge community of traffic on a busy highway with nothing but wild desert on either side of us. Where were all these other people going? Into the Mojave like we were? To Las Vegas? Anytime we could break down or something else could go wrong. I began working on this, connecting with my guides and putting energetic protection around the truck and RV.  I had had such a good time in L.A., that maybe I was waiting for “the other shoe to drop?” I stretched my fun cube and breathed out tension.

Finally, we were out of city traffic, the road had lost its many lanes, and we were back in the full expanse of the desert. Slowly, we worked our way to Barstow and there we called Jackie in Las Vegas to see if we would continue there to visit her or turn more easterly. She was not up to any company this evening, so we entered I-40, upon which we would travel upon all the way to Nashville, some 1800 miles away. The highway straightened out and the temperature rose. We were now in the Mohave Desert – flat plains between small barren mountains. We saw a remarkably strong jet stream coming from the ground at the base of the mountains to our north and lifting high over us. At the ground it was almost black but turned white as it ascended. Soon after that, we saw several governmental or military installations. Had we seen the plume of a test plane?

Mohave Desert View


Sunset at Needles

Near the eastern end of California, we came into Needles. The Colorado River flowed through this area, a ribbon of water inside a wide green band winding through sandy hills polka-dotted with small drab green shrubs and small golden patches of dead grass. Soon winter will come and give a little rain to this place and it will green up the sparse vegetation. We won’t be here to see it, I mused, and that’s okay. We exited early, seeing a camping sign at the exit. We pulled into a KOA campground. We laughed how we had refused the KOA 10% discount way back in Georgia, thinking we would never go to enough KOA’s to make it worthwhile for us. And here we were again at one. By now, we would’ve paid for our membership. Oh well! The couple that worked in the office had been here for about 3 months – one of those work-as-you-go situations. They loved it here. We asked where to get gas, because our tank was low. They suggested we get it at any of the next exits before leaving California, as the price was quite higher in Arizona.

The RV Park was hot, dry and dusty with biting flies. Not terribly welcoming. However, by the time the sun began to set, the whole area was colored a beautiful rosy pink. The sand and the surrounding desert turned magical. Daniel and I were drawn out of our trailer by the colors and when we turned to see the sunset, we were delightfully overwhelmed with the rich radiant colors of a gorgeous sunset. Peeping out between deep red and purple clouds were pieces of the clear aquamarine sky. Beautiful! I tried to capture the color contrast with my camera and failed. But it still was awesome nevertheless. Some full-timers came out of their trailer and joined us. Again, there was the camaraderie of strangers enjoying the beauty of this planet together, as we chatted and watched the sky change into darker and duskier shades. They told us that it was still summer here but that only a few hours drive to the east, they’d heard it was much cooler already. That evening, we put up our satellite dish and checked the Internet for Sedona’s weather radar. Surprise! There was the prediction for flash floods in Sedona and through the central-north area of Arizona. Temperatures there were definitely cooler. Yep, the front was just ahead; so this was our very last hot night in the West.

Needles sunset


The Ancestors

Thursday’s morning was hotter after a hot night. The wind baked us as we slowly pulled out of the KOA campground. I was glad that we hadn’t pushed on Wednesday. If we had gone extra hours and arrived in the night at a park further along in Arizona, we may have missed a very special formation of land I remembered was at the entrance to Arizona. Years ago, Daniel and I had traveled by car through a canyon pass and had seen huge rock formations crowning all the buttes. I gestalted these stones to be rows of people and I called them the “Ancestors.” It was a feeling I’d had. At the time, I intended to take pictures of this when we went back through, but the trip took us through this area at night and I missed the Ancestors. Now we were going through what I hoped was the same pass. Eagerly I watched for the buttes. We ended a long plain, turned to the south to go between some bigger mountains, crossed the Colorado River into Arizona, and sure enough, there they were – the Ancestors! I couldn’t get enough pictures of them from the truck as we traveled through. Stopping didn’t work, because when I saw a good picture and said “stop,” by the time we were stopped, the opportunity was gone. And it was way too much trouble backing up a huge 41 foot RV along the curb of the highway!

“The Ancestors”

From the ancestors, we headed back north up to Kingman and there turned east again, still traveling on I-40 through the Mohave Desert (this is a BIG desert!) We had to laugh. There were several signs, offering acreage for sale. I guess if you really want to be in a remote area with absolutely no civilization, here’s the place to move to! Then gradually we entered a high flat plateau with fields of grass interspersed with thick short evergreen trees that resembled cedars. They were stunted, perhaps by the cold and winds. The trees grew close together so that when there was a little rise, you could look over a sea of green and miss all the dead grass entirely. That was pleasant as a change from the barren desert view. As we worked our way into the central northern part of Arizona, the terrain changed again. The hills became larger and more mountainous and there were more tall trees, pines this time. They weren’t dense but arranged nicely so that the scenery looked like the pictures of the Rocky Mountains I’d seen. We were in the southernmost area of the Rockies after all. The sky became more overcast but we felt no rain yet.

Originally we had planned to turn south from Flagstaff to stay overnight in Sedona, twenty miles to the south. But when I called the Sedona campground from about 50 miles west of Flagstaff, the manager told me that there were no more spaces available. Since there were no other RV Parks close to Sedona, we decided to camp in Flagstaff and make our Sedona trip a daytime excursion. The Park was on the northeast side of the city and dark clouds loomed over us as we made camp. Soon it began to get windy, rainy and colder. We huddled inside the RV and listened to the heavy rain and some hail banging overhead and on the windows. Soon it was over and we ventured out into the early evening to do some food shopping at the supermarket we passed down the street. We enjoyed a nice warm dinner and a quiet evening, but once we were in bed, the rain came again. This time it was heavy. I woke up to the loud patter several times during the night.



The morning was moody and cold, but at least it wasn’t raining. We set out in Aylar back along I-40 and made the southern turn onto highway 179. We soon realized that we were totally lucky to have parked in Flagstaff. The road was steep, narrow and curving down through famous Oak Creek Canyon. We figured that it would have been a huge stress and possibly a very high danger to have towed 8 tons of RV through this in the darkening day and rain of the day before. Whew! Saved from that one! So we laughed at our freedom and enjoyed the amazing view.

As we drove down into the canyon and then on the narrow road winding through the bottom of the canyon, we felt tiny compared to the huge rock structures looming above us. With every turn of the road, we came across yet another phenomenally exquisite powerful view of the red rocks, the green shrubby trees, and herbs bearing flowers, all placed photographically perfect, against a moody colorful sky. As we got closer to Sedona, we entered an area where we saw Sedona ahead of us. Standing over the city was a butte and on top of the butte was a configuration of stone that immediately said to me psychically “I am the Acropolis, home of the Gods.” I felt a strong sense of protection and power emanating from those rocks. When we finally arrived at the city, I tried to identify the Acropolis, but now we were seeing the rocks from a different angle and amongst many buttes with imposing rock structures upon them, which was the Acropolis?

“The Acropolis”

We parked near the busiest shopping area of downtown. Parking spaces were dear and we finally settled upon a parking lot for a particular group of stores. The first store we entered was a new-age crystal store, smelling as always of incense. We found there two books on the power spots, vortexes that many “pilgrimaged” to, to experience greater states of reality. I couldn’t make up my mind, which to get, and so in true Libra fashion (Moon and Neptune in Libra) I got both. After that store, we strolled down the street and looked in the windows at all the western, Native American and angel themed stores. Beautiful kachina dolls! But we weren’t into buying anything non-essential (of course, except books for me!) since where would we put it?

It was beginning to rain, so we returned to Aylar and started out towards one of the vortices. Along the way, we saw places for sale, and imagined how high the prices must be here, as a lot of celebrities live here. It was definitely a classy place! New subdivisions were being built away from town at the base of magnificent mountains of rock. As we drew closer to the vortex, I could feel it calling. Both of us felt as if something had shifted within us. A particular huge rock amongst other huge rocks gave me chills. But when we arrived at the park at the base of the rocks, there was a trail we’d have to take way back in the bush to get to it. We realized that we hadn’t taken enough time for this long hike of several miles, and second, that with the rain, it was quite wet and muddy and we hadn’t brought the right shoes for that. So reluctantly, we turned around and headed back. Strangely, we didn’t feel the vortex as strongly at its base as we did further back on the road! Oh well!

So we chose to go for another one, which supposedly was the easiest one to get to. This involved driving up the mountain just to the southeast of Sedona. I wondered, was this the Acropolis? Rocky mountains look so different when viewed from a different angle – it’s easy to get lost. The road wound upwards and was filled with traffic. When we reached the top, we realized why. A public park or viewing area was on the top of the peak and people thronged and milled about, waiting for sunset. We drove past the place towards the airport, hoping to figure out where the vortex was, but didn’t find it. So we came back, parked, and joined the crowd. We could see all of Sedona in the valley below us and the view of the sky was indeed spectacular, as the warm sunset colors reflected off the surrounding mountains. This was indeed a very special place to be. I thought of perhaps living there, but remembered Starr’s warning. So I decided, not!

After the show, we and everyone else left, going back down the mountain. Daniel was annoyed that we had seen so little of this place because it seems to takes forever for me to get up, eat breakfast (Daniel doesn’t do more than an energy shake) and get ready to go anywhere. I empathized with him and silently prayed that my sleep “thing” be resolved so that I could get up earlier and do more during my day. We decided that to really enjoy Sedona the way we’d want to, we will have to come back here and spend a couple of weeks. We could base in Flagstaff and also go see other Arizona sites. The state has so much and we saw so little. Now I know why the magazine “Arizona Highways” can be filled every month with info and pictures from around this colorful and varied state.

The return through Oak Creek Canyon was slow, as we were in an unbroken line of traffic all the way through the narrow winding road going back up. There were no places to pass, so we all had to go at the rate of speed of the slowest ahead of us. I suspected that the slow drivers had a hard time seeing, because it was a challenge for me. We were doing all sorts of hairpin turns on tiny roads in the dark and wet with drops of thousands of feet along the side. We returned to our RV Park where it was cold and rainy. A good weather for snuggling under the covers.

Our recommendations for you if you go to Sedona, and for us, when we return, is to get a tour guide to the vortices and spend some fun time tromping out there to all the places – some are very remote. There are several outfits that do this, and I would’ve called one if we’d had the time. But of course, we wanted to move on, to get to Hot Springs, Nashville, and back home. At a Lazaris workshop, I met one of the “Sedona Private Guides,” Dennis Andres. He gave me his card, but unfortunately I soon lost it on the road and didn’t find it again until we’d returned. Check him out at http://www.sedonaprivateguides.com or call him at 928-204-2201 if you’re planning a trip to Sedona. Meanwhile, here are some pictures…


Part Sixteen B; The Return, to the East and South to Florida

Chasing the Front – Eastward Ho!

Saturday morning, we found on our door the cutest little card you ever saw with a prairie dog standing on burrow waving. Under it was “Goodbye” from the RV Park. I would’ve saved it to show someone, but forgot to and Daniel threw it out. We looked at the weather on the Internet and saw that the cold front/rainy weather system was moving east with us. So we decamped quickly and got onto the road to beat the front to Hot Springs. This leg of the trip now would be the “push” so we could see both Trisha and Starr before they flew away.

We left Flagstaff, still a cold and moody city. Some miles past town, we drove through Petrified Forest on I-40, old Route 66 shadowing us on the right. When I was but a 9-year-old, the whole family (momma, daddy, sister, grandmamma and I) piled into our brand new blue and white Buick and drove from Tennessee to California. We rode old Route 66 through this park. At that time, you could just stop, get out of the car and go exploring. Chunks of petrified wood littered the sides of the road and extended as far as the eye could see. Signs asked us not to take souvenirs so we didn’t, but obviously others did. The roadsides were now stripped bare of anything resembling petrified wood. Yellow alders in fall colors sprayed their color from arroyos or creek beds - we couldn’t see their trunks from the road. Again, the familiar polka dotted sandy hills rose above the scrubby plain. With such a subtle and beautiful palette of colors, I could see why artists are attracted to painting the southwestern desert. Every few miles we’d get another interesting vista with different rock formations. Vegetation changed too. Sometimes there were trees and shrubs, sometimes only scraggly shrubs and grass. The earth seemed to modulate through rolling hills, flat areas and higher places gently.


New Mexico

We drove on into New Mexico. There were more mountains here, but the road grades were smoother than Arizona’s. We saw “trading posts” at every exit, some way for some local poor Indians to make a few bucks. We passed through one Reservation after another. All of them sported encampments of trailers and depressed slummy areas. In an obvious contrast, we would also see nice looking houses. Did these belong to the ones officially listed on the tribal rolls who get income from the casinos? At the Continental Divide, we got off and enjoyed the most interesting big Indian Trading Post (“trading post” – you trade dollars for Indian trinkets) and I bought myself a lovely Indian patterned blanket. Plush and warm polyester fleece works for me, since I’m allergic to wool.

As we passed near Grants, we traveled through “Lavaland.” Piles three to five feet high of dark tarry rocks like coal slags were dumped around in the flat plains or fields beneath the line of mountains that once housed volcanoes. Colors of the rocks varied between blackish to dull gray brown and most had pale green lichen growing on them. I remember my botanical teacher Dave McLean said that the first plant colonists on our planet were lichen, a cross between algae and fungus. So I felt I was observing the remains of an ancient archeological event. Sagebrush grew around and between the rocks. Each pile demonstrated the upheaval of the earth or perhaps the places where lava had hit rocks and splashed about. Everything looked as if it had been broken apart during eruptions. Just as suddenly as we came onto it, Lavaland ended. Now the fields were just flat and grassy. The edges of Lavaland faded into the distance, shaped like contours of ocean tide on a sandy beach. Later, as we approach another group of large hills or small mountains, there was a little more.

Between Grants and Albuquerque, we drove in a flat valley between long, low sand colored mesas with green polka dots (more sagebrush – there’s LOTS of sagebrush out here!) On top of the mesas were “crowns” of rocks in formation. Interspersed here and there on the hillsides were adobe houses. What would it be like to live in such a windy dry place? It had a certain austere charm, and I could see it would be a good place to probably contact ET’s. On a clear crisp night, one could probably see the Milky Way with no trouble!

Albuquerque was having their annual balloon festival the weekend we were driving through, so there were no places to stay in any of the several RV Parks I called. But since my old friend and fellow astrology enthusiast from the late ‘70s, James, wasn’t in town anyway, there was no need to stay. We decided we could use this day to “push” some so we could make it in plenty of time to Hot Springs. So I called RV Parks beyond town. Taken. Full. I kept moving along I-40 on the map, calling more and more remote RV Parks. Finally in Moriarty, 40 miles past the city, Zia Campground had a space. We reserved our space on the phone and the office person said we’d find the directions and map to our registered site at the entrance. Since it was Saturday, we didn’t have to contend with rush hour as we passed through the city around 5:30 to 6:00 p.m., or actually now that we had entered Mountain Daylight Time, it was an hour later by the clock. (MDT is observed in NM but not in AZ which therefore stayed on the clock with California’s PDT).

It turned dark and with a light rain, the going wasn’t entirely easy, but we found the park okay, picked up the map by the office door, and headed through the camp to find our space. It was late and cool, the rain was worse, and the park’s few available pull-through spaces were in a middle aisle of a very dark full-timer park. The space assigned us wasn’t really long enough for Shungo, so we had to park at an angle so everyone could drive by. It was so dark by this time that we had a hard time avoiding hitting something – another trailer, utility pole, landscape shrub or vehicle. Also, since there was no sewer hookup, we’d have to dump in the a.m. We were grateful when we were done and could rest. What a long day!

It was warmer in the morning and very quiet in the park. Whether the full-timers were in church or sleeping in, we didn’t know. Surveying our parking job done in the dark, we saw how close we’d come to several potential accidents. It’s good we have magical help! One full-timer came by to visit and said that he had watched us the previous night with some concern for his car, but was glad to see it worked out. We visited the dump and then headed out of the campground an hour past checkout time without ever meeting any manager or office person. This was the only night of our trip we had no physical in-person meeting with any RV Park personnel. It felt strange.

We took off again in a light drizzle and hoped to pass the frontline of the weather so we could be in drier and warmer weather. The scenery was rather boring for us, looking as it did miles earlier. We played reality games with our heads. Did we actually make any progress? Are we in yesterday? And so forth. So, I felt some need for some entertainment. It’d also help keep me awake. Fortunately, Daniel was having no trouble staying awake while driving since we’d left L.A. He attributed that positive effect to the StemTech product. I didn’t have the same response, however. Daniel had finally gotten our XM satellite radio hooked up, so I felt in the mood to listen to some music other than our CD’s. We ended up listening to and playing between various channels. We could pick popular music from every decade, starting with big band sounds, the 50’s and each decade to today. I had forgotten a lot of the old ‘60’s hippie songs, I thought. But when a Beatles or Jefferson Airplane song came on, I found I remembered the words as if I’d sung along with it just last week. Amazing where that data must be stored in one’s brain to remain fresh for so very long!


Texas Hospitality

We continued to follow the infinite ribbon of road known as I-40 into the Texas panhandle. Big signs proclaimed “Home State of the President of the United States, George Walker Bush.” There were pictures of the president. Many road signs greeted us with the rules and regulations of Texas. This was not a state to fool with, and Texas wanted to make sure you knew it!  Although yesterday we had finally moved into MDT, today we moved into CDT. Losing two hours in two days! Geez!

Now there was pastureland with black cattle grazing on both sides of the road, extending into forever. Funny, most of the cattle in Wisconsin were white with brown splotches (Jerseys?) but here they were dark (Angus?) Texas reeked of cow dung and resinous herbs. Just west of Amarillo, the prairie abruptly ended and farms with crops began. It was in the 50’s and drizzling all day but gradually, we once again passed to the eastern side of the front. We were grateful that it was Sunday, as the traffic was so minor that we didn’t have to slow down much at all. And Amarillo wasn’t a problem. It was still overcast, but the temperature reached into the 70’s by then.

Texas roads were under construction so there were several delays in the middle of nowhere. Several times, our two lanes merged into one and passed to the other side of the highway so that repaving work could be done on our side. Then we did this in reverse as well, on our side. We noticed that there were many poor quality roads in the USA – in general we wouldn’t give the country that good of a rating. So I guess it was good that Texas was at least addressing the poor road issue. Over the roads in Texas were signs HC and other lanes would have HC inside a circle with a slash going through it. As we puzzled over this one, we also saw signs saying “F.M.” over certain lanes.

We stopped at a truck stop for gas and for us to stretch our legs and use the restrooms. In the ladies’ room, I found large sheets of paper attached to the door of each stall and on the walls inviting the reader to “tell us about your trip.” Written in various handwritings were stories and comments from the restroom guests. If I had brought in my purse with a pen, I would’ve added something myself. Guests were standing around reading several of the sheets. Most women wrote about visiting family members, especially a trip by ecstatic grandmothers to welcome a new addition to the family. One signed a very artistic signature with the message that she was heading to California to become famous and her autograph will be valuable one day! What a homey touch!

The weather kept gradually warming up and by the time we arrived at our RV Park for the night, the temperature was 79 degrees! The couple running the park was friendly and explained to us what the HC and FM signs were. “HC” meant “Hazardous Cargo” and indicated the routes to be taken by such through Texas. Vehicles with hazardous cargo have to stay on the route. The F.M. meant “Farm to Market” and indicated the lanes that the produce and animal trucks were to take. Boy, Texas is on top of it! Control! When I asked what the checkout time was, the genial couple said “whenever, we don’t rush anyone.” That was good. Sometimes we had to push to get out in the morning. I was tired from our long drive and looked forward to getting extra rest.

Once past a few trees by the office, the back part of the RV Park was barren, open and vulnerable to gusty wind and rain.  We went as far as possible from the highway and set up as one of a row of mostly motor home coaches. The sites were arranged so that RV’s would pull forward through every other site on one side of the island and the same on the opposite so that every two RV’s front doors would face each other. This would be good for a couple of RV’s traveling together, and was good for meeting one’s neighbors. We were in the last pair on the western end. The couple next to us greeted us and we chatted briefly. They were in their 70’s. He was a musician, semi-retired. Every winter he travels to Tucson and encamps there to play with a group specializing in ‘60’s and ‘70’s music. Back home (they were nearly-local Texans), he mostly played ‘40’s and ‘50’s stuff in a band there. We always enjoyed meeting other travelers – there are so many many nice friendly and interesting people on the road!



By Monday morning, we were the only ones left in the park – all the other eleven had checked out. We headed back onto I-40 towards Oklahoma and Oklahoma City on the straight-line east. The western half of Oklahoma was mostly flat and dry, but there were also areas dotted with stunted trees. Oklahoma City roads were very bumpy and really shook me up badly. I was rattled several times, wondering how the RV could hang onto the hitch through such turbulence. We were grateful that we were going through the city on the Columbus Day weekend when there wasn’t as much congested high-paced traffic, as that always added to the stress of driving. Once through the city however, the roads improved and so did the view of the countryside. We drove through several Indian Reservations. The Creek Nation Reservation’s main turnoff for their tribal community center was named “Slopthloco.” Try saying that fast three times!

Gradually, we saw more hills. The land itself was pushing up more undulations and curves. Trees were no longer stunted. Now they were taller and greener. Some had even begun to turn into their fall colors. We passed cotton fields, some harvested, some in the process and some very white and ripe. They looked like a fresh snow that hadn’t completely covered the ground yet. There was a charming grass by the road that had white tips, which added to the snowy look. So we had definitely made it across the plains and the deserts! We caught glimpses of lakes in the wooded valleys. Eventually, we drove into an area of small wooded mountains. Past the hillier parts, we entered a more level forest and turned off of the interstate at the Checotah exit. Heavily wooded and in the boonies. All this green was such a pleasureful sight for my eyes, tired of dead grass and rocks.

We took a slow turn on a small road through dense forests into the Checotah/Lake Eufaula West KOA Kampground. It was a beautiful place as campgrounds go, spaces tastefully arranged under mature trees and surrounded by forests, gardens, and even a small petting zoo. Our site was in the back (at our request) but next to a couple with two large dogs. I was tired, so I did not feel encouraged to hear the dogs bark to be let out for a walk. All dogs in RV parks (and some don’t allow large dogs or more than two pets) must remain leashed and owners must pickup after them. This is nice, because it’s no fun stepping in dog doo or smelling it in the wind. I needed to move my legs, almost aching from such a long extended sitting/driving stretch. We had decided not to take our usual day or two break after every second or third day but push to Hot Springs. So having a path leading into the woods just behind our trailer was a great invitation for us.

Although the ground was sandy and somewhat dry brush and herbs surrounded the path, this ecosystem was definitely moister. We were getting into the east again. The walk led through a few turns and got moister. Finally, the forests opened to a lake. This must be the Lake Eufaula mentioned in the RV Park Kampground name. The water level at the lake was low, evidence of a dry summer’s end (still that western influence!) so there was a wide beach. The couple from the trailer next door walked their dogs along the beach and where the animals came close enough to water’s edge, left big dog footprints in the sand. I carefully stepped over delicate water-based plants growing precariously at the edge of the moisture and dryness and added my footprints to the beach. The breeze coming across the lake was clean and the weather was absolutely balmy. We enjoyed the place alone after the couple and dogs left, but soon it would be dark and we were also hungry. So we turned back and about halfway through the forest found the couple and the two dogs standing at one of the forks of the path.

They were very friendly and both looked like they needed the stimulation of some people other than each other. We were it, and that was okay with us. We enjoyed meeting the fascinating cross-section of people on the road. So we chatted with them. They introduced us to their unusual breed dogs – the name I cannot recall now, but I had never recalled seeing that breed before. The dogs had very heavy coats and didn’t look comfortable with the humidity and the warmth of the weather. Of course, I was relishing it. Humidity! Even though the humidity was low for Florida, probably less than 50 percent, it still felt great. I’d forgotten how soft it made the air move over my skin. The woman was tipsy and was still holding the evidence – a glass of booze. We stood upwind of them, both cigarette smokers, and enjoyed talking with two who had completely different lives and interests from ours. Hunger drove us to end the conversation, much to their evident disappointment and we walked vigorously back to our RV to begin dinner. Gratefully, the dogs were not a nuisance and I slept okay, considering that my bedroom window stuck out on their side.



The next morning, we continued our push. Today, Tuesday, we headed east into Arkansas. The land became more mountainous and the air humid. We had made it into the eastern half of the country for sure now. Still ahead of the cold front, the temperatures hovered in the 70’s as we drove into the parking lot of the Wild Oats store in Little Rock. This time I looked into the fascinating clothing store next door that featured all cotton original clothing pieces. There was nothing I could get quickly as each piece was unique and required “absorbing” in a sense. Also, the styles made it evident that the clothes were for someone quite a bit younger than my 59-year-old self. Someday I may just have to hang out there for a day and find a charming outfit that could work for me. The store was not a national chain and I would never be able to make a good call on fit from a site on the net. I was sure we would be Little Rock/Hot Springs way again.

We rolled into the Cloud Nine RV Park in Hot Springs to Anna’s great surprise. She had not yet sold the park because the company buying the park was trying to buy too many properties at the same time and didn’t qualify according to their available funds. So the company, supposedly still interested, was looking for loans and such. “Well, we’ll just have to start over and do more this time,” I cheerfully insisted. Anna looked grateful; “I’ll do anything and accept whatever you can do.” I mentally made a note to give her a copy of the Green Candle Ritual before we left.

We got a great space with a terrific view of the valley and the mists. Hot Springs was four months older than when we were here the last time. The youthful exuberance of early summer and the light greens had deepened and a drought had turned some plants dark. Yet there were still glorious patches of goldenrods, so bright that they seemed to glow. I usually make a point of informing people that goldenrods aren’t the plants most people are allergic to, and get a variety of surprised responses. I shared this information with a couple of people at the park and they seemed already to know that. Well good! At least some knowledge about a plant is good. Maybe they can also identify poison ivy?

Gorgeous Glowing Goldenrod

Once in and settled, I called Trisha at her aunt’s house. It was late and we wanted to have dinner and rest, so we made plans to walk together the next day and then eat dinner with Starr and Art afterwards. It was great to get here before the cold front. I was checking the weather predictions every day on the computer and saw that Thursday night would be the coldest one with temperatures in the 30’s. Brrr! But for now, Tuesday evening, the weather was perfect, although a bit overcast.

Wednesday morning, the weather beckoned. We picked Trisha up at her aunt Trisha’s and saw her mom there too. The two women were preparing the house for a fashion show. This entailed moving a lot of stuff into the back rooms so that the front was uncluttered. They also planned to serve refreshments in true southern style, using the family silver. My mom would’ve enjoyed this visit and chat. The walk was great exercise for us since we’d been stuck in our truck and RV driving hard for days. We stretched our legs and breathed deeply. I was already not in as good a shape as in California. Amazing! We climbed up the steep trail to Goat Rock, one of the vortex power points of Hot Springs and enjoyed the fresh air and view of the wooded countryside with the state park nestled amongst the trees beneath us. We were infused with more energy in the area of the vortex itself and got pretty happy and high.

The three of us at the Goat Rock vortex

Then it was time to come down (only physically!). We met Starr and Art at a pseudo-gourmet restaurant just a few doors down from the radio station. That was convenient, because Trisha was to be Starr’s guest on her radio show immediately after the dinner. (Check http://www.outoftimeradio.org to listen to Starr’s broadcasts and also to past shows.) We were almost the only ones in the whole restaurant, which we should’ve noticed as a warning. Although the company was good, the food was unexpectedly poor and the service poorer. Evidently the restaurant had been sold and the new owner didn’t keep it up to prior standards.

Nevertheless, we had animated conversations, and Starr repeatedly pointed out to Trisha that she didn’t shine her light brightly enough – something we all agreed with. Trisha is very bright but seems not to know that. Daniel was in good form and cracked a number of jokes, triggering Starr to respond with “I can see you are going to be trouble in Vieques” (the site of the upcoming intensive he was to have with Starr in November). Starr and Art recommended a hotel where we could experience the hot springs and we discussed all the people, places, and adventures we’d had in common over the previous few months. After dinner, we headed to the radio station and enjoyed chatting there with Ron, who runs the place and also who has a wonderful new age eclectic store there. He has old manuscripts and odd books relating esoterica you wouldn’t know existed unless you saw this! What a place to explore! I spent some time there but didn’t seem to tap the depth of the material available in the books. A lot of strange topics, ET’s, conspiracy theories of various kinds, plus the regular assortment of new age classics and texts line the walls. Inside the store are crystals, hand-dyed fabric items, statues, herbs, and on and on. We also sat around the tables in the back and chatted. As usual, Trisha charmed everyone.

We left as Starr and Trisha headed for the studio. Trisha was to walk home, as her aunt’s place was only two blocks down the street and one block in. So we took her stuff over to the house so Trisha wouldn’t have to carry it. We dropped it off with her aunt and saw a house ready for a fashion show. The clothes were hanging on the racks and the clothes distributors were there discussing the sequence of the evening’s events. I took a quick look at the clothes – I couldn’t resist – but they were all drably colored urban fall-winter clothes – not for me. After saying goodbye to her charming aunt, mother and their friends, we returned to our RV Park. Another satisfying and fun day – how many we’ve had on this trip! With gratitude, I snuggled dreamily in my bed.

Thursday, the front wasn’t quite through yet, although it was cooler and overcast. We went to the Dome around lunchtime and socialized with Starr and all her Divine Intervention team. Zabe (pronounced Zah-bay) a spunky cherubic redhead and Keren the glamorous Israeli were busy packing boxes of material to ship to Vieques. Selena, Starr’s protégé, a tall blond perky mixture of Barbie with the gung-ho attitude of Tom Robbins, was preparing for her trip to Germany to teach. She had just finished teaching a class on reversing aging in which Trisha had participated. Emily, the wise young daughter of Zabe’s, entertained us with her youthful points of view. And Art was his calm, droll self throughout. Starr bounced in and out, in the process of tying up lots of little loose ends while packing for three places (including Vieques for a month!). Her plane was to leave at 5 a.m. from Little Rock, way too early the following morning, for New York’s expo and classes where she was teaching.

When we felt we had interfered and gotten underfoot enough, we said our goodbyes to Starr and Art. Daniel was going to see them soon in Vieques but for me it would be months at least. Then we left for Roy and Nancy’s. If you remember, in an earlier travelogue, Roy Rivers was the singer who performed at Starr’s Sunday service and Nancy his wife was putting together our website. We wanted to discuss the Galexis logo with her and a few other things. They met us at the door, genuinely pleased to see us. Roy had overdone his throat singing in a series of concerts and his voice was raspy and soft. He was recuperating and doing better, but of course he couldn’t book any gigs until he was confident of his voice. Nancy wasn’t feeling well, so we discussed some healing tips with her. After catching up socially with them both, we had a business meeting and got a lot accomplished.


The Front Catches up with Us

The night was cold, bitterly cold. I put every blanket I had on the bed, including the gorgeous new Indian blanket I’d gotten at the Reservation Store in Oklahoma. I was toasty warm, but every movement in the night brought a blast of invasive cold air into my soft downy fortress. Late in the night, my heater suddenly turned on. Now this thing is loud! I was surprised and since I thought I had turned it off before bedtime, wondered how it could be going now. I was loath to crawl out from under my warm blankets but I simply couldn’t sleep through the roar. I went to the heater and turned it further down and it made a little “click.” Oh. That was off. The heater had never come on before so I simply hadn’t needed to truly turn it fully off. That’s how cold this was.

When I finally ventured forth from my warm bed, Daniel was already up and had turned on the other heater unit that heated everything but my bedroom. All I had to do was open the door and voila! Warmth! I dragged myself through breakfast and a shower. Sometimes that takes seemingly forever and Daniel finds it hard to wait. We headed out as soon as we could to the Garvan Woodland Gardens. Run by the University of Arkansas, the place is a botanical beauty with highly landscaped areas, boardwalks, paths that curved around between the lake and the streams, and a natural area with hiking trail. And of course, there was the ever-present gift shop. A plant sale was being held and I noticed that very few species were being sold throughout many vendors’ tables. These were probably the latest and greatest horticultural fad and not natives, I mused. We followed the path with clever, stepping-stone deviations down to and over the streams and lagoons.

A Garvan Woodland Gardens View

While the place was very well kept, neat and pretty, it was lacking a lot of spirit life. Until we got to the natural area and nature trail, I felt the energies here to be somewhat sterile. Even in the natural area, the energy was low. Either that was because of the over-maintenance or disturbance by humans or it could have just been the cold night. Who knows? We missed the trail’s short cut and instead of walking a half-mile, ended up walking a mile and a half. Now we were fearing that we were late for our next stop on our tour. On top of that, we had to go off-trail through the woods (careful! Step around that Poison Ivy and that Poison Oak) to find the service road that led us back to the main entrance.

Hotel Row, Hot Springs, Arkansas


Healing Mineral Baths

We left the Gardens and I found a shortcut on the map from there to the center of Hot Springs, destination the Arlington Hotel at the north end of Hotel Row. We arrived right on time and friendly women escorted me into the women’s section of the baths. Daniel was escorted into the men’s area. I was first shown the locker room and instructed to strip and stash my stuff in a locker, putting the loop with the key around my wrist. Then I was to put on a white terry cloth robe and go to the main room to wait for my attendant. I entered the main room, a 50 foot-long rectangle under a very high ceiling. All through the center, many low-height massage style tables stood parallel. Along one side of the long room were high windows, making the room light and pleasant. Under the windows and all around the room were huge pipes to carry the water of the hot springs in and out of the hotel. Along the window side of the room were individual shower-curtained rooms with the baths. Opposite the bright side of the room were the rinse-off showers, a steam room and the locker rooms. The whole area was extremely noisy with the sounds of loud rushing water, hissing and steaming plumbing, and people shouting to each other to be heard over the mechanical racket.

I sat on one of the tables and watched a few other women reclining on their tables wrapped in white hotel towels. Art had told me that the hot towel wrap was really great and I looked forward to mine. I watched while an attendant wrapped up a woman by looping the very hot and wet towels around her arms, legs and back. She then lay there covered except for her nose, moaning a little sigh of pleasure. Well, she certainly was enjoying it. My attendant came for me and ushered me into one of the individual rooms. Against the wall sat a very large footed tub – an antique that had probably been used here for at least 75 years. The faucets were huge and she had to have strength to start the water coming out. The water pressure was the highest I’d ever seen – a huge steaming hissing stream. It filled up the large tub quickly. The attendant told me that the water was very hot, around 105 degrees unless I wished something a little cooler. Due to my low blood pressure I asked her for the slightly lower temperature, which still nearly scalded me when I tried to step in.

I lay there buoyant in the nourishing and soothing mineral-rich water. People have been coming to this place for almost a century to heal their arthritis and other ailments and I felt part of that procession. Although it was hard to get my head comfortable on the hard back of the tub, I had a great 20 minutes of soaking. The attendant came in periodically to heat the water back up. My body (except for my head) felt nurtured, light, comfortable and free in the water. Then she showed up and helped me into my robe and offered me either a sauna or a steam room. I chose sauna but it was very dry in there and I didn’t want to stay too long in the heady heat. Then she helped me onto one of the tables and partially disrobed me while whipping the hot wet towels artfully around my naked body until I was covered from head to toe except for my nose, like the others. She gently laid a cool cloth on my forehead. The contrast of temperature was very soothing and I drifted off, despite the background noise.

Finally it was time for my rinse off shower. Jets of warm water spray out from about 8 to 10 different points around the stall, so that you can just stand there arms outstretched and get totally rinsed without having to do the shower dance to cover everything. This is a dream shower! It goes in the category of “when I get rich and have a great place that is fixed up exactly the way I want it, I’ll put this shower in there.” Then it was time to head back to the locker room, re-clothe myself and tip the attendant.

When I found Daniel, he was feeling pretty good too. The attendant in his baths asked him where he’d like the hot towels put and when Daniel mentioned his shoulders and elbows and knees, only got hot towels put there. His arms, strained from all the driving with the heavy RV in tow, felt much better. Now maybe it’ll hold up well for the rest of the trip. We left the hotel, got our truck from the valet, who had found it quite a challenge to park in the very small spaces of the parking garage, and headed for the Dome. Starr was gone on her trip, but Art was still there, wrapping up Vieques details. I got to say goodbye to the dogs again, who were in a sad mood because Starr left. (They got morose even before the travel suitcases came out of the closets. They just know, you know.) The three of us reprised a fond scenario and went over to Rolando’s for dinner and had the tilapia. Yum! We also got pleasantly soused on margaritas, just about my favorite hard liquor drink. This was a celebration and I felt good, although liquor is bad for my low blood sugar stability and I did feel extra tingling by bedtime. But occasionally, I just gotta have an escape/celebration of some sort.


Meeman-Shelby Revisited

After another cold night but nowhere near as frigid, we got up and decamped. The weather was moody, overcast and cool as we headed east, still on I-40. In the eastern part of Arkansas, we re-entered the vast Mississippi flood plain. The land was much flatter and there were many farms there. Fields were on fire here and there, just as they were in Oregon near Holly’s. It got worse as we came closer to the Mississippi River, but as soon as we crossed into Memphis, the smoky haze lightened. We drove north of Memphis, remembering our way from our trip back in June, and found the Meeman-Shelby State Forest.

This time, it was Saturday and the busiest day for parks, so we didn’t have the vast selection of parking spaces we had before. We tooled around the three circles of spaces until we found one that looked big enough and fairly level. There was no place to get away from fires and TV’s playing a football game loudly. Holding beer cans, men of all ages sat around the fires and whooped at the TV’s over every touchdown or big play. In one area, a Unicycle club was meeting. Four or five unicyclists were pedaling around one of the circles. “What a zoo!” I laughed. I didn’t resent keeping our windows closed to keep out the smoke. It was pretty cold and damp too. The night was eventful. Quite a few people didn’t sleep; others came and went partying through the night. Dogs barked and in general, the park was mayhem. When we had camped here before, it was quiet, serene, warm, and the air delightfully fresh. Yet, despite everything, I got enough sleep.

Meeman-Shelby woodsy view

In the morning, we hiked one of the trails that went up and down a small mountain in the woods. Roots of big trees demarcated the “stairs” and we heard rushing streams down beneath us. Pleasantly expended and breathing strongly, we felt fully stretched and exercised at the end of the vigorous two-mile loop. On to Nashville we went, noticing how the trees were turning into the beautiful colors of fall. Unfortunately, it was heavily overcast, so I couldn’t get any rich color in my pictures. Periodically, we went through small cells of light rain. I thought several times of how unpleasant to me cold, dark, wet and windy weather was and how that really cinched it to live in a sunny warm place like Florida. Was I going to be able to find a place to live that is warm enough for me outside of Florida?


Nashville, the Last Time

It sprinkled as we set up camp in Nashville at the Jellystone Park where we’d stayed before in June – the one mother had visited and where she had gotten to see the RV and appreciate our adventure. Strange, how she isn’t here anymore, I thought. Night was settling in, way too early for me. It had been gloomy all day. I called my second cousin Steve, “We’re here!” Originally, he had wanted to come where we were and then to go to dinner together, but now he said “come on over.” So we piled back into Aylar and headed through the clearing rain to his apartment in the Antioch area of Nashville. Steve was my mother’s first cousin Lena’s younger son. Lena had been moved into a nursing home in Mississippi near her older son Robert. The loss of Lena had been hard for Virginia. Both Steve and I acknowledged that, and knew that it probably contributed to her depression and eventual death. Lena was actually doing better and being her usual feisty self, so it had been a good move for her. But now there were no more kin in Tennessee beside Steve. Even though he was a bit sad about this, he was doing well otherwise. He had a good job, a nice apartment, and was more content than he’d been in a long time. We suspected that it may be a very very long time, if ever, before we saw each other again, since he had no reason to go to Florida and I had no more reason to go to Tennessee. It was a bittersweet ending.

The next morning, we decamped in a very cold drizzle with occasional heavier bursts of rain. My hands were numb with the cold. The ground was soaked, so I put on my mud boots, purchased in Eugene, and my LL Bean Raincoat with hood and was pretty dry everywhere but my hands and my pants in the thigh area under the raincoat. I’ll have to get a longer one in the future that goes lower than my knees. We were both pretty aggravated by the greater difficulty of working outside in these conditions, but by the time we arrived at the Towers where my mother had lived, the rain was over and the temperature increasing.

Maybe we had expended our struggle energy. We expanded our fun cubes again before we went inside the Towers, so the pickup of the chest went smoothly. Everyone we needed to coordinate with was there. We found the chest, got it onto the dolly and down to the RV. It was a heavy piece of furniture, so we took out the drawers. It fit perfectly inside the door of the RV, the top slipping under the kitchen counter just so. Whew! The only other option would have been to wrap it in plastic and tie it down in the truck bed on top of the tool chest. So we saved a lot of time having it work like a charm. Yay!

When it was loaded, we went up to the 17th floor where Virginia and David Lockmiller had lived. The door still had the tag “Lockmiller”, but I couldn’t get it out as a souvenir. I knocked on the door across the hall. Russell Driver lived there. He was the one who had alerted everyone when he noticed that Virginia hadn’t picked up her paper. When the security team unlocked the door, they found my mother Virginia unconscious on the floor. I wanted Russell to know that I appreciated what he had done for my sister and me. After all, if he hadn’t noticed, she would’ve died there and I never would have gotten the chance to say goodbye.

Russell answered the door and when I explained who I was, invited us in. We sat in his small living room, filled with old family furniture no doubt. His wife was in the nursing home next door and not expected to live much longer. Jean told me later that she thought he would have been interested in mother after his wife died, but of course, his fondness for Virginia was never to go anywhere further. He was genuinely sad over her passing and his eyes were moist. He wanted us to stay of course, but we had a long road ahead of us. And so after about a half hour, we left the Towers, never to return. How many visits I paid to my mother here! How many things we did, people we talked to, and cafeteria meals we shared! I was thankful that she didn’t have to spend a long time in the health wing, the Alzheimer’s unit, or the nursing home. She was so full of life and those areas were so sad for her, filled with loss of consciousness and death.


The Rake

We had finished the eastward drive. To go further east from Nashville on I-40 for another 30 miles would have taken us to Lebanon Tennessee, my childhood home. But there was nothing there for me anymore. All my old friends had either moved away, died, or we had mutually lost interest in each other. Daniel and I turned towards the south now, returning to Florida. I smiled as I thought about how visiting one’s parents was “going home.” There was no parent left to visit. Was Florida home now? Somehow it didn’t quite feel like it. Where would we end up? There was no answer.

I-26 headed southeast this time, towards Chattanooga. It was cold, dark, windy and raining. Yes, my “favorite” weather – again. When it was like this, I was tense because I knew it was far trickier driving for Daniel. He kept a good distance between us and the vehicle in front of us, but I still sweated when a car or truck darted in front of us or we were driving past an entry ramp with others coming onto the highway at full speed. We went up and down mountains and across the great plateau of Eastern Tennessee where Sewanee, home of the University of the South, was located. As a teen, I spent several wonderful summers at music camp there enjoying the incredible beauty of the land and spelunking the great caves. We saw the colors turning on the trees, a reminder that winter was coming here.

Fall colors on a moody overcast day

Just before Chattanooga, a small truck pulled off the side curb in front of us pulling a yard maintenance trailer and an attached motorcycle trailer on the back of that. Daniel slowed down. Suddenly, a rake slid out of the yard maintenance trailer and fell in front of us. Bang – bang! We went over the rake. Daniel put on the brake and honked very loudly and repeatedly until the truck and attachments pulled over. We pulled in front of them. Daniel went back to tell them that they had lost a rake or something. They were very concerned about the motorcycle so they were relieved it was just the rake. I was nervous. Did that rake do more damage to the underneath of the truck or RV? How were the tires? I got out and looked, although I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. The tires were holding okay, but how long would it be before they would be flat if the rake had punctured anything? I leaned over and looked underneath. It looked the same to me.

Presently Daniel returned and did the same thing. There wasn’t anything we could do but continue, so we did. As Daniel got back up to speed, he put on the cruise control as usual, but it didn’t come on. He turned it off and back on a few times. No luck. Oh dear. Now was he going to have to push the pedal with his foot the whole drive back? That would be quite a strain. Eventually, in the driving rain, we saw a rest area, pulled over and got out. The weather was bitterly cold and the wind-driven rain stung us like little tiny bullets. Daniel put up the hood and we checked to see if any of the wires connecting the fuses had come loose. But we simply could not figure out which fuse serviced the cruise control. I read all the very tiny print there and found no clue. Frustrated, we walked around Aylar and Shungo and checked the tires again. They were good. I got in. Daniel did something that produced a “clunk” and then he got in too. We both realized that we had been having some ease and safety on the way home, so maybe it was time to expand our fun cubes. I stretched mine way up and sideways and front-back. It had been tight, again, already.

We pulled back onto the road and suddenly, the cruise control worked again. Yes! Thank you guides! We drove on for another few miles and then suddenly the engine symbol lit up on the control panel. This indicated something wrong with the engine. Oh no, not more! Daniel reminded me that this might actually not be very important, as it had come up twice before because of some little silly insignificant thing. There was no way to troubleshoot this kind of thing on one’s own. We’d have to take the truck to a shop and have it go through the computer diagnostic test to find out what the light was supposedly telling us. I mulled over this for quite a few miles into Georgia. Should we stop in a larger city, say Atlanta and then go get the test done the next day? It would postpone our return a day, and neither of us wanted this. Then we both silently, independently, talked psychically with Aylar. Are you all right? Can you make it okay to south Florida? I got a “yes” on this and so did Daniel. We laughed as we both started sharing at the same moment what we’d discussed with Aylar. Boy, are we on the same page! Like we had done in the Northwest, we promised Aylar a good rejuvenating trip to the repair shop to find out about this problem and fix it once we returned.


More Weather Stuff – Florida at Last!

It rained off and on and the highway was dark and gloomy. It was drizzling and almost night by the time we made it to the Brookwood RV Park in Marietta (in the northern suburbs of Atlanta). Everything was wet and we negotiated a back-in spot through several puddles. I of course was wearing my mud boots. We were nestled in front of some tall pines, but only a few feet past the pines, there was a sheer drop-off of perhaps 50 feet down to a used car lot and repair shop below. Since my bedroom was in the back and almost into the pines, I jumped as I heard a loudspeaker calling out over the lot. I groaned about the possibility of waking up early to this, but I was so tired, I would “think about that tomorrow,” as the character Scarlett in Gone With The Wind used to say. I guess Scarlett came on my mind since the famous book was written in Atlanta and the movie opened there. We were in the South for sure.

I heard loud dripping (more like banging, actually) on the roof of the RV from many feet up. Despite the off and on rain hammering, I got enough sleep between the rain segments. We looked at weather.com the next morning to see where the front was. Now it looked like some huge and dangerous weather was sweeping our way. Would we make it driving through the storm okay? Maybe we should stay another night for it to blow over? Or maybe we could find a space between the heavy places to drive through? It looked as if we could miss a lot of the storm if we left really soon, so I rushed the best I could through breakfast and my shower and we broke camp, me again with my fave mud boots on. It was chilly and wet, so we jumped in the truck as soon as we could and headed back onto the road. It rained all the way through downtown Atlanta and I spent a lot of time gripping the door and pressing my imaginary brake pedal with my foot. I still was unable to trust that we had the space to brake adequately should a car slip in front of us too closely.

Once out of Atlanta, I breathed much easier. Distances between vehicles could be maintained. I had been reprogramming myself the whole time to claim the positive scenario here and that I was safe. It was good to take a state break from that concentration. At times it sprinkled and at other times there was virtually no rain. Occasionally we slogged through a downpour, but nothing that seemed to be a huge system with potential tornadoes. We were spared, but it took a while to realize this since we didn’t have access to the radar pictures on the internet and it could be imagined that the quieter periods were just a break in the storm. As we drove south, we watched the outside temperature rise. From the upper 50’s, it gradually climbed until we entered Florida at 82 degrees and the roads were dry. At this point, we knew that we had slipped south of the big weather system and were out of the potential storm. We stopped for gas and I got out. Eureka! It was shorts weather again! I was going to thaw out! The warmth felt wonderful to me as I stretched my legs.

Although it was an extra long haul, we decided to stay at the same RV Park where we had stopped the very first night on the road back in May, High Springs Campground. We were given a pretty good space, but there were too many trees and no wifi, so we would not have Internet here. Since there was no checking on the weather, we took a nice long walk after dinner into the woods along a very dark neighborhood road. The air was fresh and clean, smelling of pines and sweet recently cut grass. Good ‘ol Florida smells. This felt so good that we resolved to walk the same route again in the morning, this time seeing the details we missed in the evening.


Luxuriating in Orlando

The morning was quiet and leisurely. We could relax some today because we were not going far, only to the north side of Orlando. This was an easy two-hour trip. No more long hauls – yay! It was a great break and relief after all the intense pace of the previous weeks. We turned off the interstate near Gainesville because a huge billboard advertised Ecco Shoes. I’d been wearing my Ecco sandals every single day and felt they were the most comfortable sandals I’d ever worn. Plus they could be worn with or without socks, a sterling quality I thought! But we spent a fruitless 45 minutes in extremely heavy traffic (don’t move to Gainesville!) trying to find the strip mall where the store was located. Finally when we reached the store, the owner didn’t have the sandals. Upon returning to the RV, the mall security gal was there, telling us we couldn’t park there in the nearly abandoned parking lot but somewhere on the other side of the mall way in the back. I laughed, “we’re leaving now, and we’ll never be back!” She looked distressed. Maybe she thought the mall had just lost great business from us. So I told her we weren’t from the area and this was a one-time only stop. She still looked distressed. Oh well. Now she has to deal with that I guess.

Orlando was jammed too. This was a sleepy town when I visited it many (and I mean many!) years ago before Disney. Now it had grown so fast that no roads were capable of handling the traffic increases. So we crept along here and there and found a little freeway extension to take, then a long stretch through a rural town that was becoming a city, awkwardly. New and old were juxtaposed in haphazard fashion along the road. The local codes must be a mess!

We found our RV Park along a railroad track. Thankfully, the Park manager assured us, the train only ran down it once or twice a day during the day. We parked in an area without any trees and with the sun baking heat down on us. Yes, we were certainly back in Florida – land of sunshine and heat. There would be no blankets tonight! What a contrast from the previous months of shade or cool or cold! We put on the A.C. right away and called our friend Ron who lived in Lake Mary. This was to be a fun evening with a dear friend of ours.

Traffic in Orlando is simply overwhelming. The roads in this sprawling metropolis can’t seem to get built fast enough or repaired often enough. Traffic on the interstate was dense and erratic, so we were glad we were in Aylar and not towing the Great White. We made all the turns, Daniel having remembered them from the previous visits. Ron lived in an exclusive subdivision that had been built way way far away, at the time. But now, it had become an “older” neighborhood within many more miles of developments. The advantage of his subdivision was that it had been built around a nature preserve and that in the center of it was a huge golf course. So there were lots of green spaces to balance all the various terra cotta and white shades of huge Mediterranean-style houses. The air was amazingly fresh. Ron told us that foxes and uncommon (to suburbia) birds continued to be sighted on the property.

Ron’s place resembles the traditional Magician’s Lair, which it is in actuality. Originally, a nuclear physicist, Ron’s interests are eclectic and there are always several research projects going on simultaneously in various places around the house, usually the kitchen counter. I could spend several hours exploring all the little bottles and bags and powders that comprised elements of his nutritional research. Ron has created a line of nutritional products, MMP Products, designed to alkalize the lymph system, which then renders it non-toxic. Our lymph system can be the most vulnerable system of our bodies and many tumors originate in lymph tissue throughout the body. If the lymph’s capacity to detoxify the cells is diminished, our immune system cannot function properly to protect us. Cancer and other “baddies” such as staph and ecoli do not tend to grow in an alkaline environment, so the concept and the products are sound. Check out his products on his website; http://restoringnature.com/index.html. Also, see the additional information he provides about health. Really great stuff!

Not only that, but Ron has developed a structured water making system called the Volixer. Structured water is important to longevity enthusiasts, as it is water that can truly be assimilated. It relieves the dehydration that is the curse of our culture with poor quality water sources. You can make the high-powered water yourself in your own kitchen with a blender using Ron’s charging capsules. See pictures of this and read about it at http://www.life-enthusiast.com/product/minerals/volixer.htm. Volixer water can truly wake up your brain. It can freshen your nervous system and with the addition of mineral solutions can provide your body with truly high-absorbable nutrition, better than pills. As Ron says wisely, “the future of nutrition is in liquids, not pills.” Daniel and I had been using his products for some time ourselves, so we were already familiar with their impact.

This time Ron, with a twinkle in his eye, invited us to spend some time with him in his “Volcuzzi,” a Jacuzzi with Volixer water. He has a pool in his back yard and the entrance part of the pool system is a spa section. Along with his pool pump, he also has a water heater, so hot water comes into the spa section and heats it up well. From there, the warmer water overflows into the rest of the pool, which hovers in the mid 70-degree range. He does not use chlorine in the pool but the mineral combination that keeps pools clean and also mineralized. All the water was Volixered and when we sat in it, there was a definite rush in our psyches. Ron says that one’s aura automatically expands to twice its size when sitting in this water. Aches and pains vanish.

In fact, he was excited to report that by dipping one’s face into the water, the skin layers of the face would re-hydrate. Wrinkles would disappear. And if we opened our eyes under water, it would re-hydrate the muscles and tissues around the eyeballs that also get dry as one ages. Ron said that he prepared a special Volixer based “dip” for his face and eyes so he wouldn’t have to go sit in the spa every time he wanted to work with them. By using the “dip” and doing the Bates Eye Exercises, he no longer wore trifocals. In fact, he no longer needed eyeglasses at all! That’s right! I had not seen him put glasses on a single time we had been with him as he read tiny print and everything! We were absolutely amazed! And now we understood why Ron was looking younger than when we had seen him last. We decided that we would definitely try out the “dip” ourselves and see how our eyes and face responded. If you feel inclined to explore this for your youthing process, de-wrinkling and re-visioning, contact Ron with the info available on his website or at his home-office e-mail address: roncusson@earthlink.net.

We sat in the water and felt giddy from the inherent joy vibration of the water. We chatted about metaphysical and health topics, and we shared some of the adventures of our trip with him. He had lived in California and we compared the two states. Meanwhile, we frequently dipped our faces into the water. After a little over a half hour, we were starting to get hungry. I was amazed that I had sat in hot water for this amount of time and had not become “pruny” like usual. And the greater surprise greeted me when I looked into the mirror back in his bathroom as I changed clothes and showered – I had no wrinkles! Even my ancient acne scars were reduced. I definitely looked younger. And after having rolled my eyes around in the water for a while, I could say that my eyes felt moist and my vision was a little clearer. Hey, this was cool!  Both Ron and Daniel looked younger too. Even an old injury that had made Ron limp was almost gone. He walked normally. Ron said that the no-wrinkle effect would last about two days unless I kept re-dipping.

As soon as the three of us were put back together, we headed out in caravan to our traditional restaurant eatery – Sweet Tomatoes. There, we continued discussing esoteric and metaphysical ideas as well as personal experiences and processes. Another magician dinner. Another magical night. And no wrinkles! How does it get better than this? If anyone is going to find the secret to longevity and immortality in the physical body, it will probably be Ron! We returned to our well air-conditioned trailer and packed away our blankets. Another advantage of the Volcuzzi is that after such a healing experience, sleep is restful and deep.


The Last Day

A hot morning greeted us. We were back to wearing shorts. All right, here it was, our last day on the road, October 19th. We had mixed feelings as we headed south from Orlando. On one hand, we looked forward to being warm and seeing our friends. But on the other, we loved the ever-unfolding adventure of life on the road. We both already knew we would miss that a lot. It was the amount of missing it that surprised me. Who would ever have thought that I could have spent 5 months happily living in a 400 square foot trailer with Daniel? And who could have suspected that the two of us were enjoying and loving each other more than ever in our 25 years of married life? And who would have thought that after 5 months of being away from stability that I would look forward to more traveling! But there it was – obviously calling us both.

Yes, there were things I was looking forward to back in South Florida. The warmth, of course, and especially my friends. But more than that – maybe worse than that - I was dreading returning home where there were piles of mail to sort through, and still unsorted stuff from the move. Was I going to end up chained to my desk trying to work through backlogs of micro-decisions? Ugh! And what about all those unfinished projects still waiting to be done? Then, there were a lot of details to attend to in the coming week so that Daniel could get off to Vieques (the “Dimensional Mastery” Intensive with Starr Fuentes) for the whole month of November. I was dreading all the extra work I had to do in November –not just all the extra Galexis channeling hours to put in, but all the paperwork Daniel had done. He was going to have to train me to use the computer programs so that I could do all the credit card charging and label printing, etc.

We discussed our trip as we continued south from Orlando on the turnpike. This is a very boring section of inland Florida – wide grassy savannahs and groupings of cypress domes (rounded clusters of cypress trees with the center trees –the oldest ones – being taller than the young ones at the edge). It was hot now – warmer than we were used to. Sweat! Humidity! Wow, I’d forgotten how that felt. Now I know why people resist Florida. Was I going to re-acclimate okay? Were we going to want to stay in Florida, or move anywhere we’d seen on our trip? We came up with no conclusive answers, but a general feeling that maybe we would stay in Florida during the winter and somewhere on the west coast – or would we? We resolved to travel again in 2007, or until the question is answered.

Daniel was glad to be getting back. His shoulders and arms had taken a beating through the approximately 17,000 miles of driving Aylar and Shungo. Holding the wheel steady with tons of trailer moving behind him had forced his arms to brace for long stretches of time. He was also looking forward to the adventure of living on the beach in a beach house and getting to swim in the ocean every day, while exploring spiritual topics. I was jealous of him – not for the intensive per se but for the freedom from mundane work, like desk/computer/paperwork, cooking and cleaning. (There’s my Sagittarius acting up again! No placid domestic am I!)

We entered Broward County, our county, driving between one new bland pseudo-Mediterranean-architecture-based subdivision after another. Yep, it’s Florida, and especially Broward. Our county had made it onto the Sierra Club’s top 10 of “Worst Suburban Sprawl in the USA” counties. It was so bad that leaders in other Florida counties were considering legislation and restrictions to growth so that their counties would not become “Browardized!” We turned off the turnpike onto Sunrise Boulevard, our exit. Now we were on the last small leg, traveling west the few miles to our place in Plantation. We were back into city traffic, noise and pollution. From this, there would be no escape for a while. As we started into the main big S-curve of Sunrise, I saw an RV go by the other way. I wanted to say, “Turn around! Let’s get back on the road!” I amazed myself. I had had a lot of wanderlust as a young twenty-something but like many other young people who wanted to travel, I didn’t have any money. Nor did I have enough life experience to know what I was doing. Now that I finally had responded to that call to take to the road, I knew why so many people we met back in the spring raved about the lifestyle. And why I will do it again in a heartbeat!

We pulled into our parking lot. There sat our car and our small truck, waiting for us. The condo was just a little hot, as our housekeeper had turned off the A.C. for some reason when she’d come by to check on things. She’d evidently done a lot of cleaning, as a welcome back present, for the apartment was neat and spotless. Sweating and working fast, we unloaded everything from the RV pretty much by dinnertime. Now the apartment was jammed with our stuff and we were inside closed walls again. I slept in my own bed that night and surprisingly, it wasn’t as comfortable as the RV bed! The annoying upstairs condo toilet that had leaked periodically before we left was flowing full time now, filling the apartment with the sounds of hissing and running water. No one was home up there. I laughed to myself as I put in my earplug – “here I go again!”


Year-end Epilogue

Here’s where I can say something pithy and meaningful, perhaps a deep profound sharing. Sorry. No great philosophical concept comes to mind. All I can say is; I had a great time, learned a lot, laughed a lot, healed a lot, and experienced new levels of freedom and personal power. My physical journey was reflected in my spiritual journey (and vice versa) so I returned home older and wiser in Spirit, and more joyful and childlike in Soul. When we returned home, there was no mother to call. Maybe mothers are the only ones who can be fascinated with anything and everything you do, even if they have their own judgments and reactions to it. My mother always had enthusiasm and interest. Maybe that was why she lived to be 95. On occasion, I still want to call my mom, to share with her all the little stuff of my life and I have to remind myself that she’s gone. There is a "hole" in my life, a missing piece – the one person who's been with me from the very beginning. I know that I will live with that "hole" until I die.

Now that it's been over 3 months, almost 4 now since my mother died (although only a couple of weeks since Daniel’s mother has passed), the loss is finally sinking in. It’s the holidays when a missing person is noticed perhaps the most. Because of my mother’s strong Christian orientation, Christmas was all about buying little presents for her and wrapping them with glitter and sparkle (for her Leo side). Then little notes on the presents had silly sayings or mysterious questions that would be answered upon opening the present. This was one way to celebrate her and she appreciated this so much. This ritual was strangely absent this year. The spirit of the season just wasn’t the same. Even the memory of childhood Christmases is gone, along with my mother. Now I celebrate the Solstice and the re-awakening of the Light, shifting the attention from the 25th to the 21st. It’s more what and who I am now.

Without our mothers, there’s no one to take that personal interest in us. And with no children, there is no one who cares what we did as of next year. There’ll be no scrapbook for the grandkids. We must take on our new identities as parentless and childless adults, be in our authority, and discover how to live our lives freely as mature magicians. After all, I have realized, my mother was the only one for whom I diminished myself and to whom I gave the power of value (and life orientation) for me. Now, stepping into my own authority, I must decide just what is valuable or meaningful from moment to moment. As Galexis told us, 2006 was the year that the new reality, the one we all had been waiting for, “seeped” in. Daniel and I felt it, deeply. Now we anticipate a greater and more joyous future ahead as we bring the pieces of that new reality into integration into our lives. It’s time to become who we came here to be and to do our Missions. When our lives are over, we’ll visit with our moms on the other side and laugh about all the games and facades we played according to our scripts (karma/choices/Destiny). Okay, maybe that was pithy and meaningful? It is what I can share.

And the journey continues. Since we have not found the place(s) where we wish to settle, we will hit the road again in 2007.  Galexis suggested that our journey may not complete itself before the end of that year. Maybe we’ll find that life is the journey and home is but a sense of place held within us. Maybe the journey is through an illusion as we return Home to God/Goddess/All That Is, and we’ll find that the physical home has less consequence than we thought. Whatever it will be, we’ll live in the questions for now.

I have enjoyed sharing with you my adventures on the road. Your responses have been fun to receive, and I hope you have had a pleasant vicarious experience with me. I wish you well upon your ongoing journey, wherever life may take you.