I’m writing this on the anniversary of the cutting-short of last year’s Road Trip (X), when The Mate and I turned tail and fled home from NC in under a week, driven by our COVID fears.
Five years ago, RT6 also ended abruptly, but only for one of us. I flew back, leaving The Mate to follow in Red Rover at his own pace. No global pandemic fears that time, though. Just a bakery opening.
Holly B’s Bakery has been trading in Love & Butter since 1976, and I’d been working as a baker there since 2011. But in 2016 Holly retired, selling the bakery to my brand-new boss, Stephanie. After receiving her promise that I could make pie (something Holly wasn’t into), I agreed to be there to help out on Opening Day–March 17. Which meant flying home from NC.
So with that in mind, I enjoyed the Half-Trip as wholly as possible. Let’s revisit, shall we?
Starting with our friends the redwoods again…
After visiting with our Oakland cousins, we spent a couple nights camping in Pinnacles National Monument (now it’s officially a Park, I think).
That place is so cool. They have condors too, though we didn’t see any that trip.
Next up, SoCal. Again–I’m skipping over photos of some very dear folks we stayed with and saw down there, to include this photo from the San Bernardino Mts. Turns out Son One, on a rare stint not in the jungle, was working nearby, and met us for a day hike.
Once again we had a date with Intrepid Travel Buddies Tom & Kate, this time in a park new to all of us: Anza-Borrego National Park.
The sun felt good enough to make us appreciate the shade of the palm oases.
We sojourned in Albuquerque again, but only briefly, and my photos were only of friends. A day later, we were meeting more friends, from Dallas–not in Dallas for once, but in Caprock Canyon State Park, which we’d stumbled on the previous year.
Unfortunately our friends hit a deer on their way to join us, totaling their car and shredding their nerves. So we didn’t stay long. But it was a good reminder, once again, not to dump on North Texas for lack of scenery.
As usual we zipped across the lower South…not much in the photo record there. Except for one special place that we’d learned of from fellow road-trippers Eric & Laurel, aka Raven & Chickadee: Oak Mountain State Park outside of Birmingham, Alabama. We fell in love with this place.
When we got to Georgia, we treated ourselves to a special kind of camping trip: Cumberland Island, reachable only by ferry.
Cumberland Island has one of those classically conflicting Southern histories, but today at least, it belongs to the people.
Did I mention the feral horses?
Back at my folks’ farm in Durham, NC for the ACC Tournament once more, we threw ourselves into basketball, of course…
…and also farm life. Not only was Son Two visiting then, but so was my niece, all the way from Texas (I know: something else great about Texas!).
Knowing I was there for a shorter amount of time made me appreciate the visit all the more, I think.
I focused less on the clutter of my childhood home, and more on its distinctness, like the many sculptures made by my very talented German grandmother.
Going home so soon, while spring reins in the upper South?
Wait, why am I leaving again?
So, back in 2021…here’s to health, security, maybe even travel before too long–and don’t forget the love & butter.