You can hear the crickets

We’ve been on the road for a few weeks now, and it’s been pretty good, all told. Some highlights behind the cut.

  • I was able to catch up with some cousins in Montana that I’d not seen in person for something like a decade. They were lovely and kindly let us crash with them for the night while we were passing through.
On a dirt road in Montana, looking out at some mountains in the distance
  • We spent the better part of a week in St Cloud, MN, so I could get some work done (while we were in transit, we drove on weekends and worked during the week). Nice little town.
  • Stopped only briefly in Minneapolis, mostly to swing by a bakery a friend used to work at back in the long-long ago. Still tasty!
  • Picked up some cheese while passing through Wisconsin, as one does. Good stuff, some nice hand-crafted gouda.
  • Opted for the northern route! We cut east across Wisconsin and then drove through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, before crossing into Canada.
Lake Michigan from the Upper Peninsula. Blue skies, dark blue water, and a sandy beach.
  • Ontario was stunning and it was around then that the stress of packing and moving and leaving finally started to melt a little bit. The lack of people and abundance of greenery mean I’d definitely recommend that route in the future.
    • One caveat of course, is that it does mean you end up driving through part of Quebec – while the countryside is still beautiful, the drivers got progressively worse as we got closer to Montreal, and it’s also kind of annoying that all the signs are French-only (the rest of Canada respects having two official languages and puts them in both French and English)
  • We got to my parents’ house and were able to decompress a bit – we got in some nice walks, conversations, and meals while I worked during the week.
The Connecticut River in Vermont, looking east over into New Hampshire. Puffy white clouds, blue sky, reflecting on the water.
  • Finally got around to climbing Mt Cardigan again! That was an annual (at least) mainstay growing up, but I hadn’t been able to make it work on my trips east in years. Mom joined me for the hike, which was also nice and brought back some nice memories.
At tree-line on Mt Cardigan, looking southwest-ish at hills in the distance.
  • Eventually, we packed back up and made our way down to Peterborough, NH, where my cousins are graciously letting us crash at the family homestead for a bit, until our next destination opens up. I’ve been working from the porch during the week, and I don’t get tired of that view.
Looking west-ish in Peterborough. The sun has set, but there's still some golds and reds in the sky, with rolling green hills in the foreground.

It’s really only been in the last week or so that I’ve finally started to feel relaxed and getting into the groove of things. I was carrying a lot of stress with the packing and moving while also working. Also, while I certainly enjoyed getting back on the road, I was still feeling pretty stressed about the budget and timing (hotels are quite a bit more expensive then longer-term lodging, so while I would have liked to take more time to do more of a meandering route east, it wasn’t really feasible). It all left me feeling tense and uncertain. As it stands, though, we finally lined up our destinations for the next few months, and I’m feeling a lot better about it all.