My past is in my future - and it’s a good thing.
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September 21st marked, what would have been, my Dad’s 88th birthday. My Dad was many things: a bootstrap kind of guy who rose from abject hunger and poverty to homeownership and sending his kids to college. He was quiet and steady and full of practical know-how. He taught me to balance a checkbook, to “always save 10%” and to live within my means.
Dad loved the outdoors; in describing him I sometimes called him “Mr. Sierra Club”. I learned to hike with my Dad - day hikes in Hawaii then overnights in the mountains which graduated into multi-day trips in Haleakala and such. My love for the wilds is my Dad’s greatest gift to me, his legacy in me, manifest in the world.
It is fitting that on the day of his birth, I would buy BAM = Baconz Adventure-Mobile. The purchase of this van is the first step in my plans to tour the USA, every National Park, and Europe in my post-retirement era. With 3.5 years to retirement, I will have time to pay for the van and the conversion to BAM.
These plans are the culmination of a lifetime yearning that has taken shape and form in the last few years. The numbers of people who have tried to dissuade me is… stunning - so I no longer talk about it with certain people. My friends who backpack and camp - totally get it.
During my last three summer forays into our National Parks, I accosted nearly every camper-van owner. They tend to be an older group with a willingness to give tours, sharing their stories and tips. I did meet a young family who had converted a short, tangerine school bus - fascinating. A big mahalo to all for the inspiration they provide.
Unbeknownst to me, the military owns private campground peppered across the US. I hear they are wonderful and I have access to them - thanks to the US Army Nurse Corps. Woo-hoo!
In the immediate future, I will complete the conversion from cargo van to BAM; then plan weekend forays to work out the kinks. Then I’ll try longer trips in the US. I have friends in Nashville, Louisiana, and an Aunt in Florida. I’d like to see the fall colors of New England and then ship BAM to Europe for travel the following year. We’ll see how far I get. Stay tuned - Adventure Girl is on the move. Thanks Dad!