We’re home!

On our 366th day of travel, we returned home to Dallas. We’ve completed the loop around the perimeter of the United States that was our Year on the Edges of America.

In answer to the question posed by the fabulous board game our grandkids made for us in Arizona for Christmas: Yes, we can make it home.

It’s a joyous occasion. We pulled into our Dallas driveway at noon and were greeted by the same four Very Special People who saw us off exactly one year ago today from this very spot.

Here’s a short video of our return today, courtesy of Keith (who provided the video for our inaugural “We’re Off” post last March). That’s Mary Beth on the right in the video, holding the Welcome Home banner her grandkids made for us.

As you can see, Mom and I were pretty excited.

Georges and I were feeling a weird combination of relieved, happy, excited – and a touch melancholy that the whole adventure is over.

Beloved House-sitters Bonnie and Sam, as always, were gems. Bonnie provided the lovely table setting, decorations and champagne mimosas. Sam provided the ball and grin.

It’s been a long year. Seems like centuries ago that the power-tripping Canadian border agent with an attitude hated us so.

It’s also been a short year. Feels like it was just yesterday that we learned to make gaufres liegeoises (Belgian waffles) from the master in Canada … biked with headlamps through the dark forest to the Northern Sky Theater at Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin … hiked out to furthest-west point in the Lower 48 (Cape Alava in Washington State) … and so much more….

Can it really already be gone? Was it all a dream?

We’re home now, tucked warmly in with friends and family. With lots of unpacking and laundry to do, mail to open, business to catch up to….

We’ve also Aspirations to review, mileage to calculate (who among our blog readers will win this contest?), expenses to tally and final reflections to conjure.

We’ll share these things in a few final blog posts in the days to come. Please stay tuned.

This isn’t good bye. Not yet.

(And just for fun, here’s a short video sure to make you smile of Mary Beth’s grandkids making a special banner yesterday for our return.)

31 thoughts on “We’re home!

  1. Kevin,

    Tony Davis just sent me a piece from 1993 in the Republic in which you analyzed the then new
    Water Replenishment District– and predicted that we would eventually be back to correct the
    deficiencies. Well that day has arrived, I am still in the Arizona water scrum– I loved reading about travels with Kevin and hope this finds you both having fun and doing well— Bruce Babbitt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, how wonderful to hear from you! I’m glad you are staying on top of Arizona’s water challenges. (Would love to re-read that 1993 water piece myself…. Any chance you could email it to me at kevbad99@gmail.com?) Thank you for the lovely note. I hope you and Hattie are doing well!

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  2. Enjoyed your year on the road. Not for me, but I lived vicariously through you two. Hope there’s more to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Earlene. Glad you lived vicariously, and, yes, we’re already planning our next trip. Three more presidential libraries and seven interior states to go!

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  3. Like all the others, I relished every post. I commend your spirit and great talents, and hope there will be further adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome home! Love your welcoming committee! Oh so nice to see and hug your mom! Enjoy your first Sunday morning!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yesterday was kind of a roller coaster day. G got a lot done, winterized the Casita, charged the battery on the car that we left at home, etc. But I was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster – Friday was fun and exciting, yesterday I felt kinda blue that it was all over. Not sure what today holds….

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  5. Welcome home. I enjoyed all your postcards. Ed K

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ed. It’s good to be home.

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  6. Welcome Back! Glad you had safe travels around the perimeter. I have followed your blog from Day One and enjoyed reading it so much. You are a terrific travel writer and photographer and should put your adventures into a book. Can’t wait to read of your future trips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lucy, for this encouragement. I’m so glad you’ve “been along for the ride!”

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  7. Welcome home! always fun to go, always fun to come home. Texas is a whole ‘nuther country and we love it. America is great now, and will always be. Thank you for sharing, its been a joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for being such an enthusiastic traveler and commenter!

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  8. YAH! Welcome back!

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  9. Welcome home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary, it’s good to be home – she says from under a pile of laundry and amid a mess of paperwork…. 😊

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  10. Congratulations on a momentous achievement, Keven and George’s! Have so enjoyed your reports (and of course your visit!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Judy. We have such warm memories of our time together in your home. Can you believe that was nearly a full year ago? Yeegads! We had a delicious pasta dinner at home last night for the first time in a year – in Judy’s Magic Pan. It’s still dispensing love and comfort….

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  11. Nicola Longford March 1, 2019 — 9:18 pm

    Welcome back long lost neighbors! Stop by once you are settled or on a walk about to stretch your legs and see all the good stuff going on around the ‘hood! Come on over for a meal soon! N & H

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Nicola. We’ve missed you too! We’ll try to stop by soon. We’ve already noticed big changes in and around Farmer’s Market. So glad the place is hopping! Happy birthday to Habib today. We have to get together for a toast….

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  12. Congratulations! What a great achievement. Now you get to plan the next adventure! Postcards from the Interior????

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What books did you read?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for the query. I didn’t have nearly as much leisure reading time on the trip as I expected. There was always so much else to do, from hiking to cycling, bird watching and researching, map consulting, lecture attending, plotting the next day’s adventure, etc. So as I’ve written before, I’m embarrassed to admit that I barely cracked my wonderful reader-built reading list from 18 months ago.

      But I’m working on it.

      A few off-the-top-of-my-head favorites so far:

      Somewhere along the Gulf Coast, I did finally finish “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat-Moon, which I referenced in a post as we launched our Year on the Edges of America last March. Loved it. And I consulted “How the States Got Their Shapes” by Mark Stein regularly along the way, recommended by several readers and “Amazoned” to me by good friend Madeleine.

      I very much enjoyed Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award-winning “Sing, Unburied, Sing.” It’s set in Mississippi. At turns sad and hopeful, it was constantly creative and riveting.

      And yes, I loved “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt, set in Savannah, Georgia. Loved it so much, in fact, that I did a whole blog post on it. (See one of the posts from May.)

      Two books not on the reader list that I enjoyed in their places of origin were Lisa Wingett’s “Before We Were Yours” set in South Carolina (and Tennessee) and the Pulitzer-winning “Less” by Andrew Sean Greene, which is set all over the world but based in New York City.

      I went on a brief Nevada Barr kick, enjoying – as recommended – “Boar Island” while we were in Acadia National Park in Maine and “Blood Lure” in Glacier National Park in Montana.

      I also enjoyed Pulitzer-winning “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder” by Caroline Fraser, which I reveled in as we crossed the northern tier of the United States.

      “Greetings from the Golden State,” by Leslie Brenner, formerly of The Dallas Morning News, was an enjoyable read as we puttered around the LA area in October.

      Last month, I particularly enjoyed three books about travelers on adventure. I enjoyed the abandon and humor in “The Wander Year: One Couple’s Journey around the World” by Mike McIntyre, struggled enormously with “ugly American” aspects of “Dear Bob and Sue” by Matt and Karen Smith, and reveled in the wit, historical perspective and philosophical insights of “The Oregon Trail: The New American Journey” by Rinker Buck.

      The best book I read on the whole trip was was “Modern Gypsies: The Story of a Twelve Thousand Mile Motor Camping Trip Encircling the United States” by Mary Crehore Bedell about a trip oh-so-similar to ours nearly 100 years ago. I wrote a whole blog post about this book in January.

      Next up? I’ve just started Lawrence Wright’s “God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State”….

      What about you? What’s the best book you’ve read recently that you’d recommend?

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      1. I’m with you in God Save Texas. I loved it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scherry F. Johnson March 30, 2019 — 9:41 am

        Loved “God Save Texas”! Welcome back to Dallas! I have enjoyed your journey through your blog! Cheers, Scherry

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks Scherry! Look for a final blog post tomorrow or so…. 😊

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  14. Welcome back! We followed your adventures, lived vicariously through you, missed you terribly, & are looking forward to the next chapter in your travels. Love, David & Mary

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    1. Thank you! It’s good to be home. Thank you for the cool bottle of wine!

      Like

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