From Solo trip to sister trip

I had originally planned to take this cross-country road trip solo, even without Bodhi, my beloved canine companion. It feels good to think about traveling all alone after three back-to-back shoulder surgeries and many years of caregiving. I look at this trip as an opportunity for rejuvenating self-care after a rather taxing time. A reset button if you will, before embracing the next chapters in life.

Knowing I was heading cross-country to be with the big trees, I had Yosemite in my sights. I have always wanted to go but have intentionally never gone due to my perceived notion of overcrowding. You see, I have a rather pesky hang up about sharing “My” Nature with “The Masses”. It seems my time in Alaska has spoiled me on this count.

In my mind, Yosemite has been far too crowded to bother with (whether this is true or not is another matter entirely and noses spiting faces comes to mind but let’s not dwell). I believe the Pandemic has brought many gifts, one of them being limited entrance to our National Parks, so I thought, this is my year! Well, last year was really the year of substantially reduced crowds, but I was in the throws of life so, this is the year! And so it is, all things in perfect timing.

I don’t know if you are aware, but getting a drive-in (as opposed to a hike in) camping reservation  in one of the many campgrounds in Yosemite is akin to winning the lottery. Seriously. Only about 30% of those who try for a camping reservation within Yosemite get one and that is when all the campsites in all the campgrounds are open and available, which is decidedly not the case this year.

This is generally how it works. 30 days worth of site reservations are released at 7:00am PST, on the 15th of each month, five months in advance. One must be poised to pounce at his or her computer with the precise page pulled up ready to go because, get this, all of the hundreds and hundreds of reservations just released as available at 7:00am will be gone in less than two minutes and again, that is when all the reservable sites in the park are available. Can you believe it? There are countless articles written about this phenomenon and if it weren’t for the “How To” articles, (spoiler alert) I doubt Elo and I would have met with success and even so, somebody had to have been looking out for us. At the time we tried for our reservations (March 15 @ 10am EST), there were only 2 campgrounds at 50% capacity available for reservations. 2 campgrounds at 50% capacity out of 7 that have historically been fully available. You get the picture I’m sure as I seem to be beating the proverbial dead horse.  We really did win the lottery, because not only did we each score a reservation in the same campground for the same dates, we unknowingly scored sites right next to each other. How about that? HUZZAH!

And so, as it happens, its Yosemite that turned this solo trip into a sister trip. At some point earlier on, Elo and I decided she would come out to visit Yosemite with me since she has always wanted to go as well. Once dates and reservations were established, we agreed she would meet me out there at the appropriate time but I think, and she may correct me, she started thinking about heading cross country by herself, alone in her new van with no experience at all with such things. Don’t get me wrong, Elo is quite capable and is a savvy world traveler having lived and traveled overseas for almost a decade, but I think the newness of this cross-country van experience along with a lot of loss in our recent lives may have given her pause, so together we shall go.

I adore my sister and we have had much fun traveling near and far together over the years. Life can throw some curveballs with far reaching effects though, so I’m particularly looking forward to this shared time as one of healing. We are so much more than our stories if we allow and I see our pending co-adventure as an invitation and opportunity to lay a new foundation. To create an expanded relationship full of more love, more joy, more kindness, more compassion, and more fun! And so it shall be.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with a few photos from some of our travels together.

Viva Las Vegas! Quick stop on the way to hike the Red Rocks.

Cruising The Med on Seabourne with Mom and Dad

Disneyworld! (when ladies wore dresses)

Mountain Biking in Alaska (no dresses required)

Belize snorkeling trip

Extreme geocaching in Spain



  • Tena

    July 5, 2021

    You all are gonna have fun! I can feel it!

  • Rusty Hunt

    July 5, 2021

    I love all the pictures. Y’all are going to have fun.

  • Heather Smith

    July 6, 2021

    Cannot wait to follow your adventure!!! I can hear the two of you laughing already~

  • Melissa Shuttleworth Lucas

    July 6, 2021

    I loved reading every word of this post! I’m so happy that you both are enjoying this priceless quality time together! …and wow…just “wow” on the camping lottery! Have a fantastic time! Sending a tight and tender hug to you both!

  • Darden Yerkes

    July 8, 2021

    Except for the dresses at Disney, you haven’t changed a bit. I can hear you talking while I read your words, you make me laugh. Safe travels my friend.

  • Marlene Brown

    August 10, 2021

    I enjoyed the article and it is great to be able to take time for an adventure together! May God bless your travels!


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