A New Journey Begins

I write this post from my hotel room in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I left our Pennsylvania ridgelines a few days ago, driving west and north towards my destination: Vancouver, British Columbia. This trek is more for our vehicle than for myself… Next week, almost all of our family will converge upon Fairbanks, Alaska to start the real trip. I am delivering our vehicle to Vancouver before flying north to Alaska. By the way, did you know that one must fly south to Seattle from Vancouver in order to then fly to Fairbanks??

After spending time in Denali and Kenai with the kids and grandkids, Mrs Bear and I will break off by cruising south to Vancouver. There, we rescue our vehicle and begin nine weeks on the road before ending our “Drive About” in Charlottesville, Va. So lots of posts to come…

A few words about the drive east. I have done this before, but the road looks and feels different to this near-70 year old Bear, than the 20 something, life-in-the-fast-lane Bear of my youth. Back then, I thought no state was more boring than Iowa. This time, I was more observant. While the roads are still flat, I saw the endless corn fields. We have corn in PA, but not like this…Field after field, with no animals grazing. I actually wondered if all Iowa’s corn could feed the world ?? With no real animals to feed, it wasn’t beef corn. And then I realized that this corn became our 10% ethanol.    I wondered about the people who live here, and their impact on our political system. And finally, I marveled at the lack of bugs hitting my windshield. It seems that Iowa has very few mosquitoes or nighttime flyers. And then, everything changed… Every 30 seconds, there was a twack on the windshield. But it was Butterflies!!  Somehow I must have driven into a butterfly migratory pattern. I had heard about monarchs migrating all the way to Mexico, but regretfully, a thousand or so won’t make it this year !!

So I crossed into South Dakota, and left the remaining butterflies behind me. Now it’s west across the Badlands and Continental Divide, following the route of Lewis and Clarke. Hope y’all can follow along.

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