Once upon a time, a couple of humans and a beloved legacy of stray critters roamed the country together during precious days, sometimes weeks, stolen from demanding work. Imagine a time before routine use of cell phones, iPads, free Wi-fi. Totally unplugged “The Pack” would bundled up in their cocoon of a 24′ motor home and head for the out-of-doors, away from the 4th largest city in America, searching for dark skies, fireflies, quiet waters, and peaceful dreams. From Oregon to Florida they drove and camped and hiked. Six beloved pets (even the cats) understood the words “going camping” and “get in the Born Free”.
We learned all of the hiding places a kitty could find in such a small space, and that sometimes they could disappear into the forest, onto the beach without leaving a clue as to their escape route. They always came back, not always before their humans had started wailing over their demise. Pups seemed content to lounge and eat in the safety of their second home.
Yesterday, after 15 years, when we pulled her up to the house to remove all of our
crap gear (so that’s where my fly rod went to!), the last of the puppy pack leapt into the cabin and rolled on her back, tongue out, tail wagging – where are we going? Nowhere, Lucy. In less than 24 hours on the market, we had sold our Born Free for asking price. We had stopped using her for anything but accommodations for overflow family and one final trip to the Grand Canyon. So many memories of outdoor adventures and our Pack frolicking together. But, like the phase of fast and fancy cars, eating out every night, and working 80 hours a week, our regular camping and RV days have ended.
Hiking, however, is still in my future. We moved to Arizona for the environment. Glorious trails surround us. Our love of travel remains. My stamina will return even though the next surgery requires another serious bout of down time. I found my Leki walking poles in the Born Free!