As I’ve said before, we would never have signed up for this particular adventure. Open-heart surgery is no walk in the park. But after many months of cardiac rehab and daily long walks, Eric is back to his normal, active, healthy self. I look at photos from early December when he was in the hospital, and then look at photos from the hike we did yesterday on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Grateful and lucky, that’s what we are.
The Blessings Of Friends
We couldn’t have done this without our friends and family. Or we wouldn’t have wanted to. Not only did they support us during the first weeks of Eric’s surgery and recovery, but when the crisis passed, we started having fun times together, just like always. That helped with our healing, as much as anything.
It has been a rich and full seven months. Playing music, creating art, dinner parties, hikes, wine tasting, film festivals, plays…it has been wonderful. I often reflect on how fortunate we are to have friends with whom we can share the highs and the lows of life. However, I will repeat here what I have told all of our friends: Eric took this one for the team. No one else needs to undergo this particular experience.
Preparing To Resume Our Travels
Our last two weeks in Ashland, we moved over to Emigrant Lake County Park. At a mere two miles from Ted and Kath’s beautiful farmstead, it was the perfect place for us to regroup and ease back into traveling mode. It was a bit anxiety-provoking, that first hitching up and moving after almost seven months of sitting still. When I asked Eric how he felt about it, he said, “Well, I’ve done this a few times before.” I love how he takes things in stride.
Our last several days at Emigrant Lake, we were joined by Bill, Jodee, and Tessa, fellow full-time travelers we first met up with in the Sierra Nevada a couple of years ago. We had a delightful time together, sharing breakfast on the plaza, walks in the park, and a picnic in our favorite spot by the creek. It was good for us to reconnect with friends we’ve met on the road. We’re looking forward to catching up with them again later this summer.
P.S. Just as we’ve fledged, so have the little Rock Wren nestlings that we rescued three weeks ago. All four were successfully released back at Emigrant Lake yesterday. You can read more about it on Badger Run’s website here.
See you down the road!
ahem, I’m a nurse … hx of ER/ICU/OR/PACU. I thought “that guy looks great” in Eric’s ICU photo. My second thought was “what a nice safe arm board! I haven’t seen one of those in a while.” Maybe I need to get out more. Best of luck with all your new adventures!!! Thanks for all the gorgeous photos.
Nancy, it’s so interesting for me to hear your perspective about Eric — he looked good before and even right after the surgery. But now he’s good inside and out with his new arteries. :-)) Thanks for your kind wishes.
Your heartwarming photos are a delight. Looking through them it is wonderful to witness your circle of friends and family, good food, ( grilled fresh oysters?!) music and nature. How incredible!
And the rock wren nestlings were released back into the wild…how very symbolic!
Love this post..it just oozes love and warmth and good positive vibrant energy! So happy you two are back in stride and that Eric is back to his “normal, healthy self”. Big YAY!
Peta, we feel so blessed to have such an incredibly loving, generous, and fun circle of friends in Ashland. As we travel, we find our circle continues to expand (including blog friendships:-)). Isn’t it amazing that the Rock Wren release coincided with our taking flight?
So glad to see your recovery is going very nicely….Cheri & I have a “somewhat” lifestyle as yours. We live in Northridge, CA and search California,Arizona & Nevada. One of our favorites was covering and seeing every beach from Malibu up to Glass Beach above San Francisco. Then we cover Highway 395 from Ridgcrest to Topaz Lake.
Still hiking, some climbing, fly fish, and have cameras at all times!
Thanks, Bob. It sounds like you and Cheri have an interesting lifestyle! We always have our cameras with us, as well.
So happy for you and I can’t wait to read about your new adventures!
Thanks, Pam — we’re excited to be embarking on new adventures (and revisiting some favorites along the way!).
Happy trails! We hope our paths cross again some where.
R & K, let’s plan on it!
So happy you are back on the road and doing what you love. Love all the pictures and stories. Take good care of each other. Love you both. Penny
Penny, we’re really happy that we’ve been able to return to our travels and hope we’ll get to see you guys before too much longer. Maybe this fall? Love you, too!
Safe travels and we hope perhaps to see you along the way- we’ll be working our way up to Lake Louise from mid-August coming back in mid-September. If we don’t see you then, we’ll all have dinner at Caldera when you are back!
Mac & Meg
Mac, we enjoyed so much our dinner at Caldera with you and Meg — unfortunately the photos I took didn’t turn out! :-( For sure let’s get together in October. Your summer plans sound delightful.
YAY!! I am so happy for you that your travels have resumed. More importantly, that Eric’s health has returned to robust, allowing him to carry on with the activities he and you love. There are plenty of places awaiting your arrival! Safe and happy travels!
Thanks for the good wishes, Linda. I like that thought, that there are lots of places awaiting our arrival! (P.S. We’re heading for one of your favorites, Salt Creek :-))
Happy Trails to you on up ahead. Glad to see you are both back in the saddle after this long winter. Hope to see you up on Lopez this summer. Tom & Georgina
Tom & Georgina, we’re looking forward to seeing you on Lopez this summer — it will be so much fun to do some music together for the Jr. Rangers program. We’re very happy to be back in the saddle. :-)
It is so exciting to see that you are once again back on the road!! But I can understand how difficult it was to leave all your friends behind especially with all the support they gave you and Eric during seven months of recovery. Lovely photos of all your friends:) You have lots of memories to carry with you:) So happy to hear that the Rock Wrens all survived and are now with their friends at the lake.
Pam, we are delighted that the Rock Wrens are doing so well. We wish we had been there to release them, but we’re very happy to have fledged, too. :-) You’re right, we have lots of memories to carry with us from our time in Ashland. And now we have friends to connect with on the road and more memories to make. See you in June!!
Zip (I mean Eric) looks great. It doesn’t matter where you are (stationary or traveling), as long as that special person is ok, it is good. You have to be proud of the nestlings.
Zip, haha! Eric has healed really well — can’t even see his scar. (Well, that’s probably because of the chest hair.) :-) I agree, Debbie — as long as he’s okay, life is good. Doesn’t really matter where we are. And yes, we are so proud of our little nestlings!
And you’re all caught up :-) In more ways than one really. Eric looks so good, and “feels” healthy and happy in person. As difficult as it is to leave, I’m sure there’s a certain peace in knowing you’ll be back, and that you always have that sanctuary of friends when you (or they) need it. It was wonderful to see you two there, thank you for just the right amount :-) Already looking forward to seeing what you get up to as you continue north.
Jodee, I’m so happy we were delayed in Ashland so that we had the opportunity to spend some time with you and Bill and Tessa. It was a delightful visit! And a good reminder for us that friends await us on the road, too. :-) See you on Lopez, yay!!
Ahhh such sweetness in your words and photos…here’s to gypsy soul travel adventures to come and ever more reunions here or there! Love you to Lopez and back!
Diana, our “art days” together were some of the most fun (and productive!) times I had this winter! I’m loving all of the creative additions we made for our little traveling home. Thank you, dear friend. I hope you come to the island this summer!
My dear friends…enjoy that gravy train!
Hahaha, you are hilarious, Cyn! I will never be able to sing that song without hearing your inadvertent change of lyrics. Keep those Thursday afternoons at Kindred Spirits going — and save a spot for me!
Clearly you were in the right place at the right time! It’s such good news that Eric is fully recovered and back to his old self. May your travels be safe and healthy and soul nourishing!
Lisa, no question that we were in the right place at the right time! Eric is doing great, and we’re loving being back on the road. Thanks for your good wishes.
I love this post even that scary hospital picture of Eric. Brings back not so fond memories. I especially love seeing pictures of Amanda and Finley, your many, many friends, so much music I wish I could hear and the special place where you were at home during this time. What a beautiful spot. Definitely one of the best campsites I’ve ever seen. Where do we sign up? LOL! We feel like we’re almost starting over after 2 months. I can’t imagine 7. But there you are and off you went. Happy Trails!! PS I really MUST learn to do wonderful summaries like this one instead of my usual drawn out post of a single day.
Please apologize to Findlay for the misspelling. I have a friend who spells it Findley. He’s not as cute as yours-don’t tell him I said so.
Sherry, it was a scary time in our lives depicted by that scary photo of Eric. But it’s such a wonderful affirmation of healing when I see him now, back to traveling, and back on the trails. We really had a wonderful time in Ashland (after that first couple of months). I hope you and David will come meet up with us in our hometown one of these days. It’s your kind of town.
I am SO happy to see this post and so thrilled Eric is back to his old self again. What a journey! I wish you a healthy, easy, fun-filled, stress free year of travel!
Thanks so much, Nina. We’re thrilled that Eric is back to his normal self, and delighted to be returning to our travels. I’ll take healthy, easy, fun-filled, and stress free!
Continued prayers for his healing & recovery
Thank you so much, Sherry.
All I can say is: WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! So happy for you guys. You both look great! Happy and safe TRAVELS!!!
Thanks, Laura!! Yes, WOOOOOOOO!!!!! We’re having a blast. :-)
Aaaah. Such a wonderful post! I agree with your nurse friend Nancy that Eric in some ways doesn’t look very sick at all in the photo. At the same time it’s terrifying for us non-nurse types to see him like that. Whew. I think that one of the very, very few good things that came out of that scary journey for you two is that you were able to spend enough time here in Ashland surrounded by friends and their love that now you’ll easily be able to do another five years of “full-timing” it before you once again ask yourself if you’re ready to slow down or stop motoring. Don’t cha think? Oh, and yeah, I was surprised to see your little purple birding pal photo. That was a funny surprise! And like everyone else, I LOVE the story and the timing of the wren’s release. Happy trails!!!
Janet, I’ve always found it challenging to reconcile my conflicting needs for home and community with travel and adventure. You’re right, spending these many months in Ashland was an unexpected benefit of Eric’s surgery. We’re finding as we resume our travels that we’re really happy! And we’ll also be happy to return to Ashland for a visit in October (just no more medical layovers, please!) Save time for more bird walks with us. :-)
I am so glad that you are both back on the road again. Now take a deep breath, exhale slowly and have a great time!
Thanks, Brenda. We’re finding it easy to exhale and have a great time on the beautiful Oregon coast! Just wish we could have seen you and Morey in Brookings on our way. How ’bout October?
So glad to see you are back on the road. Hope you have another great summer on Lopez Island!
Jim & Gayle, we’re finding that we’re slipping right back into our traveling life—almost as though we had never stopped! We’re excited to be heading back to Lopez. Thanks for the good wishes. :-)
Praise the Lord, Eric is back to his normal self. And yay indeed that you are back on the road and give us great stories and photos of your explorations. You are so fortunate that you were surrounded by family and friends and in your hometown when things happened. What a network of supportive friends.
We’re indeed grateful, MonaLiza. It all worked out for the best, given the circumstances. We do have an amazing network of supportive friends. We’re thinking of you and Steve and wishing we were nearby to offer support.
I guess I’m a new reader!! Congrats on Eric’s wonderful recovery….what a journey!!
Glad to read you are on the road again .
Thanks so much, Gerri & Mike. Happy to have you join us in our adventures. :-)
I finally have a few minutes and the internet to catch up on some blogs that I have been sorely missing. I can’t tell you how good it is to see your smiling faces back on the road again. New adventures will continue to provide the solace you two have desperately needed. Look forward to hearing more about your outings as I can capture the elusive internet.
Thanks for checking in on us, LuAnn. I’m happy to hear from you, knowing how busy you must be with your responsibilities in Yellowstone this summer. We’re thrilled to be back on the road. We’re looking forward to new adventures, including meeting up with you and Terry in Glacier in September!