2017 trip – Day 1 – to Spokane

Day one of our trip was relatively uneventful.  Many fires burning around the Northwest so the skies were hazy and the air was full of ash and the smell of burnt wood.   Other than that our trip is off to a good start.  300 miles today.  Only one state, Washington, though we did make it almost to the Idaho border.  Highest elevation was as we crossed Snoqualmie Pass at 3022 feet.   Though we were only in one state, we did play our traditional license plate game and already spotted vehicles from 18 states and 4 Canadian provinces.  One oddity for the day is passing the town of George, Washington.

Tomorrow we make it to near Glacier National Park.  With fires in and around the park we are not sure what our activities will be when we get there.  But figuring it out as you go is part of the adventure of traveling.

Today I was struck by one overriding thought – Isn’t is amazing how interconnected we all are?  In these times of extreme division, I find the fact of our connectedness much more powerful than our differences.  Our world seems to be focused on how people differ from each other by religion or ethnicity.  Our country is torn by differences with so many people much more sure of what they are not than of what they are.  Problems are blamed on Republicans, or Democrats, on Conservatives or Liberals, on Progressives or Tea Party members, on the Black Lives matters folks or on the cops, on white nationalists or on the antifas.  The one thing that is most common is that whoever is doing the blaming does not identify themselves as part of the group at fault.  Within my own family, factions have developed with no communcation allowed between those groups.

Today, with people and trucks from 4 corners of our country, with farm products and merchandize, with carnival rides on the move and with people of all kinds at rest stops and restaurants, what I saw was what we had in common and how we are all interconnected.  None of us, as individuals or as a single group, can survive alone in this modern world of ours and I hope more of us can see this and learn to work together to make our world a better place.

The other reason I was thinking in this direction is that on this trip we will be visiting several places of amazing connectedness.  Peg and I met at Iowa State University almost 43 years ago.  We knew from the beginning that we had some Iowa connections in our background. However, we did not think we had other connections further back in our family history.  I thought of myself as a 3rd generation descendent of German farmers and she was was from an Army family with recent ancestry in France and other parts of Germany.

Since then we have learned that her grandfather was born in a French village only 30 miles from where my great grandfather was born.  On this trip we will be visiting places in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana where various members of our ancestral families lived only miles from each other.  Tomorrow we will travel through Idaho.  Though not stopping on this trip, just south of us are places where both my adoptive grandfather and my biological great grandfather lived for part of their lives.

Just some thoughts about our connectedness and what we have in common.   I hope each of you can take a minute and identify some connection you have to someone who on the surface seems different from yourself.


One thought on “2017 trip – Day 1 – to Spokane

  1. I love that you’re expounding on thoughts that the trip is triggering for you. It’s super interesting to read not just what events are happening on the journey, but what you’re thinking during them. I hope you post more like this as you continue on.

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