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Location, Location

Realtors are right, it all comes down to location, location, location. Right now I am sitting in a comfy lawn chair, in the shade under the awning, with a cool breeze blowing over us from the Colorado River, parked at the campground at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona, and I’m looking at the spectacular view of the entrance to the Grand Canyon.

All the floats into the Grand Canyon start here. Float trips to see Horseshoe Bend upriver near the Glen Canyon Dam start here. Down near the launch are several signs describing the area, the history, and about the float trips. One statement really stood out to me. It said that one you push away from the launch point, you are committed. There is no takeout point, other than emergency helicopter rescue, for the next 250 miles. Decide right now if this is for you or not.

That statement really impressed me. In our modern society, there is always an agency, organization, group, or someone to save you from stupid mistakes. Imagine for a minute if you had to agree to a 100% commitment, with no turning back, and no saving, before doing something you knew in advance wasn’t a very good idea? Would you still do it? That covers the stupid stuff.

What if you had to make that agreement before embarking on a very challenging path, such as a profession, lifestyle change, education, or a relationship? No safety net or rescue. Would you still do it?

Choosing to live in a fifth wheel full time is a major commitment. Selling off things and downsizing can be a painful process. Buying a truck and RV is expensive, and unit value goes down as soon as you sign the papers, so make sure this is what yo want, because changing your mind can get very expensive immediately.

We knew that we could live together in close quarters 24/7 and be very happy. Even though we visit all kinds of beautiful places, and spend a lot of time outside, we still spend a lot of time as just the two of us, close together, with nowhere to go if one of us wanted to be alone. For those that wonder about that, we absolutely love this together time.

As I sit here writing this, above is what I’m looking at. Location, right? It is at a time like this that makes all those sacrifices over the years worth it. Jan and I both love the rural life. City people look at this landscape and see barren wasteland. We see serenity, colors, and beauty beyond description. This morning we took a hike along the river. We saw lizards, listened to the birds, smelled incredible things, heard the light breeze going through the bushes and trees, listened to the flow of the river. And we also noticed the incredible silence of the wilderness. Amazing.

For a while we sat on rocks at the rivers edge. The cool breeze off the water, and the fresh clean smell of the water, washed over us. We talked about how blessed we are to be here, how blessed we are to be physically capable to walking these trails. So many people we love are not in condition to do these things. We have challenges, but know our physical limitations, so work within those parameters.

Yesterday we hiked part of the Cathedral Wash. about half way there were ledges to navigate that are not safe for us, so we turned back. It was still an amazing experience!

Part of the trail was flat and very easy to walk. In other parts we had to climb up or down rocks, using small crevices or ledges to get a foothold Or handhold. But all along the trail, the rock colors and formations kept us mesmerized. And as the light changed with time, color intensity changed dramatically.

God speaks to us. Nature speaks to us. the question is, are we listening? It is weird, but in this fast paced Information Age, I feel people are actually communicating less. They scan, they may read, but more often, people are not interacting any more. It’s as though a LIKE click is sufficient. It isn’t. To understand, to feel, to know you are loved, communication both ways is required.

As we strolled around the campground later in the evening, we met some really nice people. This truly is a very small planet. One couple spent time on the Big Island and many of our favorite places. They had also been to our favorite places in the Methow Valley.

And then we met Bud. He lives in Arizona, and knows one of our nephews In Wickenburg. He volunteers for the National Park Service, so has been to some of our favorite places in Utah, and will be volunteering at Flaming Gorge this year.

Online, two-way conversations are short, often just an emoji. Off-line, we meet so many people who love talking for hours. The real world is nothing like the digital world. Out here, we meet, and become friends with, people from all walks of life, different religions (or none), political beliefs, and colors. Unlike the digital world, we get along really well.

If I was to give just one piece of advice, it would be to turn off your phone/computer, and go out and meet people. You might be amazed at how friendly it is out here! In addition, seeing the natural wonders of this great country will give you appreciation of what America is all about.

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