Road Trip to Illinois

Jim, Ruby, and I headed across the country on a road trip last week. Our camper kept us self-contained. It seemed like the best way to travel amidst restrictions without contaminating ourselves, others, and more importantly, our ailing parents. We are running out of time; the trip was necessary. Jim dropped me off in Illinois while he continued on to PA to his hometown. These times are bittersweet. Reuniting with children and meeting a new grandson kept the smiles coming while we combat the sadness of the imposing inevitable.

Map from Clarkdale, Arizona to Princeton, Illinois 61356

24 hΒ (1,592.9 mi or 2563.52406 km) via I-40 E and US-54 E

You were my stabilizer.
No matter the path, or how far I strayed, I always knew you loved me.


Recycle me into a tree. Walk by and hug my trunk. Let me shade you from the sun.
I want to be that swallow that spends its day gliding over green blades fishing for worms.
Hazy sunrise with dew point at 70.

Tomorrow we drive toward the West and leave behind the humidity. We return to the dry heat. Back to responsibilities. Each mile away from the sorrow, or toward the ache like a tooth’s dry socket? Back and forth, we are in motion, back and forth until it’s time to say the long goodbye.Β 

44 thoughts on “Road Trip to Illinois

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  1. I agree it was a lovely post, Cindy. Pictures of such beauty disguising the pain of the journey. The new grandson, such a joy. Since you haven’t posted in a bit, it was good to learn that you and yours have escaped the terrible situation back in AZ. Stay safe.

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  2. Oh Cindy that reminds me of our circumnavigation of the US for our first trip in 1980. We started on the east coast out of Washington DC went to the north skirting the lakes across and down the west coast to LA then did the southern stretch across and back up the east coast to Washington DC. It was a fantastic trip by car. I put that trip up on installments as part of my earlier blogs. Beautiful country. Was fascinated by Arizona where you live.


  3. Growing up in IL, I never saw any beauty to the landscape. Perhaps it’s a combination of age, travel, and interest in photography that I see the Midwest in a new light and enjoy my return visits. Sorry it wasn’t a trip merely for a visit.


  4. A huge trip by UK standards, and I know it wasn’t undertaken for pleasure purposes. I hope the long hours on the road helped you to come to terms with the emotions engendered.
    Best wishes as always, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pete. That’s a 3.5 hour plane ride stretched into a 2.5 day journey. Time and space is warped. The rumble of road a steadying sound. Yes, time for contemplation. Also time not to think. Just be in the moment. That is important for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a trip! An RV seems to be hte safest way to travel these days. We’re seriously considering renting one, first for our anniversary in August [for a trip to our favourite place on the Texas Gulf Coast, Port Aransas], and then, if that turns out well, for a longer road trip to the Southwest. But all depends on the development of Covid, of course.
    Stay healthy,


    1. Thanks, Pit. Ours is small. It’s a Tab Outlander. It’s not a RV. Glorified camping. A safe place to sleep with a bathroom and hot water. πŸ™‚ Good luck. And thanks for the tip of POrt Aransas. I thought about exploring the Gulf coast when I retire. Why do you like it so much? You probably posted about it, but I don’t remember your time there.

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  6. What we are thinking of is not totally small, but what Cruise America calls a “standard RV”. We do want the second full bed “downstairs”, so that none of us would have to crawl over the other at night, to get to the bathroom. And the shower in the bathroom has a door to separate if from the toilet. These are the creature comforts we’d not like to do without.
    As to Port A:
    – First of all it’s closest from here. It was even better when we lived in Karnes County. That was close enough for even a day trip.
    – It’s a tradition for Mary, since she went there even as a child with her parents.
    – It is still not too crowded, not even on holiday weekends. If you drive a little along the beach, you’re definitely out of the crowds – if there are any.
    – It still has some “family character” to it. And that’s the most important reason for us.
    If you want to read up on my posts, just put in “Aransas” in the search field.


  7. Hey, hey this sounds way too resigned and philosophical for my liking. I hope you and your loved ones and your blog are not going anywhere. I hope this is just the danger of the Arizona surge and the joy of seeing loved ones having missed them for so long has made you.. quite naturally and quite beautifully reflective. If it is more then I’m sorry, I wish them all the things you talk about, I wish them peace, I wish them a little more joy in what is to come, I wish them loved ones, I wish them you Cindy. You tend to make things better just by being around. Stay safe.


  8. That is a great Grandpa pic, Jim looks the part, Duncan is a lucky grandson. Ruby looks like she knows where she’s going and that she can get you there twice as fast without breaking any speeding limits. She just knows what she’s doin and she don’t mess around. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lived in Illinois when I was a kid. Homewood Illinois. About as sleepy and Americana as you can get. Then we lived on a big tomato farm in the country. (And I hate tomatoes). Mum was adverse to borrowing a couple now and then tho. Went a country school there with kids drinking goats milk of a jar. Had 2 gigantic pear trees out back. Went to Chicago a time or two. Lots of memories.


    1. Sure sounds like it, JC! It lacked the excitement and exoticness for me when I was younger. I couldn’t wait to get out of my sleepy hometown and travel. Now I am older and simple things like cornfields are comforting.


  10. I miss long road trips so much. They were a huge part of my life in South Africa because it’s a really big country. I am not sure I’d be up for one with a 4 year old though.


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