My five-month cross country roadtrip and has been a journey in every sense of the word: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
There is so much to say and hundreds of amazing photos to share. I almost don’t know where to begin.
When I put my belongings in storage on March 12, 2018, I estimated my cat and I would have a four month adventure.
Well, it took us that long to make it to the east coast.
I often feel that a higher source is in charge of where and when I go. So I stopped trying to figure it all out. I yielded, and for possibly the first time ever, I am happy to float downstream instead of fighting to swim upstream.
No doubt, the trip has been about the experiences, not the destinations.
Sophie, the most courageous camping cat, has been a dream despite less than ideal situations for most felines.
She is a beautiful travel companion -- if she's not in the carrier. Early on we came to a truce that she gets to ride loose so she can roam the car when she wants. I set everything set up so she can access her litter box in the back of the car.
Whenever I would stop to hike or shop or eat, I told her now is a good time for her to go potty. Sometimes she did.
As the summer encroached and we left the high altitudes, heat and humidity became a real concern. I never left Sophie in the car for more than about twenty minutes which meant my sightseeing and hiking times were limited. Unflavored Pedialyte became part of Sophie's every meal so she did not get dehydrated.
Even on days when I only drove four hours, I somehow still managed to arrive at some unplanned destination in time to set up camp as the sun set, feed Sophie and myself and then wash dishes with my headlamp on bright.
When I look at this map of how far this roadtrip has taken me, I feel a little overwhelmed and giddy with courage, amazement and pride.
Especially considering the farthest I had ever driven by myself was a few months prior when I drove a whopping six hours to Etna, California to work my first fire camp.
I was occasionally lonely. Mostly, I enjoyed the solitude, doing things at my own pace.
I’ve seen amazing scenery and made gutsy, "inspired" decisions, often deciding what to do while I packed up the tent in the morning. Or sometimes while driving and a road sign beckoned me to follow its lead.
That's how I found the fantastically quirky Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.
(By the way, Arkansas is a beautiful state that is underestimated and under visited. You should go there. But maybe not during biting fly and tick season.)
Did I have a purpose for my journey ... or do I claim temporary insanity?
I had three objectives when I put my belongings in storage:
- Have an adventure and see this beautiful, diverse country I call home.
- Extend the Sew Like A Pro™ reach and impact in the ballroom and skate worlds. Plus, meet some of my sewing school members.
- New places.
- New faces.
- New dresses.
- New videos.
- Visit my dad, brother and family on the east coast.
- At the beginning of 2018, my sister-in-law in North Carolina was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer that had spread to multiple areas of her body. I run an online business. I figured I'd try taking the business mobile so I could head east and help out the family.
As of August 2018 when I write this, my sister-in-law Crystal is almost half way through her first round of chemotherapy. She is doing well above expectations and her chemo test group. Her overall energy level and health is pretty high all things considered. Tests indicate the cancer cells are dying off. Yay!
I dare say she has more energy than a lot of "healthy" people.
Crystal, my brother and their four children all stay busy and active with camping, home schooling and family activities. Add five cats, three fish tanks, six hens, two chicks, plus a garden into mix and it's a good thing Crystal's energy levels don't dip low for too long.
She has migraines a few days after each treatment, but those fade away. She is losing muscle mass and some nerve/muscle coordination (which is upsetting for her since she's very active). Thus far the physical decay is minimal and not unexpected. Overall, she is doing a fantastic job maintaining her exercise routine, her "me time" and solid nutrition.
Love you lots, Crystal!
May you continue to be vibrant, healthy and kick the pants off those cancer cells. ... P.S. Don't "forget" to take more naps 😉
As a result of making this cross country journey, I’ve had fantastic filming opportunities I would not have had if I stayed home in Oregon.
I met three Sew Like A Pro™ members and filmed eighteen blogs in Phoenix, OKC, Raleigh, Saint Louis, Kansas City, and Denver.
Fingers crossed I get to film a few more in the next month or two.
When I left Portland, I took eight days to travel down the stunning Oregon coastline to a small town in Southern California near Lake Isabella. I stayed there with my long-time friend Rhonda for two months.
She and I had a fun time sight-seeing and camping in Big Sur plus Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks.
Rhonda is a great seamstress and used to work for my dressmaking business, Seams Sensational, in Portland. I was SEW grateful she could help me finish the ballgown I brought down with me.
I also got to film her tidy, rustic theme home sewing room.
Everything I typed here is only the tip of the ice berg.
I've met dozens of interesting people and visited fifteen national parks. Plus, I did, saw, felt or tasted hundreds of other things I think are fantastic -- all since March this year.
If I keep typing, I'll eventually have a novel. I'm not ready to write that many pages at this moment.
Watch the video, please, if you want to know more about the first few months of my journey. And follow my new Instagram account @teresa.sigmon
P.S. Click here for a short travel update at the ten month mark and Happy 2019 New Year's from Chelan, Washington.
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