For the past few years the end of the school year has meant one thing… getting on the road! In the past three summers I have toured and taught in China, driven cross country in the US and studied and traveled in South Africa. When the end of this school year approached I once again started to feel the pull to get going. Last week I did indeed get started and it was lovely. The best part about traveling in the US for me is that I have friends all over the place. Night one was spent in Montrose, CO (picture above is from nearby Telluride) with my friend Meghan Rowe, Science teacher at Delta High School. She is somewhat new to the profession and I had a fantastic time chatting with her about education, life in Colorado and her upcoming nuptuals! I actually made her late for Tech Camp by gabbing so long Thursday morning.
Thursday found me driving a new route home to Wisconsin. Driving from Montrose to Colorado Springs wound me past mountains and rivers only known to me as names on maps. There is something that literally takes my breath away in the mountains and if there is anyplace in the world that I feel at home it is in the mountains. I have a new goal to get on the Arkansas River yet this summer. This was a great day and for the first time in a long time I shut everything off (except the car) and just drove; no radio, no cell phone, no nothing! Bliss.
I saw western Kansas in the best possible light, darkness, and then rolled in very late to Lawrence, KS… where my teaching career began. I had plans to see some friends (Scott and Kylee Sharp) for an hour or so and then get on the road for Wisconsin. Well, one hour turned into five and as far as I am concerned I could have stayed even longer. There are people in your life that you can go long stretches without seeing, but when you do it is like hitting the play button after pausing it the last time you were there. Meeting their two beautiful children and discussing their experiences in the classroom was truly wonderful.
As the time was approaching that I absolutely had to get going Kylee’s phone rang and she didn’t recognize the number so she let it go to voicemail. Then Scott’s phone rang with the same number and when he answered it was another old friend from when I lived in Lawernce, Laird Riddell. He was calling to share some amazing news that he would be taking part in a three year round the world sailing trip focused on bringing the stories, experiences and sights to classrooms all around the world. The organization sponsoring the trip is Reach the World and looks like an online learning experience that I will be paying attentio to as they prepare to sail in the fall. After the phone call we said our goodbyes and I hit the road for my least favorite part of the drive, Iowa.
The best part of getting in the car was that I was reminded of how many fantastic people I know in my life, many of whom are dedicated teachers and quite a few are choosing to have children that are truly special.
There is still much driving and thinking to do over the summer as I will leave Wisconsin at the end of July headed for Glacier National Park, Jackson, WY and then back to Colorado. At the last possible minute I will be rolling back into Flagstaff for the start of the school year. Travel revives my perspective, opens my eyes and reinvigorates my desire to learn, explore and grow. Ahhhhh, summer… so good!!!