The Next Life

Although we’re currently set up in Bariloche on the edge of the Argentine Lakes District, our minds are elsewhere. The million dollar question: What’s next?  We still have the better part of a month to go on the road but our home life is rumbling toward us like a Bolivian semi barreling down a one-lane.

Sunshine means grillin' in this camper

Thanks to Carl and Heather, we’ve been rescued from the soul crushing fiasco that is vehicle shipping. We hand over the keys in just a couple weeks and they’ll begin their PanAm journey north.  15 months ago we happily downsized our lives from a one-bedroom apartment to a truck camper. There is no storage unit back home, now we must figure out how to fit what’s left of our material lives into a few backpacks. Too much STUFF!

Meanwhile on the home front, things are solidifying. Fast.  Like so many overlanders, our road life was the focus, what came next was a vague unknown. But now I have a job, we have a house, even a dog named Tripper waiting for us at home.  The unexpected departure of an employee at Wine Glass Ranch synchs up perfectly with our arrival home and I’ll be stepping in to fill the gap. We’ll be moving into the ranch house both my grandparents and great grandparents once called home.

In a way it is temporary.  I’ll be helping out only over the summer, but in reality it is a taste of what is to come.  On our first date to Gino’s Pizza in Santa Barbara, Brianna could barely take a bite before the words cattle, Nebraska, and ranching came tumbling out of my mouth.  Ranching is a permanent fixture in our future, but a few more wild ideas are on the table before we settle down into its permanence.

Stephen Weaver 's photograph of an archetypal Great Plains scene -- sunset over a rolling sea of grass. Sandhills of western Nebraska

And that’s not all folks.  We sell the camper on 3/15, start work on 4/9.  For those precious weeks in between we’ll be celebrating St. Patty’s day in Buenos Aires, visiting an old friend in Brazil for our one year wedding anniversary, and returning home in time to catch a spring training baseball game in Arizona.  Just before the real world hits us, we plan to visit some dear friends in Colorado.  “Home” will have to wait.

Celebrating the next chapter at El Bolson Cervezeria

In Patagonia the summer is all too short and nearing its end. The rain and cold are holding us indoors.  In between the rare sunny days, 26 applications to work in Antarctica have been fired off. Our minds wonder while our bodies still wander. The Appalachian Trail and, of course, the current Cape Town to Cairo overland crew continue to spark our growing imaginations.

Home. Our own slice of America. We’re anxious to get there now that we know what is waiting.

Tripper says "Come home soon!"