Ready to Travel (again, almost)

Ready to Travel (again, almost)

And the journey it took to get back to traveling

"Long Road to..." Where do you want this road to take you?

I'm ready to get back out in the world and (re)connect with people. I've been grounded at home since December of last year. Partly out of Covid caution and partly out of circumstance. The Covid caution was all about avoiding omicron, which I got anyway. Regular readers might recall, the circumstance was driven by a minor electrical fire in my trusty truck back in January. It has taken this many months to recover from that minor disaster.

While healing from omicron, I decided to replace the radio in my Land Cruiser. Something went haywire, and a shorted-out wire started a fire that burned from the carpet, up the passenger seat, and across the headliner. Literally overnight, this small project turned into a major overhaul of the truck's interior.

Did I mention that the new radio had been on backorder for months leading up to this? Yup, it took months to get the new radio, and after the smoke from the fire got to the new one, it was toast. And yes, I've had another one on backorder for the last several months.

Of course, it's not just a back-ordered radio. It's also all the little bits and pieces that need to be replaced because they were burned up or so severely damaged by soot and smoke that they had to go. Salvage yards, eBay, and the Land Cruiser Forum have been my go-to for parts. The local mechanic has also been a big help in securing new seatbelts and other odds and ends.

And after I had lined everything up like the upholstery guy told me to do, his headliner guy quit. So yeah, I had to find another upholstery shop to recover the seats, install a new headliner, and lay a new carpet.

Then, this week, it all unexpectedly fell into place. The truck goes in today for all the interior work, and I have a new radio waiting to be installed this weekend. Yea!!!

I'm sharing all of this to make a point. This is the world we live in now. Either we get used to it - or spend our days cursing Best Buy for being out of stock for months on end. What would have been relatively easy just a couple of short years ago is now a practice in resourcefulness and patience. And the talented people who can do the work we take for granted may choose not to do that work, for whatever reason. Seriously, how many people do you know who can install a car headliner?

It seems like we are all frustrated with the state of things now. I know I am. Restaurants are opening back up, but a nice dinner out isn't what it used to be. Without enough employees and a shortage of readily available ingredients, dinner out isn't always smooth as we expect it to be. For me, this has become a world where I am adjusting my expectations from previously getting exactly what I want when I want it. To being happy with "good enough."

So when your restaurant order is slow to be served, or you can't order exactly what you want at the price you expect to pay, it's just the way it is. Fight it or accept it. I choose to accept it as best I can. The choice is ours to make.

Now, about Will Smith....

The photo at the top is from the side of one of the lonely roads I drive while out on a photography road trip. The location is in eastern Utah. Where exactly, I am not sure. I just love the photograph and thought it would be a good match for this essay.

The Butte and Clouds photo is along the same route. Not a national monument or anything significant, just a pretty picture. To me, it looks almost three-dimensional.

A bit further north is an abandoned cabin sitting on the edge of a field. Doors fascinate me, and I don't pass on any chance to photograph one.

Finally, the last photo is from my cell phone while at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Sometimes it just works out that none of the images from my actual cameras are worthy of processing. Still, the cell phone photo I made for GPS info is pretty good. That is the case here with a view of the flooded flats. The water was all of an inch deep for as far out as I walked.

"Butte and Clouds" This photo has so much texture.

"Cabin Door" I wonder about these old doors. What stories can they tell? 

"Flooded Salt Flats" is at the Bonneville Salt Flats in far north-eastern Utah