Today as I prepare to fly home I am filled with emotion, wonder and awe at all I have seen and experienced. 4 years ago when I began this yearly August adventure I had no idea it would turn into MY MOST FAVORITE thing I do.

This years’ 1153 mile journey, over the last 13 days, took me to places I had never been, to see things that can’t be explained in a history class.

WHY THE WEST? Something happens to my soul when I cross the Mississippi. I don’t believe in reincarnation but if I did I would know I am suppose to return here.

WHY AUGUST? The states I have just begun to explore have PERFECT weather in August. Just a hint of Fall in the air. Last year I made the mistake of going too soon in the month and kids were not back in school. Had to run away from locations I would have liked to explore because there were too many people.

WHY NO DESTINATION NOR RESERVATIONS? (I didn’t buy my flight home until 3 days ago) It is the most important part for me. The adventure of seeing if I can find my way. Yes I have almost had to sleep in my Jeep several times but those are the moments I remember the most.

IS IT DANGEROUS? Rush hour traffic is dangerous. Anything is a risk. I have an app on my phone that tells my kids where I am at all times. If I don’t return they know where to find my body. 🙂 (Seriously drive a new rental, keep the gas tank over 1/2 full at all times and don’t do anything stupid and you will be fine)

WHY ALONE? Companions are noisy and have an opinion…ha! I do what I want when I want and let my spirit lead me. Freedom and Choice should be engraved on my gravestone.

Thank you to all the people in generations before me who gave their pioneering lives for what I saw and experienced and to the original founders, the American Indians, of this great land. I am sorry my ancestors were not fair in their dealings. There was plenty room here for all of us.

Linda Toupin