Sunday, August 1, 2021—A New Month, a New Adventure

We made plans to escape the heat several weeks ago, before the Delta variant of COVID-19 began exponential transmission. We are both vaccinated and thus concluded that we were safe—wrong! It appears that the Delta variant of COVID-19 transmissibility does not respond to vaccinations; however, vaccinations significantly reduce the effects of the virus. Having delayed travel plans for well over a year — we’re not getting any younger, and our ability to travel is waning very rapidly—we made a conscious decision to pursue several remaining “LIFE” list items in the next couple of months while time and age permit. (NOTE: As retirement was drawing near almost 17 years ago, Kay and I had many decisions to make, including how and where we would live. During all the discussions, it became clear that we both wanted an active lifestyle and to travel extensively. After much brainstorming and many deliberations, we developed a two page “LIFE” list—thanks to dear friend Ed Richmond who did this way before us, setting an exemplary example, way before the movie, The Bucket List came out. Here’s a view of the new, revised “LIFE” List, and the items checked have been completed; this list had undergone many additions and revisions.

LIFE LIST, Rev. August 1, 2021

◦ New England via auto road trip or RV

◦ Washington, Oregon, and Northern California via Auto road trip or RV (Summer)

◦ Southwest USA via RV—SE Arizona, Sedona, Antelope Canyon, remaining national and state parks in Southern Utah, national parks in New Mexico, i.e. Petrified Forest, and possibly Las Vegas (Spring or Fall)

◦ South Texas—Big Bend NP, San Antonio, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Bandera

◦ St. Maarten/St. Martin (Spring)

◦ Mediterranean Cruise (Late Spring, Summer, or Early Fall)

◦ New Zealand (December, March)

◦ New York City

◦ British Isles—United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scotland (Summer)

◦ Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Natchez Trace in one trip (Spring or preferably Fall)

◦ Eastern Europe Cruise

◦ Cycle remaining Rail Trails Hall of Fame Trails

◦ Visit all seven continents

◦ Become proficient golfers

◦ Thru hike the Appalachian Trail

✓ Wyoming, Montana, Idaho

✓ Fly fish for smallmouth bass in Canada

✓ Northern European Cruise (Summer)

✓ Western Europe—Holland, Germany, Austria, France (Early Summer)

✓ Colorado (July, August, and/or September)

✓ Michigan’s Upper Peninsula/Wisconsin/Minnesota via RV (Jun, Jul, Aug, and/or Sep)

✓ Panama Canal Cruise (January, February or March)

✓ Israel

✓ Alaska via RV

✓ Maritime Provinces of Canada

✓ Northern France

✓ Tour Colorado

✓ Winter in the Rio Grande Valley

✓ Winter in Arizona

✓ Become 3.5 level pickleball player

✓ Cycle KATY Trail, MO

✓ Cycle the GAP, PA and MD

✓ Cycle the Virginia Creeper Trail, VA

✓ Explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND

✓ Cycle the Mickleson Trail, SD

✓ Cycle the Virginia Capitals Trail, VA

✓ Cycle the High Bridge Trail, VA

And so, here we are on August preparing for completion of another Life List item, touring New England.

Packed and ready to roll
Bicycle, photography equipment, hiking staffs, and clothes

In addition, there will be several opportunities to cycle Rail Trail Hall of Fame trails. The first leg of the trip will be to Marion, IL, where we will overnight. It will take about 6 hours to travel the 376 miles.

… to Marion, IL, 376 miles

From there we will make the short drive to Tunnel Hill in order to cycle a portion of the Tunnel Hill State Trail.

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