In a historic hotel in a little Colorado mountain town, a hot bath is drawn and delicious whiskey is poured. Bart Simpson murmurs quietly on cable TV in the background.
Behind us are two weeks of what we’ve started calling the ‘good-bye America’ trip. We’ve lived in our favorite way: out of a backpack, out of the car, in our tents, in the woods.
Yellowstone and the Tetons satisfied, as always, and we had spare time for back roads in Wyoming, 20 minutes through Idaho, and the calm and quiet canyonlands of Dinosaur National Monument.
Realizations of what we’ll soon be very much without are setting in.
We’ll miss our public lands, we realized.
And after two weeks of sleeping bags, sweat, dust, and freezing nights we realized too that we’ll miss the luxuries of America, so we decided to get a bit of that too.
And I just keep remembering a gem of a line, delivered by Alex’s brother during our most recent visit to Telluride:
At about year 1 in Africa, remember this.
For all the missings yet to be discovered in the next three weeks of getting ready and the next 27 months of service, we know we’ll have little moments along the way to get us through.
For now, we procrastinate the madness of packing, the anxiety of goodbyes, and the health effects of shameless bacon-eating before we head on to Mozambique in three weeks.