Monday, February 22, 2010
A year before I met Eliot he went to Alaska. As soon as his wife died he sold his house and bought a Class A motor home and a Chevy Tracker to tow. He had taken his marriage vows quite seriously and although he would leave his wife for two weeks at a time to go hiking, he always called her and came back every two weeks to check on her although for 7 years they didn't have marital relations and said they were like two strangers. He hiked alone and then for two years with Tom, another hiker he met. He never had a girlfriend during those 7 years but after his wife died he did meet a woman at a campground and was with her more or less for nine months but she wanted to move to Missouri and also resented it went he went hiking with Tom. So he gave up on her. Then he found me on Yahoo personals with the keyword "hiking." And boy did we hike that summer and fall in the Canadian Rockies and then back in the states often with Tom. And we fell in love. I followed him in my little RV and then he asked me if I wanted to go to Australia. We traveled for almost 6 months all around Australia in a Land Cruiser with a pop-up top with a bed I had to make up every night and we didn't kill each other and we learned how best not to push each others buttons. So when we came back to the states I sold my RV and moved in with him. And the next five years we did lots of hiking and when he hurt his knee he bought ATVs so we could ride them as far as the wilderness and then hike in the wilderness, many times with Tom. I wish I had kept track of all the wildernesses we hiked in. We also went to New Zealand and Hawaii one winter and back to Australia for another six months and one winter the Gulf Coast from Big Bend to Big Thicket. That was the year before Hurricane Ike so we were hoping to go back this winter to see how different things would be. But I've already told the story of this winter in Phoenix and Eliot's neck surgery. For four years we were hosts at Pole Creek Lake Campground where I started this blog last summer. Since I said no more Pole Creek Lake Eliot said okay but we'll go to Alaska instead. He had a wonderful time the first time he went. So I'm willing to try it. My brother lives on the Long Beach Penisula in southwest Washington so I'm pretty sure we'll make it that far and hopefully into B.C. and who knows maybe we'll make it all the way to Alaska. And that's why I needed to go on anti-depressant medication and knowing we have someplace to come back to also helps. And I have to go with him because I owe him so much. He's taken me to places I never would have seen. And he's really very nice even if he's a Republican! We both miss Tom, He came up to Pole Creek Lake the first summer we were there and we were hoping to see him when we went to Texas since he lived in Oklahoma. He had been at Big Bend not long before that but wasn't feeling good. He put off going to the doctor until he turned 65 and had Medicare. But it was too late. He had metatasized lung cancer that was already in his brain and was dead in six months. So why not go to Alaska.