Thursday, February 2, 2012

Solo Road Tripping

Road trips have always seemed like they should be relaxed meanderings over highways and byways.  For me they never seem to turn out that way though.  I have a place to get to and while I might be able to have a bit of wiggle room in the dates and the stops along way to and from the main stopover of the trip.

Before I left in an old Toyota 4-Runner loaded down with some furniture, some art, clothing, bedding and kitchenware to help my daughter start her new life with her honey, Tree Boy, I had opportunity to have lunch with a blogger who really knows how to travel.  Becky blogs at Kinexxions, a genealogical blog that focuses on the area and families from my old "neck of the woods."  I do love genealogy, local history, stories of community, and someone who can string words together in an entertaining way.  I stumbled across Becky's blog quite a while back and return to it because she is a darn fine writer from whom I can learn a thing or three!  It turns out I was the first of her readers with whom she had ever met.  I can't imagine that she hasn't met others as she is such an enchanting teller of stories of people, places, and procedures. 

She has been traveling and living out of her mobile blogging studio for quite a while now, her comfortably equipped van. That is so inspiring!  I met an actual woman who travels by herself, going places and doing research, taking photographs, and sharing the info unearthed along the way in her blog.  Of course as an anthropologist I have known  many women researchers and scientists who obviously travel, but to find a woman who lived the normal sedentary life, except for that stint in the military during the 1960s and 1970s, and only allowed her happy feet to dance across the country after retirement.  Hers is a generous practice, and an inspiring one.  Women who have a nomadic streak are not all that rare.  Women who act on the urge are however a bit harder to find.  She planned, met with a financial advisor, sticks to her budget, has a very well organized van, goals for her research, and does the research she is obviously meant to do. 

Becky was going through Tucson and we had arranged to meet.  I'm so glad it worked out.  We met at the patio section of The Cup Cafe of The Hotel Congress for Tortilla Soup and conversation.  Turns out we are shirt-tail relations! Hans Jakob Brubaker III who lived in the late 18th and early 19th Century was our last common ancestor from what we can tell.  The link was found through the South Whitley Brubakers.  We chatted about Whitley and Kosciusko Counties in Indiana, the place from which we both hail.  Becky is not a gregarious person, does not like driving in big cities, and met up with me with a bit of skepticism.  It was a bit out of character for me to just say, "Can we meet?" to someone I don't know, but I so am glad I did.  It really helped me frame the trip of the last two weeks and plot about how I might be able to do a trip much more like one Becky might do the next time I head out on the road.

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