With apologies to Meriwether Lewis:
“Our vessel consists of a Subaru Outback. This little vehicle, although not quite so respectable as those of Columbus or Capt. Cook, is still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those deservedly famed adventurers ever beheld theirs; and I dare to say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation. We are now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of many North Dakotans have never trodden; the good or evil it has in store for us is for experiment yet to determine, and this little vessel contains every article by which we are to expect to subsist or defend ourselves.”
The major difference between the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s departure on April 7, 1805 and the Fuglie and Crook Expedition’s departure today, December 26, 2012, is one of direction. They went west—we’re going east. First stop for Lillian (Lewis) and Jim (Clark): Cleveland, on Saturday, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where the current special exhibits are the Grateful Dead, the Beatles and a U2 3D film (imagine Bono sitting on your lap), then on to Greensboro, North Carolina for a New year‘s Eve bash with the Avett Brothers in their home state. Then waaaaay south to the Florida Keys, a couple weeks in Florida, then back north to Nashville and the Country Music Hall of Fame (special exhibits Patsy Cline and the Bakersfield Sound, featuring Buck Owens and Merle Haggard). From Nashville, after a stop in Hope, Arkansas, back south to Corpus Christie, for a date with the whooping cranes, then on to birders’ heaven—Big Bend National Park—for most of a week of birding. Finally, to Tuscon, visits with friends, and then home sometime in early March. 22 states in all, and about that many national parks scratched off our checklist. Perhaps a stop in Colorado (heh heh) on our way back north. No, we’re not taking orders.
On the home front, at Red Oak House in Bismarck, Lizzie and Chelsea stand guard, watched over by the eyes of a dozen or so friends, relatives and neighbors who have provided phone numbers in case the snow drifts get too deep or the toilet overflows. Ferocious Lizzie will make sure no unwanted visitors enter the house, and Chelsea has a long single-spaced “to do” list which will keep her busy all winter, with any help she needs just a phone call away. The best offer: “Tell Chelsea to call my brother if she needs anything. He doesn’t know how to do anything, but he knows who to call.”
We’ll try to keep you posted on our whereabouts. Next post likely: “Ocean in sight! Oh, the joy!”