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insularity

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 by

Somehow, when we planned to move 3,000 miles from one coast nearly to another, and to rent an RV to get our cats from the old home to the new, losing touch with the outer world wasn’t one of the things I thought about.

But when you’ve lived in tech central for more than a decade, it doesn’t occur to you that large swathes of the U.S. don’t even have reliable cellphone service, let alone 3G or wi-fi. That even getting a radio station to stay available for more than a few minutes as you drive 70 mph on I-40 through Arizona or New Mexico would be a real challenge.

Or that having your world sharply focused on a few cubic feet of living space containing your whole family (one other person and three cats) would narrow your mental field of vision to a tiny point.

But that’s what happened.

There could have been a nuclear war, and as long as the few towns along I-40 weren’t affected we wouldn’t have known.

And, for the record, there are few towns along I-40, at least in the Western and Central parts of the U.S. A couple major cities and many, many truckstops (for which I have a new appreciation, more on that in a later post), but not much else in the way of settled towns.

We saw billboards for guns, knives and Jesus and park signs for Mouse Tail Landing and Frog Suck Park…stayed in RV parks named for Smoky Bear and a river through a desert. We met people who were home-schooling their kids in an RV and people drinking moonshine by Tennessee moonlight.

We saw landscapes that boggled the imagination, beauty you couldn’t dream up…stark desert-scapes and mesas, sheer red rock cliffs and broad sparkling rivers. I learned that Arkansas is filled with gorgeous scenery and New Mexico is even more wonderful than we already thought. And that the cows in Oklahoma get lighter as you head east.

There will be particular posts here on each of our stops and some of our adventures, and photos of our mascot, Fred the bear, in relevant poses. As I write this we are still waiting for our furniture to arrive here in North Carolina, but our lives here are beginning; we got our cars today.

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