“There is no Set Path; Just Follow Your Heart”

This quote, copied from a friend’s refrigerator magnet, sat on my desk while I was planning my 5-week, 6,400 mile road trip to the west. It resonated with me. I wanted to travel the Country like John Steinbeck in “Travels with Charley: In Search of America”, except that I didn’t have a standard French poodle, so I brought Teddy Tripper, my Vermont teddy bear, a gift for my first major solo RV trip six years before when I drove down the east coast of Florida and up the west.

Steinbeck had a “lifelong wanderlust” and so do I. At first I thought of taking my entire trip with “no set path”, which I imagined Steinbeck had done. But, I soon realized that it was not 1960 and I am not Steinbeck. So, I did my thing with the guide books and the maps and yes, made reservations for all 35 nights.

In the end, it became clear to me that of course there is no set path, that is until we create one. And the fact that I created mine in advance rather than as I went along, does not diminish the fact that during my months of research and planning, I did indeed follow my heart.

The path my heart created: Ten National Parks and monuments, including Rocky Mountain, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier Mountain, Redwood, Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, and Mesa Verde, plus several state parks and well-known landmarks. In between I toured the Black Hills in South Dakota, the Coast of Oregon, Napa Valley, as well as the west coast cities of Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. And, best of all, I set aside time to get off the beaten path to visit friends and acquaintances in small towns along the way.

When we follow our heart, we will always be on the right path.


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