After my mother died, I found an old leather bound journal that my parents got from collecting “Marlboro Miles” over the years. My dad had written on the first couple pages; The phone number for the auto parts stores in Carlisle and Gettysburg, as well as the contact information for the mower repair shop. I left the first page intact and decided to use this beautiful and sturdy journal for my travels. It’s gone to multiple areas of southern California in 2018, all the way across the country in a car from PA to New Mexico this past June, and back to the central coast of California just a couple weeks ago. What follows here is part of the first entry from our first trip to California in 2020, right before the pandemic hit. Beginning in 2022, you will see much more of this from me. I hope you follow along, and that it inspires you in some way, whether it be to travel or to just give more attention to what is present in your lives.

February 23, 2020 – Sunday – Joshua Tree, CA

The sounds of the desert are all around me. There are various birds, doves and others I can’t identify on sound alone, and an owl. The owl said hello last evening a few times, but he is quite vocal this morning, seemingly in competition with every other aviator around. We are in a neighborhood, surrounded by other homes, but just past their rooftops lie these beautiful mountains. I believe the San Bernardino’s. This lovely, barren-looking landscape. It was dark when we arrived last evening, so we didn’t see any of it around us; and it’s a new moon, so totally dark, but how amazing it is to go to sleep under the cover of night and wake up to a whole new landscape. It was much the same Friday night when we arrived in LA. Greeted by the miles and miles of never-sleeping city lights beneath us as the plane touched down on the runway, we had little hint of what the dawn would bring us.