Thursday I drove in the dark towards my last of the 50 states on a two lane country road. Red lights pulsed all at once in random spots as far as I could see stretching miles and miles left to right. Every couple seconds the red lights pulsed in unison again.

What a sight! Then it dawned on me: Wind turbines. It was gorgeous and especially gorgeous when I was in the mystery of what this might be. Somewhere in the admiration of the pulsing red lights I crossed an imaginary line from Indiana to my last state: Illinois.

18 days shy of four years of wandering in my Airstream and I’ve visited all 50 states. Coddi (my Airstream) has been to the all of the lower 48. After the culmination of the travel triumph I ceremoniously fell asleep at 8pm in a Walmart parking lot in a random small town and slept for 10 hours.

Full of sleep and raring to go I woke up and drove to the local trails where I met Gene, a kind man who shared about the area and places to explore. Gene showed me on a map where his house is and said “If you need anything. Come by.”

After getting my fill of the lakes and rivers and forests that Gene introduced me to, I drove back to the state line to snap a picture. A lady came out of the bar next door to see if I needed any help. I didn’t, but she offered to take the photo at the top of the page.

Then I drove to my home for three days: Janet’s place. I met Janet’s brother, John, at a networking event in Sarasota, Florida in 2015. I haven’t seen Jon since, though we have emailed here and there. A month ago Jon reached out and said I must go visit his sister, she has a campsite on a lake and she is a hoot and it will be a special place that I’ll be able to share about in my stories.

This is Coddiwompling: I arrived, parked and then hung closet shelves in Janet’s rental house while she rewired the breaker box in the basement. We are living and this is life and there will always be stories. Jon was right.

It’s not getting all the stickers of all the 50 states or national parks or any other place, it’s Gene and Jon and Janet and it’s the lady at the bar at the state line and all the people and their stories and our stories… that’s the sweetness and the simple joy in this grand adventure.

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