Dear family and friends… Gary

If I had to pick the one thing that I’ve learned from our  travels over the last five months  is how incredibly lucky we are to live in the USA,  particularly in the southwest with all of the amazing public land available.


                               Saguache Park in So. CO  


                      Sunset in So. AZ,  Black Canyon Trail


                                On the GDMBR in NM.


                    San Antonio Mountain,  southern CO.

I no longer have a desire to travel 6-7 additional months in a foreign country.

Someone,  Cindy Villa I think,  gave us a magazine article called “Caring for your introvert”.*  When I read it I thought, wow,  I am not alone,  or weird,  there are others out there like me. I shouldn’t feel guilty or need to apologize because I have no desire to willingly be in a crowded,  noisy environment.


                                  Cabazon Peak,  NM

I do know that I like quiet, I like calm, I like organization,  I
like efficiency,  I like solitude,  I like peaceful,  I appreciate
clean and neat. I dislike crowds.  

The populated areas of Peru,  and the other 3rd world countries I’ve been in,  don’t fit into the paragraph above and they really can’t be avoided …   I have enjoyed Peru, the experiences I’ve had here the last 6 weeks will always be treasured.  Most people agree however, that traveling here is hard.  I can do hard,  in fact most things I’ve ever done that are worthwhile have been hard.  I have come to the conclusion, that for me , traveling  in 3rd world countries is not just hard,  the rewards don’t outweigh the efforts.  On top of that that I  seem to keep having health issues.  

You know how a song pops into your head and you can’t make it go away?  For weeks now I’ve been having mental images popping into my head of areas in the 4 corners states.  This is where I feel passion.  More often than not these images include mesas, canyons,  pinon/ juniper, scrub oak,  and ponderosa.  Always clean air,  solitude and quiet. Often times it’s New Mexico,  canyon country has been calling loudly too. Patti thinks it’s because it’s familiar to me.   I don’t really agree,  regardless, it doesn’t change my feelings.


                                  NM on the GDMBR


                                   CO on the GDMBR


                               AZ on the Coconino Trail

For the reasons above we’ve decided to head back to the US in early November. We aren’t ready to go home though,  we’ll continue to travel,  sometimes by bike, sometimes by foot.  Southern AZ and NM are in our sites,  Baja and Big Bend are possibilities.  We’re planning to go to the PNW for a new grand child in January as well.

The only thing certain at this point is that we fly in to Albuquerque.  I/we chose ABQ for family reasons.Patti would be happy to continue working our way south from here.  I feel really bad about asking her to leave.  It’s also frustrating for me knowing that friends and people I respect tremendously** love traveling here.  I now accept that I’m not one of them.


                              Waiting for the ride home….

Patti……  Although I would truly love to continue on through South America perhaps this is not the time.   Not having the same issues that Gary experiences here,  I admit,  the din can be overwhelming and I absolutely understand why he has come to this point and this decision at this time.  I truly appreciate the fact that he’s given it his best, much of it has been for my benefit.  Far more than wanting to continue through SA is my deep desire for Gary to be happy and like all good partners we have complementary strengths,  we travel well together…. Sure, I could continue on either solo or with friends we’ve made along the way,  but I would much rather be with a happy Gary in his happy places.  After all,  they’re my happy places as well.   So…  folks…  I’m totally good with this decision.   SA will always be here.   Besides….  he’s so very right,  we are blessed to have what we have at home….  and that includes all of you!!!!  

*Article on introverts;

**Friends that are now or have recently traveled here long term;

Harriet and Neil-
Sarah and Tom-


25 thoughts on “Dear family and friends… Gary

  1. I totally get it! Every time I travel out of the U.S. I want to kiss the ground when I return home. This time will be no different. Love you guys we’ll be seeing you at home, even if that will mean New Mexico or Arizona!

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Oh, yeah… New discoveries for sure. Where are you and Carol now,?? We’ll be back on Tuesday to DN to gets cold weather gear, the truck (unfortunately), go to the dentist and see friends. Will you be around??

  2. What a beautiful email Gary<3 You have touched my heart<3 You have reminded me of GRATITUDE to see and feel every moment:) I also appreciate your honesty….I am inspired to embrace the places in me that need affirmation. I have been meaning to write to you both because I have been missing you guys…way more. Not only does the landscape call you…but the people too<3 I miss you both!!!!

  3. Definitely bittersweet I am sure. I hope you guys still keep up with the blog, I have really enjoyed keeping up with your adventures!

    Also we are looking forward to seeing you guys in January, can’t wait!

    1. Thanks Greg. We will keep the blog going. The only thing that will change is our location, we plan to travel through the wintet, at least. Yes, were both looking forward to coming to Bellingham.

  4. I’m a recent follower, and very jealous of your joint adventures on bike. I totally understand your dilemma, I’ve done some traveling in central Mexico and the while it is very energizing at 1st, it can become overwhelming. Looking forward to your travels in the SW. ( I’m sure I’ll be jealous of those too).

  5. Gary and Patti,

    Let us be the first to welcome you home!

    We’ve greatly enjoyed free camping, graded (and ungraded, unmaintained) dirt roads, and wide open spaces, since returning to the US. For us, we only have enough energy to travel for about half the year before everything seems a little more difficult. We hope to run into you in the SW soon. We just rolled into the Grand Canyon Village this morning, and are looking forward to some AZT+ over the next few weeks. Lael is talking about some riding in Baja as well– she’s always dreaming of some place warmer and sunnier! Not sure if we will ever make it to AK.

    Hope to see you guys soon. Let me know if you are itching to ride in AZ sooner than later. Jeremy will be joining next week near Flagstaff.


  6. Riding in the southwest, I’ve been thinking of you two a lot lately. The past two years, you’ve really welcomed us here and shared the area. Thank you.

    While Europe was incredibly stimulating, riding here gives me the space to reflect and dream. I feel so fortunate to be back exploring.

    I hope we catch up soon.


    1. Thanks for the comment, lael… Yup, I’m getting psyched to be back in the SW. It’s exciting in a very magical, visceral sort of expanding way. Hope to see you somewhere.

  7. I completely get it. I would be feeling just as Gary is if I was in that situation. My best wishes and blessings and I still want to see all the pictures!!! And know if you need some help in ABQ, you have a great friend in Santa Fe which is just up the road! Feel free to call any time. I’m around.

    1. Thanks for commenting… Miss Rebecca! I know you love mountains.. The andies are absolutely huge to me, and gorgeous, but we do have so much at home. We’re hoping to hike the John Muir this spring or summer weather dependent. OK.. Will look you up in Santa fe..!!

  8. Wow, thanks everyone for the support and kind words, both here and on email . This was a hard decision for me but I feel really good about it.

    Bob thanks for the offer, maybe next summer, hopefully no more winters in DN.

    Nick and Lael, I’ll write soon. We’ll definitely try to meet up- somewhere warm!

    Rebacca, thanks for the offer, all our photos are stored on our flickr page-

  9. Dear Gary and Patti,

    Glad to hear that you have made the decision to come home to the SW US. I’ve wondered when it would be time. A year+ is a very long time to be away from home.

    Gary, I empathize with your need to be away from cities and crowds. Me, too.

    Patti, you’ve had a great adventure together. I admire you for respecting Gary’s needs. Of all my couple friends, you two have always seemed to me to be the most together and respectful of each other.

    I look forward to when you come home to DN…if I’m still here, and it looks very much like I will be as there are NO buyers around. So, I’m being patient as I don’t have any time limit on my moving.

    I miss you. You’ve been feeling friends calling to you from here, too, I think.

    Much love to you both,

    1. Thanks for such a sweet comment and complement!!! We’ll see you in a few days. I’m secretly glad your house hasn’t sold yet so that we can see you!! Love you,

  10. Hi, Gary and Patti. Just catching up with your Peruvian adventures now… internet has been had to come by. Seems like some ups and downs – good in the long run to know what is good for you.

    I’m pleased on honoured to be included in your list of friends travelling in the ‘area’, especially as we haven’t (yet) met in person.

    I hear you on the crowds, the dirt, the rubbish, the lack of environmental awareness. But then there is also the wide open spaces, the human warmth and generosity, the passion for life despite its hardships.

    Happy travels wherever you are. I’m working chronologically through your posts so there is still new to come.


    1. Hi Anna, although we haven’t officially met we have mutual friends and your blog is one of my favorites. Hopefully our paths will cross, eventually. I really admire what you’re doing. For myself, though, I’m much happier in the SW of the USA.

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