Flashback: One year ago today


As Deb and I roll up on the month of May, writing the next chapter of our American Life, we can’t help but remember where we were and what we were doing at this time last year — we were here at Second Chance Ranch, getting ready to leave the next morning on what we hoped would be the journey of a lifetime.

It was, of course — and I covered the odyssey here on Ubi Libertas Blog, all 322 days of it (and counting our shakedown, 340 days).

Today I’m sharing what I posted last April 30th. Reading it now, knowing what would follow, gave me the best kind of chills.


Journey’s eve

April 30, 2021

Well the road rolls out like a welcome mat
To a better place than the one we’re at

Chris Stapleton

We’ve done all we can. We’ve prepared Ernie and we’ve prepared ourselves, taking care of every bit of personal business we can think of. Second Chance Ranch, its maintenance and its security, is in the best possible hands.

An unexpected home repair cropped up at the last minute, so we dispatched that. Two days of torrential rain put a bit of water in our basement late yesterday, which had me running our transfer pump — but only for five minutes. Fate seems to respect what we’re up to.

Last month, on the night before our maiden voyage to Tennessee, we looked forward to three purposeful weeks on the road followed by the assurance of returning to the place we’ve called home for 11 years. Tonight will be very different.

In the morning we enter terra incognita.

It feels nothing like a household move or a change of jobs. It’s unfamiliar and unknown, yet absent fear and infused with a strong sense of certainty. We’ve been listening to that Chris Stapleton song almost every day…

Now this might not be an easy time
There’s rivers to cross & hills to climb
Some days we might fall apart
And some nights might feel cold & dark

But nobody wins afraid of losin’
And the hard roads are the ones worth choosin’
Some days we’ll look back & smile
And know it was worth every mile

I want to call particular attention one of those lines: “Nobody wins afraid of losin’.” That reminded me of the closing words of Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

“…there is a feeling now, that was not here before, and is not just on the surface of things, but penetrates all the way through: We’ve won it. It’s going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things.”

That’s it. We’ll see you on the road.


One of the “hard roads” we chose — eastbound on US Route 2 west of the Continental Divide on September 18th, 2021.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon