August 15th, 2021, one year ago today, Deb and I paused to rest before the next leg of our journey. In that day’s post I took time to note how far we’d pushed the points of the compass. Since then three of the four have changed, one of them within the last month:

  • Eastern extreme: -82.479559° W (on Ohio Route 79 south of I-70 in Buckeye Lake, in the bus and the Silverado)
  • Southern extreme: 29.554483° N (exiting Loop 1604 outside San Antonio, Texas, in the bus)
  • Western extreme: 114.375283° W (on the Kintla Lake Road above the North Fork of the Flathead River, 2.1 miles southwest of Kintla Lake, in the Jeep)
  • Northern extreme: 48.935920° N (near the end of the Kintla Lake Road, 4.5 miles due south of the Canadian border, in the Jeep)

It’s quite probable that Ernie, which has seen 15 states with us, won’t leave Arkansas again while he’s in our care. Our trusty orange toad, Mercy, which originated (with Deb and me) here in Harrison, has traveled in seven states and Artie the SilverSilverado has rolled wheels in five since we picked it up June.

With the odyssey over, it would seem that our world is smaller these days. We’re left with a trove of rich and vivid memories that’ll last a lifetime, but we’ve moved on. Now we travel between our campground and The Mountain, preoccupied with creating a Home from dirt and dreams.

And yet our American Life vibrates with possibility. Far from small, it’s expanding to fill a vision that Deb and I have shared for 17 years.

We’ve spent a ton of energy on the necessaries of structure and site but not much time on what’ll occupy the interior of our Home on The Mountain. And since we sold, donated or discarded 90% of what once furnished Second Chance Ranch, basically we’re starting from scratch.

After years together, refined some by recent conversations, we’re pretty set on what we’re looking for. Functional. Simple. Comfortable. Nothing extravagant. Though it’s not a log cabin, it is a homestead surrounded by trees, so a woodsy esthetic would work.

Many things we’ll pick up secondhand. Other stuff we’ll buy new. Today we visited a couple of local family-owned stores, each of which has been in business for 30 years or more, to begin stuffing our heads with ideas.

The first we’d been to before, last winter — Log Cabin Furniture in Harrison, where the wares match the name. Lots of bears and moose and elk and such. Leather and textured weaves. Barn wood, logs, twigs and “live edge” tables.

After almost two hours browsing Log Cabin we drove south out of town on Route 7 to Mistler’s Furniture and Appliances, a good ol’ country store stocked with all manner of poofy couches and recliners, plus an amazing selection of fridges, ranges, dishwashers and the like.

We ended the day with a dinner buffet. I filled three plates.

All in all it was a useful exercise. Our vision is starting to take shape.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB