January 24, 2020

Dark Skies 2014: The End of the Road… for Now.

Life on the road…

(All photos by the author).

The time has come.

Every alpha must have an omega, and this week sees us bringing our 2014 expedition to a close. Since June 1st, we’ve hit 37 of the 50 states in the U.S., and toured the four corners of the lower 48 contiguous states in search of stories, curiosities and dark skies. We’ve stayed in yurts, tents, tipis, hotels and motels, and shared our tales and insight with whoever would host us. Of course, we’d love to say that we gained some deeper insight into the American experience and the human condition, but ultimately travel and the journey onward is its own lesson and reward.  We were glad that we successfully stuck to the blog and managed to chronicle the event week by week… we’d recommend this exercise to anyone as a great means of putting things into perspective.

Coffee and keyboards in Macon, Georgia.

As I write this, we’re stationary once again for the holidays in Aroostook County Maine, the land of our people. The snow gets a bit deeper, and the abodes of civilization a little farther apart this far north. But of course, we’re welcoming the brief respite to unfurl and digest the trip and the events of the past few months a bit. Heck, just sorting through the thousands of images we shot could easily occupy a week.

Paying a visit to the storage unit.

For extra fun, we traveled with a geriatric pet with separation anxiety this year. This extra challenge ensured that we had to make some adjustments, though it was still an amazing 20,000 mile journey. We’re a pack, and packs stick together.

Anyways, here are some things that we learned on the road:

-      Never turn down a chance to do laundry.

-      Stay healthy, and keep that exercise regimen (running is an easy one to maintain).

-      Two inches of snow down south is still a BIG deal.

-      Never leave your dogs.

-      Every place has its own culture and its own story to tell.

-      Always take twice as much cash and half as much stuff.

-      And speaking of cash, have multiple pathways to such. We carry 2 credit cards, a debit ATM, checks, and good old paper cash.

-      Tell yourself every time you get behind the wheel that “my task right now is to get safely from point A to point B.”

-      Keep a routine, even on the road.

-      Ask yourself, in the words of astronaut Chris Hadfield, “what can kill me next?”

-      Also ask yourself: “Could I be writing at this moment?”

Maintaining a healthy attitude on the road is essential.

And of course, don’t forget to have fun. Travel is infectious, and we don’t doubt that we’ll be getting on the road again soon in 2015. It’s a big world out there, and we’ve yet to see most of it.

L.L. Beans: a mandatory stop on the road northward.

And what’s next for Astroguyz in 2015? Well, we’re planning on offering readers something special, starting next week: Free excerpts from our works of science fiction, every Friday. Feel free to download ‘em, critique ‘em, and discuss… If nothing else, my ulterior motive is that this will spur me into sitting down and writing more fiction.

Snowbound life.

See you in 2015!

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