• J. F. Rowan

The Final Stretch


Getting the truck and trailer ready for storage.

In late May, Yvette returned to Amherst (MA) to inspect our condo and size it up for a few changes, primarily a new coat of paint and some new flooring. I stayed with the Tiger and trailer still camping in Connecticut. Still monitoring the Covid situation and other matters of the world, it seemed pretty clear that things would never get back to what we perceived as “normal.” There were some long discussions the two of us would have as to what would lay ahead. In the meantime, there was still plenty to do in the present.


A dear friend helping us paint. An awesome free hand painter!

I tried to keep myself busy doing tasks here and there. I like to keep my hands busy, for me, it's an essential part of who I am. The older I get the more the saying, “Idle hands are the devils' workshop” seems to become more relevant. The times that I do listen to the news, it seems that it applies to a lot of other people as well. Yvette kept busy and had the help of one of our good friends who is an excellent painter.


Trying to breath life into some old iron.

The two of them spent four days painting the inside of our condo bringing some much needed to color to our future living space. In the meantime, a flooring specialist was scheduled to lay down some new floor right when the painting would be finished. With temperatures and humidity on the rise, as soon as the condo was finished, it would be time for me to return to Amherst as well.


New paint AND new flooring.

Though small, we have our own garden box.

It is strange to leave a campsite that you’ve occupied for over a week. I think we both noticed this on the road as well. You get a bit attached to a spot. The birds and other wildlife become your neighbors. The sound the trees make when the wind blows, it all becomes a part of the experience and a part that you feel you leave behind. So as exciting as looking ahead to the next chapter of your adventure, it can also be a bit heavy in the heart whenever we leave. What I didn’t reveal earlier, was this second spot was about 800 feet from my old homestead. Camping there was a constant reminder of my youth. Most of the memories were good, but it was also a time when I lost my brother. And every night I could look across the field and see the upper half of the house where I spent the first 14 years of my life. Three windows, 2 on the second floor and one on the third, an attic window. One of the two second-story windows were where my brother and I had our bedrooms. My brother's old bedroom had a light that must have been on a timer (homeowners were not always there) because his second story window was lit every night until midnight. So I had a reminder of him almost every night. The week or so while Yvette was in Amherst, I would usually spend the end of the day watching that window as the light would turn on. And sometimes, wait until midnight as that same window would go dark.

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Getting ready to transport a 37' Chevrolet for some friends. The man on the right was my brothers best friend, Rob.

The view of my old homestead from camp.

On June 12th, I finished up breaking camp and headed north. After arriving at the condo, Yvette and I would spend that weekend emptying the rig and prepping it for storage. We had coordinated with a good friend from town to store the rig as our condo association does not allow for parking of such vehicles. By Sunday afternoon, we moved the truck and trailer to its new spot in Hadley. The two of us will have to make some serious decisions in the coming days.

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Fire Ring
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