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We have no permanent home in the US, and for the past six months, we’ve worked our way across the country until we arrived in Eureka, CA, where our oldest daughter and her fiance live, and where we can walk along the Pacific Ocean again. It was almost a coast-to-coast drive.

Starting in Chicago in April, we first went east to Lake Erie (to collect beach glass), when we were still reeling from the collapse of eight months of carefully planned travel in Europe. We already had our October reservation in Eureka, CA back when we thought we’d be landing at LAX on Oct. 1. As each month rolled over and yet another Airbnb property could be cancelled, we moved slowly across the US, making the best of the disaster.

Beach glass

In Ohio, there was wonderful beachcombing, and my brother and sister-in-law came from Syracuse for a socially-distanced visit just before New York required 14-day quarantine for doing such a thing.

In Minnesota, we rode on our host’s pontoon boat on the Mississippi.

Pileated woodpecker

On our way to Montana, we spent a night in Devils Lake, ND with dear friends from our old days in Southwest archaeology.

While we were in Montana, we visited the US/Canada border, and I swam in ice-cold water. I canned a dozen quarts of pie cherries and saw the woodpecker of my dreams. That’s in addition to Glacier National Park, and a lot of glorious wilderness.

A sunny day at the beach in Oregon.

In Oregon, my sister Paula and her partner came to visit. They stayed in their Airstream in the local RV resort and we tried to stay apart. (No hugs.)

We were fortunate that the weather was good enough for us all to stay outdoors. We may not have practiced ideal social distancing, but we wore masks and sat separately.

After every family visit, we went into seclusion for two weeks or more, since we have no one else to see, and we don’t go to restaurants. We shop for groceries, and we have occasionally had to do something else, like make a xerox copy for one of my monthly medical appointments. Jonathan goes into fish stores, mostly to buy crab. I don’t go in.

I fell off the shopping wagon once in Astoria, OR and got a new shirt, as both of my others with long sleeves are now frayed at the collar. I prefer in-person shopping for clothing, and resale/vintage stores particularly.

This week we crossed the finish line of our westward travels, arriving in Eureka, CA with our Prius loaded as full as we want it to get. We could see out the rear window, but not all of the rear window…..

Jim, Reggie, Amanda, & Hairy on a special occasion.

Just as we finished unloading the car here in Eureka, Amanda and Jim and their two tiny dogs came for a visit. We can’t really make a bubble because Jim has to go to the office in order to work. He’s not particularly exposed to people in his job, but it’s not the definition of a bubble.

We’re going to make the best of it, and enjoy seeing family in person, even if it’s from a safe distance.

Our home in the redwoods this month.

Eureka! We made it.