Some background - The Andersons at one - CycleBlaze

January 16, 2018

Some background

2018 is a banner year in the Anderson family: we both fully retired recently; this summer will see our 30th anniversary; and we have just decided to sell our home and live primarily on the road on our bicycles for the next few years.   It's a good time to look back again on where we started, and to finally publish the journal of our first significant tour together.

We kept a good journal of this tour, in all respects but one: none of the entries are dated.  The title of the hand-written journal identifies it as a June tour, but we've always thought of it as a celebration of our first anniversary, which is on July 8th.  Since I don't have the actual dates available, I've by default dated it to begin in June and end after our anniversary.  Close enough for reminiscing on a journey that took place almost three decades ago- I’m sure it must be within two weeks of the actual dates.  (An update: I placed the exact dates when I found a reference to Father's Day.  I was only off by one day.)

Most of the journal is verbatim as it was written at the time.  Occasionally I might interject with comments or insights from the present.  When I do, I'll parenthesize and italicize them (like so).  

To set our stage: we were just approaching our first anniversary.  We met roughly 20 months earlier, at the office - Rachael had just hired on while I was down in the southwest on a solo bike tour from Cedar City to Flagstaff.  We hit it off immediately, moved in together that winter, and bought Rachael's first adult bicycle in early summer.  We were very much in love, and very exited to be taking an extended tour together: a roughly four week loop beginning and ending in Montreal.  The original vision was to loop south through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine; ferry across to Nova Scotia; and then bike back to Montreal.  We were camping, and didn't have a set itinerary beyond the general vision.

Our household at the time consisted of our son Shawn, aged 17; one dog, Shasta, age 2; and four cats: Sabaki, 3; Cesar, Prufrock, and Kitty, ages unknown.  Shawn was in Seattle with his mother for the summer, and I have no idea now what we did with the pets.  Or maybe Shawn came down for the month and cared for them?  Maybe it will come back to me while writing this up and talking it over with Rachael.

Here's the look of this motley crew at the time: 

Scott, and his contributions to the new household:

Somewhere near Great Basin National Park, on a drive back from SLC to visit Rachael’s mother and introduce her to her new son-in-law.
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Shawn, helping me erect a fence at our new home so we could let Shasta have the roam of the back yard.
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Cesar - one tough cat, he adopted Shawn and me when he wandered in off the street a few years earlier. I don’t know where Shawn and I got his name, but it fit.
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Sabaki, a humane society adoption whose name ( a term from the game of Go) means light shape. Also very apt. For years Sabaki was very reclusive, spending most of her day behind the drapes. We started seeing much more of her after Shawn moved out of the house, oddly enough.
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Shasta, another volunteer. She showed up in the parking lot of my office one day, just a pup. Wonderful temperament. The favorite of all my dogs (but don’t pass this on to her predecessor Molly, a close second).
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And from Rachael’s side of the partnership:

In Utah, just east of Great Basin NP, on the same trip as pictured above. One of my favorite photos of my new lifemate.
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Ron SuchanekThat’s a great photo!!!
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4 years ago
Kitty. Rachael has never revealed where this creative name came from. Very affectionate, warm. Excellent mouser - he would bring his new conquests through the window at night and play with them on the carpet.
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Prufrock (and Kitty), from the poem. Great cat. He would come into our bedroom through our open window in the middle of the night, sit on my head and purr loudly, his tail twitching across my face.
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Enough background - let the games begin!

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Jeremy PerksSuch a nice post - I love the descriptions and pictures of the animals!
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3 years ago