In October 2010, I flew to Arizona. The purpose of this trip was to receive my father-in-law’s (Ed) treasured Isuzu Trooper. He took good car of the vehicle and knew that my wife and I had only one vehicle and with a young daughter and both of us working the situation was becoming more difficult. Sadly, Ed was in a position to relinquish his Trooper; he had been undergoing extensive treatment for a bad case of aggressive cancer.
The more recent conversations Ed and I had through social media had become rather tense. He and I have widely divergent views on some issues. This made thing difficult between all involved – including the relationship I have with my wife. Ed picked me up from the Phoenix airport, treated me to lunch and then let me settle in. I was going to stay the night and head out early the next morning. For my part, I felt that through our lunch conversation we were finally able to understand each other. I expressed to Ed that we didn’t have to share the same beliefs in order to respect and love each other. In that moment, at least in my mind, I think he understood me a bit better.
The next morning, I headed out on my trek from Arizona to Washington. I had taken some time to prepare for this trip and had my stops scheduled. Some of which included:
- General George S. Patton Museum
- Big Sur, CA
- Carmel Mission Basilica
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Apple Headquarters
- Tillamook Cheese Visitor Center
Along the way I also saw an abundance of beautiful scenery courtesy of CA Highway 1/US 101, which I took nearly the entire way. In order to conserve funds, I slept in the Trooper, first, at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and second, at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. I was able to make it home by the end of the third day. Though the trip was somewhat rushed, it was amazing and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to do it.
When I showed the pictures below to Ed, he said that even if the Trooper died as soon as the trip was over, it was well worth it. I think the trip was worth it, too. Not because I got to see many wonderful things, but because it was able to bring my father-in-law and I closer than we had been before, shortly before he succumbed to cancer.