Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ft. Craig & The Overlanders

Fred, the host at Ft. Craig Visitor Center, said he gets lots of Germans. He said they know more about Western History than most Americans. And they're willing to make the four-mile trip, one way, from the highway.

We'd solved all the world problems and were basking in self-satisfaction when Ed and Mary came in. They're overlanders and had just concluded an expedition across the Navajo Reservation. They'd been forced to backtrack 60 miles by a locked gate that wasn't shown on the old map they were using and were a tad concerned about the time. But Ed said they'd met several folks who'd invited them to stay and it'd been a great time. Unfortunately, they had to be in Tuscon by the next evening.

They've been married 37 years and retired at age 50 when they began traveling...eight years ago. Mary had hiked to Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of The Grand Canyon, a few days before. Ed said he felt incredibly lucky as there aren't many women who enjoy the lifestyle. 

They had bought several fixer-uppers and then rented them out. The houses provide most of their income, but they're both nurses and, when necessary, can easily find work. 

Ed said they live frugally; no children except their pets and they're down to one 20-year-old cat. It usually travels with them but had decided to layover in Tuscon (thus the need to return). Repairs to their vehicle have been minor. It has a little over 150,000 miles on it. They look pretty happy, don' chew tink?