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On the Move, Helping Kids Move

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Last year I assisted in moving one of my kids up to New England. This year again found me assisting a move to New England, for our oldest and his family. I am happy to say that in both cases a professional moving company did the actual move. My involvement was only driving a car and a moving a few boxes once the movers left.

After my oldest asked if I could help out on their move, I looked up the total one-way driving time from Colorado to Massachusetts. It is over 32 hours and about 2,100 miles. Some of the travel was just me in the car, following my oldest across the country, and part was driving from Kentucky with our grandson and my wife to the new home. And of course, the 14-hour, 900-mile drive back home and any driving along the way to see friends and family.

This adventure started with me landing at the Colorado Springs airport as my grandson and daughter-in-law were getting ready to fly to Kentucky. Good parents that they are, they do not want to have their child sitting in a car for the entire drive from Colorado to Massachusetts.

I feel like I just made this drive back in January 2022. When you think you know your plans for the next month, I was unexpectantly was looking forward to driving across Kansas again this year. In any case, I was happy to find myself flying to Colorado so that I could drive back to the east coast and spend time with family.

The timing of the airplanes was wonderful; too bad the movers were not finished with the packing in Colorado. Our original plan was for me to fly in, load the car and begin driving.  I was able to take advantage of time in Colorado as the movers were delayed in finishing their packing.  

On the weekend, instead of waiting for the movers to show up on Monday, my son and I were excited to hike Brown’s Creek Trail in the San Isabel National Forest. The views from Brown Lake at the top were wonderful. It was a 12-mile hike with over 2,400 feet in elevation gain. The waterfall is a picturesque spot to stop and take some refreshment, which is just what we did.

In Colorado, you just never know when it might rain or thunderstorm. On the way down from Brown Lake we did get rained on a little bit; we ran down some of the trail in case in the higher elevations it became bad. I am so glad to get another big hike in on the mountains in Colorado. Thank you to Anna for finding this terrific hike and driving us to the mountain and back.

The three of us hikers stopped at Buena Vista, Colorado, for dinner on our way back to Colorado Springs. This is a charming town on the Arkansas River with all the surrounding mountains making for great views while enjoying dining outdoors.

The move was again delayed; my son and I did not leave until Tuesday when I was originally expecting to leave on the prior Saturday. With an extra day in the Colorado Springs area, I was able to visit one of my favorite attractions, the Garden of the Gods. Even in the rain, I enjoyed walking along the peaks and the colorful rocks.

The other thing I did while waiting for the movers to finish up was playing disc golf at Cumberland Green, in Colorado Springs, a good beginner course. I managed to play three rounds while visiting for four days.

We finally got on the road, in the rain, late on Tuesday afternoon. We spent one night in Hayes, Kansas, and the next day I stopped in Topeka, Kansas, to play some disc golf and stretch my legs allowing my son to sleep in and catch up with me in his car when I finished my round.

My son and I arrived in Kentucky and had a few days together with our grandson and our daughter-in-law. It was fun to relax and make plans for the next leg of the journey. Our son and his wife needed to begin work (glad to be retired!) and prepare to receive the movers, which is best done without an 18-month-old in tow. Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed our alone time with our grandson prior to driving out to meet the parents now settled and working in Massachusetts.

While the family from Colorado was here, our recently married daughter came up to work from our home and spend time with all of us. We had a fun family challenge of running while everyone was here. Most of us are not too fast, but we all enjoy being active.

After about a week alone with our grandson, it was time for us to leave Kentucky and drive up to Massachusetts. Driving with a young child, we needed to take advantage of his time asleep and get him moving to sleep again in the car. Our grandson responded well to the car ride and stops we made.  

Our first stop, about 4 hours from the house, was the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We had driven by this park several times without noticing it. It was a fun stop and picnic. Just the right amount of walking around and energy release for an 18-month-old to explore. The rangers even indulged us by making him a junior ranger. When I was younger, the Cuyahoga River was best known for catching on fire. It has now been cleaned up and the biking path here looks like a fun path for us to take in the future. 

When we arrived at the new place in Massachusetts, we were not surprised that the moving trucks were not coming as soon as planned. We took advantage of our three weeks waiting to explore the area and catch up with family and friends.

At the new house, able to enjoy the only chair fit for him.

Some of our highlights from exploring New England include biking, running, hiking and playing disc golf. We were able to enjoy several state parks in Massachusetts that we had not visited when we lived there.

Our oldest was nice enough to give us some running tips. I know he has collected several since running on the high school cross country team and being in the Army. We learned a lot and hope to improve our running as a result of the private lessons.

Our Massachusetts park stops included:

Borderland where we ran and hiked trails as well as sampled the disc golf course.

Massasoit State Park where our grandson loved to play on the playground and we were able to get in a lot of hiking.

Boyden Wildlife Refuge where we took a few of our hikes. We enjoyed exploring here as it was near where the kids now live.

Dighton Rock State Park where we enjoyed biking to and from the park. We did the tour and saw the rock, which was exciting for us but not too much to look at.

We took a few different roads to go to Dighton Rock. Our favorite was a less traveled road that has a sign for the Pan Mass challenge; we have friends who rode in that event.

On the other side of the Taunton River from Dighton Rock is Sweets Knoll State Park. This place from the outside looks like a private residence. This is an interesting park, pretty and not too developed. One of the trails ends at the railroad bridge from where we think we can see Dighton Rock State Park.  It has the promise of future funding to make connections with other state parks.

During our three-week stay, we also biked on the nearby trails.

We rode on the Assabet River Rail Trail starting in Marlborough.  Years ago, I played in a band during the dedication of the trail. It is always fun to come back and ride on this trail, although it is not yet connected the way the organizers dream it will connect sometime in the future. We did enjoy riding over 11 miles total from Marlborough through to the adjoining town of Hudson and back again.

We took a ride on the Blackstone River Valley bike path,  starting in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. This is another partially finished trail, with plans in the future to connect bike paths. We enjoyed the 11 completed miles and rode for over 21 miles. The parts that are completed are scenic and fun to ride.

We completed the East Bay Bike Path, Rhode Island, that we started last year. This year we rode from near the end to Bristol, riding roundtrip over 20 miles compared to the ride last year of about 24 miles.

We were able to get together in Rhode Island for some disc golf with family. It is always good to see the oldest two get competitive. 

Eventually the movers made it to the new place. We took a few days to help the kids unload their possessions, enjoyed having a table to eat at and use plates and utensils, the small stuff that makes the house a home.

We were excited to be back home, although we miss being with our grandson, and our kids.

Lesson Learned:

We learned long ago that when our kids want us to be involved, it is good to say yes. So, we went on this journey moving across country for almost a month.

Happiness is found where we are. It does not come when some date or event occurs. It is what we do all the time. Maintaining a happy state is easy for us, being retired and hanging out with our kids and grandchild. Imagine that the movers are late coming to your new house as they were in packing up the former place. Also, imagine that the new place is being renovated and you do not have many toys for the grandchild and only a couple of dishes and an air mattress or two. We can; this was our life for a few weeks as we waited for the moving van to show up so we could help unpack prior to going back home. It was fun, and we kept reminding ourselves that we were having fun being with the people we wanted to be with.

Other Fun:

We had a fun stop for ice cream after the Blackstone River Trail. We managed to find Wright’s Dairy in Rhode Island. As the sign says “RI’s only cow to cone ice cream.” It was delicious!

We went with the family to Newport Beach, Rhode Island, and after we were tired of the water, we took the cliff walk.

A friend from Marlborough drove out to give us a bridge clinic, have some dinner and caught up on things. We had seen him at our daughter’s wedding and it was good to have a less formal setting (borrowed chairs and a card table) to get together.

I had a visit from a former co-worker, making his way to Boston for business, who stopped by to visit and see the house prior to furniture. The East Coast is a good place to reconnect with friends and family.

We rode for about 140 miles while visiting in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


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