Go West Old Men: A Travel Memoir. Part 18 – The End

Somewhere in Colorado

This is Part 18 and the final chapter of the story, follow these links to see Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17

Many partings.

Leaving Medano Pass Scott bounced us down the mountain, I mean he did the off-road driving.

Once we were safely back on the highway, I took the wheel for a while.

There was not much to see in that section of Colorado, and even less when we got to Kansas.

Kansas is a long and flat state. It is not, however, all in black and white.

It was a day of driving. About ten hours altogether.

We stopped for lunch in a diner that had all the local flavor, including a life-sized cutout of Donald Trump. I declined the photo.

It’s kind of sad that we had so much of our return trip in what can only be described as boring scenery. I mean, I’m sure the people of Kansas are nice and all. But, the fact is, we didn’t see many of them.

We made it to Kansas City on the Missouri side to stop for the night.

You might say we’d gone about as fer as we could go.

The next morning, we piled into the Jeep again and headed to Lexington for our final stop together.

We didn’t do any sightseeing on the way back. We caught a glimpse of the St.Louis Arch, but kept on driving.

Finally we made it to the Kentucky border, and while Lexington was still more than an hour away, we felt like we were almost home.

Back at our friend Carolyn’s house, we divided the spoils, or perhaps the spoiled laundry into our respective Jeeps and then went off to take Carolyn to one final dinner.

We found a hotel on the north side of Lexington, close to the Interstate to make it convenient fro both of us to head home in the morning.

Our journey together had come to an end.

There were parts of the trip that I liked less than others. But overall, I loved it. I loved the sites we saw. I loved spending time with Scott.

It was hard to say goodbye, but we were both ready to head home.

To paraphrase Gandalf…Here at last, in the shores of the Kentucky River comes the end of our fellowship in the great southwest. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are evil. #oldmanbucketlistroadtrip #thereandbackagain #grandcanyon #2023 #homewardbound

I jumped on I-64 and headed east to Richmond. It felt weird to be back in my own Jeep, with my own book on Audible, and most of all to be all by myself again.

I did make a side stop at Carter Mountain Orchard for some peaches. We do love summer peaches.
The drive from Lexington to our house in Richmond takes about nine hours. More when you’re an old man with frequent stops.

I pulled into the driveway, knowing that I had a lot to unpack, a lot of laundry to do, and just a day or so to get our son ready to spend the next five months in Japan.

I walked in the door, hugged my wife and said,

Well, I’m back.

“Well, I’m back.”


It was, indeed, a trip of a lifetime. Was it everything I had imaginged when I stood on the rim of the canyon at a mere 22-years-old? Of course not.

Were there times over the last 44 years that I thought I’d never make it back? Of course.

Scott the one who finally said we were doing this. He took the initiative to plan and to have most of the necessary equipment. I pitched in where possible. But without Scott’s planning, it wouldn’t have happened.

It was an amazing trip and we saw some amazing parts of the country. We visited with friends and family along the way.

We rekindled a deep friendship that began years ago when were just young men trying to figure out life.

Looking back, sure there were places I wish we’d made it to. And, as previously mentioned, a place or two I could have gone without.

But, we did it. By golly we did it.

Would I like to go back? Or check out some other area of the country? I counted the other day, I still have eleven states to visit.

To quote Mr. Bilbo, “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.”



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