If you are looking at this picture and thinking “That’s not Horseshoe Bend,” you’d be right. It’s nearby, but this certainly isn’t it.
On our road trip last August, Hawke and I were heading north around the eastern side of the Grand Canyon. It was our third day on the road and we were heading toward Zion National Park; we didn’t have reservations anywhere and wanted to get to our next sleeping spot as early in the day as we could. We were making good speed, but as with all road trips, a bathroom break was needed, so we stopped at what looked like a rest stop. Turned out it was for a hiking trail and the fellow at the gate explained that it was just a 20 minute hike if wanted to do that after using the bathrooms, but we demurred and he let us through to use the facilities then hit the road again.
In Chamberlain, South Dakota there is a sculpture of an indigenous woman that stands 50 ft. tall along Interstate 90. For years now I’ve wanted to “someday” see it in-person. She carries one of my favorite quilt designs, a Lone Star quilt, billowing behind her and she towers over the hills and the Missouri River. The pictures I had seen were amazing, but as with most places, the pictures can’t do it justice.
Hawke and I were almost to the end of our week when I realized that our path toward Omaha would take us directly by her. We had to stop.
I used to spend almost half my time on the road, traveling the United States while teaching at quilt shops and conventions. Over the past year, that work travel stopped and it was a shock to the system. To all my systems.
We started weekly sewing classes on Facebook Live, so I kept on teaching (albeit it in a completely different way) and I was happy to finally be eating homemade food rather than restaurant food.
But one of the biggest revelations after months of lockdown was just how much I had loved the side benefits of seeing this country, learning its history, trying local foods and stopping at roadside attractions. I’d learned a lot in the three years I’d been a traveling sewing/quilting teacher.