August 24, 2020 – Monday
Lead Safe Mama 2020 Summer Tour Update
Hello friends! I wanted to give you an update on our adventures. I had hoped to record little videos every day — but traveling with disabled kids (during a pandemic) makes that difficult! Instead, we have been making sure to take lots of photos (all the photos!) with a few videos here and there! At some point in the near future I will share the videos we have recorded, though! (It just has not been the “daily journal” that I hoped for!)
The map above is a summary of our travels so far. The Roadtrippers website thinks we have travelled 3,598 miles – but I had been estimating it was actually closer to 5,000…well, here’s our odometer the first day of the trip – showing 19,526 miles:
…and here’s our odometer today : 24,005 miles! – So that make our total miles to date more than 4,479 actual miles! #Whew!
As many of you know, this is a multi-purpose trip –
it is both a work trip AND a family trip — with the following “activities”:
- Driving my son to college in Boston (partially to avoid air travel during the pandemic, and also so he can safely bring all of his instruments, tools, and other stuff!)
- Helping families protect their children from being poisoned (home consultations along the way).
- Socially-distanced meetings with businesses, policy makers, community groups, parent groups and others involved in Lead-poisoning prevention along the way.
- Visiting with families of Lead-poisoned children along the way (many families we have known for years but have never actually met in person!)
- Giving my children an unparalleled educational experience at every stage of the trip (at every possible opportunity!)
Since I was already home with my kids because of the pandemic (with no childcare), and since I knew I had to take my kiddo to college this month, making this a work / education trip (immersive U.S. study opportunity) seemed like a no-brainer. The kids are having a blast – learning about geology, topography, history, paleontology, American culture, flora, fauna, geography, weather patterns in the U.S. (very interesting!), kayaking, swimming, hiking and – most important – meeting so many friends and colleagues across the U.S. (socially-distanced of course – and with masks on!)
Highlights — per the kids:
We’ve been to this many states on this trip so far:
- South Dakota
- Illinois and…
A.J.’s thoughts (18 years old) – favorite parts of the trip:
- “The National Parks (Glacier National Park & Yellowstone especially!”)
- “Wildlife — flora and fauna that I had never seen before!”
- “Getting to see what our country looks like!”
Avi’s thoughts (15 years old) – favorite parts of the trip:
- “Learning about ancient geology and paleontology”
- “Learning about North American indigenous peoples”
- “Going to a star-talk in The Badlands, and getting to talk to a park ranger there (socially distanced, of course!)”
- “Getting to meet lots of wonderful people — and especially making new friends with other kids with the families we are meeting and staying with (socially-distanced, of course!)”
Charlie’s thoughts (12 years old) – favorite parts of the trip:
- “I cannot remember any part of the trip. I remember there are some parts I like. but I just cannot remember where” Lol
- “We haven’t gone to a mini golf yet that I liked – I really want to go to a mini golf with moving parts!”
- “I liked riding a horse in Montana”
- “I liked finding a frog in Wisconsin”
- “I liked seeing a ground hog in Wisconsin”
- “I liked seeing the prairie dogs in Wyoming”
- “I liked seeing the mountain goats in Washington [State]”
- “I liked seeing the murder hornet!”
- “I liked seeing the big horned sheep by Jewel Cave”.
- “I liked seeing the snakes!”
- “I liked seeing cicadas”
- “I was sad we didn’t get to see the bacon in Jewel Cave!”
For my “trip highlight”… I will share my favorite photo of the trip so far:
This is our tent in Montana – on my friends’ 10,000 acre ranch.
The cows decided to join the kids for a nap!
To continue the tour we have plans (or requests!) to go to the following areas (CoViD-19 permitting!):
- Gary, Indiana — the kids are so excited about this [they’re big fans of The Music Man!]
- Canton, Michigan, (Plus Flint & Detroit, too)
- Chagrin Falls, OH (maybe!)
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Niagara Falls, Rochester*, Syracuse* and Albany New York
- Burlington, Vermont
- Bar Harbor, Maine
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Potomac, Maryland
- North Carolina
- Louisville, Kentucky
- New Orleans!
That’s all by way of an update, for now. I am working on making an official updated schedule soon (with dates of where I will be), so stay tuned. Thanks for reading, and thanks for being part of of this journey [this summer, but the larger journey of the past 15 years, too!]