My October started in Cochita Lake, New Mexico. It included stays in 14 different places: two driveways, two parking lots and ten campgrounds, most of which were state parks. I traveled from New Mexico to Colorado to Kansas to Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, with — if you know your geography well! — a little time in Indiana that didn’t include a stay. I couldn’t tell you how long I was in Indiana because honestly, all the roads run together. The campgrounds, too.

I met some nice people along the way. Fellow Travato owners in a couple of campgrounds; neighbors who invited me to their fire in St. Louis; some helpful southerners with a great dog in Colorado; even a blog reader, her partner, and their adorable baby. (Hi, Kyla!) In general, I think I was more sociable than I often am, which is a good thing.

But — in what is beginning to look like a pattern — my “best of” wasn’t a sunrise or an amazing scenic landscape or even some great activity. It was time spent with family. I think, in fact, that it’s a tie, between a moment and a day. The moment was sitting at my aunt’s kitchen counter, reading my grandmother’s cookbook and laughing at the impossibility of ever recreating some of the recipes. What do you do with a recipe that calls for a package of dates or a five-cent envelope of yeast and includes no details beyond the ingredient list? And the day was yesterday, which included board games with my SIL, niece and nephew; grocery shopping with my brother; a lovely afternoon walk with the dogs and my niece; and a hot shower in a clean bathroom with no sense of hurry.

And some good writing! After a week of no progress on Grace, I finally managed to turn my stuck point into an opportunity, so I’m going to get back to it.

scenic vista at Trinidad Lake

The best view of the month was at Trinidad Lake State Park in Colorado, and probably that was the best hike, too.

Lake of Three Fires State Park image

The prettiest park, though, was Lake of Three Fires State Park, near Bedford, Iowa.