traveling north of Santa Barbara

Another Roadtreking adventure: Kilts, Tartans & Ballgowns

traveling north of Santa Barbara

traveling north of Santa Barbara

Thursday morning I once again said hello to my cute little RT and goodby to Elsie the cat and began the trip north to the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA. Friday night begins a three day Scottish dance-a-thon. Yes, I will be dancing all weekend. The hi-light of the weekend is the Saturday night ball. There will be wonderful music and many, many dancers,flipping their kilts and dancing their tootsies off. I am included in this.

I left a day early so I could get used to my RT again. I was surprised to find myself a bit anxious behind the wheel when I first started out. It may have had something to do with driving through LA. I really dislike the traffic there. Early Thursday afternoon I sailed through the city and surrounding area without traffic. Yes!! Once I got to Ventura County I relaxed behind the wheel and enjoyed the drive up the coast. It was picture perfect day. I could even see Catalina Island and the Channel Islands.

Halloween in SLO

Halloween in SLO

Last night I camped  in a regional park, El Chorro just north of San Luis Obispo (SLO). It is quiet here and each campsite is surrounded by bushes and trees.  I have all the comforts of this summer, electricity, water and propane. LOL. The best part about arriving here on a Thursday night is the SLO Farmers Market. If you are ever in the area this Market comes highly recommended. It is the best Farmers Market in California. It covers many blocks on Higuera Street. You can eat and shop and buy to your hearts content. Thursday night was especially fun because it was Halloween. People from little ones to adults were dressed in some interesting costumes. It was a parade of Halloweeners. Since I couldn’t be home for Halloween, this was the next best thing.

I have just passed the one year anniversary of Jim’s death. It is amazing to me that it has been a year. It feels like yesterday in so many ways and in other ways with my own growth I can acknowledge that it has been a year. Much of my growth has come from traveling and visiting the many friends and family I know and love.

Janet & Jim on Catalina Island

Janet & Jim on Catalina Island

I want to share with you the story of Jim’s kilt. I know this has nothing to do with RoadTreking but it is a good story. Jim bought his kilt many years ago from Scotland. It is a Modern Morgan plaid and matches his eyes. He is not Scottish so the plaid did not matter. I suggested the plaid because I always loved the color of this man’s eyes.  He looked fine in that kilt. All men look good in kilts. Hmm, this may be part of the reason I Scottish Dance.

Janet & Scotland

Janet & Scotland

After Jim died I was trying to figure out what to do with his kilt. I contacted a good friend of mine, Ron, from the Bay Area who teaches Scottish Dance and all kinds of music. He just so happened to have started a non-profit to collect musical instruments and clothing for young people who cannot afford their own gear. So I donated Jim’s kilt. A year ago in early December I took it to the Christmas Ball to give to Ron. When I arrived at the ball I gave the kilt to Ron. He introduced me to a 19 year old who plays in the band and dances and told me that he was the one who was going to acquire Jim’s kilt. He immediately put it on and played for us that night wearing the beautiful blue kilt. That young man’s name is Scotland Bonny.   January of 2013 I traveled to Bishop’s Ranch outside of Santa Rosa to a Scottish and English dance weekend. Thanks to my friend Ron we had a ceremony where we introduced Jim, although belatedly, to this group and Ron shared the story of Scotland’s new kilt. He played a lovely ballad on the bag pipes in memory of Jim and then we danced. At the end of the evening Scotland and I did the last waltz while everyone watched. I felt like I was in a wedding. When the waltz was done the torch had been passed. Even though the memories of Jim will live on in this kilt, that night the kilt became Scotland’s.

Each item that I have found homes for has a story to tell but none better than this beloved kilt. We saw many dances and special events with this kilt and it was so the essence of Jim as a dancer. And now it is the essence of Scotland.

On the Coast

On the Coast

Friday morning I plan to arise early and drive lazily up the Big Sur Coast. It is fun to have most of the day to explore. I love this coast line and can never get enough of it. I look forward to seeing the elephant seals and other wildlife on the drive north.   I love my Roadtrek. When I get behind the wheel I think being a little nervous is a good thing. It makes me cautious and attentive to detail. I think that is important no matter what the size of the rig is. I am glad mine is only 19 feet.


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6 comments

  1. Dave

    Thanks for sharing with us Janet. You have great spirit. This website is way more than just a website. It’s a place where people who have never met can feel like they are surrounded by friends. Keep on trekking! Bigfoot Dave

    Reply
  2. Pauline

    Janet what a lovely thing to do. I am sure Jim was dancing right along with you and smiling. So happy for you as you continue on your new path and enjoy your RT.

    Reply
  3. Bill Sprague

    Janet,

    We’d love to seek out these little festivals and Scottish country dancing is lots of fun. We hope you had a “Ball.”

    Bill

    Reply
  4. Janet, I always look forward to your stories. You have a way of writing that makes me feel like I’m right along side you . Thank you for sharing those sweet moments you had with Jim and those wonderful ones you have in his memory.

    Reply
  5. Maureen Fjeld

    Hi Janet,
    your story touched me deeply as I lost my husband Ron three and a half years ago now and he had 3 kilts and regalia! Although Norwegian not Scottish he loved Scottish Country Dancing and he loved wearing his kilt every opportunity he could. I have RV’d in the past and am hoping to continue again in something smaller now that I am on my own – your story is very empowering.
    From Calgary, Alberta, Canada – Maureen

    Reply

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