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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tioga George-

If you have not become acquainted with Tioga George, I recommend you do. George has been traveling and living in a Tioga RV (whom he calls Ms. Tioga) for around six years or so. He has been north into Canada and south into Mexico quite a number of times, exploring many of the western states in the US as he has traveled.

He has most recently been remaining in Mexico, finding comfortable temperatures, pleasant adventures, and reduced costs as he travels there. The need for some repairs drew him back to the US, California most specifically. Here he visited family, got the work done, and now is drifting back toward Mexico.

I became aware of George and his blog during a critical time in my life. Sometimes we demand too much of ourselves, and we can become unbalanced. That happened to me, and I fell into a depression that was quite severe. With the intervention of some coworkers and friends I sought counsel and was set on a course of recovery and management.

As a part of that I was exploring the ideas of travel. I was able, through the magic of the Internet, to do virtual traveling even while fulfilling my duties at my desk in jail. Sleeping inmates require only minimal supervision, and it was possible for me to explore the world through such tools as Google Maps, travel related web sites, and blogs.

George stood out to me. He had dealt with some challenges in his life, and at a time when most people settle down and do less and less George decided to hit the road. He has lived in Ms. Tioga for many years now, exploring and meeting people. He travels slowly, yet in doing so has still covered a great many miles and touched many lives.

Just hours ago I was able to meet George in Santa Cruz. We had communicated by email and phone the past few days to coordinate a meeting. I found him day camped at Twin Lakes Beach. He welcomed me into his home and his world and we talked for about an hour and a half. The sun set as we talked and the lights of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz Harbor became the background of our little chat.

It was interesting meeting someone I have followed for several years on the Internet. For me it was like seeing an old friend again after only a short time away. George has shared his life with me every day for over two years. More than that considering that I read his whole archive of travels.

I am sure that the experience was a bit different for him, but his welcome was so warm that I felt a bond right away. We chatted about RV life, my career (which ends tomorrow night), books, movies, cooking on board an RV, and generally anything that came to mind. George showed me around Ms. Tioga, and talked about the merits of maintaining her over purchasing a newer RV and then making the changes to fit George's lifestyle.

All too soon it was time for me to go to work. We said goodbye alongside Ms. Tioga, the crash of the ocean breakers punctuating our last words. I shook George's hand and touched the side of Ms. Tioga just below the painting on her side. Then it was back to my truck and off to work.

George has found a way to live his life well and fulfill some of his dreams while doing so. He has also generously shared that life. My own life has been enriched by that sharing.

I wish George the best in his journey. I shall follow with interest.

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