Summer 2010: A westward trip I’ll always remember


My mother, Shirley Mitchell

If you’ve seen my Photography at 75mph posts, you might be wondering why I was even on this trip, a 4,200 mile trip in my truck, toting my two dogs along, to Phoenix and San Diego. The idea came to mind after my annual trip to Phoenix in December. Towards to the end that trip, one I’ve made for at least 10 years, I decided that need to see my family more than just once a year. A few other elements came into play and before I knew it, I was planning a road trip to Phoenix. So the main goals:
• see family
• remind mom what it’s like to have dogs
• go to the black journalists convention in San Diego
• bring home some items my brother had been storing for me

I often dive into projects with an end in mind but not always with a clear sense of all that’s involved. This one was no different, and like most of the others, the payoff was worth the investment of time and money.

All of my goals were realized, and they created the broad strokes of this painting. Then there were the daily experiences and unexpected things that added color and texture to the painting. I have so much to look back on and smile. I got to be with family, I went to an MLB game, I suffered through incredible heat (the sun even bleached my hair!) and had my boys with me.

The second leg of the trip at National Association of Black Journalists convention was rejuvenating and inspiring. I got to bond with a friend, was in a panel, judged a contest, helped at the annual photo auction.

Family and friends at the Diamondbacks ball game. From top: Mom, me, brother Kerry Mitchell, Elizabeth, Heather and Steve Sliker. My older brother, who took this picture, also bought hats for the family. Mine says "beisbol." I love it.

my dog frankie with new friends

Frankie is such a schmoozer. Here he makes new friends at a dog park in Sun City, Ariz.

And I had a date.

Even the driving was an opportunity to learn. I challenged myself to keep it from getting boring, and survived a mishap at 75 m.p.h.

I’m so glad I did this. I planned pretty well and saved enough money to do it without worrying.  I assume that I will never do this again, so I tried to capitalize on moments that would be fleeting. I had planned on doing more schoolwork while in Phoenix, but that didn’t happen and I’m ok with that. It was challenging, fun, exhausting, long and worth every minute and every dollar.

Next post: The goals and some of the details from the trip.


One response to “Summer 2010: A westward trip I’ll always remember

  1. Karen- Thanks again for allowing Heather and I to hang out and watch a ball game with your family! We had such an excellent time and we absolutely loved every one of your family members. We are looking to come out to MU this fall for a football game so we will have to grab a meal if this happens. Thanks again for the invite; we miss you!

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