Location: Bordner’s Cabin / Swatara State Park
Book: ‘The Time Machine’ by H.G. Wells
I have always admired Bill Watterson, the creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’, for not only how inspiring his art was, but for the way that he went about creating. Not only did he decide to never merchandise his characters, and to fight for more space to create, but he also chose when would be the best time end his comic strip. After 10 years of an amazing comic, still at the height of popularity, he decided to bring ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ to a close with this final comic:
He decided that what was most important to him wasn’t selling more comics or gaining more popularity, but leaving behind something that people would look back on fondly. In this one comic is a world that both ends and begins all over again, all because Bill Watterson decided not to drag his comic out, but to end it well.
I’ve often thought about all of this in the past. So often it’s too easy to do something just because you think you might gain recognition or because people like it so much. I know this is especially hard for me. I love to inspire people and to make them laugh, but at times I spend way too much time obsessing over what people will say in response to what I do. I want to keep creating, but don’t think about what it would look like end something well.
This November marks 10 years of weird / crazy adventures with my Orange Chair and over 100 books read. It would be so easy to keep going, to milk it until it is dry, but I know that all things must come to an end and I want this to end well.
These Orange Chair Adventures have brought so much to me: inspiration to adventure, motivation to read, funny comments, new acquittances, boldness and laughter. But there is so much more I want to create, experience, and experiment with. So, after much thought and debate, I’ve decided that this will be The Orange Chair’s final year – ‘The Final Adventure’.
It is always sad to end something that one has poured so much into, but I am excited for this final year! I have a lot of crazy adventures, locations and books planned, and I’m excited to be able to continue to share them all with you.
Keep your eyes peeled over the next month for more about where The Orange Chair will go on it’s Final Adventure!
After a while of driving we found ourselves crossing through the corner of Texas. Part of our goal for this day was to drive into Texas and Oklahoma (which were both out of the way) just to say that I were there. So we made our way toward Texarkana and by early afternoon found ourselves in the Northeast corner of Texas. We stopped at a gas station to get a postcard, and then continued on our way. When we got to Route 8 we headed north on the backroad highway searching for a place to take a picture. There were a lot of fields, cattle and back roads on route 8 so eventually we pulled off onto a dirt road and quick got a picture with the book ‘Holes’ by a herd of cattle. Antonia stepped on some ants and got bit – she wasn’t happy about this.
Before crossing the Red River we stopped at some historic picnic spot near Woodstock, TX. Hobbes loved watching the tractor-trailers speed by as he stood in the grass. It was quite entertaining to watch. We soon got back in the car, and before we knew it we were in Arkansas. One of my regrets is that we didn’t stop at the pull off by Red River it looked so amazing driving across it! But we probably wouldn’t have had the time anyway.
We weren’t really in Arkansas all that long actually before we got to Oklahoma. We drove into Foreman and then headed west on route 32 for about 15 mins until we saw the sign for Oklahoma. We pulled over and took a photo by the sign and then thought it’d be a good idea to get a photo by the Arkansas sign too. We ran across the street and I realized I still had ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ as a book so it wouldn’t have worked. Being there were big trucks flying by us on this small back road we decided to skip it and head back into Arkansas.
We got gas in Foreman, looked for a postcard (to no avail) and got back on the road again. After a little while of driving through some beautiful woods and discovering some unexpected views we looked for a place to eat. (Side note: On our way I saw a place that had a firetruck standing end-for-end in a field with a flag on it, as well as a mail box that was shaped like a right-side-up firetruck – it was kinda weird and kinda cool). Eventually we found a place called ‘Ari’s Little Italy Italian Restaurant’. We ordered a large pizza (so we’d have lunch for the next day as well). It was amazing! And yet again, the whole time Hobbes watched and pointed at cars that passed by on the road.
That night we drove through Hot Springs, but it was too late at night to stop at the National Park, this was a bummer, but there wasn’t much we could do about it. As we made our way east on route 70 a cop decided to mess with my mind. After driving slowly in front of me, and alongside of me, he decided to pull me over when I merged into his lane in front of him. He said I merged too closely, but I think he was just finding a reason to pull an out-of-stater over. He never gave us a ticket, but just asked about our trip and let us go – I’m sure having Hobbes crying in the back helped. (The next day another cop tried to do the same thing, but I decided not to speed up or move until I reached my exit so he wouldn’t have a reason to pull me over).
That night we slept in Searcy, AR. The next morning, we looked at a map and determined that instead of passing straight from Arkansas into Tennessee that we would head south down to the Mississippi River State Park / St. Francis National Forest, get a picture on the banks of the Mississippi River, and then drive through Mississippi as we made our way toward Nashville. It took us an extra hour, but we soon found ourselves watching a barge move up river on the banks of the second longest river in the United States. We took a picture with ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’, talked with some locals, walked around on the shores, and then drove back through the park to find a less buggy spot to eat lunch.
Earlier, before we had driven down the 3 mile dirt road to the Mississippi we had noticed that there was a dam and little beach by a lake. So on our way back through the little bayou we determined we would stop there for lunch. The lake was called ‘Storm Creek Lake’. We got out our pizza, from the night before, and ate while sitting on the breezy banks of the lake. It was a nice spot to take a break before crossing the Mississippi River on our way back north.