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Over the River and Through the Woods

by Going Slowly


Stopping to take photos is definitely easier when you're on a bicycle. But, we don't let that deter us. When there is no shoulder, we just hang our camera (or, if you are me, yourself) out of the car window to snap pictures as the scenery flies by. It is a bit different, this car business, but we're falling into a routine.

Lithuanian Tractor

At times, it can be quite a production: us driving down the road, music playing, photos firing, lenses changing, GPS navigating, electronics charging, cords and cables everywhere, snacks easily accessible, etc. When we are blessed with a shoulder, we often pull our circus to the side of the road, put our emergency flashers on, and go tromping out into the fields.

Lithuanian Hay Bale

Photos taken, we drive on… for at least a few kilometers before stopping again. Lately, Tara has been taking a lot of weed/grass/grain pictures. She insist on keeping almost all of them, ignoring my frequent evening-photo-sort-session exclamations of, "you have 8 million of that photo!" She loves them:

Pretty Weeds

We usually snap at least one photo of our LRC, even though we're already amassing quite a collection of them too:

LRC in Lithuania

We drive through towns and cities, discovering once more that much of the world looks the same. We take wrong turns often. We are amused by things like this imported car, which was clearly not manufactured with European license plates in mind.

American Car, Lithuanian Plate

In the countryside again, Tara notices that my hair is getting a bit scraggly in the back, so we stop in a shady spot for a trim. After she's done, I vigorously brush away the itchy remains and hop in the car once more. She insist we keep this photo as well:

Tyler Post-Haircut


Today we drove to meet a Lithuanian couple, Jurgita and Tomas. While we were in Kolobrzeg, we received an email from them, inviting us to come and stay at their house! My first reaction was: "THERE ARE PEOPLE IN LITHUANIA WHO READ OUR JOURNAL!?" Of course, we enthusiastically accepted their invitation.

After a bit of confusion about unmarked roads and houses, we made it to Jurgita and Tomas' place without too much trouble.

Jurgita & Tomas' Garage & Sauna

There, we met their dog, called 'Dog' in Lithuanian.

Tyler & Lithuanian Doggie

…and a bit later we also met the cat, called 'Cat.'

Lithuanian Siamese Cat

Shortly after we arrived, Tomas biked home to meet us from his nearby forestry job.


We got to know them, heard about their two-year cycle tour in South America, and got to relax while they cooked a delicious meal for us. Thanks guys!

Jurgita & Tomas Chicken, Potatoes & Salad

After dinner, Tyler suggested we all go for a walk. Tomas and Jurgita had a few ideas, but most of them were too long for the waning sunlight. Eventually they decided on a little known Jewish graveyard hidden in the woods; Tomas had stumbled upon it while playing in the area as a boy. Cool!

We thought we were just going out for an evening stroll… but we were wrong! Soon we started going off-road, hacking a path through the head-high weeds. Whoa!

Tomas Taking a Shortcut

On the way, we had to find a place to cross a river. Tomas found a log that would do just fine. As I walked across, Jurgita followed behind and encouraged me along. She even said, "it's like that time you went looking for a cave in Romania!"

Tomas Crossing the River

Over the river, one misstep into a waist-high sinkhole and back out again, and through some more woods, we found ourselves back on the road.

Tomas, Tara & Jurgita Walking

While swatting nonstop at hordes of bloodthirsty mosquitoes, we came to the graveyard and looked around. It was eerie! Check out the mossy Hebrew:

Old Jewish Grave in Lithuanian Forest Abandoned Jewish Graveyard in Lithuania

Thank you for the unexpected adventure, guys. There was a time when this sort of thing would have been well outside of my comfort zone, but no more! I absolutely love that we're meeting people who will take us through the back and beyond without batting an eye, and that I am now the type of person who enjoys it.

Tomas, Tyler & Jurgita Walking