Once I wandered

my wanderings from here to there.

Category: Acts of God

Pacific Northwest PT1, Getting There.

This blog is long overdue, I have written three false starts and decided I didn’t like the way the posts flow. I, perhaps, should work on being so anal. None the less. Portland had it’s ups and downs, and much like my adventure back in 2011, Oregon tried it’s hardest to keep me there.

The whole trip was dotted with randomness, from car troubles, frustration and of course friends and laughter.

We set out on our journey on a warm sunny morning, the first after a long bout of rain that left us aching for the road beneath our tires. We had traveled about a hundred miles before things started going wonky. The car we (My longtime friend Heather and I + her kids) drove was a 90 Honda Accord started make a odd noise from the power steering area. I called my Father who lives about 35 miles from where we were and he sent his friend Tom to take a peek. Tom found that there was a mysterious leak in the power steering area, though could not find the leak itself (this was echoed by other mechanics) We put some stop leak in and since there was an oil leak as well we babied the car for the rest of the journey. The kids of course needed breaks as well. Typically, I make the drive to Portland in a day. Though we had fun conversations in between, we had lost the Stereo outside of Pasco and had learned to occupy our own minds and even cheered at each state line, we limped into Kennewick, WA. Road worn and mentally exhausted at 10 pm that night. Taking well over 13 hours to arrive. We took a room in an econolodge and all of us slept soundly. The next morning was warm and we got on good, until we stopped in the Dalles. Where the car had trouble starting. After a few minutes of fussing with it, we were on the road again. Next stop Multnomah Falls.

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Multnomah Falls, oregon

Multnomah holds a precious spot in my heart and always will. So constant yet ever changing, Wanting to stay but always reaching for a distant place, she is a mirror of how I see myself. Though I must say, that is not where I encounter my fondness. That comes in from a tender memory at a very early age. My dad holding my tiny hand in his as we stood on the side of the high bridge in front of the falls. I was so frightened, the bridge was so high, and all my doubts keeping me from going on it with my dad. It would take decades for me to cross that bridge on my own, but eventually I did. Heather, the kids and I traversed the trail beyond the bridge a ways, stopping and taking pictures at popular points. We meandered back to the car after an hour or so and took the Road to Portland………

Around 5:30 Pm we arrived at Champoeg (Pronounced Shampooie) State Park, to verify out yurt reservation and hoped we could get a camp space for the night. it was getting late and we were tired. Our reservation was good, but there was no space this evening and we were forced to go get some dinner at popeyes and look for a hotel room. while the kids finished eating and used the restroom, I decided to go out and check the car for fluids and leaks. While I hovered over the engine a transient woman approached me asking for a handout, none of which I had to spare on this trip. I’m usually not the nervous sort, but she struck me as one who has flirted with a certain drug and when her counterpart approached, I decided to shut up the vehicle and finish when I came back out with Heather. I however didn’t finish, totally forgetting about resuming my work I just started the car and drove away. About 10 minutes later we had an offer from a friend/family of Heathers to stay with them in Oregon City. We pulled into town around 7 pm, and when I shut the car off, smoke started coming from under the hood. Heather and I popped the hood (me admittedly a little more then nervous) to find I had forgotten to put the cap on correctly in my hurry to distance myself from the users back at Popeyes.  Thankfully, no further damage was done to the engine and we were able to get to the house by following Mr. Rothi.

The Rothi family, was such a delight to meet. I always like to post about the people I encounter on trips, whether they be a planned meeting or a chance encounter. The Rothi’s are no exception. I was able to watch members of the family compose a song on the piano and guitar, listen to Heathers daughter play piano pieces and of course managed to lose the keys in plain sight.  I felt very welcomed and though I personally knew none of them, you would not know it by talking with them.  It reminds you that kindness comes from so many different avenues in this world. And where there is kindness inspiration follows. …………..Thank you to the Rothi Family for having us in your home and opening your hearts with such grace and kindness! I now wish I had taken a picture of you to post here!

A special Thank you to Janie and Shawn, Mom and Dad, Tom and ALL of the Rothi Family! Without your time and kindness we would have not had such an interesting yet wonderful experience!

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The car that tried to leave us in Oregon.

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Multnomah Falls, OR, Bridge view

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View from a highpoint on the trail above Multnomah.

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View from the lookout

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Thunderstorms, rainbows and tiny shoes.

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ahhhhh, almost to the end of the trail.

I’m one of those people that tend to do that graceful people would have a hard time understanding. You would think that being 5 foot tall and oh, so close to the ground that I would have maybe a little better balance. But I don’t and I roll with it, sometimes literally. Thankfully, I didn’t trip once on today’s hike. I did get a little wet, but I won’t put the cart before the horse.

I had completely intended on getting out of the house by noon today and being home by 6. This did not in any way, shape or form occur.  I packed my backpack with 20 pounds today and 2 liters of water in my water bladder. Added a little more weight by adding my wallet, cell phone, and a few trail snacks. went to go grab my old hiking boots, I was so not going to do the whole running shoe thing again. And low and behold my boots somehow have rid themselves of their laces. Now it’s a known fact hiking boots do not have arms, but it’s also a known fact I have 3 children of the boy variety. I didn’t even bother asking. Off to the shoe store for some new laces. At this moment, I am incredibly thankful that the shoe laces found their way off of my boots, because when we pulled into the trail head and I slipped on my boots, I realize one feels tight. In fact one is a different shade of brown, wait…..One is a total different boot! AGH. Same brand, same style, wrong size! I decide in all my wisdom that I will just try the trail, I mean they are technically the same shoes right? So I shove my old fur lined slip ons into my pack adding roughly 1 pound more.

About a mile into the hike, a storm that looked like it would stay over the mountains, decided to take a sharp left and headed right for us. Thankfully I had my rain fly for my pack with me and covered it up. We took shelter under  the edge of an Alder stand and talked while the storm passed. By this point, I was losing feeling in my second toe from the toe box on the wrong boot squeezing on my foot. So I decided to crack & stretch the leather a bit. This seemed to work for the next half mile but I could feel a blister rubbing on the back of my foot. I finally had to give in and admit I would have to make the rest of this 5 mile  in slip ons. Agh!

I do have to give giant kudos to Osprey, the people who made my backpack and to Bighorn Supplies in Great Falls, for talking me into it. The more weight I added the more comfortable it was, because I flung an additional  2 pounds in with those shoes.

At the end of the trail, we watched the thunderstorm move to the north and a vivid rainbow appeared at it’s base. The air again full of whatever fragrant flower that was in bloom. We walked carefully back to the Jeep, taking in the beauty of the area around us. On the way out and back in we noticed a Heron hanging out in a farmers field that is adjacent to the trail, he kept calling out loudly for whoever it is Herons call out to.  We spied a few White tails in the woodlands, standing like statues hoping not to be seen and then bounding away tails like flags as their cover was blown. We heard a chorus of frogs in the low areas singing joyfully for the rain that had fallen and again spied bald eagles circling high over it’s next meal.

A soft golden light had begin to cover the land in the suns evening descent, Rod found a lovely tree in a green meadow, by now the sky was a shade of vivid blue. I spread a blanket from my pack and we sat and ate a snack and rehydrating and laughing. I do feel lucky to have such an encouraging person in my life. He really is the light in my life.  We chose a new path to take back to the Jeep, one closer to the woodlands and it was a lovely view in general.
I love the fact that even the days that begin badly, can be changed with just a few hours on a trail. Everyday I feel fuller and more enriched. I feel closer to nature and I feel a sense of adventure reawakening in my soul. Thank God for that. I though I had begun to lose sight of the amazing life I actually do live.

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A bright place

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The guy who encourages me to keep going when I feel like quitting. The guy who taught me to open my heart and spread my wings.

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on blustery shore

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Storm moving off.

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beauty in the beast,

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Missouri River @ Ulm, MT

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over the rainbow

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Split

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incoming

Falling into place. And making dreams realities.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have signed up to cook on the CDT (Continental divide trail) this summer. Lets face it, I'm a very eager person, but I'm also a resilient and driven one. So I'm rising to the challenge. I've started setting goals for myself. It started simple just 12 days ago I was at a mile, very much feeling defeated by my own goals. But, I pushed through and tonight I met 2 goals. 1. To walk 4 miles (my daily goal) and a longer goal of hitting a mile in 15 minutes, I beat that goal by 7 seconds. So I'm incredibly excited about that

I have  really enjoyed walking, this week I have been walking with my husband. It’s been like dating all over again, the two of us learning to talk on a more adult level without the kids influencing the conversation. So for an hour each evening we’ve been getting to learn each other again. After 15 years together, that’s pretty exciting. Each evening is a new adventure, the sun never looks the same twice, as it slips down from it’s journey in the clouds to begin it’s journey somewhere else behind the mountains. We’ve climbed steep hills and seen deer feeding  along the sides of our path. We’ve crossed rivers , streams and dry creek beds and it’s like the world is awakening before my eyes. I guess you see so much when your driving, but you miss the opportunity to really drink those things in.  Like the grass breaking through the asphalt on the roads or  city trails. It’s almost inspiring to see such a thing. A little blade of grass can break through something so hard. Which makes me realize, someone like me can do great things too. Keep going, keep trying until you get there. And when you do…there is still more to see, more mountains to climb. I can’t wait.

On Mothers day, my family took me for a two part hike in the little belt mountains. First of all, I was crazy excited to get off man made trails and get back to nature. I was a little daunted at the first trail. I stood below a 184 foot incline the 177  feet of that in the first .25 miles. starting off with a 35% grade. But my kids took it like champs, so I figured I should probably do the same. It took about 20 minutes to arrive at the top of the trail, in which it completely petered out. Not to be put off we followed a deer trail, Road in sight far below us. And took turns calling out “Yo Bear”, since it is spring in the mountains it’s best to be safe then sorry. We followed the path, bushwhacking a time or two until we met up with a second, more substantial trail, where we began our descent to the valley floor, we let the kids play in the creek for a bit, then it was time to head out to trail number two. Substantially easier and much more frequented, this was a walk in the literal park after the Hughesville grade. Even with the addition of early nettles and patchy dense alder growth. The hubby picked me some wild bitteroot to adorn my bandanna head wrap, I think I married very well.

Over the course of the last month, I’ve had the luck to visit some really amazing places. Crystal had me a long on a road trip to Whitefish and we took a little time to walk on the shores of White fish lake, Hungry Horse reservoir and Lake Mcdonald, in Glacier National park. I saw a wolf for the first time in my life on the way home, I had never realized how big they actually are. We looked for bear but saw none.

I never set out to lose weight on this journey, and I’m not shedding the pounds quickly, but I can see a difference in muscle tone especially in my legs and rear. and today I stepped on the scale (oddly to weigh my cat, not myself..I check my weight first then add the cat, he’s 13 pounds in case you are wondering) and I note that I have lost 6 pounds. That’s a seriously awesome side effect of this whole thing!

While the month was amazing, I have to say the highlight was finally, FINALLY getting my pack! I guess, putting it on and wearing it, really hit home. I’m doing this, it’s real. Last year I was a housewife (I still am, and I happen to be a photographer too!) But now I feel like I am so much closer to achieving my goals. That’s a really amazing feeling when you know you are that much closer to doing so. I ended up with an Osprey Via 65, it’s a womens pack, so it fits my shortness perfectly, I love internal frame packs and the way they sit on your hips, I’ll be adjusting to weight over the next month, So it’s a good thing that I got a quality bag. Thanks to those who donated or purchased from my Amazon Wish list. It really takes the edge off. Some of the items I am to use will need to be replaced along the way (for longer trips) and it’s good to have extras.

I’ll leave you  and some images from the last month or so. Some of these are available for sale, all the proceeds of my sales go to funding my volunteer adventure, you can learn more in the fundraising section of my site. There are also portrait sessions in there for a substantial discount! Thanks so much for all your faith in me and helping me to get to each goal!

Training trail clips. (Video)

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Missouri river at Ulm Montana 3 mile hike.

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That’s right! The Pack! I’m so stinking excited!

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Doesn’t look all that impressive but that’s 174 feet over .74 miles.

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Whitefish lake at night. (Available for purchase)

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The beginning of the Hughesville grade hike.

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A Peak in Glacier National Park

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Alpha Falls @ Hungry Horse, Available for purchase.

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Waterfall at Lake Mcdonald in Glacier National Park. Available for purchase.

 

A great start to a new year of adventures!

It’s been a wonderful start to the year! And I want to say thank you to those who have participated with such love and kindness thus far! Already we have  visited Washington and Idaho and I’ve been out with one of my closest friends discovering the back roads of Montana. There will be a lot of Back Country Photography this year as I am volunteering with the Montana Wilderness Association which requires hiking 18-20 miles to get to our destination. I will also be training for other hiking endeavors as the season wears on to get into tip top shape for that hike as well as a possible 2 day on the CDT.  So let’s get started with some of this seasons images already!  Please remember some of these images can be purchased to help me continue with my travels and Volunteer work. I will no be accepting cash donations but I would love it if  you took at the link above to see ways you can help me continue on! Thank you! Now, on with the show!

In March we (my family and I) decided to take a break from the stresses of real life and visit my favorite place. Washington! But since I had my kids I wanted to take a look at the more educational side of the journey. So we traveled all the way from the agricultural state of Montana, to a tiny little farm on Bainbridge Island in Washington. This may seem counter productive, but this wasn’t about educating the brain, this was about educating the heart.

 

Blakely Hill Farms.

I think I can safely compare this farm to Montana as in saying, it’s a “Last Best Place”. You see, Blakely Hill Farms is not your typical farm. Sure, it’s got horses, goats , cats , dogs, pigs and Llamas. But it’s the one thing these animals have in common that really make it such. They are all rescues. Martha and Shelby Vaughan are truly a new inspiration in my life. While it’s unlikely I will be taking in more rescues then the cats that we have taken in from the fields. They inspire me in many other ways as well. It is their compassion and true love of these animals and the caring way they treated us (who were complete strangers to them) that had me thinking, there really are still amazing people in this world.

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My Son Matthew meets with one of the farm residents , both seem just as curious as the other,

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The horse name “Jake” peaks around the corner of the farm house. Jake is a Slaughter house rescue.

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A resident of the feline variety peers out into the light. Shelby and Martha located this little guy in a forest when they found him they realized that his tail had been split in two.

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Love can heal in so many ways, the one thing I did not see a lack of here was love, so much healing!

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Ioka is another slaughter house rescue, who before coming to the farm could barely stand. The inside of her hooves had collapsed causing it to be very very painful for her to walk. On the day she came to rescue, she shook as she took her steps into the trailer. Now, while still in some pain she is able to walk slowly about the property!

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Cactus:: Sometimes, opening your heart to animals in need, means that you will experience loss as well. Cactus passed on shortly after this image was taken. Shelby and Martha not only invest time and finances into the rescue of these amazing animals but the heart and emotions to keep going.

I will be posting a full photography blog on the goings on at Blakely Hill Farms as soon as my schedule allows, I have already been delayed and I do so want to tell the whole story of this amazing place. !

SEATTLE/ PUGET SOUND

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Blossoms opening in Meadowdale park, Lynnwood Wa.

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2 of my favorite things about Washington, Rain and Moss. Sure it’s probably the locals annoyance, but to me it’s memories of my childhood. I love it!

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One of the new additions to the Pier in Seattle is a Millenium Wheel! Kinda awesome!

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Pikes Place Market

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Pikes place Market , a must if you’re on a tourist styled agenda!

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We have to thank Rob for taking us down to Golden Gardens Beach in Ballard. My kids LOVED the water and the boats and of course the sand. I’m sure it will take forever to go through all the images!

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A tribute to our friend Rob! 🙂 Froggy!

 

 

 

 

Back Country Montana

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The Rocky Mountains Near Augusta Montana

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Nilan Reservoir

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Sweet Montana sunsets

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I’m ppositive I have seen the gates to heaven and this is it. Near Augusta Montana

All for a reason.

We are often told that everything happens for a reason, and while sometimes it is unclear as to why or what that reason is while it’s happening, it can become abundantly clear later.

For example; Spring of the year I had been looking forward to fund raising for a volunteer stay in Guatemala, where I would be able to teach and share a new skill with the indigenous people of a western region there. I had set my goal arrival date from October 21st-November 15 th of this year , if I had arrived in Guatemala on time, I  would have been volunteering the time of this weeks big quake, within that same region.

It’s been a VERY  intense month with my family, My son turned 16 and well, he turned 16, I think that’s enough said. Meanwhile, I learned that a family member has an illness which will require surgery and to that end my family is traveling to be with her during that time. My father lives in another “metro” area to the southwest of here and my sister is driving from El Paso to California. I decided to fly halfway and then ride with my sister the other half of the way. Last night I learned I will actually be flying with my dad to Seattle, so I will spend my morning with my dad, my afternoon/evening with my sister! Sounds good to me!

 

I am especially looking forward to the drive across the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. I’m one who is more for the trees and mountains and cold air, but there are times when even the desolate space becomes a curiosity.

I’m knee deep in training for a walk across the Pacific Northwest trail in July and maybe this respite from the cold Montana “almost” Winter season that replaces Autumn for us will be a good thing!

 

 

 

 

 

Where were you?

It’s hard not to get caught up in the emotion of a memory. Especially when you share that same moment with millions of people. As adults or even older teens, we can remember that day 11 years ago, without opening up a youtube window. We can say, “I was at so and so’s” or “I remember I was at work” and inevitably we all spent the next day or even more glued to our televisions as hour after hour new scenes filled our brains with terror, sadness and such a confusion that left us in a state of shock.
We watched as the towers collapsed, we heard the voice of a man on a plane yell “Let’s Roll” as the passengers took back the plane and faced their own mortality. Our hearts were filled as Hero’s were made, history was created and children cried for their parents who would never come home.

Here is a blog I wrote in 2008 (4 years ago) remembering the moment, as my memory of that day has not changed.

 

“It was dark in my room as I laid there and considered rolling out of bed and taking a shower. The basement bedroom kept me in sort of a perpetual sleep until I was motivated enough to go upstairs..This was not a motivated moment. 

  • I heard Rod make his way down the stairs, I closed my eyes and rolled over, pulling the blankets up to my chin. Rod sat on the bed. “Honey, you have to get up. They just flew a plane into the pentagon.” I sat up straight and looked at him. “No Way!” he nodded and a look of panic crossed his face. It hadn’t sunk in yet to the fullest and he headed out to work as I sat down on the sofa and watched the smoke pour from the pentagon building via ABC. It was then that they switched back to New York and then the plane cruising right through one of the towers.

    The images, were not yet real, how could something so terrible ever be real? I could not wrap my brain around, how such monstrosities could be played outside of a movie.
    My heart sunk, and the pit of my stomach lifted. Images pulled from some sort of hell, rolled before my eyes. My spine rigid and pin pricks upon my arms, I began to cry. What other emotion is appropriate?

    I couldn’t stand to sit alone in my house any longer, so I wandered over to my Best friend who lived next door. Her husband sat watching a fishing show on cable TV. “did you hear about the twin towers?” Yeah, he said, but I think it was the pentagon” ” Yeah, that was hit too, Both towers, the pentagon and a plane somewhere else.” I said, he turned the Tv to the local station and we all watched as “the world” came crashing down.

    Later, when the monotony of the images played in our minds, I went outside to smoke a cigarette. The air seemed thick, like everyone was breathing a little bit harder and worry clung to it, pulling all the sounds closer to the ground. What sounds that there were , which was not many. A silence had crept beneath the thick air. Shock has an awful way of traveling to the smallest cracks in the tiniest places and that is what this was, pure shock. I saw the people, they came forth from their homes looking to the sky, maybe for an answer, maybe for hope, whatever reason was answered by 2 jets speeding across the sky. Back and forth they went and the people watched like their steel bodies were the hands of god, protecting them in their hour of need, truly they were.

    And yet, though “the gods” graced our skies the silence still held even on to the blare of the jets always, under everything, was the silence. So we returned to our television sets, watching the images, craving more so that we might know more, we might know that our loved ones were ok, that our friends made it out and that a complete stranger was rescued. But we were met only by death and sorrow. Still we watched, television with out happy commercials, people speaking to each other only to break up the silence.

    But then little by little, hope emerged, slowly at first, they appeared as earthly angels, some in rags, some in suits, uniforms and laymen’s clothing and then hope became prevalent, they emerged from nowhere, carrying with them on their shoulders, hope, love, pride and determination. It would be these men and women who would bring us from the silence, who would again teach us to speak from their sorrows, and would teach us to sing from the tragedies.

    September 11th 2008 dawned much like September 11th 2001. The sky was a blue that would rival that of only the oceans, the people hurried about their days. But still the silence could be felt under the normal hustle bustle. Here and there, you could find reminders that we still live that day. Flags Half Mast and today 600 motorcyclists drove down the main thoroughfare to honor the memories of those who were lost.
    We were wounded that day, but like any scar that is ours to bare, we wear it with pride and with a somber bravery, that IF there is ever a next time it will be so much different.

    I hope that everyone took a moment to remember today. Much love to you my friends. “

     

 

 

1200 miles update, getting lost and more!

it has been an interesting last few weeks to say the least.

The first of my updates, was what I announced in my last post, but with some refreshing steps to making it a reality! . First the introduction on my trail mate/ Hiking partner Krista. Krista and I have known each other for about 7 years, she lives in a community about 116 miles from me, but we keep in touch via facebook. Krista and I are “Birthday twins” as in we share the same birthday, if you want to go by horoscopes that pretty much means we enjoy and dislike a lot of the same things. Ironically, while I have been considering a long distance plan of walking the “triple Crown’s (three of the longest trails in the USA) Pacific Crest trail, Krista’s long term goal is the appalachain trail. So, both of us are definitely in the same mind set. I’ll have a link to Krista’s blog up in the near future.

This last week I’ve spent trying on hiking shoes and packs, and while you’d think this a simple feat, I beg to differ. How many different shoes can there be!? And why can’t I find one I like? I’m closer then I was in finding a pair, but still! Backpacks are a whole ‘nother ball game. I’ve tried on womens and mens and universal and ironically so far I find I like the Kelty Scheels classic the most. I guess I’ll keep looking though.
Tomorrow, I pick up a food dehydrator, I intend on making a lot of the meals we plan on taking with us, by dehydrating them so they are light weight. I have a feeling this will take some practice, so I hope I’ll have it down in a year!

Well, Hiking across the Pacific Northwest, isn’t the only thing happening in my life right now, I’m also waiting on prep for Guatemala, October isn’t looking like when I’m going but WHEN I go is not the big deal so long as I do go. I’m still chugging away at donations and funding for the trip including doing extra work to add my own money to the cause.

My husband and I planned a nice evening at a really awesome venue in southern Montana this weekend and while the show ended up amazing, the trip there was a little, erm, uhhh, time consuming. We ended up getting lost in southern Montana. Which is funny because Montana’s state motto is “GET LOST!!…………In Montana” alrighty, check! done and done! LOL! The venue we went to is called Rockin’ the Rivers. and the night we went (it’s a three day event) Candlebox, Sick Puppies and Edward Kowalczyk (of the band Live) played, and the weather behaved appropriately as in at the finish of the song lightning crashes, A thunderstorm began. None the less it was a great break from the 90-100 degree temps we have been having and a beautiful area to watch some great musicians!

On a side note: If you would like to be a sponsor or a trail angel (picking us up from the trail, taking us to town, letting us sleep at your home or just be an encouraging factor) for our hike next year let us know! Sponsors will receive dedicated posts with links and will be featured here and on our Facebook page!

Also, see the fundraising tab if you would like to help me on my own personal journey to volunteer in Guatemala!

The Light in My Life.

I think I am most like a few people when I say storms scare the crap out of me, but it also stirs a curiosity in me, I love the wildness of a storm and the pure untamed beauty that goes with it. Lightning and storms are, after all, my favorite natural subject.

A Moment.

A moment, can be defined in time, or emotion. It can be a memory or a dream or it can be your reality. It can be frightening or it can be bliss. Yet it can never last forever, but it can be delayed, through images and footage. It can be brought back in a voice, a smell, a song or a poem.

Tonight, I shared a walk with my family , to a high point in our town. A top the hill stood a gazebo and there an “older” couple sat watching the sun traverse to it’s goodbyes. I wondered what they spoke of, did they speak of dreams? Did they speak of their own moments or did they let their emotions pass through fingertips that were hidden from view. I took a few shots of their moment and stood pondering, will this be me and my love? Will we sit patiently awaiting the sunset basking in the glow of our memories? As I wondered, another couple walked by, they were young and new, they held hands in the open and she giggled as he spoke, but she looked at him with the newness of a love just discovered. I took a few more shots and wondered again, was that my sweetheart and I when we were new? Did we shine, even in the shadows of a July evening? All of it was so personal, but so freely given to the viewer. I walked away believing that it was an exceptional moment with the elderly moment in the shining sun and the young couple silhouetted. And then I realized, My husband and I were very much a part of the moment, though we were not in the pictures. We stood between the two couples holding hands, taking in the moment, the couple who has beautiful memories, yet still enjoy the newness of our love, we are secure in our life together but we have yet to “do it all” . I wished then that I could have been a photographer, standing behind all of us, to reach out and capture the passing of not only a moment, but the passing of time.

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I am, Life is.

I am….
But a leaf on a breeze on a crisp autumn day, I rise in a breath of bravado and tumble down in a slow wistful decline.  Falling from my heights to become one of the many. I am the answer to my own questions, the knowledge of my own mysteries and only I can control who I am and what I feel. Though, at the same time I am the sum of my history, tiny pieces of a world that has brushed against my essence over 34 years.

Nighttime, it is my thinking time, I turn on a song that begs for my spirit to soar with it. I think about each of those tiny pieces, I turn them about, fitting them next to each other, a collage of colors, of smells, tastes and emotions. I think, about what defines me, what eludes me and what becomes me. And I think, that I am so small in such a large world. I watch as others, strike out on some journey for the answer to life, (which of course is 42….). When I (we) lost Steven, I had often wondered the same thing, losing someone so suddenly and tragically often makes one have a need for more, a need to have control, a need to know the stuff of which they are made. I did too, I clawed angrily at walls that seemed confining and then I screamed and cried and I seemed to go nowhere but down.  It has been 3 years since that day and I have learned in that time, that I do not want to know the answer, I am content with the question. I am happy to see the light before the dawn as it paces itself slowly above the hills in the east. To watch the little pieces of wheat in the rays of the golden sunset slowly move across golden fields.  There is a pulse to this life, which when ignored can become a race. It’s beat slow and steady, it breathes in and exhales to each quiet thump. It is nighttime, when I think, but that is when I can hear it, the pulse that runs through not only these veins but through each thing around me. I believe, I have been sleeping, and I am waking now to find this simple, yet amazing world in front of me.
Everyday a new adventure  a chance to start again.

The other day, I sat on a park bench before a session, I watched as the ducks floated on ripples across the river, as sandpipers yelled at each other on a sand bank, as I took it in, I noticed an interesting plant as I came closer I saw an ant rushing across a leaf  in his hurry to procure food, I watched as he rushed by a couple lady bugs and disappeared into a leaf fold. My attention turning to the Lady bug as it turtle paced up the stem, my eyes drawn to the small aphids and larvae on the leaf and stem, one place, so much life! And all living with the same rhythm, the same pulse. I was awed and reminded that this is what , Life IS.