A Stroll About Town

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Tonight I got out for a walk. It was a warm day today, and I’m on that mission to be more healthy. The weather is about to change to cooler and wetter so I took advantage of the nice weather.

I threw on the kilt, went downstairs, and headed out the door. It is a calm, peaceful night and perfect for a walk. There was a City Council meeting going on. One place I went past had a flyer posted for Open Mic night coming up soon. The homeless guy with the leather three-cornered hat was out and about. The bar a few doors down is having a typical Thursday night. It is such a nice night I went for another lap down some other streets.

Pretty typical night here where I live.

Walking around enjoying my surroundings I approach a crosswalk and a van turns in front of me to go into the residential part of town. At least two females were in the van and one is sticking her head out the window yelling something at me and smiling. With the noise of cars.

I wish I had heard what they said. Was it some smart-assed comment? Was it something flattering? I will probably never know. They shoulda stopped!

It brings up a thought. I see two girls walking every morning. One is a hair farmer – a , curly, thick, wild head of hair. Her hair is this weird shade of blue. The girl walking with her has pink hair.

I wonder if people stop and yell at them? What about the fad where guys were running around with the crack of their asses hanging out because they could not read the instructions on how to operate a belt.

My feelings were not hurt. I have worn the kilt in many places and I get smiles and I get weird looks. I don’t really care. I am me and that is who I am.

I just want to know what the girl in the van said!

A Bit Contemplative

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

It was five years ago today I started at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge – my first home in Washington. September 27th, 2012…it was the beginning of big changes in life and this chapter has been incredible thus far!

I have posted most of my adventures on here since the start (hurry…check out all the pages from Day One!), and I try to keep it interesting for those who follow me or those who might be interested. Do I post everything? No. There are things I do not post because there’s no reason to post some things, and there’s definitely no reason to post everything. That’s what Facebook is for… if I were still on that timesuck (which I haven’t been for over five years).

Yes, there have been a few challenges over the last couple of years. And, yes, I made it through those challenges. There has been the incredible sadness of those who have passed out of my life and that sucked in the worst possible way (and always will). At the same time there have also been additions of new family to my life as well and more to come! And there’s the motorcycle wreck three years ago…unfortunately my body makes sure that I can never forget that challenge and I have constant reminders of that nearly-tragic day every waking moment.

There’s been a lot of thinking done the last few years about a lot of things done all the years before that. Yes, I wrote before how I have learned things about myself and how that has been good for me to take the time for me to do.  I really think that everyone should make the time for some soul-searching in their lives. It has answered some questions for myself and maybe settled an internal tug-of-war or two as well. It also begs the question “Would I change anything?”.

It’s good to question, and every day is a learning opportunity. I saw an article not long ago and it said that you learn something new every single day of your life. That’s really very true if you think about it. It may not be anything big, but you are still learning something even if it is just an experience. Wow…existential…

Anyway, I meet and work with a lot of people doing the kind of work that I have chosen to do who live the same seasonal lifestyle I do to some degree or another so it is more common than you think. They scrape by and live the life they want to live – hiking the PCT, the CDT, AND across New Zealand in their off-seasons, winter ski bums, going hiking in Belize, bicycling across Mexico…many things in many places. Some live at their parent’s house when not at work. I finally have an apartment, while some scramble to find a place to live close to recreation they enjoy even in the off-season. Yes, these are true-to-life examples of people I know. I don’t scrape by like many, but I live fairly low-key.

You are required by law to have an address so having a residence in a state that I want to be in and be a part of is important and necessary. I am quite tired of the PO Box shuffle – I have had eleven PO Boxes in the last five years with all the different places I have lived (I prefer to keep my address in WA and no other state because it IS where I live and work and the place I call home). For the time being (at least) I do not need to worry about the address issue any more. Having a place takes a lot of pressure off of me. Even though I may be paying money on a place I may not be at sometimes in the off-season, I still have a place to live in the work-season. Yeah, five years in government housing has been nice and it has helped me tremendously but it is okay for only a short time, and that’s depending on the circumstances. I’ve stayed in some nice government housing and I’ve also stayed in some that weren’t so nice.

Will this be the last place I live? Probably not. I don’t even know where that will be and won’t know until I get there. Could be here in Washington someplace – Port Townsend is a real possibility. It could be Alaska, I could be back in Colorado… I just do not know but will find out when I get there. I do know for certain that my choices are narrow and I have reasons for he few places that I WILL live. I’ve got other things to do at this point in time so the time to worry about that is later. Procrastinate!

Five years is a milestone and I can say it’s been a great five. Stay tuned for the next five!

September 24th, 2017 – Back Home After a Great Week Away!

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

I just got home and got my clothes and other things put away.

It was a long drive, and fairly uneventful since it is interstate almost the entire way. But, of course I had to make a side trip.

At Anaconda I stopped at the rest area and decided to drive MT 1, the “Pintler Veterans Memorial Highway”. It snakes west through Anaconda (hahaha) and after a while turns north and hits the interstate again at Drummond. It was a really scenic drive and really shows Montana as I imagine it. It goes through the Pintler Ranger District of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

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Highway MT-1, west of Anaconda, MT

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Highway MT-1, west of Anaconda, MT

As I got closer to Drummond cars were slowing down and stopped on the highway. A truck had a sign that said “Cattle Drive” in big letters. It has been many years since I have seen a cattle drive and it is a neat thing to see. You just don’t see this every day.

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Cattle Drive near Drummond, MT on MT-1

It feels good to be back home, but just in the sense it feels good to be out of the truck and not driving. It was a great trip. I got to visit family most importantly. I saw some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen walking around in Mount Revelstoke National Park and drove through Glacier National Park (the Canadian one). I finally got to eat at Tim Horton’s. More than once, too. I got to stay in a giant suite for cheap. A great adventure it was!

Next weekend I will be off for another adventure. I’ll let you know after I get there where that will be, but I already know where I am going. I am thinking I might take the Scotty Hilander with me, but now that I am off weekends going places on a Friday is a pain in the ass with all the traffic so we will see how that turns out. I may have to rough it in a hotel.

Back Home Tomorrow

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

It’s been a really good week. I got a little hiking in, got some vacation sightseeing in on a road trip, and I got to hang out with Meghan and Loran and had some great food at the baby shower/cookout. I even got to try a local Montana beer called Cold Smoke Scottish Ale. It was actually quite good.

Meghan is getting big; being pregnant and all, that tends to happen. She is due in early December. They have a really nice place and a big house with lots of space inside and room outside for their two horses. Yep, they have quite the zoo going on! The shower/cookout was a lot of fun and the food was great. The weather has been cool, gray and a little wet but not horrible. It was actually a lot like Washington!

But now, it’s time to go back home.

It will be a long drive to get there – 12 hours or so – and I’m not looking forward to the drive. During the last week I have been doing seven- or eight-hour drives the days I was traveling. The last few days it was just a few short jaunts to town for party supplies and it was nice to keep the highway time to a minimum.

I don’t anticipate too much excitement on the way home tomorrow, but you never know what will happen. The weather looks like it might hold out and that is my biggest concern. Otherwise it is out the driveway, two rights and a left and a right, and set the cruise on 80ish.

The chance to unwind has been fantastic and I have gotten some decent rest this last week even with being on the go the first half of the week. Driving through the mountains in B.C. was a good chance to gather ands sort some thoughts and try to clear my head of a few things. I really think you need a good two-week vacation to really help re-energize yourself and completely let go, but hey…we take what we can get when we can get it. I’ll be having plenty of time off soon and I will really be taking advantage of it.

I need to make a few personal changes and I am starting to work on those changes. I have to have some surgery in a few weeks and that’s the next big hurdle. There are some other things I want/need to work on as well. This trip I have been trying to cut back on my eating. I am on a crusade to lose some weight. I have been doing very little snacking and only eating one or two meals a day so I can shed some pounds. I am probably going to try some yoga soon and am getting more activity going in my life. My neck/back issues are really bothering me (in more ways than one) and I am hoping that will help. People I have talked to who do yoga say it will make a difference so I am going to give it a try.

What is there to lose?

Cranbrook to Bozeman

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Travel, Uncategorized

Yesterday I decided that when I woke up the next morning I was going to go on to Bozeman after getting to and staying the night in Cranbrook, B.C. It was going to be a somewhat long day driving but that’s okay. I saw the places I wanted to see in Canada and was ready to get to Montana to see Meghan and Loran.

I got up and had breakfast, then went to hunt down some more fuel to get me back across the border. Wouldn’t ya know…there was a Tim Horton’s right next to the gas station! I stopped one last time and got a snack and some delicious treats they call “S’more Pockets”. Think about that. Yeah, that is what I said too.

Down the highway I went, headed south toward Montana. Ironically, again, I had driven some of these same roads heading north to Banff five years ago; the roads yesterday I were on I had driven heading south five years ago. I have this uncanny knack for directions and remembering places I have been and I do remember these roads from before too.

It was a fairly uneventful drive, with no stops for anything other than the usual breaks. It was nice to get into some dry climate and it has really helped quite a bit with my sniffles. Parts of the drive – the trees, the lack of understory like we have in Washington’s rainier forests – reminded me of Colorado. I did run into some much-needed rain just as I drove past a fire camp near Seeley Lake, MT. The weather was much cooler (40s) and wetter than they have seen there in a while and I bet that lifted everyone’s spirits.

So now I have a few days to rest up and relax with the family. It’s going to be nice and I have been looking forward to this part of the trip most of all.