Time Sure Flies

Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

It has been over a year now since the huge changes started in my life, and about seven months since this chapter has begun. I never really had time to think about what the future held for me since I had a huge pile of crap I had to sort through and deal with. I made it through all of the whirlwind just fine and things have gone very well. I got to do a considerable amount of travel to many places (as you will see in my earlier posts) and saw several places on my life-list (no buckets here!).

I was always confident things would be okay. Now, YOUR “okay” may be different than MY “okay”, but that’s, well… okay. I landed on my feet and in pretty good shape. I have great friends, both old and new, and family has always been there.

I just passed my first six months here at the Refuge. It has been a great experience so far and I have gotten to see, do, and learn so much. The next six months will be busy but will be fun and very rewarding. I developed an interpretive program for the Refuge and I will be presenting it to the public myself. This will help the visitors understand what we are doing here, and show them the importance of nature. I am really pretty excited about doing this program, plus it gives me some really great experience to do interpretive things at other places I may end up. I am still fine-tuning after consulting with my friend Rod, who volunteers here and does interpretive walks at Olympia National Park and is very good at what he does – he used to be a teacher and knows how to present things. He is just a really great guy. He made a few suggestions but thought it was well-written and thought I could even do it as a walking program and told me how he does that. He took my daughter Meghan out on the beach when she was here to show her some things out there about research on The Spit.

It has been so cool so far. I have had kids walk up and hug me and say “thanks”, people thanking me for volunteering and for the info I give them, and people giving me things as a thanks. I give them a bit of history and they are fascinated by the things I have researched about the area and The Spit.

It really has been an amazing journey so far and I know it is only the beginning…

Day One – September 10, 2012

Travel

Sorry it has taken so long to start this blog. I have had no good WiFi connection on the road until now to get this set up plus some nights I had no amenities – I was in a steel tent “roughing it” as it were. I will post each day that I already have done as I go through and edit them, then I plan to get current… and hopefully stay caught up.

Well, today is the first real day of my new adventure… my new life… my new journey. I write this as I am sitting in the camper for the first night in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is exciting, yet a bit strange, to be doing this.

I no longer have a house, nor do I have many personal possessions any more. I went from having enough stuff to fill a 2200 sf house, to what I am able to fit into a small camper and the back of my Ford Explorer. It is actually quite a feeling to be so free – kinda like that first time you go commando to someplace like the grocery store. As I told Meghan the other day, “…no, I am not dying so that is not why I am getting rid of stuff!”. This all probably sounds rather pathetic or horrible to some, but it is a re-birth.

I say that this is the first “real day” because everything up until this was in preparation for this big life change. The last six months have been, shall we say, trying and tedious to say the least. So many decisions, and not able to plan anything out to any degree since there were so many variables for each thing I had to take care of in a deliberate and careful order (and those who know me know what I feel about planning much). Thanks to good friends and family I was able to keep my sanity (debatable, I know), and staying focused and resolute is how I was able to get to the point I am now at. It has not been easy to say the least, but I made it.

As I left my house for the final time Friday morning I really did not think much about what was actually happening… leaving the place I spent the last 16 years of my life… a place I have always loved from as far back as I can remember. Colorado will always be a special place to me and be in my heart forever. Many good memories happened there, and they greatly outnumber a few I do my best to forget. I made many new friends there and many will always stay with me no matter the distance.

Today I left my daughter Meghan’s house in Spearfish, SD after a great visit. I got to her new apartment (a very nice, brand new place) on Friday and we got to hang for a few days and do some things. One of those things was I bought a new bike and we went for a ride. It was a lot of fun, but my body is in less than ideal shape so I will be riding and exercising quite a bit more. Yesterday we went to Badlands National Park, then got to see the exterior of the Minuteman Missile Silo National Monument. A real “man” moment.

The launch door is partially opened and a glass cover is over it so you can see into the silo

Staring down the barrel of a loaded gun…

Pretty cool place

I went north up US 85 through western South Dakota into North Dakota. I arrived here at TRNP at sunset. From what I could see in the waning light was quite beautiful and spectacular. I hope to be up early in the morning to get out and do a hike before it gets too hot. Drove right past a herd of buffalo as I was going into the campground. At the house in Bailey I just left the sun would dip denied the mountain around 5pm or so; seeing a sunset around 7:30 or 8:00 was awesome and I have not seen that in quite a while. My new gig is on the Washington coast so I will get to see it every night now.

I would be an even bigger slacker if I did not thank those who have supported and been there for me the last few months:

My daughters Angie, Chelsea, and Meghan, and granddaughters Alexis, Abby, and Emery for being the wonderful people that they are. They live their lives on their own terms, and of that I am extremely proud and happy.

All of my family and friends for always being supportive, even when I did dumb shit that I probably should not have done. This goes double for my parents. I know I have been a pain in the ass at times, and I apologize for those times, but hey… I turned out okay because of you!

Thanks also go to my parents for letting me borrow the Scotty camper to undertake this adventure. This has made things much easier and gives me a chance to test the waters before I buy a trailer or RV of my own. I just wish people would quit asking me about the camper all the damn time. It is getting old!

A quick note concerning the maps I have inserted into the blog… please click on “View larger Map” if you want more details on the routes I have taken. Most of the maps I had to shrink so much the details are lost.

If you want to read more of my adventures getting to Washington, I have dated and numbered each post so you can read in order the blogs of my travels.