You may have wandered over from this post wondering how I ended up in Whitefish, Montana? I feel like I need to backtrack to fill you in.
I know that I have been so quiet here and have literally written this post so many times over I need to spit it out so I am able to be present and start where I am. Trauma and grief are such interesting beasts. Somewhere along the line, I lost my voice. I am here to reclaim it and I am typing this in a coffee shop fighting back tears. I am not doing a very good job because the tears are fallin’.
It feels like I could go back even further and I have a post in mind for that but for now, this is what I’ve got.
On March 31, 2017, I committed myself to letting go of that trapeze bar that had well-worn out its welcome and almost a year later I’m still flying…with the greatest of ease. I gave away most of my possessions in three major sweeps and left Fallbrook. I don’t miss any of my possessions. Not a bit. Get rid of your “stuff.” I highly recommend it.
Here I am living a mobile minimalist lifestyle. It blows my mind that it’s been a whole year this month.
So where have I been? First, I stayed at the CalWear/Barrett Weimaraner Ranch in Orange County and was knee-deep in Weims. Basically, heaven and by knee-deep, I mean 12 dogs. TWELVE give or take on the daily. It was hard work but it a welcomed change of pace and it was just a short wind up leading into summer.
Rescue is so hard but one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of. I am beyond grateful to my friend, Kim, for giving me the opportunity to leap from stagnation and offer a space to shift gears.
Once I was finally able to let go of that amazing view I had in Fallbrook I telling myself, while looking out from another stellar view of Orange County, that it was fine, there will be other great views to enjoy. I had no idea what was coming around the corner and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I would end up in Montana.
As we rolled into summer I knew that I wanted to get my travel on. So, with a very loose plan, I purchased a National Parks Pass and set out on an adventure in my 2017 Prius that gets 55 mpg. (my favorite Toyota to date, btw.)
My Line up: St. Geoge, Utah > Park City, Utah > Wilson, Wyoming > Gardiner, Montana > Bozeman, Montana > Whitefish, Montana > Couer d’Alene, Idaho > Richland, WA > Seattle, WA > Sammamish, WA > St. Helen’s, OR > Bend, OR (full totality eclipse) > Eugene, OR > Shasta, CA > Chico, CA > Orange County, CA
Friends and family from all over opened their homes and hearts and allowed me to see parts of our countryside that I had never met. It was a life changer.
Kolob Canyon | Zion National Park
Grand Teton National ParkYellowstone National Park
This turned out to be the life-changing solo road trip that I desperately longed for and needed in 2014 when I traveled up the California coast through San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and into Eastern Washington after I lost my pooch. Everyone thought I was nuts bailing at the peak of the fall session season. It was nuts. I had to go. It was a leap. I survived. I fell in love with the Snoqualmie Pass area and it was my first taste of the mountain that life I didn’t know I was heading for. At the time I was wounded and sad and it was the catalyst that set me up to wander more often.
Trips to Sedona, Tahoe, and my first solo camping adventure would take place before this Summer 2017 adventure would arise. Those posts are coming.
Glacier National Park
I landed in Whitefish at a friend’s house from July 6th to August 6th and went in and out of Glacier National Park pretty regularly. I swam in Whitefish Lake a lot and it turns out Whitefish is a crisp 56˚at the height of summer. I didn’t know this until I jumped in Couer d’Alene and it felt like bath water. It was 70˚and it absolutely blew my mind. We jumped in the Flathead River in Glacier National Park at a super chilly 42˚ like total bosses. My friend and I stood on the edge for a good hour and a half before deciding it was safe to jump in. The last thing I wanted to do was jump in some idyllic looking water source and get sucked to the bottom by some invisible current.
A European couple eventually sauntered down and asked if we minded if they stripped down and went for a swim. That they did and so began the never-ending day long cycles of gathering courage, jumping in, the shock of the first impact, feeling the freeze inch through every cell in our bodies, climbing out after several minutes, and laying on sun-kissed rocks feeling the thaw from the inside out. I have never felt more connected to this planet as I have up here and I can not wait for the opportunity to do this again. I am absolutely hooked.
Flathead River | Glacier National Park
St. Mary Lake | Glacier National Park
There are so many photos from this trip I can’t even see straight. I will pop back in with random fun stories of the people and places. This is how it all started and for the first time in my whole life I have found somewhere, I really want to be. Good ole’ Whitefish, Montana.
Stay tuned. I’ll be back.