What I am good at, according to me ;)


Cooking is not one of them.  I have the most highly sensitive smoke detector on this earth.  Or…even the smoke detector does not like my cooking.  And it’s not even really cooking for Pete’s sake.  It is grilled “cheese” and fried “pet chicken” eggs.  Gosh darn it, I was sage-ing my place tonight, you know to get rid it of bad energy and possibly not so nice spirits that may be lurking around a 100 year old building, and the darn smoke detector went off.  I. Mean. Really?

So no, if it involves the stove or the freakin’ oven for that matter, I am not good at it.

So things I am good at.

Optimism 😀  Totally 9.9999999999 times out of 10 I will see the bright side of things.  Dude, why get upset.  What is done, is done.  Learn, grow, move forward in a positive direction.

People.  I LOVE people.  I love hearing their stories, their awesome experiences and most of all, how a couple that has been married for a loooong time, has met.

Which leads me to this random tangent.

My folks, Donnie and Gina met one night while my dad was sitting on the stoop of a house with is good buddy Nick Perazola.  Walking down the street towards them was my ma and her friend whose name escapes me.  I am not sure who wore what color but as the story goes they had on matching Penn State sweatshirts.  The only difference being one was white with blue lettering and the other was blue with white lettering.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!  Talk about yin, yang.  Married almost 50 years (this year on September 21) and together over 54 years, they are good at marriage.  They love and fight like hell.  But they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Okay back to the list of things I am good at….

I can love like no other.  When I am with you, I am with you.  But don’t be mistaken…..I am also totally great at being without you.  Life is what it is.  The ups and downs, the rivers and oceans, the canyons and ravines.  I find my way around them because if you don’t, you’ll be just a mere shell of a being.   But it is better to navigate with a partner 😀

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My picture…somewhere over Utah.  By train 2010.  

I am not good at finishing an apartment.  I have lived here for over 2 years and I have never painted nor have I bought more than one kitchen chair for my kitchen table.  Maybe I will buy another chair when I settle down with my guy.  (I haven’t met him yet…hehehehe!)  Or maybe I have and it’s all on the universes timing.  Who the hell knows.

I am good at getting myself mentally and physically lost in the woods.  I know myself well enough that if I don’t get out of town and deep into the woods I start to be “not so nice.”

I am good at Halloween decorating..just ask my sister Lisa.

I am good at amazing stupid joke telling…just ask my sister Lana.

I am good at reminding my brother that his “big man status” at work is no match for him succumbing to his three little sisters who won’t let him forget he is still out numbered.  ;D

I am not good at following through…on reupholstering this awesome vintage chair that I bought at an estate sale 4 years ago.  Still the same hideous fabric since the day I bought it.

I am good at collecting driftwood.  A piece has to have some artful effect on me.  I have to look at it and imagine it’s journey and what it went through to get to that beach.  The pieces I do have dance with one another.  🙂

Acceptance.  I am good at that.  Didn’t used to be but I am now.  I accept the good, bad and the ugly.

I am verrrrrry good at road tripping!  Probably my first love.  It’d be pretty cool to have a dog and dude to road trip with.  Any takers?!

Adventuring.  I am goooood at that.  Any takers?!

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

Taking RISKS. Read this dudes…it’s short, lol!


Hmmmm…. I cooouuuuld send out my stuff to an outdoorsy magazine.  I mean my friend Tom threw a copy Backpacker’s Magazine in front of me a couple of weekends ago and said, “You should submit your stuff.  I don’t know why you don’t.”  That made me nervous, shy and humbled and (I’m not gonna lie) a little George McFly nerd like. You know when George laughs like…..

I mean what the heck is holding me back except my own “No way dude, they won’t like my stuff” attitude.  I don’t consider myself a writer.  I hated English class elementary school through college.  Structured sentences, punctuation, grammar.  I mean if any of you have read this blog before you KNOW I am not the best at any of the aforementioned things.  I just type words that spew from my head.  I converse with myself and my fingers just type and then sometimes my brain says, “Lori,  that is not spelled right.  Google the correct spelling please.”  I am not a wordsmith nor a poet.  I liken it to non-verbal diarrhea.

But none the less, why wouldn’t I throw caution into the wind and submit something.  I guess it’s because magazines are so clear cut on what topic they want and how long they want it to be.  I get it..they have to sell something and the space is limited.  Like apartments in NYC or San Francisco.  It’s like that scene from When Harry Met Sally…

“Sally: At least I got the apartment.

Harry: That’s what everybody says to me too. But really what’s so hard about finding an apartment? What you do is, you read the obituary column. Yeah, you find out who died, and go to the building and then you tip the doorman. What they can do to make it easier is to combine the obituaries with the real estate section. Say, then you’d have Mr. Klein died today leaving a wife, two children, and a spacious three bedroom apartment with a wood burning fireplace.

Clear and concise with minimal words as to leave enough room for advertising!

Anyways….😂😂😂

When is the last time any of you people have taken a chance on something or someone?  I let my niece drive home the other day.  She doesn’t have her temps yet but I took the chance on the fact that she is an intelligent young lady and is capable of going 25mph, lol.  When you are in the passenger seat and a non driver is driving, 25 mph is like warp speed!

So let’s get back to this 5 year plan I talked about a couple of blog posts ago.  If I want to achieve my goal I have to take a chance and submit some writing stuff.  I am trying really hard to do things in a certain order.  Yes, that is right, in order, which is a far cry from how I have lived my life thus far.   But I’m an adult now and adults do things an “adulty” way!

So I will continue to write about things that inspire me while trying to get my little busimess  business, off the ground.

~Lori

P.S. I heart Michael J. Fox!

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

Rape.

(This is topic enrages me.  Click on the hyperlinks)


 

Let’s talk about RAPE.  Let’s talk about how RAPE victims feel when someone makes a tasteless joke about RAPE.  How the parents feel or the spouse of a RAPE victim feels.

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Article one: A husband married to a RAPE victim and the father of three boys.

I am so completely ashamed and disappointed of the men in my life who think it is okay to joke about RAPE.  One friend referred to it as a tasteless joke that I am sure a comedian is telling somewhere in Los Angeles and the room full of people are laughing.  What a complete and total disappointment this person was in that moment as he is a married man with a young daughter.

About a year and a half ago I was riding in a car with two guys and woman coming home from a backpacking trip and one of the guys wouldn’t let up  on the RAPE joke topic and how it is “just a joke.”  This jerk has a wife and daughter.  The other guy has THREE daughters and did NOT ONCE stand up/back up me and the other female in the car when we vocalized we were NOT okay with it.  How TOTALLY disappointing!!!!  You are husbands and fathers.  The majority of RAPE victims are female and the father of three girls is too weak to be man enough to speak out against the disgusting guy defending RAPE jokes.

As a female RAPE is my biggest FEAR.

But what about the children who are RAPED?!  Girls and boys being RAPED.  Is that funny?  You complete, total selfish, ignorant people who think RAPE jokes are funny, what would you do if your child was RAPED?  Would you eventually be able to joke about it?  Could you joke about a child’s death?  Maybe you think it is okay to joke about RAPE because some RAPE victims survive.   You ignorant fool.  They carry the scars for the rest of their lives.  What happens if the person you joke about RAPE with happens to be the father of a RAPE victim who committed suicide?     Have you tried to save your child from death?

What about the elderly who are RAPED?  You think RAPE only happens to drunk college women?  You ignorant fool.  What would you do if your mother was RAPED?  Joke about it?

I have absolutely ZERO respect for women and men who joke about RAPE.

What I wouldn’t give for a man that is morally strong and vocally strong in defense of RAPE and it’s VICTIMS.  A man with a back bone and a conscience.  Where are they?!

What if you were forced to listen or watch as your wife and daughters were raped? 

How would you feel then?  Would you still joke?

Shame on you.  And I sure as heck pray for the people in your life who may one day be a victim of RAPE because on average every 98 seconds someone in the United States is RAPED.  Women, men, girls, boys, homosexuals, transgender…victims.

But then again…no one thinks it will ever happen to them or someone they love.

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Shipmates or two ships in passing?

This is about that  best friend, that shipmate you’d love to sail through life with.  That best friend that you know would love, support, listen, give, laugh, encourage, help, understand, have your back, put you in your place when needed, give you space when needed, hold you close when you think you want space but they know better, cup your face in their hands and reassure you that they are there and they are listening when you are crying your eyes over a past experience that you just shared with them, meditate with you then make love…that friend that you can talk things out with no matter the situation because the sum of the us is greater than the issue at hand.  And you would be all the same to him in return because you both know it isn’t always going to be 50/50, at some point someone will be bearing more of the weight.

Neither of you are blissfully ignorant.  You realize that a relationship is not always so peace, love and bubbles.  You both know there are going to be moments when you want to to shove the other one off a cliff but it is a fleeting thought because at the end of the day you want them next to you even when you are at odds with each other.

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How do you weather the storm with them when it is raging inside of them?  Do they even want you on their ship?

Life isn’t black or white.  After all, storm clouds and fog are gray, right?

To be continued…

~L

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

 

5 Year Plan.

Blessed are those who live out their dreams, that’s the difference between listening to the knock on the door and going to answering it.

(I don’t know who said this but I love it.)


I have a 5 year plan.  I have never had a solid plan, ever.  The biggest plan I ever had was when I packed up my car and planned to drive to California over 4-5 days then attend white water guide school.

Fast forward a decade and I am ready for a change.  I THRIVE ON CHANGE.  I love everything about it.  The excitement of something new, the trials and tribulations that absolutely suck at the time but you realize that it is a HUGE growth moment inside your soul and it is shaking you to the core.  The unknown is what I love most about life.  Who am I going to meet?  Where am I going to go?  What am I going to do a particular day?  Sometimes I just get in my car and take off in a certain direction and just drive for hours, sometimes days.  My last solo trip I had zero idea except that I was first driving to Oregon to see my best friend and from there…whatever I felt like doing, wherever I felt like going in that moment.

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It was my trip to Glacier during the aforementioned road trip that I had a life changing moment.  I wrote before about the massive affect Glacier had on me and then the huge bawling session I had on the side of the road in Black Feet Reservation after leaving GNP.  Saying I wanted to stay out there is a huge understatement.  However I knew I couldn’t move somewhere with a mere $500 in my pocket again like I did California.  I want to continue to travel and explore new places but now, as I am straddling 40 years old, I want a game plan.  A real game plan.  From the moment I decided to move to California to the day I left my parents driveway was just under 2 months.  Now, I have 5 years planned out.

I have a desire to stay laser focused.  Of course there is room for some deviation.  But for the first time in my life what I see in the end is more appealing than what I see in the here and now.

Last year at the end of my trip out west I set a goal for finding a job closer to home by the end of the year.  I did that.  I have saved $70 a month on commuting gas, 16 hours a month on my driving commute.  I can now walk, bike or skateboard to work when the weather is nice.

This year my plan means giving up BIG trips for the next 6-7 months and small trips all together. No buying new gear or household items and cutting waaaay back on frivolous spending.  Going out for coffee once a pay instead of several times a week.  COOKING AT HOME.  Novel concept right?  My excuse was, “It is hard to cook for one person.”  That’s crap.  Today I thought about going out to breakfast, getting an afternoon coffee and ordering Chinese for dinner.  In refraining from all that I saved about $25.  That may not seem like a lot but it is $25 toward my end goal.

I have started a business.  I am working on getting it up and running.  I have begun putting a lot of time and energy into creating it and growing it.  This will bring me closer to my goal.  I have a long way to go as I have financial commitments that must be taken care of first.  But I am focused on “building” my future.

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In this time of self awareness I am growing so darn much.  Spiritually for sure. Namaste dudes ;D  I am more conscious of my body and how I take care of it.  I am dedicating more of my time to a regular meditation practice….Oooooooomm!  I am not a spiritual guru.  I am just me, listening to and for the first time (it’s about time…lol), focusing on myself for the sake of my future…not just the present.

I am totally stoked about my 5 year plan.  Yes, there are days that I have to remind myself out loud, “5 year plan Lori, your doing this for your 5 year plan!!!!!!! Ugggghhhhh!!! For the love of god it’s for your darn 5 year plan!!!”  But in the end I remember and I get excited about all the things to come.

I’ve already accomplished one dream of mine 10 years ago.  Now I have another one.  I am dreamer.  If you have a dream or desire to do something amazing whether it’s relocating to someplace you been dying to live or something small like  developing a self care routine.  Start it.  If not now when?  Make your life happen!

walt
http://www.budgettravel.com
😀

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

Saturday Morning French


Every so often you meet a couple who are genuine, adventurous, loving and totally outgoing.  This I absolutely love!

I pulled up to Borderline Cafe about 6:40am on a chilly, snowy and clear Saturday morning.  To my somewhat amazement I saw this elderly (sorry Bob) gentleman shoveling the sidewalk and I thought maybe he owned the building and was clearing a path for the early morning crowd.  I stepped out of my car to read the sign on the door to see what time the cafe opened.  The gentleman said, “They open at 7…ish.  Sometimes a little before, sometimes a little after.”  I got back into my car and when 7am rolled around I got back out but didn’t see the gentleman.  I walked in and I found a seat on the raised platform by the window and settled in for a delicious breakfast and hot cup of coffee!  A pleasant friendly older lady was sitting at the table next to me and low and behold in walked the gentleman and he sat across from her.

The lady and I started chatting (I can start a conversation with anyone, especially if they look interesting.)  I love older people!  I love hearing where they came from, where they’ve been, what they did for a living and oh, the good stories they have!  And if they are a couple, I absolutely love hearing how they met!  There is a wisdom and an innocence people develop have as they age into their golden years.  Wisdom of knowing how the world works and the innocence of not giving a crap about a lot of things!

She introduced herself as Janet and her husband as Bob or Baaahhhb..lol.  They have been going to the same cafe for breakfast every Saturday morning since it opened in 1994!  They order the same thing, the breakfast quesadilla as of late, and split it between them.  Turns out that Bob does not own the building but he is always out there every Saturday morning either sweeping or shoveling the walkway.  He doesn’t do it because he is related to the owner or for a discounted breakfast, he does it because it keeps him young!  Janet is outgoing and funny as heck in her subtle delivery of stories.  She used to write for the food section of The Plain Dealer.  How cool is that?!  Do to my poor memory and the paper I lost with notes about the couple on it, I cannot say for sure what Bob did for a living, but Bob is very sweet and funny in a way that I appreciate.  He is silly funny!  img_1233

This cute couple met somewhere between 35 -40 years ago.  They have shared many life adventures both big and small.  They asked me my story and I told them of the different places I have lived, things I have done, various outdoor adventures and how the outdoors are my first love.  They asked if I have ever canoed and I spoke of the trip I took to Algonquin up in Canada in 2015.  They did (I believe) a 7 day canoe trip up there!  I really like talking to people and hearing about their travels.  And it is even better when you can share stories with someone who has been there.   😀

As we sat there swapping stories I could not help but think of how fortunate they are that they found each other and were able to live such a fun life together.  That they love each other still after all these years and have breakfast in the same spot every Saturday.  I can only hope that one day I will be sitting with my guy at our favorite local breakfast spot, chatting, reading the newspaper, drinking copious amounts of coffee. And when I look up at him and he at me, the beautiful crazy love we still have for each other will be reflected in each others eyes.

Thank you Janet and Bob for being a friendly, inspiring and beautiful couple.

See you soon on a Saturday morning 🙂

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

British Accent, sore muscles and red wine….lol


(this post is to be read with a British accent)      

Birmingham, England                                                                                                                                       October 24, 1885

Dearest Everyone who reads this blog,

I am writing to tell you about the oh so very exciting life I lead.   PLEASE DO NOT BE JEALOUS OF THE FOLLOWING POST!  (it will be hard but you’ll get through it)

I worked out on Saturday morning, it was leg and core day and I was feeling in tip top form. Quite  wonderful that I was able to exercise my right to perform other exercises apart from taking turns around the garden with my sister Jane!

I then went to work with a client.  (On the weekends I help people organize their homes and offices.)  After working with the client I went to do some light bouldering at local crag if you will.  Now, let me say that I am not the best climber, nor the worst but it is nice to be outside in the elements by one’s self.  However, even though I was climbing by myself there were people who were hiking by and some stopped to watch me.  Seriously.  No one wants to watch me climb.  I am not very good but I work at it… 60% of the year, okay maybe 50%.  Lol…  I keep ear buds in my ears so I don’t have to listen to people ask questions.  I mean if you circle back around I will be stuck on the same crux that I was 30 minutes ago and you’ll think to yourself, “She stinks…let’s keep hiking.”  Not very exciting to watch after all eh?!  lol…  Needless to say I am still working on the same problem.

Sunday morningI awoke in crazy arse pain!  I mean it was painful to sit down, stand up, climb stairs, hang pictures, laugh, breath.  Weirdly I had no problem eating, my buccinator muscles are in top form!  :/  I felt like the Tin Man who needed the oil can.  Except I needed massage and a beer!  I decided to take a rest day and not workout at all.  I organized a client and then my friend and I went to a movie and I almost fell asleep a few times through out it.  I felt I owed it to him to stay awake as he paid for the tickets!  Bloody hell people…. it is quite difficult being 29 years of age.  Okay, that is a lie…I am somewhere between 31 and 100 years of age.  I am not narrowing it down for you anymore.  You don’t deserve to know the truth.

Now it is Monday evening.  I stopped at the market and then came home where I proceeded not to use a single darn ingredient I bought 20 minutes prior. I opened a bottle of delicious red wine and made vegan nachos.  Vegan cheese still sucks.  This brand melted better but was still absolutely tasteless.  One good thing that I learned is that if you mix vegan sour cream with buffalo sauce that combo will mask the bad taste of crappy vegan cheese!!!

Now I am off to bed where I will toss and turn waking up to dry a mouth and two very dry eyes WISHING I would have bought that humidifier I saw on Amazon for $30 a week ago!  I will get up at 4:15am, press snooze twice and then finally crawl out of bed and get me arse to the gym.  I will literally look like the walking dead.  If any of you don’t watch it on the television feel free to meet me at the gym and you can see a live performance! Lol…

Your loving sister and dead poet,

Lori and Henry (Wadsworth Longfellow)  He gives to people and thinks it is cool.

 

 

 

The Badlands…snuggling with bison

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If you have never been to the Badlands I HIGHLY suggest you go!  I saw more wildlife in my first hour in the Badlands than I did during my several days in Glacier.  Prairie Dogs, Long Horn Sheep and Bison.  Let me tell ya, the wildlife here is abundant and they let you know that this is their home, NOT yours.  The animals were not aggressive by any means, but they sure aren’t going to make any accommodations for us mere human folk.  They roam this land the way they were intended to, freely.

I invite you to enjoy 244,000 acres of untouched wilderness.

The Badlands hold a very special place for me.  I ventured here eleven years ago on a pilgrimage of sorts.  I was searching for a spirituality that I could connect with in an intimate way.  I was reading the book, Black Elk Speaks, by John G. Neihardt.  This book tells the true story of a medicine man, Black Elk, from the Oglala Lakota (Sioux).blackelk

This book moved me and opened up my eyes and heart.  It was because of this book that I trekked out to the Badlands in late July/ early August of 2005.   I was traveling there so I could be alone in a sacred place.  I wanted to be in stillness and quiet, in a land untouched by man’s messy hand.

Well… funny thing about that trip in 2005 and the one this past August 2016…BOTH times I ended up on the road the same week as Sturgis!  Hahaha!  For those of you that do not know what Sturgis is, it is a motorcycle rally held in Sturgis, SD.  It is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world.  In 2005 the official attendance was over 525,000! So I was NOT alone on the road.  Hahahaha!  The motorcyclists were the nicest people I met on that 2005 trip.  They were kind, giving and helpful to a solo female traveler.  They even helped me with flat tire and made sure I made it to the auto shop safely!

I almost didn’t make it to the Badlands this go around.  I was traveling though Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Montana and Wyoming and I was tiiiiired!  But I stopped at Wall Drug one last time for a doughnut and a 5¢ cup of coffee.  I was sitting there sipping on my brew talking to myself in my head,  “Duuuuude Lori the entrance is right there, you have a national park pass and seriously you LOVE the Badlands.”  So I hopped in my car and drove south down Route 240 to the Pinnacles Entrance.  I was in and in love, again!!!

I pulled into the Badlands and was excited to spend a night in a National Park where I didn’t have to worry about grizzly bears, black bears or mountain lions.  I even joked that the only creature I’d have to worry about was a rogue prairie dog!  Suuuure the park is packed with bison but bison aren’t to interested in humans, they’re vegans after all 🙂  We are kindred spirits 😀  Compassionate eaters…lol!  I am one with my bison my peeps.

I found two horse posts (sans horses) where I rigged up my hammock.

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Under stars and swaying in the wind

After rigging my hammock so it would be about a half foot off the ground, I decided to roam around and take some pictures and chat up a few other solo travelers.  I met Cody from Niagra Falls, Canada and Rob from Alberta, Canada, both traveling solo.  Cody was suppose to be working Burning Man as a paramedic but the officials couldn’t get his credentials verified in time so he decided to take a great American road trip anyways!  Rob is a Canadian that is currently residing in Southern California and just traveling every chance he gets.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting inspiring, fearless and kind people on my travels.  The energy from these meetings are infectious!  The three of us sat around swapping travel stories and drank a few beers.  I only had two beers because I was super tired and if I had anymore than that I wouldn’t have been able to stay up to watch the meteor shower 😀  After a couple of hours I decided to hit the hay.

As I crawled into my hammock and snuggled into my sleeping bag, I couldn’t help but feel so darn HAPPY and CONTENT!  I had a met two very cool dudes (too young for me :/), watched an amazing sunset, seen falling stars all across the sky and now I was being swayed to sleep in my hammock by a nice breeze.  The moon and stars were my ceiling and the coyotes were singing me a lullaby.  It. Was. Perfect.

A few hours later I awoke to the loudest snorting and chewing I have ever heard in my life!  I suddenly awoke and thought to myself, “They (bison) must be close!”  I ever so carefully  pulled down the left side of my hammock and stared into a GIANT WALL OF BROWN.  I could see the giant wall of brown because the moon was very bright that night.  As my eyes followed the wall down they met an eye and a big mouth chewing on the tough grasses that blanker the landscape.  This bison was SIX inches from my head!  The only thing separating us was a skinny horse post.  I was so excited and in awe but was also crapping myself at the same time!  I laid still as a statue and tried not to make any noises or sudden movements as bison are spooked by those things and that is when they attack.  My heart was POUNDING out of my chest so much that I feared it may break through and I’d die!  All I could think of was, okay…this is it.  If I die at least it will be somewhere I love and doing something I love.  I am totally okay with that.  Three bison passed within 6 inches of my head in a single file line all stopping to graze right by my head.  What felt like 30 minutes was probably only 10 minutes but still dudes it was sooooo cool and nerve wracking at the same time.  I waited for a while after I heard the last one go by.  Cody then yelled out to me that they were gone but I didn’t believe him.  I laid there for another minute or two until he yelled out, “Lori, I swear they are all really gone.  They have moved on.”  Phhhhewwww!

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Uh….Pleasure to meet you.  😀

 

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My snuggle buddies for the night…!

He said they were so close to my head that even he was scared from a distance.  He walked up to me and we were both like, “Did that just really happen?!”  He was up late doing some time lapse photography and was I glad he was.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I went to sleep in my car for the next few hours.  Hahaha! CRAZINESS!!!

The Bad Lands are bad @ss, so bad @ss that the storm clouds are the craziest I have ever seen!

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Soft billowy clouds on the horizon of The Bad Lands

 

Epic trip dudes!

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Get in your car and GO!

~Lori

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfello

Where I left a bit of my spirit. Extraordinary Montana: Part 3


riverlove
The love of my life right now

I nestled into my warm sleeping bag on a very crisp (puffy jacket kind of crisp morning!) making sure I was tucked below the rocks far enough so no one from the road could see me.  The rock ledge was just wide enough for me to lay.  In this spot I spent a few mornings drawing, writing, napping and sitting in wonderment about this little spot I found.  My mind instantly stopped racing about all the things I wanted to do and see while in Glacier.  In an instant, nature stopped me in my tracks and erased all other things from my mind.  The flow of the swiftly moving water came around the bend pillowing over a few large embedded rocks and then dramatically slowed down as if to lazily pool in the curve of the river.  That is where I was tucked.  Into the curve of the river where the water took it’s time dancing around the eddies hanging out before moving on down stream.  I so wanted to jump in!  Just to be one with the river for a brief moment.  I could picture myself being alive 150 years ago, laying in this same spot.  No cars going by up above on the road, just me in the water swimming and being free…

 

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The water here is so clear and crisp.  If I had the guts I would have taken a dip but it was very cold in the mornings and I was happy and comfy in my sleeping bag.

I listened, I mean really listened, to the beautiful sounds of nature all around me.  The flowing water, chipmunks scurrying, all sorts of birds who were busy calling out into the morning and the wind blowing through the river valley.  Imagine the most picturesque nature montage from a movie then times that by a million.

There are some things I want to hold sacred so I am going to end this post here.  I do not want to provide details to exactly where along the road this place is.  Maybe one day you will go there with me. 😉

Have a beautiful weekend 😀

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Extraordinary Montana part 2! Respite and testing bear spray…seriously dudes…lol

 

 

 

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Morning on Lake McDonald 🙂
Goooood Moooorrrrrnning everyone!!!!!!  That is how I felt waking up to this view a few weeks ago.  Excited and hungry for exploration!

Glacier is stuck in time in the most beautiful of ways.  Established as a park in 1910 Glacier has quite the impressive stats.  Here are a few facts about Glacier NP courtesy of the NPS website.

History

  • Established as a park on May 11, 1910
  • Established as Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in 1932
  • Established as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1974

Water

  • Number of named lakes: 131
  • Total number of lakes: 762
  • Largest lake: Lake McDonald at 9.4 miles long; 1.5 miles wide; 464 feet deep; 6,823 acres
  • Number of streams: 563

Land

  • Elevation at Logan Pass: 6,646 feet / 2,025 m)
  • Number of mountains: 175
  • Highest mountain: Mt. Cleveland at 10,448 ft / 3,190 m)
  • Number of glaciers: 25 named; all shrinking in size
  • Largest glacier: Blackfoot Glacier 0.7 sq. miles

Plants and Animals

  • Number of fish species : 24
  • Number of species of mammals: 71
  • Number of species of birds: 276 documented
  • Number of species of plants: 1,132 vascular and 858 non-vascular

Most impressive my friends…Most impressive!  Lake McDonald is TWICE as deep as the great Lake Erie!  Crazy when you think about that, eh?!  I cannot say enough great things about all the friendly, patient and knowledgeable people who work in this amazing national park!

I arrived in northwestern Montana in the very late hours of the night.  I didn’t want to spend $200 on a hotel room so that night I slept in my car in the cute quiet neighborhood of Whitefish.
(Side note:  I have GOT to find a way to convert my little car into a comfortable place to sleep!)
After I woke up and nabbed a much needed cup of coffee, I headed straight to the west entrance of Glacier.  I was a bit early and if you are the dishonest sort then you can drive right past the self-registration area and into the park.  I however can be honest to a fault so I patiently waited for the park rangers to open the drive-up windows and spent the well worth it $80 for my year-long national park pass.  I get so excited about theses things!  I feel like I have some magical SUPER power that no one else has (except for the thousands of others with same pass… lol) like this is a ticket to my all dreams and adventures!  A national park pass is my ticket, the national parks are what I dream about!

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Dudes I slept in my car…no judgement…lol!
My folks have been here numerous times and told me of a few great places that I absolutely had to check out.  My friends Dingo and El Cap also gave me a few must see places so I did have some idea of where I wanted to go.  This park is so huge and the suggestions were only a fraction of what the park has to offer one’s senses!  I wandered on in and came upon Lake McDonald first and couldn’t believe the size of that sucker!  HUGE!  Surrounded by glacial mountains, big pines and whispy cloads floating above.  I pulled over to snap a few pics and really man I could have stayed there all day!   Seriously people, it would take years to really discover this park on your own.  Not just because there is SOOOOO much to see but also because each place that you stop to see along the way just captivates you and you want to spend a lot of time there.  Spend time to take pics, watch the wildlife, listen to the music of the streams, feel the wind and soak it all in nice and slowly.  Kind of like savoring a great cannoli combined with a delicious cup of coffee…Mmmm!  Well it is breakfast time here and I’m hungry 😉

 

 

I drove around for a little bit and after about an hour was I dying to brush my teeth, shower and rest in a comfy bed.  Sometimes when traveling I just need to lay my head in a bed.  I would never give up camping, hammock or tent, but sometimes you should find respite in a space bigger than a little tent!  I stumbled upon Lake McDonald Lodge.  It is this giant beautiful inn that takes you back in time with all the carved wood work, nooks and crannies that give this place a sense of mystery.  I inquired about vacancy but the cheapest room on short notice was $250.  I was so tired and in of a deep cleaning that I almost said, “Heck why not?”  However,  my practical side took over and convinced me to find some place cheaper.  The lady at the desk gave me a list of all the inns in the park and I called every single one of them.  I finally found a spot at the Village Inn at Apgar.  Now keep in mind I was super tired, in need of a shower and a solid nights sleep and therefore was a bit cranky when I found out a few things the lady didn’t mention on the phone about the hotel.  I checked in and they gave me my card to a first floor room.  It was cute and quaint but it didn’t have a/c (there was a box fan in the closet) nor a telephone in case of an emergency.  The manager actually told me that if I needed help immediately then I should bang on my wall to alert my neighbors.  I was like, really dude?!  You only get cell service if you have Verizon.  I did complain a little because none of this was mentioned when I booked the room via telephone.  (When traveling alone it is always safety first.)  So after a bit of battle they gave me a room on the second floor that was less noisy and a bit more secure.  I didn’t want anyone crawling through my first floor window.  (The windows have flimsy locks.)

After I showered and scrubbed my teeth I was ready for an ice-cold beer and snacks. I was way too tired to put any effort into eating a proper dinner so I moseyed on down to the little market and picked up a six-pack of local IPA brew, some sugar snap peas and cheese.  (I fell of the vegan wagon after an amazing french dessert in Oregon…but I am back on it and my body is happy again!)

 OH. MY. STARS.!  That was exactly what I needed!  I settled into my chair out on the balcony and just zoned out for quite a bit…lol.  How could you not?!  I was also inspired to share a video for the first time.  Yikes!  But here ya go!

 

 

(side note: this guy running the coffee shop this morning as the best playlists.  I don’t even need ear plugs!)

After vlogging (is that even a word for video blogging?..lol), I crawled into a nice big comfy bed with comfy pillows and totally drifted into a deep deep slumber.  HEAVEN dudes, heaven!  I woke up so wide-eyed and refreshed that I did not want to leave my hotel room for the next several days but at $180 a night , I did just that but not before brewing TWO cups of coffee simultaneously!!!  For an obsessed coffee lover like me I was so stoked that I had a cup of coffee in each hand.  I drank those two and then brewed two more!  BLISS!  While drinking my coffees…hahaha, I took a time lapse video.

 

The clouds were sparse but still it was fun to tinker around with time lapse.  I really could have stayed there for days on end.  Oh, to have unlimited funds and live the life of luxury but I don’t want nice hotels and comfy beds all the time.  I want to feel the elements and sleep under the stars, I much prefer that.  After that I packed up my room and crossed the parking lot to a giant wooded area designated for camping.  To pop my tent was only $20 a night.  There weren’t any showers but there were nice bathrooms and potable water.  Hahaha!  I spent that night testing out bear spray.  Note to anyone who has never sprayed bear spray before.  DO NOT spray it toward a tree!  Even if you are good ten feet away because that stuff comes out like a canon, bounces off the tree and right into your eyes and throat!  My eyes burned a little for the next half hour and I swear my throat was going to peel off in layers.  The lessons we learn while out on adventure! 😀

Up next, the alluring beautiful spot I found along the McDonald River.

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow