Thursday, June 23, 2011


Next week is my last week of work. In 10 days I will pack my car full of 1 backpack, a bike, my guitar and harmonica, a puppy and my climbing gear. For two weeks I'll be living in my car exploring the great depths of Wyoming and possibly Montana (if I have time.) There are a lot of subtle fears I have for this upcoming trip to Indonesia, and I need some time to think them out on my own.

All I have wanted all this summer is to go live in my car. For most, I know how ridiculous this sounds. Most reactions are ones of horror and misunderstanding. I was also told "I don't think you understand- living in your car won't be glamorous." Oh, trust me. I know. Not having a home base for an extended period of time definitely has it's downsides. At times I don't feel secure, I have to constantly put up with myself with no company but my dog, and a car only allows for so much room and privacy. But the upsides?
Free Roads Ahead
Endless Options
Living on tortillas and watermelon to compensate for the gas prices it will take to get to the next location
New people
A lot of time to think
Getting to read books and play music
Being uncomfortable and learning how to deal with it
Good stories
Time to write adventures down on pages
Chasing the sun until it sets
Rock climbing
Longboarding and biking
The patience that comes with waiting out bad weather
Brown shoulder tops from sitting outside for hours on end
and most of all..

I definitely don't expect everyone to understand this. But the feeling (for me) of not being tied down to a job, limited responsibilities, the ability to disappear into the backcountry without a cell phone or computer for awhile, to really understand myself better...all of this culminates and builds in me while I'm staying in one place.

So those of you who understand or are wishing for travel, I hope you are finding adventures of your own. I'll be headed to Lander first (in preparation for the International Climber's Festival) so if you find yourself around or within photo distance, give a holler and drop a line.

By the way- my friend Katie is in town. I met her in New Orleans while I was photographing the 5 year difference from Hurricane Katrina back in October. The only word that I know how to describe Katie is, is my soul sister. And I'm ever so grateful for the endless encouragement and conversation that she allows me. We went out to shoot photos today and she willingly sat in mosquito infested flower fields for the sake of the photos. What a lady.

Monday, June 13, 2011

first birthdays
golden sunsets
long skies
completing original songs
living on avocados and tortillas because we would rather travel than eat wealth-ily.
giving away clothing for the sake of simplicity.
and knowing that in two weeks I will be living out of my car. that keeps me going.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I’ve spent the past three days entering data on suicide statistics for my job (I help write grants and do research for suicide prevention and mental health initiatives around Wyoming). I’m exhausted and seeing all the data was really draining. I’m walking away feeling like I seriously need something different in my life.

On my way up for this trip, we stopped in Lander for a brief couple hours so I could see some girls I used to climb with in Colorado. They were living out of the back of a car, living the dirtbag life and climbing around the United States until late August. This is the life that I have wanted to live this summer, but am unable to. It was painful for my heart to know that I had to leave them, eating watermelon for lunch, to go sit in an office for the longest work shifts of my life. I have been working full time for the past couple days, 8-10 hour days and feeling so empty at the end of it. I believe that this work is meaningful, but this is not what I want to do for my life. At the end of the first day, my boss and I went mountain biking through the reservoir here. She brought a really nice bike for me to borrow while I’m here, and it was exactly what I needed to be outside after a ten hour day at the office talking about suicide. We rode out a couple miles and watched the sky turn purple and orange before it started to get really windy and dark. When we decided to turn around, we saw that the path we had come down was completely immersed in a sandstorm. The only choice was to go back through it.

So, on we went. The dust was hitting me in the face, and I could barely see out of one eye. I kept thinking to myself “why do I end up in these situations…the ones that seem really desperate and epic?” until I realized that a part of me really loves it. I secretly love the stories that involve some kind of adventure twist to it. I even more so love that I tend to be a part of them. Half way through the ride back, I looked over to see my boss, pedaling as hard as she can and going virtually nowhere. I started laughing so hard- we were basically riding sideways through the storm, and we hadn’t even worn bike shorts or packed water. We made it back after an hour of fighting against the 40+ mph headwinds against us, and dirt crammed in all of the corners of my eyes, nose and ears. My boss felt so bad, but I assured her she was in good company for adventures like that. It was a really, really good release for the day.

I made the final decision about moving to Bozeman and I set a date. It might happen earlier than when I decided, but it will definitely happen by then. It’s terrifying to me…I haven’t had to start over for four years.

I think I’m at a life conundrum. I have all the faith in the world that things will be okay, but I’m just not feeling great (which is also okay.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I've been feeling pretty negative as of late. So for the past couple days, I've been trying to concentrate on little actions; giving them my full attention and being 100% in what I do. It is definitely not easy.

This is the first house I have lived at with a yard since I moved to Wyoming, and we have now planted a garden in an old tub and sink. My roommate also built a compost bin and a chicken coop for our little babies who are now awkward teenage chickens.
I sat outside yesterday and pruned the tree in our yard: break away the old branches, make room for new ones...a good metaphor for life, don't you think? I cleared out the tree until most all of the old, dead branches were in a messy pile to my left. It was nice to see a project from start to finish.

We also recently had a bbq for a couple friends who were going away. One of my most favorite parts of living in this house is that we host people all the time. I grew up this way, with people coming and leaving the house, visiting for a couple days at a time at random intervals of years. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I lived in a place where we have that happen every weekend.