Posts Tagged ‘camping’

The dust has settled for a few days and the 6478 miles that I have put on my vehicle can verify the distance, along with all those damned fuel receipts. The Jeep can take a short breather until next week when I add another 800 or so miles. I can then put it down for a well earned rest. I began the expedition heading for Montana to look at some cheap and remote properties in the Bearmouth and Twin Bridges region, pipe dreaming about a place to retire in. Unfortunately, due to record rains and flooding, this aspect has been put on the back burner until the weather cooperates and the muddy roads firm up a bit. After Montana, it was then to interview for a couple of positions with Wyoming DOT. I begin this new paycheck earning endeavor on the 15th…so much for vacation. I then returned to Oacoma, waited 1 day and headed east to Maine to visit with family and friends, a series of events that rekindled my spirit and validated that time does not stand still for anyone. I stayed approximately 2 weeks, had my fill of lobster and mussels in garlic, enjoyed my favorite Pad Thai restaurant and sorted though all the junk I had left there a number of years ago so I could transport them back to west. So much for traveling light, though I did manage to pawn off several tubs of stuff I really did not want to carry back to Wyoming. I really need to lighten the load but things seem to accumulate without my knowledge.


One of the less desirable facets of returning to Maine is the reality that nothing ever stays the same. I drove around the community that I grew up in, which at that time in my life was mostly farming. It seemed that at my young age, the world was no more than a large cooperative farm where neighbors helped neighbors and gave me an opportunity to earn a few dollars while building a little character, a good tan and some muscles. I do not think there was a chicken house I did not clean and prep for the next shipment of chicks and there weren’t many fields I didn’t throw hay bales onto moving wagons. At one point, I worked in milking approximately 125 head of Holsteins and Jersey milk cows…twice a day…7 days a week….for 75 cents an hour. Good pay for a boy back then. I do not regret one moment of the hard work I did while growing up….but getting back to the premise here. Nothing stays the same.


I drove the back roads and found that there were only 2 farms remaining and many of those farmers I worked for were also gone. Many of the barns I helped stack hay bales in had fallen to ruin, the fields I sweated in during those summer months had become either forest or had transmute into fancy subdivisions for city folk wanting to live in the “country” and had destroyed the “country” ambiance with their big homes and “No Trespassing” signs. There were even some of these people who had moved into farm country, then tried to have the town pass an ordinance against the smell of cow manure. They failed, but the bubble had already burst, leaving an empty feeling in the town that the simpler times had faded. The mom and pop stores I had bought my penny candy at were gone, the local Grange Hall had been torn down (I was a member) and the old barber shop where a haircut was 25 cents had disappeared along with Edsel, the man who told hunting tales while cutting our hair and dropping ashes from his cigar with every other snip of the scissors.


But overall, the trip was well worth the effort. Family, good friends and good food were in plenty, along with many fine conversations. Now, it is on with the next chapter of exploring and learning as much as possible about the Big Horn Mountains, where the biggest trout are and where that huge bull elk hides. I am looking forward to the remoteness of these mountains and have all my camping gear (fishing/hunting included) ready to hike these ridges.                                            

The homestead today...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And, yes..there is some of this in the back pack…                                   











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3/2/2011:  Day three and the sun rose over a cold prairie fog this morning.  The thermometer sat at 2 degrees and the frigid air held some minor snow showers.  I loaded everything into the Jeep and headed south again.  This time, there were no stops, just a constant forward motion until I landed north of Hot Springs, SD.  From there I crisscrossed back and found that some of the local livestock had come out to search for feed.  Not many, but a few and trying to get close enough without any cover made things a bit more difficult.

With the elk, I parked in a spot where I was out of their sight and slowly moved up to a ridge overlooking the valley where they were feeding.  I kept a low profile and moved as silently as I could, but it was not enough.  They became spooked and I almost lost the opportunity.  The buffalo, though wild and free roaming are for the most part, unhindered by people in most cases, but they are dangerous, they are fast and they can mess up your vacation.

The end has come and I will be headed east tomorrow and will post more photos at a later date.





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I have always considered myself fortunate to have had and continue to have the opportunity to explore North America.  I have discovered many personal destinations that holds a quiet beauty and an enchanting spiritualism. Many of these destinations are well known, but for each individual who experiences these places, they carry with them a personal perspective and memory that makes a positive change in their lives.  Other places are unknown to most people and that in itself creates a mystique that intensifies the connection.  Here I present some of my memories.


Fish Pond, Northern Maine in autumn.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Red Valley, southern Black Hills, SD

New England coast.

Powder River, Wyoming.

Mt. Washington, White Mountains, New Hampshire.

Artist's Point, Yellowstone NP

Somewhere in Montana

Wind Cave National Park, SD

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

More to follow…


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I have a real bad case of itchy feet.  And, No, I do not mean athlete’s feet.  What I mean is the pull of the open road.  The beginning of a new adventure, scraping bugs off the windshield, bedding down in some remote piece of earth, sitting next to a campfire and smelling the coffee.  Climbing into a bedroll and staring at a thousand, billion stars that seem so cloes you can touch them.  Hearing the night wind blow through the leaves and drifting off to sleep with the distant cry of a coyote.  That is what I mean by itchy feet and for me, that itch is getting stronger everyday.
Living on the road is relatively easy if one lives simple, needs little and enjoys what is around the next bend in the road or over the next mountain ridge.  Finding work to earn a few bucks to supplement the savings is also, if one is not fussy on the kind of work one accepts.
It seems that every time I jump on Interstate 90, heading either east or west, I reach my destination and the burning desire to just drive on is intense.  So, why am I not on the road yet?  I have to finish what I start and I gave my word that I would sign on until next spring.  Being that my word is one of the most valuable items I own and I own very little, I need to keep it strong.  In the mean time, I a preparing the truck for the long haul.  I am swapping out the head studs, upgrading the EGR cooler and oil cooler, introducing the 350 to ram air and a 4″ exhaust….yes…it’s a diesel.  I have all winter to complete these swaps so I do have the time, but the open road is definately the incentive.

Sunset over the Missouri River, South Dakota

Stop by…

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It is Sunday, Sept. 26 2010 and a mini two road trip is about to be launched.  We, (statff) are taking 9 youth, including 2 German exchange students on a whirlwind tour of the Black Hills.  The itinerary will encompass a stop at Wall Drug, in Wall, SD, the annual buffalo roundup in Custer State Park, a stop by the Cosmos mystery area and a special time at the Crazy Horse Memorial laser light show.  I am really hoping this can be a relaxing time, but will accept and enjoy this trip irregardless……with me luck…

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I am off on an adventure….be back soon….maybe.

“The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.”

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