September 28th, 2020
The winds are changing, can you feel it?
Wind is not fun to pull an RV in. It was crazy windy getting into Utah Friday night, and yesterday's drive heading further south was no better.
We are now dry camping, also known as boondocking, for the next week. That means (for you non rv peeps) that we will run off our own water and power supply. Having to find places to refill water and fuel, and dump our waste. Our home came with a generator, so we'll run that when we need the outlets to work. It'll be the longest that we've gone without hookups. It'll be interesting to see how it goes.
Before leaving civilization, we stopped for an In-N-Out double double... something, I have been told, is a must while in Utah. I had never had In-N-Out before meeting Jordan and I'd been through Utah at least 20 times. 🤣 It is a pretty good burger, I must say.
We'll continue heading south, following warmer weather. I really do not enjoy the cold anymore.
It's been quite windy but thankfully it's not rocking us as we sit parked on an exposed site. It's blowing from the north, hitting our rear end, so we picked the perfect spot this time.
Remember I mentioned I rearranged things in the back (the Words Matter portraits). Well, apparently we took a turn a little fast because, once again, they shifted. Or perhaps the tow strap holding them got knocked loose. Either way, they tipped. They haven't been traveling well in the back of the trailer... but the other option is the back seat of the truck... which means we'd have nowhere for groceries when we get to a store (the bed of the truck is full). So they've been a bit of a problem finding the right spot. I'll be delivering more, or just visiting families who already received one, as we travel over the next year. I am also hoping we'll actually get to participate in some events. We shall see. If not, and we continue the RV life, they may go to storage until we're more stationary. I want to show them though, and share their stories so others can heal.
At our stop in Blue Lake RV park, one of their ads was for a non-profit to end Veteran suicide. The owner of the park said I'd need to talk to the non-profit for details. There are so many out there.
Many who are struggling. Maybe you're one of those. I know, from struggling with suicidal ideation most of my life... that is hard to get those thoughts to stop.
Help is required.
I wasn't able to get out of the loop that everyone would be better off without me. I knew it wasn't true. How selfish suicide is. I knew, in my heart, that it would devastate my loved ones if I chose to exit but my mind wouldn't stop arguing that they'd get over it. And quickly, then they could be happy. Suicide is completely selfish, it takes your pain and transfers it to those who live you.
I knew this. But I couldn't stop without help.I tried everything, it wasn't until I got on medication for a few months that I was able to SEE.
Once the medication shifted my brain chemistry, I found the truth. My truth. I left the last toxic relationship I'll ever have (never again will I allow someone like that in my life) and I found peace. I learned to love myself.
I released all expectations that society and family had placed on me. And all expectations I had places on myself and others.
I learned to just BE.
And now, I am truly free. Living the life that many dream of. Once I loved myself, I finally found love from another... the love that movies are made of.
It all can exist for you too... it may take a chemical shift in your brain... it may take leaving toxic people who fill you with toxic energy... whatever the case may be, YOU have to choose.
Life is truly beautiful on the other side.
I hope you'll choose to live.
If you're thinking of harming yourself to "get back at another"... it doesn't work. Please don't do it. They aren't worth it. You are worth so much more!
If you've lost someone to suicide, my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain every time I complete a portrait of one who was lost. Please listen when I say, there was NOTHING you could have done. A choice was made by your loved one. NO THING, besides them changing their own mind, could have changed what happened. It is a genetic trait... passed through generations of DNA that without the aid of medication and multiple types of therapy, cannot be cured unless the individual makes the choice to live. It's easier to exit.
It's a hard choice to stay... but it's such a beautiful existence on the other side!
I love you all. Please share so that others will hear this message. I know there's many who needed it. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been placed on my heart today.
May you find your truth. And remember, if you choose to exit before your time... you'll have the same shit show again in your next life. It isn't worth it. Find healing now. Reach out if you'd like to hear everything I did to heal. The medication was just the final piece to the puzzle that helped me overcome the desire to leave. Those desires did not return after I stopped taking medication, because I found my truth.
September 26th, 2020
Days 378 to 384
We got to explore Priest Lake a little bit on day 378. It is a beautiful place so we'd like to go back and do some hiking there one day. The smoke was still too thick to actually enjoy a hike, so we drive around - I got my feet in the lake... Jordan, of course, jumped in.
After that, we returned to Boise so I could correct the cloudy clear coat on that giant mural. I've learned a few things from that mural.
There's other lessons, I'm sure but those are the big ones. I really, honestly, didn't thoroughly enjoy this project. So we shall see if I decide to take more down the road. What I can say is thank you to all the people, the friends and strangers, who stopped to tell me how much they love it and appreciate what it does for the neighborhood. That made the headaches... both literal and hypothetical- and the possible permanent damage to my shoulder from the tent and fence crashing on it - worth it. My shoulder will hopefully heal... but it's definitely not right at the moment.
Good thing I can work with both hands.
We've moved on, out of Boise. We have some wonderful adventures planned as we move south, currently in Utah, then we'll pop into Colorado briefly (I HAVE to show Jordan one of my favorite places on the planet... Silverton, CO). Then we'll head down to Sedona... which I'm SUPER excited about because I've felt drawn there for 3 years at least. I'm happy to finally go!
So, we'll lots of road time... but we're cutting the drives to shorter stretches. At least, they aren't ... USUALLY... ten hour days.
The cats aren't pleased that we're parked and not staying in the camper with them. We're staying with our buddy Zach... probably our last home visit for quite some time. It's nice to be able stretch out and have the bedroom so far away from the bathroom which is even farther away from the kitchen. We aren't used to having this much space.
It's been a wonderful visit. Zach and his brother are in a band so they jammed on their guitars last night. I absolutely LOVE live music... especially rock, so I was in heaven.
I'm so very grateful to have seen my nephew, Braden, tonight. He's in the airforce, and he was able to come over to watch the fights with us. Turns out, UFC fights are his favorite sport. I didn't know. Everything was perfect.
Tomorrow, we hit the road for our next destination. We have our adventures loosely planned out through the end of October, then we'll continue to make our way south... eventually getting back to Florida for the winter. We are now following the warm weather. A great life to have. Boise is still considered home base... for now. But we've discovered that I'm allergic to the Treasure Valley. Every time we return, my allergies get out of control.
It is likely we'll visit Idaho again this winter, just a quick flight in when my beer label gets released. Yes, my art will be on a beer label for Mother Earth Brewery, their Project X series. A whole new avenue for my work.
I'm excited for what the future holds for us. We are living the life many people dream of. But the truth is, you can have it too... you just need to make the decision and go for it. It's amazing how the universe conspires for you once you start to pursue your dreams!
In the morning, we're off again. Be prepared for many many photos to come. Like I said, we're going to some magical locations over the next several weeks. For now, I bid you adeu.
September 20th, 2020
Oh my goodness, what a day!
We got up early to pack up and move out. So happy to get away from the trains.
We moved to a nice quiet spot where we had just enough time to drop the trailer before leaving to go be monkeys. 😁
Tree to Tree at Farragut State Park is absolutely wonderful. It isn't easy, not at all, and if you're scared of heights, this'll do you in.
We went through the three courses, climbing higher and higher into the trees, in about an hour (plus the 30 minute demo and safety lesson before we got to play) we madei it through the 3 hour session. We were cruising through those obstacles!
The highest course takes you up - we're guessing 30 feet... we forgot to ask the actual number. There are zip lines, hanging log crossings, wobbly bridges (some we did with no hands) and even a Tarzan rope - that you catch and climb a net at the end.
It was a great workout.
And great proof that the fear of heights that I once had is completely gone.
I used to get dizzy, and even sometimes nauseous, when up high. I'm not so sure I actually felt "fear" per say... just extreme discomfort.
Then, in the summer of 2018, my world turned upside-down (thankfully) and I was no longer afraid of anything. I realized that this lifetime is just a blink in our existence. None of the pain, fear, judgement, or hate we've experienced (or inflicted) even matters except to teach us something that our soul longs to learn.
So, while it appeared to many that I had fallen apart, I actually broke off all the useless and toxic pieces of my life (and myself) and found a great sense of peace.
Fear is useless. There is nothing that can be solved by it. Now, I'm not saying that if you come face to face with a Grizzly bear you shouldn't be afraid... that's different - that's survival. I'm sure I'd be plenty fearful if I experienced that. But, it's a matter of knowing that whatever is going to happen, is going to happen. Fear makes us worry about unforseen things... it's a complete waste of energy.
All we can do is live our lives to the best of our abilities. Love completely. Play. Enjoy the moment.
Sure, it could end in the blink of an eye, but if you're living life to the fullest - it'll be OK.
Wow, that took us down a rabbit hole I wasn't expecting this morning. 🤣 anywho... we want to get a hike in today so time to go. The skies finally cleared enough to enjoy some scenery. It's still a bit smoky but not horrendous. We can see that fire across the lake quite clearly now.
We'll be heading further south tomorrow. For now, I'm going to go enjoy these mountains. TTFN!
September 19th, 2020
Days 374 - 376
The smoke is still clouding any hope of seeing this beautiful area. We actually haven't done much because of it.
We visited Farragut State Park, it's beautiful (what we could see of it). We did see a fire across the lake. 😪 Didn't get to do any hiking, just walking around in this smoke gets to us. We had big plans for lots of hikes up here. Unfortunately, the universe has other plans for this leg of our journey.
I have always hated when plans change. It's something I'm never happy about. I get my mind set on something and that is what I want.
I've been called stubborn. Driven. Focused. Obsessed.
I'm learning to be flexible. This nomadic life is definitely not for anyone who can't handle change. I actually started to feel very stagnant as we stayed in one place all summer (a little bit of spring too...5 months to be exact).
I enjoy the changes in scenery... still struggle with changes in plans.
What we have planned may not be the best thing for us. So we must trust the universe. There's a reason plans "fall through."
We will have to come back to this area someday. For now, we're moving on. Heading south since the smoke has foiled our plans. We'll see what wonderful adventure awaits.
We did jump in the lake, it was cold but we did it. Many people were in hoodies... so not exactly beach weather. But, I didn't want to leave here without jumping in at least once.
I'm very excited to move to our next spot. This train that runs by the campground has not allowed us to get a good night's sleep. Never again will we stay here (Best Western/Edgewater). Hopefully, no more trains for any stops in the near future. We've had it.
We have a fun adventure planned today. I'll tell you about it tomorrow! For now, be OK with change, it is always for the greatest good!
September 16th, 2020
That hot tub I mentioned yesterday is great! We needed that... and a little bike ride around town.
Jordan loves craft beer so we like to find Breweries... it turns out there are quite a few in Sandpoint, Idaho.
My favorite part of it (cause I am a tequila girl, not much of a beer drinker) isn't trying the different beer, it's the people we get to meet. We met some awesome people last night (they even invited us to the owner's birthday dinner - which we passed on... we still had places to ride and besides, we just met them).
Our new location is next to the train tracks again... this time, the train is on a bridge above... it is LOUD. We will definitely heed the warning of the registration person next time. But, we wanted that hot tub and to be near downtown and the lake. So... we didn't care when we registered.
We are feeling otherwise now. I even had to use my white noise generator and we had the big fan running.
I couldn't hear it most of the night, but, I woke up several times confused by what I was hearing.
Kept thinking the wind must be howling (those trains sometimes shake the RV) ... then I'd wake up enough to remember what the noise was and go back to sleep.
So, I'm a bit worn out this morning. There's still quite a bit of smoke so hiking still is not in our near future. That was the whole reason we came up here.
At least we made some new friends. We shall see what today brings. I think I'll go live on FB tonight... do a little two handed drawing perhaps. It has been a while!
OH...I almost forgot. I was in Petsmart before leaving Boise and ran into my friend Sue. She was there getting this Feliway plugin for her daughter's cat. She told me about it so I decided to try it. You see, it puts out pheremones to calm cats.
Well, it works! We have two that typically stay away from one another - and if they get too close (which in this space happens all the time) they fight. Yesterday morning their whiskers were touching as they shared a bowl of water. They even looked as if they might play together. That didn't happen but hopefully, one day it will. Hezzie doesn't have anyone to play with because the sisters don't trust her not to fight (actually I think is her...she doesn't know how to play with other cats).
Hooray! We are one big happy family in an RV traveling America. Ha ha! Onward with happy cats.
September 15th, 2020
Days 371 - 372
Silverwood Amusement park was a blast. We hit all the "extreme" rides (there's really not very many). Our bodies weren't too pleased but we're so happy we went.
Day 372, we relaxed (sort of, I did a bunch of computer work) and stayed inside all day.
The smoke is horrible.
It's even covering Montana, which we were hoping to go to. BUT... there's no point in going if we can't see anything.
So, we're kind of in a holding pattern. If the fires and smoke continue to be horrendous, looks like we will just head south. We were really looking forward to some mountain adventures before we went south. Damn it anyway.
Plus there's the issue of that mural. I hadn't heard from the manager of Rodda since Friday (today's Tuesday). I was hoping that was a good thing. I knew it wasn't though. Today I received a text saying the solvent rub really isn't working.
The clear coat is still cloudy.
Damn it anyway.
It is going to take everything in me to not have a sour attitude when I sand and repaint all the damaged sections.
I am so ready to move on. But, I can't leave it looking like that. It's beyond frustrating.
So much is clouding my vision right now. The smoke, that clear coat...I can't see beyond those physical veils.
I'm sure there's a lesson, a reason, a purpose for all of this.
So I guess I must be still and listen for that purpose. I want to move... but so much is saying wait.
At least there weren't any lines in Silverwood...
We'll be packing up and moving in a few hours so, at least there's that.
And we get access to a hot tub at our next stop. Which is great, it'll help my sore back and neck. It'll help us both to just be still.
Life will throw curveballs... you decide how you'll play those. I know I have some energy work to do so I'm enjoying these curveballs. I'll see you on the flip side.
September 13th, 2020
September 12th, 2020
I know, I skipped a "few" days. But my numbering was odd. It's been just over a year since my first adventure to San Francisco. Nearly a year since I headed out on the biggest adventure. Now 20 states later... we are leaving our "hometown" again for an undetermined amount of time. We're officially on the road again.
The past months I have been painting a giant (15 ft high by 60 ft wide) mural on the side of a building on the west side of Glenwood in Garden City ID (across from the fairgrounds, near Hawks stadium).
Around a month ago, I awoke in a panic. In my nightmare, we had lost everything to a fire... except the cats. Somehow they had all huddled together in a hole under the rubble. Everything else was destroyed.
This week, we planned to leave on 9/9 for our next adventure (well, really we wanted to leave 9/1 but I was still painting that mural). Then, on 9/8, the boys and I painted a clear coat on that mural. A "CLEAR" coat that didn't dry clear. Now, because of parts of that clear coat that didn't dry clear, I might have to repaint a large portion of the mural. I was ready to leave on the 9th still. Saying, "I'll fix it next summer" and hoping the owners would pay me what they owe. Jordan said, "we are not leaving town without you getting paid." Frustrated because I'm ready to MOVE (and because the mural was draining me) I agreed to stick around.
So, we completed errands that we hadn't had time for (including purchasing a cute cruiser bicycle for me) and canceled our stay at our first stop.
We had 5 days scheduled in Redmond so we could check out the Breweries and caves around Bend... then spend a day at Clear Lake (an underwater petrified forest).
Within the few days prior to our scheduled departure, Oregon broke out in wildfires (as did Washington... both places on our planned first legs of this journey). Those two states were suddenly ablaze.
To make things even more obvious that everything happens exactly as it should, before canceling our reservation on the 9th (we were waiting to see what a house painting expert said about the mural) I came across an article stating that our planned first destination was now the evacuation site for the fires. If we had gone, the entire park would've been full of evacuees.
Full goosebumps. Had we not had a problem with the clear coat, we would've been in the midst of the fires. Had I not taken longer to complete the mural (if we had left on the 1st) we definitely would have been in fire danger.
The world is conspiring for you!
So yes, while we still hit the road and had to drive through parts of Oregon and Washington (which were so filled with smoke I couldn't breathe) we will swing back around to Boise to get paid. This is a quick trip to Northern Idaho then Montana, and likely Yellowstone before fixing whatever needs fixed with the mural. Right now though, it's still curing and the manager from Rodda Paint (where I purchased all paint and that damn "clear" coat from) is sending me pictures every day of the clearing progress. He's also testing a removal process... so we shall see. Hopefully, I won't be sanding and repainting!
So the adventure to leave was big. Then... the adventure on the road begins. Once again it looks like we got bad gas. This time in Umatilla OR (don't get your diesel from Crossroads Truck Stop).
Suddenly, a handful of miles from Connel, WA (a little over a quarter of a tank used) we get reduced power to the engine. We limp along and make it to Connel (pedal floored to keep driving 40 mph on the interstate with hazards flashing)... find a place near trucks to park... and call my mechanic - he says "oh shoot you'll have to go through the same thing as last time." I had my truck in before we left for an inspection. A few minor repairs were done but the fuel filter - which if you recall gave us issues in Louisiana after bad gas in April - looked good and was not replaced. Damn it anyway.
There's no mechanic shop open. I think "that guy that helped us on the side of the road in Louisiana just crawled under and did it easy, we can do this." So, we YouTube how to bleed the filter. Apparently this is a common issue because there were a lot of videos and articles. We see how and find where we need to reach but can't get to it. The guy on the side of the road just crawled underneath and did it so easy... but how in the hell he reached it, I have no idea.
I start calling mobil mechanics, none are nearby. Jordan sees a cop pull up to get gas and goes to talk to him...a young man pulls in and parks his semi... his girl getting out of the passenger side. The cop gives us the number of the town's tow truck and diesel guy... the young man asks "what's wrong with your truck" then proceeds to tell us his friend who lives just over there works on diesel engines all the time... he'll go get him after dropping his lady off at home.
After what seems like forever (and hearing the cop joke with the sherif on the phone that someone needs to check on us to make sure we're safe because this town isn't safe... don't worry, he grew up there and was just razzing the other cop) the young man returns, soon followed by a little old fella and another man (likely his son). The little old fella named Junior, walks up...beer in hand, wearing coveralls, and gets right to it. Bleeds the filter, and we have full power again. He shows Jordan and I how to do it but says "replace that filter."
We have a nice chat with them, we talk art and cars. Junior builds low-riders. We see pictures of his (absolutely beautiful). Give him a little beer money (which he refused to take at first) and we're back on the road.
A bit farther, after running through the bad fuel, we reach a gas station and put more fuel treatment in.
No more issues. We'll see if the check engine light is off today. That's what happened in Louisiana.
There's one more interesting thing about where we ended up for our first stop. Recently, we started talking about my Words Matter exhibit and that we need to do more with that again. Well, where we are staying, has an ad for a non-profit who's focus is reducing Veteran suicide.
Everything happens exactly as it should. We arrived late last night so I still need to check us in at the office. I'll be chatting with them about that non-profit for sure!
Let the universe guide you. Stop holding on to how you think things should go because something better is on it's way.
I was so set on leaving the 9th... but we would've had a completely different story to tell if I had held on to that.
Love you all! Today will be full of wonderful adventures! TTFN
I had a dream that I was traveling all over the world. In less than 6 months, I sold almost everything I own...bought a Toy Hauler (the "garage" is my art studio) and am now living wherever, whenever...just me, my art, and my cats.