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!
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!
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.
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.
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 AM AN UNSTOPPABLE INFLUENCER.
Today, I am thinking about how far I've come. I hit rock bottom because I allowed someone else's opinion affect how I felt about myself.
I did that.
I chose to see their actions, their words, their treatment of me as a reflection of my worth.
I chose to live up to someone else's expectations, to always do what they wanted instead of doing what brings me joy.
I chose to marry a man who I had to walk on eggshells around...a man I knew was going to hurt me (I saw it in his eyes on our first date, I ignored my gut... I'm glad I did because good came out of it all).
And then, I chose to leave.
In my deepest, darkest days I would have checked out of it hadn't been for my guardian angels.
I blamed myself. I turned inward... and then I expanded more than I could have ever imagined.
You see, even though I was miserable with where I was at, I couldn't see any other way. I couldn't see what was beyond the fog I had been existing in all of my life.
Until, I settled into the darkness. I entered the void. The universe had to make me stop in my tracks (thanks to a torn tension in my ankle) and be still ... only in the stillness could I find a way to move forward.
To some, it may have looked like I fell apart.
Perhaps I did. But, it was necessary because all the pieces that were not truly me needed to be broken in order for me to find my truth.
Yes, I tried to make that marriage work... not for me but for my kids. For family. Once again, I was choosing what was important to someone else over what was imperative to my existence.
I did it. It was my choice.
8 months after he devastated my reality... while on a solo spiritual retreat, I realized that I found more peace and joy away from that relationship than when I was near him. It would take several more months (including giving him the engagement ring back on our anniversary and saying "our marriage, what we had, is dead... if you decide you want to be married to me, you can give this back and that will be our new anniversary.") I have him the choice, I had already made mine. I knew I didn't love him.
About a month later, I took that ring back and moved out. April 13th, 2019 was the last day I felt like ending my life. I chose, instead, to stop living a life of lies.
I sit here, thinking about that year... how devastated I was.
How much I did to find myself.
How much I did to find joy.
I did it. All of it. And I'm thankful I was able to push through. I am thankful that I found the Unstoppable Influence within.
Because this life, the one I have right now, is the life of movies... or some might say a fairytale. There is a happily ever after after all.
It's found when you find your truth, and love yourself first. Only then will you find joy, love, peace, clarity, and purpose.
I know why they did what they did... I'm thankful for it. Because it gave me the strength to claim my life.
I am an Unstoppable Influencer... I will choose myself and live my purpose regardless of what anyone expects from me. I came here on purpose, for a purpose. I know my truth. I can show you all the things I did to find my strength and my truth... but it is up to you to find yours.
You make the choice. Each day, your actions affect your tomorrow. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
This week I think I'm going to kayak the river... go to the mountains... explore and have fun... just get outside because I feel most at peace while in nature (and while I'm painting... I'll be doing that this week too). I will continue to let the universe guide me in all I do.
I love you all. I love myself! I am an Unstoppable Influence... you can be too. I hope you'll choose YOU.
Or perhaps I should count from what was the beginning of my new life...2 years ago today my life changed. I learned the truth and discovered that someone I thought I knew was not who I thought they were. It rattled my foundations. Even though that relationship had been dead for years, it still hurt.
Today, two years later, I woke up with chest pains that took a good portion of the day to stop.
I knew what was going on...I have released the pain and anger... and feelings of worthlessness but, my body still reacted again today. Two years later.
It's interesting that our physical form can do that even if we feel that we have healed.
I'm sure there is still more I need to release. I feel myself building walls, shutting people I love out... it's what I've done all of my life. It's easier to build the wall than it is to open your heart. But I'm trying.
The difference between me now, and the me from two years ago, I recognize what is happening now. I recognize when I am creating that divide and I reach out for help.
I've been working on a lot of heart walls the last few days... thanks to this date on the calendar... I'm sensitive and easily triggered.
I recognize it, I find my center, I find my peace.
I wasn't planning on making it past July 3rd, 2018. I didn't see beyond the pain. I had to get help... there's no way I would have made it alone. Since then, I realized we are never alone... and sometimes the solitude is what you need to recenter and align.
Even if humanity leaves you feeling heartbroken and alone, you can connect with all that is - your higher self, your light team your spirit guides... whatever you want to call the universe that is here with you. They're always there for you. Always there to keep you safe, if you'll listen.
I'm happy to say that - even though today I'm feeling worn out - I am eternally thankful for that pain in 2018. If I hadn't endured it, I wouldn't have uncovered my truth. I wouldn't have found my love. I wouldn't have found me.
We went boating today. Water, has always brought me clarity (which is odd because I feel quite uncomfortable in water - I've had many dreams of drowning - ... but extremely comfortable on or near it). Today might have been a struggle to keep that clarity... but I'm a work in progress...as we all are.
I just hope that I'll be able to continue to remove the triggers and be my best self. There's more I plan to do in this life... and a whole lot more fun to be had.
I am me. That is enough. This moment is all that matters. I know that. If only I can convince my body that it's OK now. That will be when I declare victory over the pain.
Until then, all I can do is do my best. And just keep being true to myself. That's my victory...I love me. I certainly couldn't say that two years ago.
I hope that you know, all of this will be worth it. Just keep going...there's beauty on the other side. I know, I've been there.
254 days ago...
I left. It seems strange to me that 254 days have gone by since I drove away from Boise with my three cats in my home in tow, crying because I was leaving a man behind who had snuck into the deepest realms of my heart.
I had no idea what would happen next. I had no idea that he'd join me on this adventure in a little less than a month. After all, we hadn't known each other for very long.
It's crazy how the universe works for your good. It's been over 2 years since my ex came home and hit me with the news of what he had done... totally altering my understanding of what is real.
I am extremely grateful for that moment in my life.
Yes, it devastated me at the time
but holy hell...
it woke me up to all the amazingness of this life (granted it would take several months to get my mind right and several more to realize how toxic that marriage was for me).
Sometimes we have to step away to see the truth. I didn't realize how small he made me feel until I removed myself from his space.
A few days ago, my sweet cat (who fetches- so she's quite a smart cat) went into full defense aggression. You see that tiny slit on the side of my easel in the image? Somehow, as I was putting her to bed, her tail caught in there. I've looked at it nearly a dozen times over the last few days...I still can't understand how it happened.
Her response... attack what's holding her... which happened to be me. I was afraid to drop her without getting her tail out... worried it might break or literally hang her up. So I held on and tried to release her tail.
In a matter of seconds, she attacked my hand ferociously. Soon, I let go of her tail in an attempt to scruff her ... trying to control the aggression but she was in full fight mode and attacking so viciously I couldn't get a hold of the back of her neck. Jordan tried to get her tail released, ready to break the easel. Finally she bit so hard into the muscle of my hand, my only response was to let go. Thankfully, she dropped to the floor, no broken tail or hang up. Just a seriously freaked out cat and a bloody hand and wrist for me.
It was such a bizarre experience. But it really got me thinking about how the fight or flight response works in all of us. And sometimes, we sink our teeth in and fight when there's absolutely nothing to fight for. When we should be throwing in the towel or saying "I won't go through this again" and "fleeing."
My life is complete now because I chose to flee from a toxic marriage. Not that he was a bad person (although he made bad choices) but he was bad for me. Very. I always walked on eggshells... almost 20 years of my life was spent that way. I couldn't see how bad it was until I fled. First for a 9 day solo retreat in January of 2019... then completely in April 2019... when I finally said I was done.
I have never felt so at peace... and the craziest piece of all... I stopped having suicidal thoughts the day after I left him. A quiet (sometimes screaming) voice that had been with me all my life stopped saying "everyone would be better off without you." I now know that I have healed what I came to heal. I am free.
And I am SO loved. My new VIP in my life treats me like I've always wanted to be treated. I thought this kind of love was only in the movies. It isn't.
Our travels have slowed (thanks to COVID) but we are still adventuring. In fact, we had a starlit hot springs soak last night, returning this morning after 5 am.
We had been sitting still - the house in one spot - for the longest I have been still since October of last year.
We've taken day trips... one to a place called Blue Heart Springs which can only be accessed by water. Kayaking down (and then back up) the Snake River was a lot of fun - although I was worried about getting my new tattoo wet. The Springs are just a little lagoon nestled into the cliff side, it is quite lovely.
Then June arrived and we finally hit the road for a week long adventure, traveling to City of Rocks, then to the Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park area. We discovered that Zion is WAY too busy (which led us to the Grand Canyon to watch the sunset). Bryce and the Escalante area is absolutely magical (of course Grand Canyon is as well).
While in the Bryce area we hiked to a breathtaking waterfall, rode mules, and hiked slot canyons (we even got snowed on - in June... in southern Utah - crazy weather). The slot canyons were probably my favorite hike I've ever done because of the technicality and unexpected around every corner.
Jordan, and our friend Dan, are not small guys. The trail info said Spooky Gulch slot canyon is tight for the average sized American. We really had no idea what is considered an "average sized American" and we were told on the hike in (by a couple old fellas) that they met a couple who showed a picture of themselves going through and it was tight... and they were thin people.
We went for it anyway. Hoping we - well, hoping Jordan and Dan - could get through. Then after the sweltering heat of the first canyon (it's recommended to go through Peek-a-boo slot canyon to get to Spooky... it was an oven in that first canyon - I definitely overheated) we came across a family with some pre-teens who said there's a 20 ft sheer drop and prepare to scale the wall if you want to get through... but they didn't think it was possible to get through.
We decided to go anyway. Knowing we might have to turn around.
It was fairly tight, nice and cool though so we didn't mind. Then we got to what appeared to be an old rock slide in the way of the trail. As we scrambled over the rocks, I could see the ground getting farther and farther away. Jordan and his brother, Brad, were standing on the top - looking over the 20+ ft precipice. They figured they had the leg, and arm strength to scale the wall down but no way could I or Dan make the climb. I started looking for alternatives and soon Brad purposefully slipped through a hole to the trail below.
The route he took was a good 10 ft drop...I looked for something closer to the ground. Thanks to the screws in my shins, normal jumps can be quite painful so I was hopeful for something smaller. The hole I found was still, easily, a 5 or 6 ft drop onto the trail (4 or 5 ft if I could leap forward onto a rock). Thankfully Brad was already down there to assist because I am sure I would've been limping if he hadn't been. Not that it was a graceful decent anyway.
Dan came through the same hole as me, then Jordan took the same route his brother had taken. And then we found the REALLY Spooky part. The two big guys barely squeezing through... and it was a long treck of this. It kept getting narrower and narrower, sometimes forcing us to go high, or low, through the tight space until finally, it began to widen. Just before exiting the canyon, someone scratched the word "Freedom" into the rock face. I laughed and took a picture.
I loved it and will definitely be exploring more slot canyons in the future. I just need to strengthen my arms and legs some more and I'll be golden.
For now, we're back in Boise. Jordan is healing from a mule kick - his brother's mule tried to kick Jordan's and instead got Jordan's big toe. I'm healing from those cat bites. We're still having adventures (there was a short trail to get into the hot springs for our star gazing last night). There's so much to explore, I'm so happy to have people to do it with.
I hope you all will stop biting down and fighting for the things that are no good for you. Believe me, when you let go... you'll be free!
Love you all! Fly...be free my friends!
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.