This life is an amazing adventure. My life is so different than it was just a few months ago. We're on the move. We're a traveling family when I was so stable and went to a job everyday of the work week. What I remember seems so distant, and still yet I have my own schedule and I still get a lot of "work" accomplished.
When we left this last time, it was definitely bittersweet. I do miss my home, but the exchange for this landscape is worth it. We had quite the adventure, and I'll start with our attempt (yes, attempt) to leave St. Louis. Our goal was to just drive a couple of hours, so that we could camp. And, we left, ate dinner, and filled up our sweet old Volvo with gas. Then, the old girl (the Volvo) wouldn't start. We have known there's been a bit of an issue, but we weren't worried. When she didn't start for 30 minutes, we decided once she did we would go home. Our efforts foiled, we were a bit discouraged, but the Volvo started the next morning, and we headed west. Yes, despite the fact that we could be in the same predicament again. The whole day, we never turned off our car. And we made it to a campspot called Sheridan in western Kansas.
This lake was in a valley, filled with rocks and trees. To our east, the ridge was higher than our line of sight, so when the night fell upon us, the harvest moon- brilliant orange and beautiful, rose from behind it. Our night included making dinner and Adam and I having some adult time while the moon glistened on the water. It was one of those things that just doesn't always happen. It felt like a good omen, and we were going to make it west.
We had a lovely morning. I've learned something about myself when I camp. I'm a morning person. I don't try to stay up late at a campsite... I'm usually tired and I often like to watch the sunrise. Considering this, we were right on the line for the time change, where, it wasn't until 7:20 that the sun finally rose. It rose beautifully just as the moon had done so the night before.
I had time to gather wood, start a fire (which I'm proud to say that I used the coals that were still hot from the night before), make coffee and breakfast. These tasks were done all while my daughter and husband slept in. It's a lovely thing to enjoy these small joys. I haven't always been able to "camp", but it's just like cooking a meal. It's all a process, and it becomes second nature after you do it a couple of times.
We had a quite a few tasks to complete while in Denver. Adam had a job... which took the entire evening, and we had to pick up the part for our Volvo. We also so our sweet sister who just started college in Lakewood, CO. It was a long day in the car, and we also didn't turn the car off unless absolutely necessary. That evening we made it to Dubois, Wyoming. It was a full day to say the least.
Monday we grocery shopped and left for Yellowstone. It's been pretty nice. We're in a dorm room, and we already settled in well. We have food and a menu- so that's my job. I'm the cook. Yesterday we had chili (wonderfully comforting since it is chilly out.) And, tonight we're having Saucy chicken thighs with prunes and raisins.
Yesterday (Tuesday) we saw a GRIZZLY bear. Oh. My. Word. Those creatures are fierce. huge. scary. We were on our way to the hike, and right outside the dorms-- the grizzly stood scratching and looking for food. We headed to the ranger-led hike, and we were late... so I'm nervous and hiking mad-fast just to try to catch up to the group. I finally did, but we met up with some Europeans and they weren't all about listening to the ranger. It took us an hour (that's it) to hike 2.5 miles... and I had Ryan on my back the entire time. I didn't even take a break. It felt good. The weather was beautiful, and we could see the Tetons from Storm Point, which I didn't get to see the last time.
What to hear one other thing? We're still (UGH!) trying to potty train Ryan. And, it's almost there. Still... she peed in her pants 2 times yesterday. Any advice?
Hope you all are well! I'm loving the snow-- it's coming down right now!!