It’s mid-February in the White River National Forest. Snow happens almost every day, and we cope. Gratitude comes easy for me, and I am thankful for the beauty of it, and the moisture that it… More
Back in August, the original Stew Wagon (Maggie), gave her last gasp, and I had to replace her. This is her, down in the meadow after an early autumn snow, 2017.
If you explore the blog, you’ll find all the adventures that we shared. I learned a lot about this lifestyle while traveling with her.
Happy trails, Maggie.
This is Grace. We’ve done some short trips together, and I’m excited to get her out on the road for a long haul. She’s a 2004 Chevy Tahoe, 5.3 ltr, 4WD beauty. Stealthy and strong. Already, she’s made her own place in my heart.
This morning, I spoke to the north chapter of Colorado Trusted Advisors. It was an opportunity to share my story, and encourage them toward mindfulness. There were lots of questions, which is always encouraging.
It will probably help you, as the Reader, to understand a little about the background.
For a long time, life beat me up. The long and short of it is that, in 2015, I was literally praying to die. Things had come to the place that I felt completely worthless, and that I was a drain on everyone around me. I remember telling someone that I was “waiting to die”.
They asked if I had some illness or what? When I said no, they responded with a strong “That’s bullshit! You’re gonna sit around for thirty years waiting to die?”
That was the catalyst the sent me down the Vagabond Trail. Instead of continuing to play the victim, I decided to reinvent myself into a traveler, and that’s how this whole thing began.
So, this morning, I shared that story, along with the great life I have now, and how grateful I am.
We talked about how we can change our circumstances by changing our self-image. Also, about how mindfulness and gratitude can make us better advisors. Overall, it was a very good time for everyone, I think.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make a little trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming and Ft. Collins, Colorado. Leaving early on a bright, crisp Saturday morning, I made the drive up to Cheyenne for breakfast. There’s a coffee shop there that I wanted to visit.
As you might guess from the photo, Wyoming is noted for being a windy state, and this Saturday was no exception. I cant estimate wind speeds, but there were times when it was a struggle to keep Grace in her lane. I didnt do much photography, because I couldnt keep the camera still. Most shots were done from the driver’s seat, or from the shelter of the bedroom area, shooting through the open door. This one, which illustrates the old song, about deer and antelope playing, was shot that way.
When I arrived in Cheyenne, about 9:00 in the morning, I was surprised to find the place almost empty. Of course, with wind like that, I dont blame people for choosing to stay indoors. What I didnt realize was how many businesses were closed on Saturdays. There really wasnt much to see, so I decided that I’d ask the folks at The Crooked Cup.
It’s a tiny place, with very limited seating, but it’s clean and cozy. Staff are friendly and the food is good. As is my habit, I didnt think about documenting my time there, except for this shot of kolaches and coffee.
When I asked the guy at the counter about things to do on a Saturday, his answer was kind of humorous – “Um…I mean…It’s Cheyenne.” When he called out to the woman in the back, she said, “I think there’s a museum up the street, but I dont know if it’s open.”
So, I had some wonderful, made from scratch kolaches and a very good Americano. Then I wandered around town for a bit, before I decided to head down to Fort Collins. I had a meeting there on Sunday morning, and figured there would be more going on, since it’s a college town, and I was right. More about that, next time.
On the way, I came across this old house and had to stop for some photography. Here are a few of those shots.
I love California. Especially southern California. Beaches, palm trees, climate, what’s not to love? So, a few weeks back, I took some time off and went vagabonding. First, I had to drive through Utah and Nevada (where I ran out of gas). Since I left directly from the mill, I drove in the dark through eastern Utah and woke up here.
Quite a switch from the mountain meadow where I usually see first light. Traveling the west gets tedious for me, though. Some people enjoy the vast emptiness.
Driving a few miles, I decided to get breakfast at Frontier Village.
It was a great place to stop. Food and service were good, and the prices were reasonable. I dont remember the exit number or anything, though. If you want to find it, you’re on your own.
One of the reasons that I love California is that things grow there. I have no idea what this plant is, but isnt it gorgeous? It grows along the sidewalk leading into Old Town San Diego. I spent a day there, just milling around, enjoying the vibe. Yes, it’s more touristy than I usually do, but why not? There’s a lot to see!
This big open square is where things happen. People watching here is as good as Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, and the weather’s nice all year round. You can ride your bike, with a funky hat, or just get furry!
Below are some shots of Racine and Laramie Tobacconist. If you enjoy the occasional pipe or cigar, this is a place to visit. It was one of the first businesses in the village of San Diego, opening its doors in 1868. While they may look like it, these guys werent there then. Believe it or not, they’re father and son, and the vintage look is not a uniform. They just enjoy dressing in period clothes, for the enjoyment of the clientele.
The selection of tobacco products and accessories is exhaustive, ranging from inexpensive pipes and cigars to hand blended tobacco. Because they are a tobacco shop, it’s legal to smoke in the shop. They even have a small smoking lounge where you can sit, chat, and enjoy a nice bowl or stogie.
Lunch at Fred’s Mexican Food. If you’re in the mood for a tasty Mexican bite, you’ll find it there. The service is good and staff are friendly. I’ll go again.
It’s another historic and beautiful attraction of San Diego. Both historic and modern, it reflects the Spanish influence the pervades the region.
While the architecture harks back to an earlier time, much of the art is very modern.
Of course, you never know what you’ll find around the next corner.
Of course! What would a trip to San Diego be if I didnt hit the beach every day? Tacos at South Beach Grill and Bar, Coffee at Java Jungle, with plenty of sunshine and waves.
So, that’s it for San Diego. I’ll be back! In the meanwhile
~Enjoy the Life you’re living!
These days, my front yard is a mountain meadow, spread with wildflowers, trees, and plants I don’t know the names of. Some mornings, I wake to find a small gathering of elk munching their breakfast. Now and then, but rarely, a moose wanders through. There are rabbits and foxes, also. My back yard is a mountain, strong and woody. Friends have told me that they’ve seen a bear up there, but I never have. I have heard the chirping of a mountain lion in the night.
A brook ripples through the meadow, bringing music to match the birdsong that accompanies my meditation. The water is clear and cold.
My meditations are short, no more than a few minutes, focusing my day on the loveliness that surrounds me. Then I shave, comb my hair, walk around a bit and take in the scenery. Although it’s summer, the morning air is still cool and sometimes (like this morning) I need a jacket.
I love my meadow home. A few people think it’s crazy that I sleep in my car, even through the winter, way up here on the mountain. For me, though, it’s a wonderful way to keep myself sane.
For the past few days, a couple of young women have been camping in my spot, which I don’t mind. I think it’s marvelous that other people get to enjoy the same beauty that I do. So, I’ve been sleeping in different places along the county road. Last night, it was just near the top of Ute Pass. Here’s the view that I woke up to.
I am truly blessed.
In others news, I’ll be leaving for California tomorrow evening. I’m excited to go, because I havent seen the ocean in several years and I’m jonesin to get salt water up my nose and sand in my shoes.
I have made some tentative plans, as to where to go. Fiesta Island seems a popular place to meet other vehicle dwellers. So I’ll probably head over there first thing.
Then there’s Taco Tuesday at South Beach Bar and Grill. According to Google and Yelp!, it’s the place to go for tacos. Situated on the beach, with a view of the sunset, how could it be bad?
Also, I want to explore Old Town San Diego. There’s a tobacco shop called Racine and Laramie, and according to the website, it was founded in 1869! I want to find a nice pipe, for evenings in the meadow with a glass of wine, bourbon, or coffee. Some nice, handmade sandals are probably on the shopping list, as well, along with an artisan made coffee cup (for those nights with the new pipe and mornings with the elk).
Otherwise, I have a week to meander around SoCal. If I play my cards right, there will be lots of beach time.
As always, thanks for Liking, sharing and following.
~Enjoy the Life you’re living!
First things first, I have to give a great big western “THANKS, PARDNERS!” to Colorado Tire and Service. I recharged my own AC, and it still wasn’t even cool. I called and asked for a ballpark quote to replace a compressor/collector combo. $700! I was bummed. The awesome thing is that they could have simply done what I asked and billed me, but instead, they did only what it needed and billed me for that…and it’s definitely COLD. I was expecting a $700 bill. Instead, it was $161 for the recharge. I’m grateful
Also, I picked up a hitchhiker yesterday on County Road 3. It’s relatively untraveled, and in the fifteen months that I’ve been staying up here, he’s the only pedestrian I’ve seen. (Yes. We’re remote.) He’s headed to Dallas and needed a ride to I-70. As we drove along, he offered to buy me some gas. Naturally, I declined. As we approached town, he said, “Pull into a gas station. I’m gonna get you some gas.” I said, “You really dont need to. This is where I was going anyway.” He said, “I know that, but I want to do it.” So, at his insistence, I stopped at my usual place. When we stopped, he got out, walked around to the pump and filled me up. I’m grateful.
TRUTH: We must be as open to receive as we are to give. It’s the way things work.
Having said that, I am completely unprepared for California. No trunks, shorts, t-shirts or sandals. What have I been thinking? Wait! I’ve been living on a mountain in Colorado! (I’ll trade sand fleas for tics, I suppose.) Guess I’ll hit some thrift shops when I get there and set up a new wardrobe for the week. Maybe grab a souvenir hat. Yeah?
Thanks for following, Liking and sharing.
~Enjoy the Life you’re living.
I love my life. Days are warm, the sun shines most of the time, and all of my views are like this one. Lately, I’ve been lazy getting out of bed, which is something I need to stop. (My bed is just so comfortable these mornings!)
I’ve been taking time for mindfulness, though. Each morning, I spend a few minutes listening to the sounds of the meadow. Birds, the brook, a breeze through the leaves; I let the scene impress itself onto my consciousness. Every day begins with peace. No expectations or hurry. Although I’m getting up late, I have allowed time for this.
At the moment, another trip is in the planning stage. This time to California. I have no real itinerary. Like everyone else, I’ll head straight for PCH and let Maggie drift. The trick is getting there. Leaving the mountain after work on the 22nd, I’ll drive to someplace in Nevada, then on into Cali on Friday. Before I can make the trip, though, I have to replace the AC compressor.
~Enjoy the Life you’re living.