I haven't had much time lately to get out an take some pictures or write posts on what I have been doing and where I have been. So, I thought I better let you know I have been doing mission work with the United Methodist Church through their Nomads program, AND I am enrolled full-time with Mid-America Christian University in pursuit of a degree in ministry! The course work is intense, especially for an oldie like me, but I am hanging in there and even got a 95% on my first paper entitled, Interpreting the Old Testament, How Long is a Day?
So please hang in there as I am heading to Bryce and Zion soon! I promise more pics than you can handle!
As many of you know, I returned to my home in Vallejo after leaving it in the hands of a friend and her family. After a short 16 months, I was shocked at the amount of destruction left for me to handle. I am here cleaning and repairing numerous issues. This will take me weeks and several bottles of wine to rectify. My heart is broken. God, give me strength to get through this and to forgive those that have desecrated my trust. Amen.
What an adventure! So many nice people and beautiful places. I truly had no idea what to expect when we started this sojourn...previously I had made long distance travels on my motorcycle, and only stayed about one day in any one place. This is a true immersion. I stay long enough to get to know the heartbeat of the place and to make new friends, which makes it hard to leave! Having that said, I love Rapid City. Love it bunches. Chick Squad Productions, LLC will be moving its HQ there this summer and will offer photographic and video services for individuals and non-profits. Stay tuned!
Winter is another issue. I am not up for sub-zero winters so I will offer the same services to anyone in Utah, Colorado or Arizona. Yes, I am a snowbird and proud of my feathers!
A huge thank you to all who stayed in touch and enjoyed the photos. Your support made it all worthwhile! I hope some of you have made the leap of faith to venture out. I know one of you has. My childhood friend Sherry was overcome by the spiral of a job that didn't satisfy and saw many co-workers also suffering. She made the decision to quit her job, cash out the retirement, and buy a motorhome. Wow. Like me she is on her own, and like me, she loves it. She started a blog so please click this link to check out her story. She is an amazing testament to the power of faith and determination. All things are possible through Christ! www.trailertravelsblog.wordpress.com.
Made it to Phoenix for my first missionary work at the Epworth Methodist Church in Phoenix. I am working with 5 others with huge hearts. The Pastor, Rev. Bev Devine welcomed us all at the morning service and then I stayed for the Spanish version afterwards. Though I only understood about every 3rd word, the Holy Spirit was definitely there! I was saddened to see the morning service sparsely attended. I heard one gentleman tell another the average age was 75 for the congregation. They were all so cute and sweet, but clear the neighborhood has changed since the church was first opened. I saw a young man hanging around by our RVs and asked him if he was at the service. He said no, but he used to go. I hope after our talk he returns. Anyway, the Spanish language sermon was well-attended and full of energy and youthful exuberance. So nice to see folks of all ages. I will post more as the work begins tomorrow!
WAS NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT. They mentioned there would be over 3000 head of Bison being herded for the annual count and sale. What I did't know until I got there was the park can apparently only hold about half that number, so many will be sold off...which makes me sad. I had thought the Bison were safe here. I assumed the older ones died off, and the calves replaced them. Guess this is not the case. So the Buffalo are not actually free to roam here, forever. I swear, I want to make a ton of $$$ so I can buy up all the property around there and have a safe place for all these great animals to live without being sold off for meat, and hides, breeding, etc.
Given all that, I did enjoy the power of the roundup. The approx. 10k visitors that watched, and their energy was coupled with the raw energy of these wild beasts running across the open plains. Then, right on their tails...literally...were the cowpokes and trucks full of cameramen and ranchers, plus the state park folks.
Even with the mass of wranglers, some of the herd broke off and went the wrong way, and one lucky guy got away and was spotted a few hills over. I cheered him on. Then there was the deer family of four that ran with break-neck speed across the plain, to the area of the Bison, only to freak out and run even faster back from whence they came. Even some antelope showed up before the hoopla to meander across in a show of defiance.
All in all, I recommend it, highly, for various reasons. Mainly, to instill in others a sense of protection for these huge and rare animals. They are a sight to behold!
In my month long stay in the Tetons at the Fireside RV Resort, I saw many groups come and go. There were several tour buses and vans that would show up and out would pour 50 plus teens. All but one group out of the dozen was incredibly polite. One group even left me extra food. Cool, and Thank you!!!!
One observation made me think I want to be involved in getting kids to the outdoors. I was watching some 17 year olds from Utah playing 'keep the soccer ball up' when a flock of Canadian Geese flew over them. They all stopped and stared, totally transfixed on this. One of the boys stated, "Cool, I have never seen geese fly before." To which one of the girls agreed she had never, either. Wow... Things we take for granted. Had they never taken this youth-group excursion, they may have never seen geese fly! Every kid, everywhere should see it all! So, this is my new goal...start an organization that helps fund these excursions? Something!!!! Any advice?
A mechanical failure occurred before we were able to leave the Tetons. I was getting the trailer ready to roll out and went to lift the hydraulic hitch. No go. It went down, but not up. Frantic, I looked for a car jack, but since my car originally came with run-flats, no spare or tire kit. Bummer!
Fortunately, my neighbors from the Willamette Valley of Oregon...beautiful place...were equipped and very kind to help. Ron and Roseanne...I owe you big and hope your daughter enjoys the wine. It was all I could think of in the moment to express my gratitude.
Safe travels and please stay in touch!
Well, I am beginning to think Airstream dealerships are doomed. , Had to stop at Interrmountain Airstream in Salt Lake City for some repairs to include a leaking roof. The roof is probably a bi-product of the solar install at Los Angeles Airtream.
So I made an appt. well in advance and told Jeff then, the service manager, my laundry list and explained I live in the trailer and have my dogs with me so need to get done in a day.
So a service tech starts on it first thing in the morning and around 2pm I check back. Hmmm. The tech is working on another rig. An interstate, a high priced class B. So I ask him if he's done with mine and he says he was pulled off mine to do this rig because they had been in before. Hmmm.
Jeff tells me he will have mine finished after the van. Hmmmm.
So, to cap this off, I wait around and at 5 pm Jeff tells me I cam leave it and get a hotel or take it and come back tomorrow to get the roof leak fixed. He says everything else was done.
I have the dogs and trying to get a hotel at this time isn't going to happen so I tell him I will have it done elsewhwere, which I am sure is what he wanted to hear.
I go into the trailer to find it a mess. Boot tracks and mud and dirt on the floor and shop rags laying about. I test the fan on the stove. Not fixed. The paneling coming off, also not fixed. Obviously not happy, I mention this to Jeff. He fixes the fan. I leave. He did not clean up. He did not apologize. And I once again leave an Airstream dealership feeling nauseated by their lack of customer service and simple human respect.
My first moment meeting Jeff was a telling one and I should have listened to my inner voice that said, leave now. When I first pulled into the lot he came out. It was raining. He told me to drop my trailer there....in the rain. Fortunately, my hydrolic jack wasn't working so I was able to pull into the huge, empty service bay. Out of the rain.
This trip has been absolutely fabulous! I met the Guinness Record Holder for the world's largest pumpkin! Chris Stevens, his wife AJ, and their uber-lovely family, Kailey (10) and her little sis, Amber (8)! Amber cracked me up when she said she was on a mission to find a stuffed Bison to take home. And she did!!!
I will be traveling to their part of the world (Wisconsin) to check out these mega-sized pumpkins! The ones in the pics aren't even full-grown yet! The weigh-off is mid-October. Hope to add this to the itinerary! For more on Chris and his incredible pumpkins, click this link chris stevens giant pumpkin.
Pictures courtesy of AJ Stevens, and not to be reproduced without permission of the Stevens Family!
Thanks for being a friend of the Boon Blogger! You may have noticed I am pretty good at keeping up on the pictures, but not so great at the comments. So I have some stuff to say. First, thieves suck. I had my mountain bike up on the roof rack, and some tool stole the rear hub axle release pin. After going to Jackson, Wyoming, home to the most expensive of everything, I found the part at Hoback Sports and it cost $90. This, after the salesman sized me up incorrectly and handed me the "generic" axle lock for bikes sold at K-Mart. Of course it would have been nice if it worked, since it was a $9 part.
Then, as if not enough, I leave the leashes out to dry while I go out shopping and someone steals the leashes off my picnic table. Where is Ranger Rick when you need him, huh Yogi!? Right, Boo Boo Bear? Thankfully I have some rope because I refuse to go back to Jackson to be charged 4xs the amount I'd pay anywhere else on the planet.