our second journey, part seventeen…big sky, mt to yellowstone national park…

as i mentioned before, the snow started coming down in big sky. it was very beautiful and added a little something to the already breathtaking landscape. i was a little worried about the driving conditions going up and coming down from the passes. the snow i was fine driving in…it was the ice that i worried about.

the temperature began dropping as we approached yellowstone national park. my car’s temperature gauge flashed “icy” over and over. i continued to stop and take photos along the way. i used common sense and exercised great caution. i thought about my roommate, j***y, who was terrified of me driving through bad weather and chuckled.

i passed the sign that said yellowstone national park. i was overcome with the glorious and curious wonders of the autumnal landscape. everything seemed so surreal to me…i couldn’t believe that i was there…i was actually fucking there!! and, i did it myself…with a companionship provided by my co-pilot buggs and my co-co-pilot j**s.

i felt like i was in a dream state. everywhere i stopped, i got out and walked. i shot photos and gathered interesting stones from each location. when i got back to the car…i put the stone in buggs’ poop bags with a piece of paper that noted the location. i decided that i would be like a penguin and gather stones to present to a mate.

my mind was full of competing thoughts. i was so excited. i just wished that i had had a special human with me to enjoy the adventure. i remembered what someone important to me once said and, at the time she was right. she told me that she would probably build-up resentment over time, because i was too unhealthy to keep up with her.

it was a bittersweet thought. bitter because she was never able to see me hike and climb and explore. sweet because i could walk far and fast, hike, climb, carry. i was fucking proud of myself and my progress. i just wished that she would have been present to experience me walking further and faster and being able to keep up.

hahaha…as my mom would say, “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

more tomorrow…



without realizing or planning it…i have planted little, ticking, time bombs all around me…both online and in real life. no, i am not talking about literal bombs that destroy physically. i am talking about figurative bombs that trigger emotionally.

this morning, i was texting with j**s and i received a facebook notification. it told me that i had a memory from two years ago. normally, i don’t click and look, but for some reason i did today. i clicked and found a photo that i had taken two years ago today.


i am guessing most people would not have given it a second thought, but me, i can’t stop thinking about it. these little bombs come in the form of photos, texts, emails, music, quotes, symbols, numbers, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, surroundings, and activities.

they trigger me emotionally and take me right back to that place, person, or thing. i remember exactly where i was and what i was thinking, feeling, and doing. i remember every little detail of every little thing. once i am triggered, i have a hard time turning it all off.

i had traveled to gillette, wyoming for a second, third, and fourth date. i got this room at a nice hotel for $45 on priceline. i remember calling and letting my date know that i had arrived. then i scurried madly around my room trying to get ready.

this whole thing was brand new to me…driving at all…(since I really didn’t do too much of that when i was with my ex) being out and about independently (since i had been with my ex for almost 10 years)…and dating…it had been at least 10 years since i had dated anyone.

at the time, i was much heavier. i was weak and in pretty poor health. i couldn’t walk even 1/10 of a mile without stopping and everytime i went up a flight of stairs…i was left doubled over, while huffing and puffing. my date, a nurse was terrified for me.

no one had expected anything of me in years and apparently, i expected nothing from myself as well. the previous 8 years or so…i lived with my ex and self soothed with food, while blowing up like a blimp, getting more and more unhealthy…waiting to die.

by the time my date arrived, i was exhausted, sweating profusely, and breathless. i was quite the prize!! thinking back, i don’t even know how i got this woman to go out with me in the first place or why after seeing me on the first date, she invited me for more.

there was a knock on my door. my stomach flip-flopped and my heart felt like it may explode. i opened the door and in bounded an exuberant, firey soul…she embraced me with a big hug and kissed me on the cheek. she was excited to see me. i was shocked.

she was wearing a poncho and jeans with some kind of lace-up moccasins. when we hugged, i smelled patchouli and something spicy. an obvious beauty with long brown hair and smoldering brown eyes. i stood there on sensory overload, absorbing her energy.

she came to take me back to her place. i wasn’t wearing shoes but had socks on. i had two pairs of slip-on vans on the floor, but i was a little shaky. she asked me which pair i wanted i went back and forth a few times. she picked up the black pair and slid them on my feet.

she drove us over to her place where her son was waiting. we got there and sat down to watch a “hunger games” movie. i don’t remember which one because i fell asleep within minutes and snored the whole time. i woke up when fingers ran through my hair.

she took me back to my hotel and we sat comfortably on the couch. her legs were over my lap and i rubbed her ankle, while she showed me the video of her best friend’s wedding. (***and oh my god…in this very moment…2024 of 03.11.2018…i have just come to a realization.***) i remember doing exactly what i had done on our first date, what i had done on the phone once that i regret, and what i did at our brunch together. i kept telling her something like, “you know, you can go now. you do not have to stay here on my account.” fuck…i am a douchebag and an asshole!! and now, i absolutely don’t know why, but she kissed me with her lips that tasted like coconut chapstick. i did not deserve that.

and with that brand new revelation, this ticking, time bomb has exploded, and left my mind working overtime and my heart with a new hole in it…


our second journey, part sixteen, short story and photos…gallatin gateway, mt to big sky, mt…

i have lived in montana and driven through it, but i have never gone south from bozeman. i am so glad that i decided to go back to nevada using that route. i will say that everything that i saw in bozeman and after…and all the way through idaho was completely breathtaking.

it was fall and all of the brilliant colors of change were reflected in the constantly changing landscape…red, orange, rust, yellow, plum, magenta. i soaked every ounce of it in…knowing full well that i was headed back to the dull desert.

i kept finding these wonderful places along the way to stop and take photos…and as i did i shared them with my co-co-pilot j**s…who was also stuck out in the land of intense heat and cockroaches. and, i shared them with my roommate, j***y, who was from sweden and missed forests and nature.

gallatin gateway was basically the entrance to yellowstone national park…somewhere that i had never been and my dad always promised to take me to. the gallatin river runs alongside the road through the valley and pass. it’s beautiful with it’s little waterfalls and emerald green water.

the gallatin river inn and rv park was a super fun, kitschy place to stop and walk around and take photos. they had signs everywhere. i loved, “slow the hell down.” the river ran alongside the rv spots and it looked like a great place to camp. buggs was enamored of a giant sunflower that danced and swayed in the wind.

i had to stop and pulled over in front of the lazy t4 ranch. it was an absolutely gorgeous spread of land, with trees, fields, and rolling hills. the ranch houses were big and impressive, but it was the gate and mailboxes that i really liked. it began snowing there in big sky and buggs and i got back on the road and kept moving.

more tomorrow…

our second journey, part fifteen photos…gallatin gateway, mt…

our second journey, part fourteen…laurel, mt to bozeman, mt…

before leaving laurel, i mapped out our journey back to henderson. i knew that we would be heading west to bozeman and then heading south through the gallatin gateway to yellowstone national park.

i knew that time was of the essence, because a big storm was moving in. the clouds were dark grey and the temperature began to drop. we were wasting daylight and dry roads waiting on a motherfucking, moronic liar.

of course, i’m me and it’s my nature to be rebellious and spiteful at times. sometimes, i make bad decisions and end up doing stupid things. the moron pissed me off by wasting my time, so i wasted his. i “poked” the “bear.”

by the time i finished making a report at the police department, the sky was dark and night had fallen. i really don’t see all that well at night. buggs and i were headed west for the pass and it began to snow. the wind whipped the snow around making it even harder to see.

we hit the pass and i watched the outside temperature gauge change, as we climbed the mountain. i was shocked when my car began flashing a word on the speedometer. it read, “icy.” i panicked because i knew that i was driving on a sheet of ice.

as i drove, i remembered and repeated to myself…not to slam on the brakes. instead, i kept my speed down and when i needed to go slower or stop…i pumped my brake lightly. the drive was tedious and scary, but i did it. i did it myself!!

once over the pass, we could see the lights of bozeman a little lower down. i was so relieved as we made our way to our room in the super 8 hotel, that we booked along the way using booking.com. we were very fortunate that we got the last room.

more tomorrow…

our second journey, part thirteen photos…bozeman, mt to gallatin gateway, mt…

our second journey, part twelve…laurel, mt to billings, mt to silesia, mt to red lodge, mt and back to laurel, mt…

quite honestly, this leg of our journey was very hard for me and excruciating really…physically, mentally, and emotionally. buggs, of course, handled it like a trooper and a well-seasoned traveler.

my head and heart were still swimming in a sea of questions. i went over and over and over the whole gig harbor, wa part of our journey trying to figure out exactly what had transpired.

we arrived on p**l’s doorstep and everything spiraled out of control from there. it was an exercise in futility and i really do not wish to reopen that rotten can of worms. we have moved forward.

i will make a bullet point list of this leg of our journey…but, i will not be going into too much detail.

high and low points of this leg:

  • not being able to sleep for nearly forty-eight hours due to another’s drug habit and scary behemoth spiders.
  • sleep sick and unable to stand or walk…couldn’t feel either leg or foot.
  • hospitalized for nearly a week.
  • four hour mri performed twice.
  • two lumbar punctures.
  • three bulging discs in my lower back.
  • was without buggs for awhile.
  • once released…couldn’t lie down had to try to sleep sitting up on couch.
  • had great conversations with j**s.
  • went to yellowstone wildlife sanctuary.
  • took some beautiful photos.
  • had pancakes with all you can eat syrup at the pelican cafe.
  • ankles swelled into cankles.
  • homer, my birthright was stolen from me.
  • repeatedly lied to.
  • huge fight about money.
  • threatened.
  • packed up and fled laurel, mt.
  • stopped at police department on way out of town.
  • drove in the dark with ice on the roads, through a mountain pass to our next stop…bozeman, mt.