our journey back from trip one…

…lord knows i’m old and rusty, i’ve been around the bend and back…said, seen, heard, and experienced some crazy, messed up, extraordinary, spectacular, and awe inspiring shit.

this journey pushed me completely through my comfort zone and pulled me out the other side. i can’t reiterate how much i value having had buggs my co-pilot and j**s my “invisible friend” always with me.

i will say that spokane is an interesting place, maybe one day i will go back and explore. it’s weird. it seems like it’s built in layers that spiral. it confused me, but i was tired.

my customers paid me by personal check, so, i set off to find a us bank to deposit them. i was in search of a drive through atm. it was hot and i had buggs in the car. google took me to five different locations, all inside of grocery stores.

i was tired. i was frustrated. and, i’m relatively sure that i was talking to myself, as i checked my mirrors, looked behind me, and backed carefully out. suddenly, there was yelling.

i parked, got out, and saw that i had backed into someone, who was trying to speed behind me. yeah, interior of new to me car fouled, exterior of new to me car dinged. luckily, the guy and his daughter were nice to me and i didn’t cry.

i will say that when i was standing outside of the car that day exchanging information, it was the first time that i felt my lower back go out and the pain of the nerves running down my legs into my feet. i just thought that it was ms.

i remember that i was irritated and worried about what to do and where to go. i was cranky with j**s. i just decided to drive to kennewick, wa. it was familiar, as my grandma and grandpa used to live there.

kennewick was two hours from spokane and i just wanted to get there. i was tired. i knew that i had been cranky with j**s. i was listening to music and planning our next move in my mind. it was dark. i wasn’t really paying much attention to how fast i was going.

and, i saw him hiding in the median, as i sped past. i saw the all too familiar lights in the mirror and then heard the wail of the siren. it was a connell, wa sheriff’s deputy.

he was cute and sweet and kind. he let me off with a warning, if i promised to quit speeding. he told me that it was mule deer migration season and he didn’t want to see me lose a battle with one. i liked him!

buggs and i arrived at our deluxe accomodations at the kennewick wal-mart. we slept for a bit, woke up, and there within view was a us bank with a drive through atm. i couldn’t believe my eyes.

we decided to get a couple of cheap cheeseburgers at mcdonald’s and i got a large iced coffee with two extra shots of espresso. i took buggs for a potty walk and we watched several feral kittens scatter, as we passed the dumpster. it made me think of s***h.

i wasn’t sure where to go or what to do. i had placed repeated bids for other jobs, over and over…nothing was working out. j**s texted and we talked. she helped me to see that i had fulfilled my original mission, which was to transport my charges safely to spokane.

she told me that at the end of any mission, the troops rally and return to base camp. she helped me to realize that i needed to go back to my base camp and rest for my next mission.

j**s sent me on my way with a song, “my little traveler,” by death cab for cutie. she said that it was apropos. buggs and i pointed our car onward toward pendleton and la grande, or.

i was driving a lot, so, i had made it a point to wear my compression stockings, since i’m prone to blood clots. somewhere along the way, i became aware that they were really hurting my ankles, feet, and toes. i couldn’t stand it any longer.

i saw a mcdonald’s up ahead in la grande, or. i pulled over there and must have really been a sight. wearing shabby, baggy, drooping clothes…old lady, nude compression stockings…and, slip-on, checkerboard vans.

i parked, jumped out of the car, and began the task of peeling the nearly, melted-on stockings off of my legs and feet.

and suddenly, i was very aware that i was “that lady.” she’s around fifty, shabby clothes, support stockings, talking to herself, and looking slightly crazy.

in that moment, i made a mental note that if i was going to be a fifty-year-old cougar, from now on, i was going to own the hell out of that shit.

i’m pushing myself even harder, getting a new wardrobe, and always looking my very best for myself and for others that i may cross paths with throughout my day.

more tomorrow…


more photos from our journey…

A post shared by K W (@sprockets111) on


what i learned from our journey…

i learned to prepare for everything. bring tarps and scotchguard seats. haul charcoal and coffee to absorb odor. bring paper towels, baby wipes, two cases of water, extra dog food.

i learned to avoid areas that get absolutely no reception. i am so happy that i listened to my gut and wrote out a list of my meds and emergency contacts and had my advanced directive with me.

i learned to keep a list of friends and contacts on me for areas that i may be travelling through, as to go and visit and possibly stay.

i absolutely know to have buggs completely vaccinated and have all of my meds with me.

i know that i am at my most vulnerable when i am tired. when i’m tired emotions come out and reason flies out the window. i don’t care about anything except for buggs when i’m tired.

i made some twenty calls that night from the columbia gorge. r*****d was the only one who answered. yes, he motivated me onward utilizing anger. two of my high school friends replied by text the next day, as did my sister and j**s.

i have to say that i never in a million years expected the kindness, compassion, and all out patience that she demonstrated with me. she was able to talk to me in terms that i easily understood and could apply to myself and my situation. she didn’t fix my problem magically…however she did give me a magic wand…to use to figure out what needed to be done and then i could do it. she listened to me. she supported and encouraged me the whole way there. she gave me ideas, songs, lyrics, jokes, etc. i felt cared for, happy, secure, and special.

yes, i could have made it through this journey without j**s, but i would never have learned as much, valued her input and advice as much, had as much fun, or felt as blessed to have had her with me. she had a way of calming and soothing my spirit. she had a way of connecting with me when i was thinking about her. she is important to me. she is an anomaly.

i have enjoyed having a really good and close relationship with buggs. he was really the reason that i was always alert and aware and awake, because i was finally a “parent” again with the singular purpose of keeping my “child” safe during our journey. i trusted him to alert me to strangers, when sleeping in parking lots and truck stops. he was/is my co-pilot and companion. we will have many more adventures in the future.
we are back in nevada now from our second journey…which was henderson, nv to south lake tahoe, ca to portland, or to puyallup, wa to gig harbor, wa to bremerton, wa to ellensburg, wa to laurel, mt…travelling through six states: nv, ca, or, wa, id, and mt.
on the way back to nevada…our route was laurel, mt to bozeman, mt to west yellowstone, mt to idaho falls, id to salt lake city, ut to cedar falls, ut to overton, nv to henderson, nv…travelling through six states: mt, wy, id, ut, az, and nv.
i have tons of photos to share and go through…and so many stories and adventures to tell from just two journeys…it’s felt like two years shoved into about four weeks…i’ve gotten hurt/sick and healed. i have hiked, walked, carried, moved, hauled, driven, perservered, talked, laughed, cried, explored, adventured, documented, and have seen things of great beauty, mystery, and magic. my breath was stolen on hundreds of occasions.
i haven’t allowed my challenges or depression to stop me or slow me down. with buggs by my side, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. i remember this extraordinary woman once telling me that she may end up resenting me, because i may hold her back or not be able to keep up with her. now i wonder, if she could keep up with me and if she could…i would surely give her that piggy back ride…
photos and stories to come…

a teaser…

(this was actually from yesterday, but fell asleep before i could publish.)

…more to come tomorrow…

buggs and i, left henderson on wednesday at 1300. we drove to fremont and got there at 2300. i didn’t want to spring for a and decided to sleep in the car, in a denny’s parking lot. none of the gas stations allowed customers in to use the bathroom, so, I held it. i got buggs out of the car and into some really primo grass. within minutes, i heard a familiar sound. next, i recognized where i knew the sound from. it was the sound of the automatic sprinklers going off. buggs and i, got drenched. after all of the dog walking, watering, and watching…it was time to go to car.

i drove from 0600 on thursday, until 0600 this morning, friday. i haven’t really been able to sleep yet, just play the drop the phone game most of the day, while answering all of the calls that i sent out in the middle of the night to my friends and family members, in the midst of one of my most surreal, challenging, upsetting, frustrating, rewarding, and strangely beautiful, never-ending…exciting, adrenaline-charged days.

i will never forget it. the nuances are etched into my mind forever. all of the details that i so feed on were there…the sight of mt. shasta’s majesty peeking through the fog…the taste of the sour patch kids candy that i ate to stay awake…the sticky feeling of sap from a ponderosa pine making my arm hair stick together…hearing the caterwauling of five angry kitties…or smelling the diarrhea, a gift left by my adorable buggs, on my driver’s seat, back, and armrest…no one ever forgets those things.

…to be continued tomorrow…with photos



becoming beatniks…

“beatnik: a person who participated in a social movement of the 1950s and early 1960s which stressed artistic self-expression and the rejection of the mores of conventional society; broadly :  a usually young and artistic person who rejects the mores of conventional society.” – merriam-webster dictionary

…so, buggs and i, have made the decision to become beatniks. we’ve spent the last few days re-reading, on the road, by jack kerouac. we are pumped and ready to begin our journey of artistic self-expression and rejection of what society thinks/says that we would/could/should be. we are off to “find our true selves.”

during the course of our journey, we look very forward to meeting people from all walks of life and their pets. we will be listening to their stories, asking questions, and asking for their permission to photograph them and re-tell one of their stories.

buggs and i, are resigned to go wherever the road leads us. we will accept whatever person requests us or accepts our bid. we will have fun, enjoy each other’s company, and the company of the other pets and people that we have riding along with us in our car. we will go to places that we’ve both been to and never been to. we will hit roadside attractions and take multitudinous photographs.

we will write about our daily experiences, lessons we’ve learned, and what we are grateful for. we will visit with old friends like: g***e, l***a, n**a, e**k, r***n, j**n, k***y, etc. and, we will visit with new friends like: j**s, r***o, etc. we will truly be on the road and on a perpetual roadtrip.

our exciting adventure begins this weekend. we will be picking up two cats and a chocolate lab in walnut creek, ca and then, we’ll drive to oakland, ca and pick-up two chickens. we will drive our new friends up to spokane, wa and deliver them to their new home.

from there, we will drive to port townsend, wa and pick-up a trained service dog, whom we will be driving back to las vegas, nv with us, where he will be delivered to a disabled veteran. after that, the first week of september, we will meet j**s at lake tahoe and go kayaking on the lake. i will get some really good advice and pointers for working out on the road.

buggs and i, will hit the road again and stop to pick-up a terrier mix in south lake tahoe, ca. we will be driving her to her new home in south hill, wa. from there, we have a few days to hangout.

buggs has never been to the beach before, so, we will head to the beach and take the opportunity to meet with a realtor and spend some time looking at houses by day and having bonfires on the beach at night, being truly free…wind in our hair/fur, warm sand between our toes, and salty lips…just listening to the waves crash, smelling the sea air, watching the stars twinkle, and feeling so very grateful…knowing that the goals and dreams that i’m visualizing, saying out loud, and writing about are manifesting. evidence that i will have what i want and i will.

after two days at the beach, buggs and i , will head to portland, or. we will be picking up a shih tzu and taking her to her new home in st. louis, mo. i think that that will be an interesting drive, because i’ve never driven through that part of the country before, so, i’m very much looking forward to it.

i do know that there are a lot of roadside attractions in the midwest, so, there should be plenty of photo opportunities. also, since i loved iowa so much when i was there this winter, it will give me a chance to see it in the end of summer/beginning of fall. i really look forward to seeing and experiencing it.


saturday afternoon…

…buggs and i decided to drive to lake mead. buggs had never ridden in the car before, so, he was primed for excitement when he got in.

he did really well and rode like a champ, until we reached the outskirts of boulder city. there they were working on the freeway and it scared him.

buggs shook like a leaf and panted the whole rest of the way to lake mead. we drove through the payment area and i showed my access pass. we got in free.

we off roaded in my “new to me” car, until we found a spot on the beach, next to the lake. we got out, walked around, shot photos, and both waded for awhile.

buggs grew weary of wading, so i took him to the car, gave him water, and dried him off. i loaded him up and then took a few selfies and regular shots.

we drove back over the sand and rock, and out past the ranger station. we stopped and had a bean burrito at roberto’s before going back.

buggs enjoyed a few bites of cheese and i enjoyed a lot of hot sauce. we drove back to the apartment. when all was said and done, we were both exhausted.

our adventure and photographic expedition…