Oh the Desert Dreams of a River

Our camping trip ended early last Thursday. We had rain every day we were there but the last night was storm after storm after storm, which turned the soft dirt roads back to our campsite into deceptive mud pits. Luckily we had been monitoring the weather and had packed up and headed to gravel just before the sky broke.

I don’t have any great pictures to share because I was trying some new settings on my camera that didn’t work out. This picture was taken on the way back to camp the evening we called it quits. It was taken from inside the truck because I’m terrified of lightning. I’m also terrified of moths. There’s no reasoning with my fears.

Many people have tried to explain my chances of being hit by lightning or eaten by sharks but my brain screams back, “You might only have a 1 in 175,000,000 chance to win the lottery but someone does!” I just don’t want to be that someone who is touched by a moth, okay?

We’ll be making a few more weekend trips down again this summer. I’ll be sure to take better pictures then. I can’t wait!

Title From:
From This Valley
by The Civil Wars

And Driving Down the Road I Get a Feeling

On Friday we leave to go camping! The plan is to take a week of vacation every year around this time and camp somewhere. This year we’re going to Wyoming. Next year? Probably the same place. I love Wyoming. I love that at times the air itself smells like sage and I especially love the red dirt. In fact, there is a half-gallon mason jar full of red Wyoming dirt sitting on our bedside table as a bookend. The other bookend is an old pickle jar full of beach rocks from Rhode Island.

We planned for this particular week because historical averages showed minimal rainfall and where we like to camp is difficult to access with too much rain. Now, Ten Sleep and the surrounding areas are experiencing flooding conditions. Hopefully things dry off a little before we leave.

I know some people would be surprised that we’re not camping in Montana. Memorial Day seems to be the start of tourist season and so many people are already flocking here in their giant RVs. Montana is wild and breathtaking, certainly. I can see what draws people to visit; the same things enticed us to make this place our home. But we can explore Montana and all it has to offer any weekend. This week is more of a nostalgic return to the place we called home when we didn’t have one. Plus, there is a little part of me that doesn’t want to be eaten by bears.

Title From:
Take Me Home, Country Roads
by John Denver

Riding Wildfire

It’s been beautifully springy here recently. We’ve had the windows open, airing the place out. Now everything is covered in a thin layer of dirt. The winds were gusting at 60-75 mph today, blowing everything from dust, leaves, and horse poop into the air. We were lucky enough to avoid the power outages the poor folks in Billings are dealing with, for which I am especially grateful. I hate being without power when living on a well. My first thoughts when the lights flicker are 1.) I better use the bathroom now and 2.) I should fill the bathtub so we can flush the toilets later. With the electricity in our Connecticut cabin being so unreliable, we kept buckets of water on the porch for emergencies. So far we haven’t had to do that here but I may start just to be safe, especially if winds like those today are commonplace.

Along with the dust, leaves, and horse poop, the winds brought smoke from a nearby wildfire that’s burning out of control. Fire season here makes me as nervous as hurricane season in Louisiana. Brian grew up in Louisiana and lived there when we met. I was always resistant to settling there because the idea that every year I’d experience the very real possibility that my house could be there and gone after one storm, made me extremely uncomfortable. Now we live where the very same thing could happen. Although unsettling at times, it’s definitely a risk I’m willing to take in exchange for being able to live in such a gorgeous state. Not that Louisiana isn’t pretty, but there is that whole humidity thing.

Note: The picture here was taken in Worland, Wyoming, over the summer. The fire was an impressive controlled burn on a field.

Note: The song for the title of this post is going to be stuck in my head for days, I just know it.

Title From:
by Michael Martin Murphey