There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label birthdays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthdays. Show all posts

18 March 2017

The Mickelson Trail

It was a beautiful Autumn morning as I woke up in Deadwood, on the day of the 46th year since my birth. To celebrate, for lack of a better word, I went hiking along the Mickelson trail in the Black Hills.
Originally the Burlington Northern line that took trains from Edgemont to Deadwood, the Mickelson trail is now 109 glorious miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding. As I get started making my way out of town, I see a lone rabbit eating grass along the rivers edge. So intent am I watching this creature that I don't notice the man coming up alongside me.

He greets me warmly, waving his iron claw hands in the air. A veteran of WW2, he embodies the spirit that I love about this country, it's freedom and resiliency. He wishes me luck on my journey, and we part ways.
I'm soon immersed in the beauty of Fall colors on this October day, the sounds of town fading behind me. If time would allow, I'd complete all 109 miles.

I settle for 14 though, and it's a wonderful compromise. A couple of miles in, I chat with a lady on horseback, a family out for a picnic, and a couple of young mountain bikers. We all have the same grin on our faces from such a perfect day in the mountains.

I swig some water and carry onward.
I reach a summit and find a split in the trail, which is lucky for me as the alternate route is a loop that will eventually take me back to Deadwood, instead of having to return on the same route.

Hours later, I run into the same lady on horseback, and we smile as our paths cross again.

I wasn't aware that I had my camera on the "painting" setting, yet it captured the beauty of the hills perfectly, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results.
Of all the hiking trails in all of the places in this world, I couldn't have been luckier to find myself on this trail, on this day, in this place in time.

07 October 2014

Le Reve

When you get upgraded to a suite like this, you know that your time in Vegas is going to be good.
Drawing open the drapes open to a spectacular view of Sin City.
The elderly Spanish gentleman sets up a nice table for me, the room service meal wafts it's hungry scent throughout room.
A nice walk after dinner on the Strip in the evening to the show. I find my comfortable VIP seat, chilled champagne with a side of chocolate covered strawberries and truffles to my liking.
"We never dream completely, are never awake completely"

I slip away into the magic and seductive mystery that enfolds before me.

04 May 2014

passing down a National Past time....

"this is my first time being to a baseball game you know...."

"Really? We need to change that."

There is nothing I find more relaxing than watching baseball. Throw in a warm Spring night with family and friends, a complimentary suite with free food and drinks, and you'll need to drag me home when the night is over. The tradition of this sport is more than just a game, it's time spent with people you care about in a way unlike anything else.
I teach my niece and nephew the subtleties of the game over corn dogs and beer. We watch for foul balls coming our way, cheer at home runs, delight in singing at the seventh inning stretch.
The bright stadium lights sit in contrast to the setting sky, holding an air of wonder over the green grassy field. We are on the edge of our seats with the game tied at the top of the ninth when a 3-2 pitch is hit high up in center field....four outfielders go for it....and the ball falls in between all of them...the runner rounds third base and heads home....he is safe!

Bee's win! Bee's win!

It's a sound that never tires or grows old, much like the game itself.

12 January 2014


Justus is BCK's in-country Kenyan Director, and is a vital part of our new NGO. He is very involved in his community, working with all kinds of various organizations for the betterment of his people.

He also has started a school called New Beginnings, which we first visited in June 2012. Where he finds the time, energy, and money is beyond me.....
some of the students at New Beginnings learning centre.

While in Kenya last summer, we learned it was Justus's birthday, so we all donated a little money to celebrate the day of this incredible man. Happy Birthday rafiki!

01 October 2013

The Timberline

I have a thing for Stanley Kubrick and The Shining. I wouldn't call it an obsession necessarily, more of a hobby to learn more about what inspired Kubrick, and a fascination with haunted places. This all came together when I spent a couple of nights at the base of Mount Hood, Oregon in the Timberline Lodge, where part of the movie was filmed.
Constructed in the 1930's, the granite stone and wood give a deep sense of care that went into this hotel. I'm given my key and make my way up the stairs and down a long hallway to room 207. Rich history is everywhere, all consuming.
The rains starts to fall steadily outside, dampening my idea to explore. I change my plans and wander through the corridors, searching all nooks and crannies. The hotel creaks and moans, as if warning me to be careful. I take heed and head back to my room....
The wind howls down the chimney. I start a fire in hopes to abate the weather, surprisingly with success. As the fire crackles and pops, I open a book and get lost in the pages as night falls.
I eat when hungry, gorging on locally grown food and wine. Coffee and tea keep me company as I sit by an old window sill, watching the trees bend in the breeze as the rain continues to fall.
I have time to write postcards, catch up on sleep, rest my mind from the day to day grind. I fancy haunted spirits floating above me, finding comfort in the company of the afterlife.

30 April 2013

lasting memories

My oldest niece turns eleven this weekend, and I can't shake the feeling that I'll be losing her soon to the teenage years, boys, popularity and all the other painful nonsense that comes with growing up.

She is currently into Cheer and gymnastics, and so for her birthday this year I wanted to do something extra special, just me and her. So we flew to Las Vegas last weekend.
It was a place where she could feel a little bit like a grownup, and myself a little bit like a kid. From our complimentary suite at The Palazzo to ordering room service milkshakes at midnight, we bonded and became even closer.
We did all the things she wanted, like visit the Coca Cola store and M&M world. We laughed at the strange characters on the Strip, and taxied around like rockstars to avoid the heat.
The big surprise though were tickets to see the Cirque de Soleil show "O". From the costumes to the gymnastics, the comedy to the music, she was in heaven. ( The clowns also included me in part of their act, which had her giggling all night....)

In the end, my hope was to create some lasting memories as she is on the brink of a new chapter in her life, and to let her know that I'll always love her, no matter.

17 September 2010

with a little help from my friends

 Making salsa has become a little tradition over the long Labor Day weekend. We head up to my brother's cabin, and spend lazy, slow days cutting up onions, peppers, etc..

It's my favorite weekend of the year.

It was funny this year though, because all our mountain friends that stopped by kept wishing me a Happy Birthday. Which was strange because my birthday wasn't for another month, and I didn't tell any of them it was coming up. But they are getting long in the tooth, so I didn't think much of it.

Sunday afternoon, my brother asks me if I want to take a drive to visit his friends. Our salsa making was complete, so I willingly went. We drove from one cabin to another , chatting and enjoying a most excellent afternoon. When we came back to our little cabin, I figured out why everyone was telling me happy birthday....

My super awesome and extra sneaky sister-in-law planned a surprise party for me. It included my first shrimp boil cookout, and a party that couldn't be beat.

Salsa. Mountain Cabins. Fishing. Playing. Partying. Friends. Family. Love.


02 November 2009

I'm Spongeworthy!

So on Thursday, October da 1st, my 39th birthday came to be. To celebrate me making it to the summit of life's hill ( it's all downhill from here!) Pa and Aaron took me to the Lakeside golf course aka " The Sponge" for a afternoon of golf ( free on your Bday)
As you can see by our beanie's, hoodie's, and jackets, it was a little chilly, but still a beautiful autumn day in Bountiful. Snow on the mountain tops, with autumnal leaves below, and a crystal clear blue sky.
I did recieve two very specials gifts as well. First was from one of my 'World of Difference" friends, Ruth. Ruth is a teacher in Georgia, and was the one that invited me to help teach in Nairobi. After myself and Dawne taught our first class of "Be True, Be Clean/HIV & AIDS", I was able to tell these wonderful children about Truddles and then gave each of them a Trudi 5K memorial T-shirt. Ruth sent me pic's from that very special day.... Then later that night Jared sent me this video from Crazy legs and C-Bug.
Thanks! Love you guys!