Friday, August 30, 2013

On The Fringes of The "Bob" and the Scapegoat...

 Montana backroading is some of the awesomest around. We ran off into the woods the other day... trying to find more Huckleberries... but I believe the season has passed us by.

We actually, nicked past the western edge of I believe the Scapegoat wilderness...which sits beside and just below the "Bob", and below the Chinese Wall.

It's hard being a walking, talking, anachronism... born in the wrong century, and expected to bend to fit the arbitrary demands of a soh-sigh-uh-tee.

But when those bruises get too sore and agitating... rolling, riding or walking back into open country under Wild Montana Skies is a pretty good salve for a worn spirit.

This is basically the country my latest story is set in. It's these same Montana mountains... just a bit farther north. There are great sections you can barely see ten feet... and then soul expanding vistas that let you see into your dreams...

Heidi doesn't  care for the "roads" in country like this. In spite of the fact that I don't drive off into ditches, or run over poodles and Prius's ... or turn off the side of a mountain 'cause I'm texting like some sort of a townie...

When the roads get steep and narrow... her eyes go to reading a book on her phone... until the truck stops or she can "sense" that things have widened out a bit.

 This ain't narrow! Hell... I can walk around both sides of that Ol' Truck! and there isn't even a dually hangin' in space yet!

We kept climbing higher into the mountains... headed toward Morrell Lookout. It's one of the few remaining active lookouts I know of.

You just keep going higher, the road gets thinner and rougher in a few spots... Finally you top out and the views open up that just... take you to places that a fella often can't put into words.

That hazy blue distance speaks to those that hear it in ways that are unexplainable to them that don't hear the whispers.

What drives a wanderer to keep on seeking what can't be found, to know the joy of the seeking... knowing not what he's looking for... is to the rest of mankind a form of insanity.

Ah... well... Yup... I am tee total insane with it...

To have what freedom I know taken away by the arbitrary rules and economic chains of a world soh-sigh-uh-tee bent on self destruction...

... would be the end of hope for this drifter.

There are those who will label that pontification and arrogance, I know...

... but those that will say that... are not communicating with me. We cannot communicate because we are on such divergent frequencies that we make no sense to each other.

Though I would like to be able to understand their thinking... I have discovered in my life that I am able to do that with the same studied ease that I can ride a good gelding from my treasured Rockies... to Maui.

So... I'll stop in those places with long views of Far Country...

Eat my crackers and cheese for lunch... and accept that I live on the fringe, out beyond the approved convention. I'll follow the lonely roads and narrow trails, protecting as best I can my life and what's mine from the grasping fingers of a world gone mad...

... and stay, as much as I can... in that part of creation that makes sense to me.

Just Livin'

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Under Montana Skies

Nice sunny day on the two lane in Montana...

... even if my wheel was still on bass akwards. :) Couldn't miss this bit of Deja Vu. Captured two of the major forms of transportation that have made an imprint on my life.

And, keeping both of 'em shod seems to be a recurring theme in being involved with either variety.

I left with plenty of time to find the shop and got there a bit under an hour early. Either somebody'd cancelled or some tech was really zooming on his work, 'cause they rolled her right in and got the work done. That's kind of an unexpected thing when you get any mechanical work done!

Kalispell might not be a real big town, but the roads are still a bit busy at rush our. When I left the shop with my new rubber mounted... and turning the right direction this time ;) ...

I ran across town to do some quick shopping for some paper for a project I'm working on... and a bit of Walmart supplies. Not a whole lot... you can only fit so much in the trunk of a Raider... but you know... since I was over there anyway a little voice whispered Wally had a few sixpacks of a local Ale on the shelf. ;)

Then it was BACK through the Montana Rush Hour and roll on south... through a second rush hour.

The service manager at Penco power sports had warned me that hwy 83 running south was Bad, his word, with deer.

Soooooo... I slowed down a bit on the return ride... yeah... kept it under 80.

*Hwy 83 north of Seeley Lake Monatana*

The trick is to ride fast enough that you're already past 'em before they have a chance to jump out in front of you! ;)

The truth is, on this ride I got a lil' bit more of an education. I've never held real hard with the argument that loud pipes save lives that some fellas make. Always figured that if the "Cagers" couldn't hear and see an 80,000 lb semi... they weren't gonna see me either.

Last evening, rolling south under the Montana sky I had occasion to witness a couple of white tail's standing just off the shoulder of the road... they stood real upright, craning their necks,k straining to look my way, before they jumped back away from the road...

... it sure appeared to this open mind, that my pipes had warned 'em of my approach... and turned 'em back... so... that argument still lives...

Got back with my groceries, my ale and my Journal Paper (I'll show that in some future posts on that project/simmering idea) in time for supper and the last cold brew in the fridge.

Today or tomorrow I'll manage to complete the first editing pass of Shadow. Sometime today, maybe when we take a Montana backroad truck run, I'll stop at the lil' lumber yard in Seeley Lake and see if they've got what I need to fabricate a stitching frame...

Then I'll have to spend the next few days before our mystery meet outside of Kalispell (just after the first of the month) building that stitching frame, and starting book #3 of the Jensen series as well as book #3 of the Taylor series.

So... though I don't seem to get where I'm going as fast as was planned... I do always end up somewhere.

Keeping One Foot in Front of the Other

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tire Hunting and Kalispell

The sun is up over a wide Montana sky. Somewhere north of here is a town called Kalispell. In that town is a Motorcycle shop that, this afternoon, is supposed to have a tire waiting for the front end of the Raider.

So, while Chicken fingers are typing stories of lipless Ducks Quacking at short itchy snakes a pontificating biker will ride his scoot with a hope and a prayer, and a worn out tire to Kalispell.

I'd wear a plaid shirt... if I had one, which I don't... so I'll just be happy for the black T under my leathers.

This life and peoples perceptions...are curiosities. Things of true value and treasure... worthy of life, or the sacrifice of it...are fleeting, and unseen by too many.

Most often, for most, they are obscured by ego and what meets public approval.

For me... chasing a paint stripe on a two lane winding through western mountains, splitting the wind under a blue Montana sky is a thing of true value and treasure.

In The Wind

Monday, August 26, 2013

So... You Think YOU Are Confused???

Ha! Welcome to the Party! I look at life through a permanently installed Kaleidoscope turning nigh on to 1800 RPM.

Don't you think it's time for another good Ol' Wild Eyed, Pig Kicking, Rambling, Cowboy Sermonizing bit of a Freedom Lovin' Lunatics Rant?

No? Maybe you should click on to a quieter page then... Cuz that's just what's a comin'... and the windiest in a while...

With my brain spinning like a kids top, I get up at oh dark thirty and start making coffee... as I'm putting the beans in the grinder the kaleidoscope shifts from third to fourth gear; ... I wonder when I left that tab from the bagles laying there?... I left my pen in the truck one time... I drove the truck to Idaho... I've had lot's of trucks... was that a duck?... my foot itches... I wonder if ducks know they don't have lips?... could chickens type if they had fingers? I should paint the rig... I used to cowboy, I kinda miss it... the shed payment needs to be made... Do snakes bellies itch?... I can curl my tongue... who invented plaid?... do snakes know they aren't tall?

... all in the space of maybe 12 seconds... and I've still got the WHOLE day, and another night left ahead of me...

SO... if you don't "Get" what I say on occasion? Not to worry... I'm workin' pretty hard to keep up myself some times...

Know this, my thing is, what I say here, truly is NOT a criticism of what OTHER people choose to do in their own lives... EXCEPT... when those choices are imposed/inflicted in negative ways on other people. What you do to or in your own life, is TEE TOTALLY your own business.

I'm just hopeful that somewhere along the way, my tripping and stumbling through this vale of tears called life, will here and there show one or two people a new and fresh way to get around some of the man made obstacles to LIVING.

I talk about money, a lot, not because I place any significant value on it, but because... those that have the POWER in this world DO. Not paying attention to it is akin to painting yourself with the perfume of fresh meat and walking naked through a Grizzly Farm... You can do it ~ But the outcome is likely to be less than profitable.

Now, let's just say right here that I'm no expert on it... If I was... I wouldn't still be battling the damned stuff this late in the game. The only thing I seem to be truly pro-feshunal at is getting myself in one jackpot after another. Entertaining... but over time it does get a mite tiring.

My "thing" with money is... that it's a necessary evil... kinda like government. The world would be best without either, but until some sociological wizard brews up an alternative that goes "Viral" in general serfdom's imaginations... it's the "System" we've got.

So... what am I to do about it with what I've got? Good question... and THAT kicks that damned Kaleidoscope up another notch. Centrifugal force, like a 1200lb sunfishing Bronc, will someday throw that Cowboy whirling off into space...

But for Today? it's  just got him playing with ideas... spinning in his mind like one of those pictures of the stars in the Milky Way...

The thing HERE is this... yeah... I could take a "JOB" and do some menial thing for some "Boss"... and I do... and shortly (October)... I'll be doing just that 12 hours a day for most of the month...

But... THAT... is exactly what I've been running against my whole dang life! Busting hump and sweating for the MAN... for $10 or $12 an hour (Which doesn't equal the $1.65 minimum wage of the mid '60's) while he sits in his Cadillac scratching himself is not my idea of a good use of the miniscule time a Cowboy has to roam Free on The Earth.

If that's all there is... then there ain't Nuthin'!

So, until my backbone is rubbin' a hole in my belly... I'm gonna limit, minimize and run in terror from those "job" situations, to the greatest degree that I can. Yeah I'm gonna take 'em here and there, until my efforts at beating that enslaving system into submission succeed... but I'm not gonna tell you it's a Good thing, a Proud thing or an Honorable thing... Slavery, no matter how pretty you paint the lipstick on THAT pig... is STILL... Slavery.

The GOAL... My Goal, is a world of Human Independence and creativity.

 ~ MY ~ Independence and Creativity... NOT ... an "Honorable Job" as a less-than-1965-minimum-wage-paid-serf, so the man can wander around thinkin' his "Stuff" smells like purty spring flowers.

Boys and Girls... his "Stuff" is Bull Shit... No matter how much lipstick you apply... No Matter how much fancy odor eating aerosol you spray... Striving for a system that pays you less every year while demanding more hours, more sweat, more sacrifice and more of your LIFE... is one thing and one thing alone... SLAVERY.

Am I knowin' the right way? I guess likely not... or I wouldn't still be searching so hard... but there's a few things I DO know about that search;

1. There's no easy way to find "It". Multiple failures along the way are mostly guaranteed... unless you don't try; and that is the worst of the possible failures.

We live in a world that demands perfection without fault. (an idea which is a patented stupidity). ALWAYS make the right decision. Choose the best without fail! Dot all the i's and cross all the t's (even if NOBODY knows where they're at or what the hell they are!) Failure is weakness.

Parsimonious self aggrandizing blowhards  ridicule and castigate good people for trying and coming up short. I'd like to have a lil cowboy etiquette intervention with a number of them S.O.B's! 

2. One of the Biggest lies and perversions is; "Crazy people take risks. Never take risks." Only problem is; Refuse to risk... and NOTHING happens. Absolutely Nothing... and THAT is the paradox. Refusing risk is THE greatest risk!

3. The whole Idea was to step off and find a Better Way... not keep going back to the Old, Failed way that didn't get it done... If you don't go hunting for it, change doesn't happen.

SO... as I momentarily take a break to catch my air... I look down and see my belly is frayed but no holes yet... so I'm still...

Running Against the Wind

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Carving the Sharp Corners Off The Way...

As you move along in this journey you'll find that there are, here and there, some sharp points on the "furniture" of this life. They jab you in the butt when you're not looking close. The painful pokes will catch you as you try to slip by. So on occasion, like the tips of the horns of a bull on the ranch... you need to cut off a few of those sharp corners that poke out at you.

Probably the biggest worry for folks wanting to chuck it all and hit the road, after they've churned through all the concerns of; can they live in a small space, motor house or drag along trailer, bears, two legged vermin and getting stuck on a too narrow road...

... is how could I produce my living?

For those in the early years that have no savings or retirement setup and are simply looking for a better way to live; and for those late in the game like me, that for one reason or another any effort to set anything by met with the unmerciful WHUMP! of hitting the ground hard with ZEE ROH success... it seems like an insurmountable obstacle.

This is the biggie. THIS is the one that shut's 'em down cold because MONEY, the root of all evil, has been so ingrained into their thinking as the Master of their future.

I've ranted and railed for years to not let it be so... but all that ranting and railing hasn't changed reality... not for you... not for me.

Reality #1 - You have to take care of "business". Reality #2 - "Where there's a will, there's a way. It IS an obstacle, but there are no Insurmountable Obstacles.

While I believe it's a mistake to allow MONEY to rule your day and your life, the unavoidable reality in this world is that MONEY is here to stay as a huge part of it. IF you ignore it... that Grizzly isn't going to just eat the pic nic lunch off your table... he's gonna rip your doors off the hinges and eat your liver.

I talked of this on my bike site the other day... in stark terms, a line from the movie Gettysburg came to me as a shining light that illuminated the importance of all this and how it applies. How it is, in a way... a LIFE and DEATH sort of issue.

... because if we DON'T address it... our lives can easily become a grey and dreary walking death.

On the bike site I wrote;

 "General Lee was speaking to General Longstreet before the worst of the battle;

"Soldiering has one great trap; To be a good soldier you must love the army. But to be a good officer you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love.

My comment that grew out of that is; "To wander... you must love the road. To sustain your wandering life, you must often push away from and leave behind the thing you love."

I know lots of people watch me. Many have written telling me that they stepped off with me as their inspiration. That if busted, broke, hard up against penniless Me could do it... they could too.

That's been a frightening thing at times. That if they crash and burn am I responsible?

This past summer has been a good one. We've eased through some wonderful country and made many new road friends. It's been a great gypsy summer. It's also been a gut wrenching eye opener at the same time. We remain, on the road after all the breakdowns and failures of the past three years and more...  yet the writing, for me, is on the wall.

I would be a fool to not see it. The truck and rig are aging rapidly. The repairs are coming with higher tabs and greater frequency... Our ability to absorb them into the "budget" is exhausted while a couple more are swelling up and will require action in the very near future. Income due to many reasons is down significantly... while our greatest ongoing expense, fuel, remains high and seemingly climbing.

a rope, a rubber band... a man's temper... a budget; all can only be stretched so far.  At some point, if you don't deal with what's stretching it... that rubber band is gonna snap!

It would seem to many that there are but two choices; 1. Keep on till the bumper slams into the immovable wall... or ... 2. Leave the road.

I am hoping and planning based on a third option... repeating what I wrote above; "To wander... you must love the road. To sustain your wandering life, you must often push away from and leave behind the thing you love."

"Plans" to me are just rough outs to give me a reference point to measure against and keep me from spinning my wheels in circles.

I read once where a man traveled a road and came to a fork. To the left was a narrow two lane. To the right a four lane highway. He chose the highway. In a time the road narrowed from four lanes to two. Further along it turned into a dirt road, and then was reduced to a two track. Eventually it became a rough and narrow path that fought him every step.

The lesson was; Don't be afraid to turn back to the last fork in the road and try the other way...

The plan that's taking shape in my head is to go back to the fork... and try the "Other" way.

For these years I've pretty much put all my eggs in the single basket. That being my writing.

While that writing has contributed a critical part of the load, it has not grown as I'd hoped. In concentrating on it, to the degree that I did, I abandoned skills and crafts that had carried me before. It is my intention to go back and rekindle those skills and crafts, and shape them into a living part of wherever my future path shall take me.

While I have no intention of Leaving the Road as in waving good bye never to be seen again... I expect my future to be very different than my past. However, "those steps cannot be seen. If they were there to be seen and followed, that is a path someone else made. It is not my own. My steps have not yet been made." (most of a quote from somewhere... picked up along the way)

What I can see is a fuzzy cloud of many miles, homes and friends and an always restless curiosity.

Living and Learning

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Don't Know Why...

Maybe it's only a natural acceleration.

I love the writing creation of a story. The characters become "real" in my head. I see their faces and hear their voices as they struggle. I don't invent their words and reactions, they speak them to me.

It's akin to a movie reel spinning behind my eyes. All I have to do is write down a description of the scene.  I swear I can smell the dust, feel the breeze, the gunfire, their breathing, the look in their eyes...

I suspect that some might judge me worthy of commitment to a pro-feshun-uhl insti-too-shun. :)

"He needs to get locked up! The man is seeing things and hearing voices!"

What I don't understand, and maybe it's that natural acceleration, but, the first half of a story always seems to take the longest. Sometimes the light for the movie reel runs low and things slow down...

But then as things start coming together, like a freight train running out of control down a mountain... it all just starts flying along. From working hard for two thousand word days... the reel starts spinning at a speed my fingers can't keep up on the keyboard. When I look down, four thousand have appeared in less time than those other pair of thousands took!

I started Shadow on the Mountain in earnest, if I remember correctly, last November or December. That momentum I speak of shaped near 20,000 words in about the past ten days to finish the book. If my mathematical abilities are anywhere close to what my idea is, that's a little more than 1/5th of the book in 'bout 1/10th of the time of the other 4/5ths...

... or... I'm just stringin' a bunch of words together to tell ya'll it's done and heading into...

... where the WORK begins. :)

Which I am hard at!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Along The Clearwater River in Montana

I may be getting lazy in my old age. We've got some "Stuff" coming up in a couple weeks that I decided we needed to stay "in contact" to prepare for... so a camp with decent signal was required.

In Western Montana... finding a camp with that signal is pretty iffy. Don't misunderstand, there's no shortage of good camps. Just finding a communication signal is often a hard go. It kind of frustrates me now and again to be regulated by worryin' 'bout signal... but... ya gotta take care of business if you want to keep things together... so I just deal.

Honestly? I think I just lacked the initiative this time to stop and hunt for a camp farther north... figuring it would take a day or more... with no guarantee of finding a camp I could connect from... and I have some work that needs doin'... so... I kept rolling... 

Well... we knew of a camp a bit farther south than we really wanted to go just yet... down on the banks of the Clearwater River maybe ten miles or so north of Seeley Lake.

But it's a FREE boondocker camp (which fits our budget) and it's got signal... so we just rattled and rolled along and pulled off the highway with fingers crossed, hoping and hoping... and it was TAKEN! :(   ... aw fizzlewraped crud punching son of a bowlegged sea gull!

Well... Though I'm a lil' hesitant to crowd in on other folks in the boondocks... this spot has enough space I felt comfortable enough to pull in off to one side and leave them other guys with their tents plenty of room. :)  That and... I was feelin' kinda cranky!

A couple of Timber Cruisers are camped in "Our" spot, on the other side of this lil' meadow for a few days. They're working a timber inventory on a tract of land just back west of us a few miles...

The front yard here is  a pretty fair bit of Montana scenery... and one of the signs of a healthy stream are the frogs...

They're kinda like canaries in the coal mines... The lil' hoppers are real sensitive to a dirty place, so when they're still around it's a good sign...

If you followed this crick Heidi called it... to which I corrected her; "THAT is not a crick... it's the Clearwater RIver!" ... "Really? It's not much of a river!" ... anyhoo... if you followed it back around there to the left...

... you'd cross under a lil' wooden one lane bridge... through a shallow bed for a few hundred yards to the lake it pours out of ...

* Lake Alva*
Another one of those pretty lil' jewels that dots the Montana mountains... Nothing prettier than one of these places at a quiet sunset... or with a Loon calling in the first grey of dawn... just an awesome place is Montana.

We walked up along here from camp for a ways... and listened to a dad and his two kids that had drug their aluminum boat up the river a hundred yards or so, bangin' over the rocks, 'cause it was too shallow to float... so they could get to the lake without having to use the boat ramp ~ and I suppose pay the king his daily fee to float on the water ;) ~

So... they park along the dirt road behind us... and scramble through the shallows draggin' the canoe to get there. Funny thing is... they're way off up toward the far end there... and I can still hear 'em. :) So... I hope they don't think they Snuck out there onto the lake! ;) uh... it ain't no secret!

The kids have some practicing to do to paddle without thumping the side of that boat with their oars! Sounded like lil canons goin' off... a half mile away over that water! :)

If you're a fisherman by canoe, kayak, one of those lil' personal pontoon kinda boats...

...Or especially one of those float tube gizmos I see a lot of fly fisherman use...

Western Montana has got to be a heaven on earth...

Is likely why a River Runs Through It was told in this country.

If I was flush enough to fork over the Non-Resident costs of a fishing license... I believe I'd rekindle the sport in my own world...

It's often a lot more than sport I believe... floating quiet out on that water strikes me as being the same sort of quiet-in-your-own-head time a horseman or a fella on a motorcycle gets...

Last evening we did one of those budget busting deals down to Seeley Lake.

Being that I crossed into my 61st summer yesterday we decided that digging that hole we live in a lil' deeper wasn't going to be the deciding factor whether we go bust or not. ;)

So... we went down to the area's premier eatery... and had an Awesome steak. and it was A steak... They cut the buggers at 16 oz which is about 8oz more than it takes to feed me...

... so we split that rare, butter knife tender beauty.

... and then...

It's not legal to consume a fine Birthday Steak...

...without a glass of an equally fine Birthday Brew... Is it?

So... a glass of Summer Honey, sitting by the window,

savoring a rare and tender steak, looking out over Seeley Lake...

Pretty nice...

Even if it cratered the already lame budget :)

We'll be kicking back in this camp until pretty much the end of the month. It's sunny, so the generator don't have to generate... there's trails and good places close by, the lake and the river for the dogs to swim in... well Buck anyway...

... and the Big Sky of Montana is hangin' over me while I finish up Ben Jensen's latest "Situation" and start the editing... so I can get this next book published! :)

Under the Wide Montana Sky

Sunday, August 18, 2013

You Can't Get to The Peak... Without Climbing the Mountain.

It gets old don't it?

How Many of You... Get to Feeling Beat Down? You Just Feel Defeated?

Every time you turn around something whacks you? You can't seem to catch your breath without another Something stabbing you? Every damn where you look is another obstacle.

I quit! I can't keep it up! I'm done!... the urge to surrender beats on you. The bad breaks just seem to roll on one after the other... their names are myriad...

You lose your job. Your car breaks... You get sick and they take out your kidney... you lose your leg in a wreck... the business you worked ten years to build disintegrates...

...or maybe... You're 29 years old with a wife and kid and your spine gets dislocated in a couple of places, takes away the army career you'd chosen and leaves you laying on the couch when you get out of the hospital. Just to walk to the kitchen sink for a drink of water and back again leaves you laying on that couch gasping for air.

The plan you had collapses on you and the future you had all drawn out vaporizes in a spasm of tears and nausea. There are a thousand different stories of how the world crushed your dreams.


That is exactly right boys and girls. I got no patience for someone who's got their brain and breath in their lungs and yet, way too long after that bad day, or those bad days... they're still cryin';  "I'm whupped! I Can't." Get the hell out of the way, you're blockin' the road.

I've been whupped so many times I've lost count. So what?! Tomorrow is another damn day. You can start out with one of two ideas in your head; I've got some tasks to get done today... or... I'm a whipped dog so I'll just lay in bed and feel sorry for myself.

Oh, I'll give up a bit of time for somebody to catch their breath and work through that down time... I go there myself. It's only natural. You get beat down. You get tired. You get discouraged... OK take the time you need... back off a bit and regroup.

But then, By GOD! You stand up! You Cowboy UP! and you get your sorry whiny ass down the road!

NO Damned Excuses. 

"You're a heartless, cold blooded man to say such things Brian Gore!"... "Not everyone is as tough as you!" ... yeah I've heard it all... aw Bull shit! I'm no "Tougher" than anyone else. Truly.

There is tough and there is surrender and little or no middle ground.

It's not muscle and bone. It's NOT some genetic gift. The difference is a choice that was taught to me. A difference that resides right between my ears. That choice I speak of resides right between your ears as well. It's there I promise you. To find it, you only have to make the choice; I'm not quitting.

I've seen guys, with the same spine injury as me, layin' in their beds cryin' "I can't." ... I've seen guys the same age, with the same ruptured appendix, at the same time as mine, still layin' in their beds three days later cryin' "I can't"... as I walked out of the hospital.

I've lain on a hospital gurney with a shattered shoulder, cursing and squealing, just laying there... and then watched a lil' boy, seven maybe eight as they reset the totally, nearly compound fracture in his arm. They pulled and twisted and pulled on that kids shattered arm... and all that lil' bruiser said was... "Ow"!

A rodeo cowboy was squealing like a girl... and that lil' kid says; OW. That thing between your ears has a hell of a lot of power people. Learn to use it.

I've endured the same pain. I've been afflicted with the same nausea of sorrows. I've felt the same shame of failure. I've strove for some big thing and fell flat on my face. So... what am I gonna do? sit down and say; "Ok, I'm done. Shoot me in the head and throw dirt in my face?"

Or... am I gonna stand up... knock the worst of the dirt off my jeans and say; "OK. That didn't work out too well. Where's another way around this deal?"

Think I'm a gas blowin' know it all with an over inflated redneck ego?

That might be true... but it still don't change the FACT that where you end up in this world is the product of the choices you make... and all the things you claim are the reasons for your failure are largely just excuses... and the obstacles you CHOSE to not overcome.

Still think I'm blowin' smoke? Watch this video... LOOK at this man... and then... tell ME that you "Can't"...

 Here's the deal people... I've got little these days... I have a worn out roof over my head, an old beater of a truck that pulls it and a fine motorcycle.

Every bit of that is the consequences of my choices. I've made good ones, and I've made bad ones. The thing is, I'll keep on makin' choices, and living life until it's over.

... and when that time comes... It's my full intention to be workin' hard to push the lid off that box when they've got a pair of illegal aliens trying to bury it up!

If you quit... the consequences of that are all on one particular individual... the quitter who looks you in the face when you brush your teeth in the morning.

Don't want a quitter lookin' back at you out of that mirror? Then make the freakin' choice and DON'T!

Workin' Hard to Make it A Hell of a Ride

Friday, August 16, 2013

HuckleBerry Rustlers Strike in Northern Idaho...

A new neighbor pulled into camp a few days ago. Karen of Back Porch View rolled her lil' Jet trailer into a spot below us in the Idaho woods.

*Welcome Klbexplores to the neighborhood*

She's one of those who firmly believes in the theory that art is a benefit to the day! Takes her a few minutes to get a proper camp set up.

Not so many can full-time in a lil' bitty Vintage Camper, and she's had some obstacles to climb over getting out here... but what Can I say? It's a fine job of doin' it!

The Priest Lake country, high in the Panhandle of Idaho, and close enough to smell Canada from here... has a bit of everything...

Priest Lake Idaho
*Priest Lake, Idaho*

Swimming, speed boats, jet skis... and for the culinary inclined drifters... Huckleberry Rustling...

Karen grew up round abouts here so she'd a few ideas on where to hunt the elusive mountain huckleberry. So we piled in her Explorer... ain't that a proper name for an RV'n drifters rig? ... and rolled up into the hills searching for berries in the direction of Petit Lake...

The forest service apparently has someone employed who thinks it great fun posting signs that have little connection with the actual direction of where you're headed. We commented that we're pretty sure there's guys back in the FS offices high Fivin' each other and sayin'; "I wonder how long it'll take THAT one to get UN-lost?"

.. so... we ended up getting a little tighter directions that didn't quite fit either the topo atlas OR the FS directions... or... their signs posted along the road.

The directions we got from OTHER back roaders (who made the same comments WE did) got us headed in the right direction... while the topo atlas that lacked half the roads was of marginal use.

Eventually we found a spot... hidden behind another evil road closed sign... 

You always have to ask yourself; "Self? what are they trying to hide from me?" :)

Then you walk past that sign a ways and standing on the lip of where the mountain falls away below you... There it is!... that elusive purple gold of the Northern Rockies... The Huckleberry...

Funny thing about the lil jewels is... they're hard to see from above. If you look at that picture, it's taken from below... you look down and see a few berries, and climb down to collect 'em up... and then when you turn to go back the whole hillside seems covered now that you're below 'em and can see 'em hiding under the leaves. ;)

*Wounded Huckleberry Rustler*
The three of us gathered up something around a half gallon of the Huckelberry mountain candies in twenty minutes or so and climbed back to the road to compare our haul...

HA! Guess who captured that fullest bag!

*Views of a Berry Rustler*

Well, we filled our need for Huckleberries... so continued our search for Petit lake where Karen had spent much time in her younger years... The forest svc has closed some roads... so it made the finding a lil more of an adventure...

... but with her persistent driving... and my map skills ;)... well... that guy on the side of the road helped a lil' bit. :) ... we found the place... and had ourselves a crackers and cheese lunch, sitting on a bench in a shady lil' grotto by the lake, watching the trout jump all over the whole dang thing...

So... what do you do with Huckleberries? Well... the first thing you do is have Karen go back to her kitchen in the woods and convert some of that mountain Huckleberry treasure to Huckleberry sauce and douse a bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream with it! HooYa!

 Thennnnn... the next morning... you take some more of those precious purple jewels... and...

Shape them into Huckleberry Pancakes... with Huckleberry Sauce!

NOT what you want to be cooking up if you're on some sort of a diet... unless of course you are possessed of the tremendous quantity of self control and discipline that I am adorned with. ;)

So... I've waited the allotted 12 minutes after breakfast... and with that properly executed disciplined self control... it's time for more ice CREAM!! ;)

Gaining in a Hurry... weight that is...