Well some of you may be wondering where I am at and what I have been up to these days. The daily blog was a lot to keep up with and I found myself inside writing rather than outside exploring. The more I put it off, the more ominous an update became! So with out further ado here is a bit of an abridge snippet of my trip since I left off in May.
May - June
I left La Paz and spent a few days camping up the coast of the Baja. Everything was pretty deserted and the temps were rising! The ocean was still very nice and very refreshing! I made it up the Baja in about 5 days, taking my time but definitely on the move! Such a special place that I will be sure to visit again!!
At one of my Baja Campsites, I met a Goat Herder named Ben. He spoke little english and my Spanish was awful! But we communicated and he invited me over to meet his goats and see his house. He also had very cute puppy!
I also managed to use some ambulance privilege, to cut the line at the boarder! oops… The boarder in Tecate is located downtown. So the line to get across the board runs perpendicular to the entry point. Inadvertently I got inline for a school that was close to the boarder. I could not figure out what was going on!? Cars kept passing me and there were a lot of kids. I was very confused… Until a nice women came up to me and explained I was probably in the wrong line! Well then I relised I was on a street parallel to the boarder line. The boarder line stretched out of sight maybe 200 car or more. There was, however, a break in the barrier between the two lanes, so I figured I would try and merge in… Well I was immediately let in. Most likely due to the ambulance look… After a quick search for fruits and veggies due to my RV statues and I was on my way! Fastest boarder crossing ever! Headed for San Diego.
I spent a couple of days with my close family friends Dave and Marion. They are currently rebuilding their beautiful home and were so nice to invite me for a visit. A really beautiful spot located in fun sunny California! We went out for delicious food and breakfast! I got to see the beach and Dave even gave me a tour of his work where they make some really cool machines that generate the light used for computer chip manufacturing! Thank you Dave and Marion for such a great visit! I love seeing you guys! You are the best!!
It was now late May and almost memorial day and I decided I wanted to head up to see my cousin and his family for Memorial Day weekend. Ethan, Gusty, kids-Thatcher, Cam, and Amelia, they are the ones that I visited back in March.
This was a tough decision but with Memorial Day on the horizon, parks like Yosemite and Death Valley were going to be packed! I am not one for crowds and I really wanted to learn about Kiteboarding, so I headed north. I made it to Roosevelt Washington in around 2 days!
I spent an awesome few days with my Cousins family and made lots of new friends! We camped out at this cool spot on the Colombia river and I started to learn about Kiteboarding. I had always admired this sport from a far but this was my first chance to check it out. Up close and personal!
My cousin Ethan and his friend Lee. Took me out for my first adventure. I body dragged for awhile with Ethan. Basically letting the kite pull us along through the water so I could get a feel for the kite and understand the basics of flying it. Then Ethan hooked my harness to the kite and dragged behind me so I could fly it and start to see how it feels. Then he unhooked and got on Lee’s Boat. I body dragged for a while, continuing to practice flying the kits and getting a feel. Swooping it up and down to generate power. Next I was handed a board and I popped up! I was used to wake boarding and Lee and Ethan where trying to yell tips to me but I had no idea what they were saying! The wind was too loud! So I did my best! Then the wind died down a bit and the session was over. I knew this would not be the last time, I was hooked!
The rest of the weekend I spent playing games with the kids and eating delicious food!
June - July
The next couple of weeks I housesat for friends in HoodRiver (The Eatons) My job was to take care of the house and keep an eye on Boots. Boots and I bonded quickly, a very funny dog. He loves food and also loves company. We had a great time. I was also able to ride my bike everyday from the house to some awesome mountain biking in Post Canyon. Long, flowy smooth machine made trails. I had a blast and could not get enough!
Once the Eatons returned I headed back to Portland for a bit to hang with the Beck family! I spent my time hanging with the fam, getting Milou in order, playing games with the kids and exploring Portland!
I then took a long weekend and went off to visit my good friends Jack and Lauren. They live in Northern Portland.
I got to visit their work, were they make large scale puppets. Super cool place with lots of fun looking machines and materials! We explored a bit of Portland and hung out outside and even went to a Nordic festival!
After that I hung out for another few days before helping my Cousins move up to their Hood River house! Snowflake, Max and I made the 1 hr drive no problem! I would be leaving Milou in Hood River as I was flying back east for a month. I checked her batteries, cleaned out the fridge of perishables and tucked her in for a months nap 🙂
I made it back East on the 19th of June. Jen was super nice and picked me up at the airport super early in the am! I spent the day visiting my friends Dave’s work. Making an extension for my composting toilet crank! See the video! Thanks Dave!
Then for dinner Jen and I went over to Dave and Tess’s house for tacos! We had a great visit and even got to see baby Ella Rose for a bit! Such a cutie! Then Jen and I headed back to her place and we hung out for a bit and celebrated her birthday! Happy Birthday Jen!! The next day I took the bus to Franconia NH to pick up my truck.
This would seem simple enough. However, Franconia with a population of 1,100 people you would think someone would pick up a hitchhiker! Knowing it was only 2.2 miles to the house, I was hopefully someone would pick me up and worse case I would just walk! Maybe the long hair and backpack made me not the perfect candidate for a friendly hitchhiker idk… but it took a while to get a lift.
It started raining and I had walked about a mile before a nice women picked me up and she knew exactly where my grandparents house was!
Step one, complete, made it to Franconia! Next start my truck! Hooray it started but it wont move… Well it looks like the e-break seized up the rear wheels. I attempted to drive out of the barn in four wheel drive and dragged the rear end all the way out of the barn. It was like watching a dog with two broken back legs… quite sad indeed. After taking the rear wheels off and banging on breaks I got one side loose. Then I locked the rear diff and I was home free. The breaks now feel a bit soft but it will get me A to B! I packed up a few things I wanted with me on my trip and headed to Norwich to catch a ride to Isle haut Maine!
My close friend Leah Mclaughry and I caravanned up with my brother Sam and his wife Abby and two boys, Asher and Weston. We had a great time in Maine with the gang. Saw lots of places I had not been in many years. It was really fun to be back!
At the end of the week I flew down to Virginia with my Mom and Aunt to surprise my Sister Anna for her birthday! She was very surprised and we had a great time hanging out with my nephews Jackson and Kingston. We even went to a beach in Delaware that has 5-20 million year old shark teeth fossils!
July - August
Next I flew back to Boston, to join Jen. The main reason for me flying back east was to celebrate the Life of Jens Grandmother, June Huntress. Lovingly known as Nan. She is such an amazing women and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to get to know her. Her amazing wit and sense of humor and above all else, her ever encompassing love. You will be missed Nan, we love you so much!! The ceremony was beautiful and I was so happy to be there with Jen! <3 In the week leading up to the the celebration, I helped Jen prepare for the ceremony and tune up her two new motor scooters. We also went to a fantastic firework show in Boston!
After the Ceremony Jen joined me back in New Hampshire for a few days at the pond. I spent a few days hanging with Mom and Dad. Helping my Dad with the new house being built, spreading mulch and seed! The place is looking amazing, I can’t wait to see it finished!
I also popped up to Richmond, VT to see my close friends Adam and Elysse and new baby Austin! It was a quick visit, but we made some yummy food and I got to see their new land and garage construction. I also got a tour of Adams new toy!!
Next I was off to Portland Maine for a close friends (Luke Mclaughry) bachelor party. We had a blast, Sam my brother was there and few friends from Norwich and many new friends from Dartmouth. It was great getting to know everyone and we had a blast! Probably too much fun 😉
Then back to Boston with a very hung over crew. I got to spend a few more days with Jen around the city! It was really nice to have a couple more days with Jen and to see her work place!
I also got to go visit Lili in Manchester by the Sea where my Grandparents lived full time. We went out in her boat to Misery island. Just off the coast. I had lovely time and it was so nice to see that place and think of all the memories I have of my GrandParents there. Then back on a plane to Portland, Oregon! It was great trip back east. Fast paced but I was able to see many close friends and celebrate an amazing Women!!
Portland was still sunny and beautiful! I picked up Ethan and Gusty’s van at the airport and headed to Hood River. They had just flown out to visit Ethan’s parents Greg and Lisa in Maine and had asked me to house sit!
I was in charge of the Dog, the Cat, the turtle and the Rabbit. We had quite a crew! The animals were great, Ziggy the dog and I went on long walks. Mookie the Cat and I snuggled until she bit me, The turtle Max and I looked at each other, I gave Snowflake the bunny some lettuce and a few scratches :). It was good to be back with Milou and she started up no problem and all solar systems were a go! I gain more and more confidence in her the longer I have her!
The big thing on the agenda now that I was back in Hood River was learning to Kiteboard. So I called up Cascade Kiteboarding and set up an appointment for a lesson with Will.
My first time out I drank more Colombia River water then a salmon swimming up stream. I was dunked, dragged and flipped as I tried to wrangle the kite. Luckily, Will my instructor was on a wave runner and we had radio communication!
I picked it up soon enough and was soon making tacks in both directions. Practicing the finesse of kite control. By the end of lesson one, I was exhausted but also ready for more! It was all I could think about! I took the weekend to catch up on some Milou maintenance and mountain biking!
Monday was lesson 2! I did a lot of reading on kiteboarding basics over the weekend and was excited to put them into practice! This lesson was much better I could control my speed and was working on attempting transitions by the end (changing tacts without dipping into the water). Will was great and I was definitly hooked!
Soon it was time to pick up Ethan, Gusty and the gang at the airport! They were exhausted but excited to be home and I was excited to see them!
Over the next few weeks I tried to get out kiting every day I could! After a few more session with Ethan in a boat. I was ready to head to the Sandbar at the Event Site. I was a bit intimidated by all the other kiters, yet I was determined.
Thanks to Ethan he got me out and saved me every time I got stuck down wind. We would transfer the kite and board and he would fly back up wind for me! Then Chris Eaton took me out one more time and watched me for a bit to make sure I was staying up wind, then he got out himself! Ethan I can’t thank you enough! Thank you for taking the time to get me into this sport!
The next day I was ready to go out on my own. There was not much wind but I was very excited to have driven to the Event Site solo, I found someone to launch my kite, I get out and returned all safely!! I did this for the next couple of days and experience the true ripping nature of Hood River with 25mph winds gusting to 35 mph. It was very intense (like camping) but sooo much fun!! But alas the time had come for me to head east.
Pretty wild to think my trip is finally coming to an end. I have made the decision to move back east to Boston. This decision was not made easily as Hood River has really become a second home. So many amazing people that welcomed me into their lives. Ethan and Gusty threw a going away party for me which was very touching. I am overwhelmed by the people who made it out mid-week to say goodbye to me! So many great people and many great memories from my time in HR. Love you all and will miss you all very much!!
Ethan, Gusty, Thatcher, Cam, and Amelia, Thank you so much for inviting me into your home for the past two months. I can’t tell you how special that time was for me and how amazing the experience was. You all have an amazing family in an amazing place! I’ll miss you all so much!!
August 1st- August 14th
Heading East was no east task. Pulling onto the high way I waved goodbye to Hood River for now… Change is never easy but forging forward and new adventures will be sure to bring joy! Next stop was Boise Idaho via Hell’s Canyon scenic by pass. Beautiful views wound me through the National Forrest and then down the Snake River to Boise. I took two days to make my way and found some amazing camp spots both in La Grande and outside of Joseph. It felt weird to be back on the road but I was also excited to see new things and old friends! I had a great time in Boise with Nate and Nicole, friends that I saw back in Feb. We had amazing seafood chowder from the seafood they harvested up in Alaska. The rest of the weekend we relaxed!
Well my trip East was short lived. I got a text from Ethan about a good deal on some kite gear back in Hood River…. I could feel the pull of the vortex on me. I knew I needed to go back for it. I thought about having it shipped to Boise but knew it may not make it in time before I left. So Monday morning I hoped back in Milou and 5.5hr later I was back in Hood River. I got a great deal on a 12m, bar and board! I was stoked! The Cousin Beck’s were out of town, so I parked Milou at their house for the night. There was no wind but tomorrow was looking good! Next day I was out on the water. The wind was ripping. I borrowed my cousins 7m and was still over powered. I heard it was even gusting to 40mph!! Sand was flying, hold on!
It was great to be back out. Of course I ran into some people I knew.. “Didn’t you leave!?” I sheepishly told them I just had to come back! I met up with Chris Eatons family after kiting and I went on a bike ride with him and a friend over to Mosier. Well they road One Wheels and I rode a bike. It was exhausting to keep up but a fun time and beautiful views from the old highway turned bike path! The bar in Mosier was closed but great to be outdoors at that perfect time of day!
I needed to head back to Boise on Wednesday because Nate, Nicole and I were headed to BBR (Braun Brother Reunion) a country music festival in Challis Idaho. That being said I couldn’t help but get back out on the water. It was ripping again and I got a good morning session in before noon! I headed back to my cousins to drop off the Kite I borrowed and mowed the lawn quick as it was looking long! Then I hit the road.
Heading east was not any easier but I was excited to see Nate and Nicole and go to this festival. The drive back to Boise was long and boring but the kiting was well worth the trip!
We had a great time at the festival, I met a lot of new friends! The music was great and location was beautiful! We did a float on the Main Salmon on Friday which was a blast! Then partied down that night.
We skipped the last night of the concert as our livers hurt and went camping on Trail Creek Road. The main road to Ketchum, Idaho were Sun Valley is located. We found an awesome spot to camp and had a great night relaxing by a fire in the woods! I even attempted to make a bow drill. I didn’t get much more then smoke but It was still had fun!
Thank you so much Nate and Nicole for such an epic visit! I had so much fun and so much appreciate your hospitality! I love my new Reckless Kelly Idaho shirt! Love you both! Looking forward to seeing you in Sept!
The next day I was off to pick up my good friend Leah McLaughry in Bozeman. She was flying in to join me for my birthday and a few days on the road! The weather was crazy thunderstorms and she had quite the ride in!
We did a quick tour of Bozeman before heading East. We got some dinner and supplies and headed for Billings Montana. We found a great campsite north of Billing by about 30 mins. It was out in the plains and a perfect spot to rest our heads!
I had a great Birthday morning, Leah got me a wearable sleeping bag and I enjoyed pancakes and bacon while wearing it on the great planes! It was windy so I got my trainer kites out and we flew those for a bit. It was fun to be flying these again and felt much easier after flying the big kites!
Then we hit the rode headed for Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument. This was a very sad, yet very important place. I encourage you all to look into the history of this place to better understand what happened to the Indigenous People of North America and what our History really is.
After this we headed to a Birthday campsite located on Lake De Smet. Located in the middle of the Wyoming planes. The lake was formed after large coal deposits burned and the underground tunnels collapsed. Forming a lake. We went swimming and washed off. Luckily some campers at the adjacent campsite left behind some firewood for us. We had yummy dinner! Fajitas for main course, carrot cake and black Raspberry & chocolate chip gelato for dessert! My Favorite!! Finished the night off with some presents that Leah brought with her from my parents and friends! A very special birthday that I won’t forget!
Next up Leah and I headed to both Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt Rushmore. I really enjoyed Crazy Horse Memorial. What they are doing is truly amazing. The sculptures has been underway since 1948 when completed it will be the second largest sculpture in the world! The size of it is really hard to even fathom. In addition to the sculpture, is a whole museum about the Indigenous People of South Dakota and surrounding areas. We watched an amazing dance presentation of the Lakota people and learned a lot about their traditions. Crazy Horse was the man who leaded the Lakota people to victory at the battle at Little Big Horn. It was all very eye opening and powerful to see.
Mount Rushmore, which is just down the road was very interesting to see as well but on a much smaller scale. All of the faces on Mount Rushmore fit into the face of Crazy Horse. Leah and I had some yummy ice cream while we enjoyed the views and then headed to Rapid City where she would fly out the next day!
We had a yummy dinner down town and turned in for the night at the local Cabalas. Had to give Leah the full van life experience! We then woke up at 4:30 am to get her to the airport!
Thank you Leah for such a fun visit and company on my Birthday! You made it extra special! Glad you got to join me for a short bit of the trip!!
Alright I am exhausted. Thats about it for now! Hopefully my next update won’t be so long! Today is a laundry day!