Sorry for being MIA for the better part of the last three months. It’s been one hell of a summer. It started off with the lowest point of my life thus far – deciding to end my two year relationship with Shawn the beginning of May – and the highest point in my life three months later – more on that in a second.
I spent May feeling every emotion known to mankind. By June I was numb. In July I was pissed off at the world. And the first half of August I was back to the same state I was in in May and feeling like I hadn’t made any progress in healing. But, that is one of the many things I have learned from this: grief will rear its ugly, unwelcome head again and again and again.
I originally wasn’t going to write about this. It’s doesn’t technically fall under “hiking” and “road-tripping,” but really it does. This is life. Shit happens. And it is the hiking and road-tripping that is helping me to heal. Yes, I want to explore every National Park in the US to see the beauty of this world, but the National Parks are so much more than that. Nature is so much more than that. Hiking and road-tripping shows me the beauty and strength that is within me as well.
My parents and I work together. We own a small independent automotive repair shop that my grandfather started 50 years ago. Working in a family business is awesome in many ways, but not so awesome in other ways – like we haven’t been on a family vacation in over 7 years that didn’t revolve around a holiday, because no two of us can be gone from work at the same time.
This year dad FINALLY took a vacation the beginning part of August (he hadn’t had a vacation in a year and a half, and trust me he needed it). He spent two weeks driving from Indiana to Colorado to Utah to Vegas (we used to live there, it’s just Vegas, there is no Las), doing off-road trails in his TRD Pro Tacoma to his heart’s content. He did Imogene Pass in Colorado and the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park and so many more. He then left his truck at the Vegas Airport after seeing friends and flew home.
Three days later (the day after my 25th birthday) I flew out and picked up his truck. I spent two days in Vegas visiting friends and visiting some of my favorite outdoor areas (Nevada is like 80% public land), before embarking on what turned out to be a two week soul searching trek across the United States returning to Indiana in early September.
About five days into the trip, I found myself sitting on top of Inferno Cone at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho at sunrise. Some of you may have seen the post (sans location) on my Instagram a couple weeks ago when I returned home about this moment. I wrote: “It was there, in 40 degree temps, that I found that the shadow of the girl I had been and the woman that I have become have melded into one. I was at peace for the first time in a very long time.” It was the highest point of my life thus far – accepting myself, accepting where I am in my life, and the beginning of a yet to be created future.
This road-trip continued to be the best medicine I could’ve asked for. Yes, it had it’s not so perfect moments (being in Yellowstone on Labor Day was a terrible decision), but even those moments healed me, taught me, and gave me courage.
Coming home, a lot has happened. And as you know, post-road-trip blues are bad even in the best circumstances. Shawn and I had been living in a fifth-wheel parked at my work. After the breakup I couldn’t bring myself to live in it anymore, so after some time I bought a small RV that could be towed with Addie and was built to go off-road. Turned out I downsized myself right out of the ability to get a dog – too small (yes, I do know about Bertha the great orange van and her two dog inhabitants – one day I’ll be able to downsize that much – this is just not that day). Upon my return, I decided to trade both the fifth-wheel (had been unsuccessful in selling it myself) and the smaller RV in on a travel trailer with more than enough space for me, Twig, and all of our outdoor gear.
Now, you’re probably wondering who Twig is, which brings me to the last bit of my news. After months of trying to figure out if I was ready for another dog (Shawn got Niko in the break-up), whether to rescue or buy, and what kind of dog would enjoy my active, hiking, camping, traveling lifestyle the best I decided to buy a British Canoe Labrador puppy from the same kennel my Uncle gets his hunting dogs from. I hope one day I am in a place where I can rescue a dog – there are so many great dogs out there that need a home – right now though with everything I’ve been thru I decided that buying a puppy and starting fresh with a breed I am familiar with was best. Twig is my puppy. I haven’t met Twig, nor do I know if Twig is male or female. But he or she was born last week and I should be able to bring him or her home end of November / Early December – Merry Christmas to me! So sorry in advance if you follow me on Instagram (@offtoseetheview) – I may get a little picture happy – ha! who am I kidding, I WILL get a bit picture happy. 🙂
It has taken me this long to finally be able to write about the trip in blog form. In the weeks to come my goal is to write in depth about my road-trip, hopefully in a way that is interesting for you and also continues to ingrain the lessons that I learned in me.
Happy Thursday Everyone!
Thank you for reading!