Glacier National Park, Personality, Adventure, Beauty, Exploring Inside and Out, Grief

I continue to remain in Montana near Glacier National Park. The Roadtrek Rally was a success. I managed all the people by remaining scarce, thanks to my friends Linda and Steve. Each day we hiked in Glacier National Park and returned to the rally site around six or seven in the evening.

In the evenings or mornings, people would stop by and visit. If I got peopled out I would disappear into my rig. It worked out, yet, to be honest I don’t think I gave this rally a fair try. I was overwhelmed by the numbers of people that were there. I was overwhelmed before I even arrived. If I choose to attend another one I might stay around for more of the group activities. I believe that if I pick and choose what I want to attend then I will have a little more control over the people time. I know I can be a bit more social than what I ended up doing on this trip.

Glacier National Park was amazing. It has been many years since I traveled in this part of the USA. My first introduction to this park was a backpacking trip with a good friend of mine, Diane, back in the early 80’s. I loved the remoteness and majesty of it then and I find that has not changed one bit. I saw a lot of animals and amazing sites. It was awe inspiring at the least.

On the way north from Boise I lost a part on the outside of my Roadtrek. I have remained in the area while waiting for the part to arrive. I had it put on this afternoon and now EmmyLou the Roadtrek is once again whole, well almost. I still need to find another missing part. That one is not visible to the eye.

As I came out of the drive across Logan Pass (Going to the Sun Road) I received news from friends back east. Once again I am struggling with the basics of life. Many years back, 2013, I posted regarding my friend Zoe. We met on a breast cancer support web site. She and I quickly became friends. Her support was so instrumental in my struggle with breast cancer and it’s treatment. She has helped many people while going through her own struggle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Her support around Jim’s death was that of a good friend who was always there, no matter what time of the day or night.

Zoe & Kay

Zoe is now approaching the end of her life. I struggle to write this here as I am not really sure what to say. For the last few days I have sat in a forest and dove deep into grief. Grief for the struggle that her and her partner Kay are going through. Grief knowing I won’t be able to see my friend again. Grief for my own suffering and broken heart, no matter how selfish that sounds. Grief for the sake of grief. I have only done this adventure into this area of my life since Jim’s death. I am beginning to recognize when it comes. I tell myself, OK go feel it, you have forty eight hours and then get out of there. Deep grief is not somewhere I want to stay long.

the view from my campsite on the river.

Forty eight hours is now up. I moved out of the forest and am now nested along the Flathead River. Moving out of the forest may be a symbolic move, yet it helps to look out and see the whole world, not just trees. I ventured out tonight and talked with others in the campground. Moving out of grief means moving out of my small and tight world and stretching myself to get back to ” normal” once again. I am not sure what normal is.

I need to ask myself how is it that I can best support my friends during this end of life process? Zoe is not dead, she is dying and no one, including her knows the length of this process. It could be days, weeks or months. She is lovingly supported in hospice and surrounded by friends, her church and mostly her wife, Kay. I don’t know if there is a term for this observing and supporting the dying process, yet that is what we are all doing, for whatever length of time it requires of all of us.

I love Zoe. We have not always seen eye to eye but that is what sisters do. She is my sister and my friend and I am heart broken at the impending loss of her on this planet.

I share this with you all because that is all I can do. “Thoughts and Prayers” seem to lose their intense meaning today and yet that is all any of us can do, think of those we love and pray. That is what I am doing. I carry Zoe and Kay close to me and when I see amazing natural places I hope they know that I see them there too. Nature is a wonderful healer.

In a few days time I will be moving slowly west. I am looking forward to seeing beautiful mountains and seeing friends along the way. I will choose for this moment in time not to spend too much time alone. I can easily sit in a campground and enjoy those around me, even at a distance. I don’t necessarily need to talk to anyone. It is good to have them near by, just in case I feel a social call coming on.

I am back to the present moment. I am remembering to breath. I know that many of you are there if I need to reach out and talk to someone. I am grateful for this knowledge, love and caring support.

Sunset on the Flathead

Now I will be off to enjoy the rest of the evening by the river before the doors shut and I head for bed.

A Quick Update About My Busy June

Ultimate Alaska

Whew, what a whirlwind the early part of June has been. June first I left for a small ship cruise to Alaska’s Inside Passage. it was a great opportunity and an amazing trip.

Upon Returning to Boise I turned around in a day and headed north to the Roadtreking Rally on the east side of Glacier National Park (over 70 Roadtreks from all over the the country). My down time has been minimal. I want some time to recover and adjust to life on the road with Miss Elsie the Cat.

Glacier National Park

 

Due to some minor mishaps with my Roadtrek I am in Kalispell, MT for the next few days, waiting for a part to arrive, so my Roadtrek can once again look whole and pretty. The nice thing about having to sit still is that I am finally having the time to regroup and figure out what is next. The other nice thing, I get to interact with the local community.

  • Last evening I went to a special event at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell. Earlier in the week I met Deborah McAllister plein air painting near Many Glaciers Lodge. She informed me of an event that was culminating last evening. Several artists spent last week painting in the park. Last evening was the opening exhibition and sale. I put on my somewhat nicer clothes and went to the opening. there was food and wine and live music. It was a delightful evening.

Plein Aire Painting in the Park-artist Deborah McAllister

  • Today I went to yoga. Tomorrow I think I will return and experience aerial yoga. It is a nice community yoga center.
  • Now I am at the local coffee house waiting to get my nails done. I will almost be civilized.
  • After all this I am off to the visitors center to discover what else is happening in the area.

Where am I going to travel off to next? I am not sure. That is what regrouping is all about. My intention is to continue to head west to the coast. Hopefully over the next week this picture will become clearer.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

It Is All About the Journey

There have been moments in my life where I have stretched myself, my beliefs and my reality. These moments have not been without question on my part. I have often wondered if I should have ventured out into this part of my life. Often omens or portents make me question what I was doing-for example, the road I was suppose to take is closed, a bridge is washed out. At times like these I find I question whether I was doing the right thing for that moment in time.

These barriers on the journey are really a way to question myself, my beliefs and the reason I am heading in a particular direction. It helps clarify things for me.

  • June 14th I returned to Boise, ID from Alaska with a whopping head cold. The first one since Jim died over 5 years ago.
  • June 16th I left Boise with plans to meet up with fellow Roadtreker’s and friends, on my way to the RT rally east of Glacier National Park. Not more than a hand full of miles north of Boise I discovered the cover that protects my refrigerator was gone. I turned around and returned to Boise in hopes of finding it along the road. No such luck. I waited until the following morning, visited the Roadtrek RV dealership in town, in hopes of getting a replacement part, to no avail. After conferring with Campskunk, Matthew from Roadtrek (yes I did call them on a Saturday and yes they answered), and Nelson’s RV (they recently repaired a propane leak), I left bright and early the next morning with a hole in the side of my EmmyLou and headed north.
  • June 17th I finally am on the road and several hours north of Boise, when I saw something drop out of the engine of my RV. I turned around to return to the scene of the crime, and there it was, a cover and a belt looking thing, laying in the road. I crawled underneath the rig and saw nothing wrong. Up goes the engine hood and yep I am missing a protective cover for one of my headlights. I look at the opposite one to see if I can figure out how to reattach the broken one and this one breaks, right before my very eyes and falls into my hand. What???? Thank goodness for Duct Tape. I reattached both of them and went on my way.

I am, at this time, addressing my, not so, underlying issue. I am nervous about coming to the Roadtrek gathering in Glacier National Park. I can already hear all of you saying, “we are such a nice group of people”. I believe you are. Trust me this is not the issue.

I have not been around such a sizable number of people since before Jim died. No I did not have a celebration of life. The largest group that was involved with ceremony after Jim died was eighteen. This was the group that boarded the catamaran to take Jim to sea.

When Mike asked me to post for Roadtreking: Celebrating the RV Lifestyle, I wasn’t sure about this adventure either. Their were a few points that made me decide to give this a try. I believe that between my own blog and Mike’s blog, if I can make the transition through grief to solo, even a wee bit easier for others, it was something I wanted to take on. I also knew I could and would choose to remain as invisible as possible. If it ever became something I did not want to do, I could stop. I could turn the computer off and walk away.

I have been to one rally, sponsored by RTI in Monterey. I am friends with the organizers. This event was the first one they took on as Vice Presidents of the Southern California Branch. I wanted to support them and see them succeed. They were very good and kept it low key that I was there. It wasn’t until the last morning that someone appeared at my table and let me know they were aware of who I was. They were the only ones who stepped forward and I was glad for that.

It is hard to walk the line between being an extrovert and introvert. I lived with an extreme introvert. Jim had learned how to address this issue over the course of his life. It was important for him to be involved with others. Many times it was a push for him to do this. We often would take two cars to parties so when he was done he had a way out. If I wanted to stay, I had a way to stay. I walk the line between these two personalities. I enjoy the company of others and I so need the time away or alone.

I have worked myself into a bit of a tizzy about these coming four days. My friend, Linda has helped me with this a lot. Sometimes it is good to have a shoulder to lean on, at least a little. I have challenged myself to do this.

The obstacles I mentioned earlier in this post, have given me ample opportunity to turn around and head for the hills. With each one I have questioned myself, my intentions, and the reason I am attending. Each one has continued to point me north.

Today, Monday I will arrive at the Roadtrek Gathering outside of Glacier National Park. If any of you are there and you find my door closed, my bike gone or me gone, just know I am out replenishing myself so I can enjoy everyone’s company again. And….I really do look forward to meeting each one of you, so please don’t hesitate.

Oh no a deer in the road this morning!!! I was able to stop in time.

Onto Glacier.