Friday, July 30, 2010

Digits and DigiPics

Alright Y'all - Here is a collection of odds and ends pics and some more details on the numbers once I crunched 'em back here at home...

23 Days start to finish - 6,000 miles, almost on the dot - $1,800 total out of pocket - Traveling the country and enjoying every one of the 33,120 minutes??? PRICELESS!!!

The truck held up well and I learned a few things about the costs of travel. Tenting it has to be the cheapest way to go, and I usually chose state parks or private RV parks with an average of $25.00 per night. Using the national forest lands with no facilities at all would have saved that cash, and I may try that sometime in the future... I might also get eaten by a bear, so this adventure stuff is pretty REAL!!!

The truck averaged 17.75mpg over the course of the trip. One thing that I Never Once was upset about was the cost or expenditure for fuel. On a roadtrip, where you want to cover lots of miles, Gas is your key to getting there! Other things like food or lodging or souveniers can be skimped on, but the Gas baby, is your ticket to Ride!

I spent around $800.00 on the fuel (and Nick bought every other tank when he arrived on-board) and just less than $1000.00 on camping fees, food, a car battery, National Park entrance fees & a couple of twelve packs too :)

These amounts were almost exact to the penny, the amount I had budgeted... WEIRD, HUH?? Through all the variables and craziness, I had just a little more than the exact amounts set aside that it took...

Okay, enough talk! PICTURES!!!!

Roxy's very first landmark pic at the Big O' Ball of Twine!

A sweeeet party trailer in Atwood, KS - Yes there are benches, table, freezer and BBQ bolted down to this baby!

More interesting foliage in the underbrush of Oak Canyon.

Oh Laura... We thought so hard about jumping in the creek to help... but taking pics seemed so much better at the time! Love Ya girlie!!

The is how Laura earned her indian name "Carries One Shoe"

Not to worry Y'all, she cleaned up in the lake :)

Ali was messy too at times... Wearing her drink instead of drinking it... I'm Sure I've Never Done That!

Ol Rox is bored in Breckenridge...

Ali cleaned up VERY well the next day. Smokin' Pic!

Babies and Beer are such a great combination!

We had lots of action shots of the kids and the pool, so I wanted to post one :)

Up at Devil's Head, I propped that rock up for Ali to take a picture by...

A Moose in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I've got one of these on order with Joey... Delivery Date... Hmmm, working on that!

Rox and I say hi from Grandby Lake, Co

The Yellow Pool Hall T-Shirt puts you in a silly mood!! AHHH DA SUN!!!

Tasty lunch out in Arco, Idaho

Would the trooper look good with one of these??

Golden Bear Booty

Oh Crap! BIGFOOT!!

Didn' notice this pic from San Fran - till going back through them. See the Elephant? That was an instant reminder of Grandma Dorothy Nichols - My Dad's Mom served in the Kansas House of Representatives and had a huge Elephant collection at home. She's left an awesome legacy of family and pride. Love You Grandma!

COMIDA CHINA - out close to L.A.

This was Roxy's attitude about Malibu :)

I need to ask Roland what "Pow-lish" Headlights are and if they're dimmer than others... Really this sign corn-fused me and Nick both for a minute! We're REAL smart!

Delicious Dessert!!

Just a couple more killer pics of the Bristlecones... Can't Wait to go back there!

These two brothers were close by each other, one twisted, one straight... Know anyone like that??

Okay, I had to do it too :)

Nick's Dark Knight Pic

I'm guessing something was REAL funny here!

I don't have to guess. THIS ONE IS HILARIOUS!!!

Well I hope you've enjoyed the odds and ends pics... I liked going back through them last night... Today, my Ohio family comes to town. I'll see Johnny and the kids today, so I may post an update early in the week, with our weekend stories... I hope you all have a wonderful couple of days and thanks again for keeping up with the blog. Love Ya!

- A

Life Is a Highway!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Good morning and Hello again from Home Sweet Home in P-Town :)

What a strange feeling I'm having actually being home. Woke up in my own bed and didn't know where I was!

I think that is a jewel of a moment that I should treasure :) Really, how often would that happen without total disconnect that takes time and distance?

A late start at Nick's apartment in Aggieville was the beginning of the final few miles to home...

Still staying off of the Interstate, Rox and I went back through Council Grove - seems like we were here before :)

Good 'Ol Kansas scenery, can't beat it!

Pulling into Ottawa, I started the process of snapping back to reality... kinda :)

Familiar Places and seeing people I've known for years, driving down the street...

A HOT Day here, Guess I've missed out on the worst of the heat... Ooops!

Ahh, Princeton! Just as Sweet as I remembered!

Yup, still here!

The Troop is back home in the drive :)

An afternoon of reflection and unpacking, very unusual to be still for hours at a time :)

Cleaned up, Rox and I load up to head to Mom's to get 'Ol Girl Morgan and say hello.

Again strangeness - With the truck empty it was a "Naked Driving" feel...

What a Reunion! - These Two Missed Each Other!!

Morgan is as old as the Bristlecones out in Cali - so she stayed home, but was glad we are back!

Mom and Joe and I talked awhile and filled in some questions from the trip, along with other stuff... It was nice :)

To really get the feeling of being home, I pedaled up to the Brandin' Iron and happened to run into Robert... "Where the hell ya' been boy! I thought you'd fallen off the face of the earth!" - Well kinda??

Let's discuss for a moment that "Fall"... I would rather call it a "Leap" and more of the backstory is here...

Back in January, on our annual Ski Trip to the Rockies - I took my first proffesionally instructed (a'hem! RUSKIN!) ski lesson... Obviously getting down the mountain in the best way possible is to master the Turn... something I had yet to perfect. Two things happened on that day that changed my thinking forever.

The Instructor explained that the first step to a great ski turn is to point your eyes, head and shoulders down the hill... If you properly do this - IT WILL BE SCARY!! You are doing the unnatural. Your body tells you this is unsafe and you Will Crash! You are leaning out where your lower body is not there to support you... This is the exact moment that I realized how Faith works... By doing the unnatural, by trusting in these instructions, by GOD, did my legs, feet and skis end up Exactly where they were supposed to be!! It's true, go try it! The turns flowed flawlessly without Overthinking everything or purposely moving this leg here, that ankle there...

The secret was so simple and yet the exact Opposite of the way our minds are built to think...

Also on this day, a fun pair of ladies were in my class and on the lift we talked and laughed... One says "You know how you get comfortable with turning only one way, then once you get to the edge of the run, you are out of room to make your comfortable Right Hand Turn??" I had been there many times :) She went on... "Once I had this issue, my friends were down below waiting on me and when I slowly got to the side of the run, I was So Stuck! One of my friends yelled up at me... 'JUST MAKE THE FRICKIN TURN!!'- She said from that moment on she had to pop out of the comfort zone and JUST MAKE THE FRICKIN TURN! Of course, she had the skills already and once she made up her mind to DO IT, the turns worked out just fine...

These ideas have played a huge part in the last few months for me. They were integral focus points on this trip as well... It was time for a leap of faith in my life. Overthinking and trying to manuever life on my own is hard and trying to figure out each detail is exhausting... A moment of faith. The knowing that somehow, If I leaned out, then things would work out... Priceless Advice!!

Also, the DOING of it is the key. How else does it happen?? Just Make the Frickin Turn. Then we find that things fall into place, but WE have to break that mindgame of "What If's" wide open.

Out on the Road, I did become a Do'er and not a Think'er... Waaaay too long I've been a Thinker, Analyzer and Judger of What If's... Out there, your ONLY motion is Forward. Time after Time, I found that just moving forward is how the problem or puzzle was solved. No answers, just motion. The answer comes when you've shown up in the right place at the right time and the only way to get there is to move Forward...

Thinking back to the travels there are so many serendipitous moments, I can't even count them! This is the force of the supernatural at work, in real life, in my life and I hope you've enjoyed the sharing of that here on this blog.

I do have an itch to load the truck up right now and continue... I will take my lessons from the Bristlecones and know that time will come for more travel, more adventure. For now, I continue moving forward with True North Financial Fitness Coaching. I'm passionate about helping people understand their financial situation and a true believer in the quote "If you'll live like no one else, Later, you'll get to live like no one else!!"

Thank You to each person who has read these words. Without the reader, the writing means nothing. I'm touched that the stories are shared and thoughts of love have spread to people I love and hurt for at the same time. Thank YOU So Much!

More photos, maybe more commentary are still to come... This Shell and Stone Story has not Ended Yet!

- A

Get your lighters out and hold 'em high!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Right Turn

Hey there! Here is a post from yesterday's drive back to Manhappiness! I'm blogging live from my very own kitchen in Princeton, Ks... Feels SO WEIRD!! Have hit a brick wall once I pulled in the drive and haven't unpacked a thing yet :) might just keep going!

Here is the route from Cañon City, Colorado to Manhattan, KS - The Most Direct Way, Right??? More on that later...

Our night at the Whitewater Grill was FUN, and we did get off to a little later start than normal :) This was our last look at the Mountains as we were Eastbound and Down...

I drove, Nicky Napped.

Rox still loves the road!

Nick was excited to visit Rocky Ford. As a very young girl, his grandmother, traveled out here in the summers to pick vegetables. It is a very fertile farming area!

I took this pic and little did I know it would end up describing the rest of our day!

Nice Melons :)

A Shout Out to all my friends At Hasty Awards!!

Hay Loaves

Lots of Wind Turbines out here in Colorado... Wait a minute... Why are we still in Colorado?

Aaron - "Oh Crap! Wake up Nick! We are in Springfield, Colorado!!"

Nick - "huh?? what... BS!! We are just east of Lamar! Look Here!! .... HOLY &*$##!!!! YOU ***&&%%%$#!!!!!"

Needless to say it got quiet for a bit after that!

......... .......

Okay Cool, Finally to Kansas! Wow, feels like home right across the state line!


More Windmills out by Dodge City...

With our slight detour, we were running out of time to stop and blog - so I cranked up the laptop in the car and used the phone for my internet connection... Couldn't do this out in the mountians! Actually having continuous cell service is something special!

Out on familiar I-70 getting close to Manhattan

Ahh, the ol familiar world of Aggieville and hanging out with Becky and some Bombs...

I guess us boys kissed and made up and enjoyed the rest of our evening :)

What can I say? It has been one helluva ride and sitting now in my kitchen it all feels surreal. I am going to still post some more wrap ups and thoughts. Don't go away yet :)

I'll cut this one short, cause the next ones won't be. Thanks for your interest and support through all the wanderings, Love Ya!!

- A

Another Band of Heathans song - This one is "Say". I really wish I could find better versions to post. The CD quality songs are just great. Much improved from these vids. Thanks and check back soon!