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Rejoice In The Way Things Are

Guys, I have a confession. I think I have the worst luck with cell phones. They all break, get lost, or spontaneously combust. I once...
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Gypsy Travel: Cody, Wyoming

….oh hey. How’s it going? Can we forget the fact that I haven’t written an article in three months? That would be amazing, thanks....
Glacier National Park

Guest Post by Ali: Montana Adventures

One of the most surreal parts of my visit to Montana was touring Glacier National Park. This park is home to spectacular peaks and...
motorcycle parked outside a souvenir shop

Gypsy Travel: Yellowstone National Park

Quick update: the website has been suffering due to its owners preoccupied obsession with finding a job. Now that that’s done with, she can...
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Meet Roadtrippers: Lilo and Hans

The first people we met was Lilo and Hans from Switzerland. They arrived late one Thursday night at Richardson Grove RV Park where we...
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How Not To Write a Blog Post

I wake up everyday, full intending on adding another thought provoking, mildly entertaining, probably embarrassing post. What happens? This:
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Gypsy Travel: Montana

This is the route we took to the West Entrance of Yellowstone:   We were arguing about God knows what when we were entering...
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Where are we now?

Hello! I’m still alive I promise! I’m sorry for those wonderful readers who keep checking back to see if there is something new. I...
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13 Essential Tips for an RV trip

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Gypsy Travel: Idaho, Getting Towed by AAA

We sat still, stunned that we're in the middle-of-nowhere Idaho on the side of the road. "Oh my god. It actually died," my mom...

Rejoice In The Way Things Are

Guys, I have a confession. I think I have the worst luck with cell phones. They all break, get lost, or spontaneously combust. I once lost a cell phone in a NYC cab. I once lost one on a plane. One got lost in transit in the mail. I’ve cracked screens, dropped things in water. You name it, it’s happened to me.

After having a horrible unresponsive Apple 3G phone, I switched to a Samsung Galaxy S3. Within a month I dropped it in a toilet. I was smartphone-less for about a month. I received a new one in the mail on Monday. MONDAY. Guess what happened today? THURSDAY I dropped it on the concrete floor. Shattered. Broken. Torn. That is my heart screen right now.

In order to not face embarrassment, I’m getting it fixed over lunch. But really I just can’t stand to look at it, because it’s like staring at the face of stupidity. My face.

I remember one really good article I read on zen habits that stuck with me. It’s about Accepting What Is. He has another (I think), where he talks about practicing stoicism. When something happens, it’s neither good or bad. It just is.

I remember thinking that was impossible. Coming from a largely expressive loud family, the idea of suppressing your reaction to something is ludicrous. But it’s not exactly that, it’s expressing whatever you want. Obviously you can feel whatever you want, but if you accept the reality of what has happened or possibly will, you can be calm and at peace with everything. Now, I can’t be calm and at peace all the time. I have a horrible temper that I have to deal with. But it’s precisely because that temper that I should practice stoicism. I also have a dramatic streak (I know that’s hard to believe). It’s part of my personality, but I’ve learned that skipping a little bit of the drama (not all of it), to get to the peaceful resolve of accepting what is, has contributed greatly to my mental health.

I know sometimes thing happen to us that are unbelievable. Like “Wow this is really happening. Right now. In my life”. And they can be good. And they can be bad. But they just..are. The peace that comes with realizing this is like no other, and I love it.

So yeah I broke my cell phone twice, yeah I’m a little stressed at work, yeah I live in a small apartment and drive a crappy car. But not judging any of those things as good or bad has been…good. For me, personally. At least I have a smart phone to fix, a job to be stressed at, and a car to take me to the beach when I want to. That’s what I should be thinking about.

I’m going to finish with the same quote Leo does on his blog (don’t judge, it’s a great quote).

“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

 

 

Gypsy Travel: Cody, Wyoming

….oh hey. How’s it going? Can we forget the fact that I haven’t written an article in three months? That would be amazing, thanks.

The funny thing about being a “writer” is that sometimes you don’t write for awhile. And you forget what it’s like to let the words flow from your fingers. That part of you, an essential part of your being, is forgotten for awhile. But it’s not really forgotten, it’s sitting in the back of your mind, waiting to be discovered again.

Well I’m back now, after a brief hiatus. And I will post to this blog even if I think the article is not good enough to be put out in the world. Even when the words make me cringe and the pictures don’t look like they were taken with a Canon 60D. I’m putting my experience out here because I love to. And because you guys are awesome.

So there I was in the middle of the desert, really needing a coke….oh it’s not that story? Oops ok, here we go….Wyoming.

wyominglandscape

Cody, Wyoming is about one hour from Yellowstone, it’s the first real city you see on the road after leaving the park. It has five museums called the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. They have a natural history museum, Plains Indian Museum, the Firearms museum (!!!), the Art Museum, and Buffalo Bill Museum.

We though about skipping through it, but a whole museum dedicated to the WIld West? I mean who could pass that up.

Cody sign

 

There was some kind of discount for all five museums, I can’t quite remember, but I know it was a pretty good deal. If ever there was a place to fully encapture the spirit of Buffalo Bill era west america, this is it. Every exhibit and hall was packed with information and artifacts, (as someone who’s worked at the Smithsonian, you can take my word for its coolness).

The best part of the whole museum is that Buffalo Bill’s childhood home was transported there, literally plucked up from wherever the heck it was, and dropped into Cody. And you get to walk through it,

buffalo bill home

 

Also, the firearms museum has some experimental stuff that never was thankfully never mass produced. The museum itself has the most “comprehensive collection of firearms in the world” with around 7,000 firearms and 30,000 “firearm related artifacts”. Their experimental stuff is housed in an underground exhibit directly under the more commercial smith and wesson’s and colts.  It’s fascinating down there.

firearm musuem

how do you even use this?!

how do you even use this?!

winchester bikeIMG_0704

some gun

like…what is that?

swiss army knife

can I get one for my purse?

 

this defies the laws of physics

this defies the laws of physics

rainbow of beautiful guns

rainbow of guns

 

And then we ate at the worst Chinese buffet in the history of Wyoming chinese buffets. Granted, it was probably a bad choice given the geographical location, but we just…really wanted Chinese. In case you’re wondering, the best Chinese buffet we ever ate at was in Auburn, Washington. It was so good. I don’t even understand how.

Anyway, that was our Cody adventure. Pretty tame, as far as our adventures go. Sometimes you have to be a tourist you know?

Join me next time for how we almost didn’t make it through Bighorn National Park, because no one bothered to tell us the climb was 10,000 ft through mountains and Godzilla was seriously struggling.

Until next time!

Gretel

P.S: Sometimes my dad makes me post pictures of him on here, this is his pick from Cody…

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Guest Post by Ali: Montana Adventures

While spending time in Montana to help my sister and brother-in-law build their new home in the town of Coram, I was able to explore the Big Sky Country. While I wasn’t lifting a hammer or wearing a tool-belt, I took the time to explore Montana and its endless landscapes, breathtaking nature and amazing outdoor experiences.

One of the most surreal parts of my visit to Montana was touring Glacier National Park. This park is home to spectacular peaks and chilly lakes, of which are formed by melting glaciers. Some of the glaciers, believe it or not, still exist in the park for tourists to see, but are diminishing and melting every day, adding to the landscape of the park.

There are lots of hiking trails to choose from at Glacier, with wildlife abundant, so bring your hiking boots and fill your fanny pack with a camera and binoculars. During my visit I encountered many sure-footed Mountain Goats throughout the park on hiking trails and vistas, along with one of the park’s most adorable and elusive inhabitants, the Pika. Usually hiding between rocks, this alpine rodent is hard to spot, but incredibly cute if you do.

On my trip I was even able to see a bear from afar, in a photographer’s enormous camera lens. While bears tend to keep their distance from humans they may come near if they smell food, or if you cross paths with them in the wilderness. So, if you’re hiking around the park it’s a good idea to bring a bear bell which will alert the bears of your presence, and deter them from coming close to you.

Also, on my trip to Glacier National Park, I took a chilly plunge in Lake McDonald, the largest body of water in the park. This adventure is only for those who aren’t afraid to get cold, as the water in the lake is a product of melted glaciers! Whether you choose to take a swim or simply dip your feet, enjoy the breathtaking view of the crystal clear water that meets the pebble shore, all surrounded by enormous mountains.

While on my trip to Montana to visit my family, we spent a lot of time on the water. I love to fish so we spent early mornings and dusk in the water wearing waders and fishing vests and channeling their inner Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It.

As a family, we all went whitewater rafting together and spent the day in a raft and paddling down the river. During our day on the raft, we paddled hard and hit some fast and wild rapids, but we also relaxed on the water and enjoyed the scenery. This trip also included an afternoon lunch on the shore prepared by our guide (aka my brother-in-law). While we chose to do a full six-hour day of white-water rafting, there are many different options including a half-day excursion and even a full two-day rafting trip.

As my sister and brother-in-law are almost finished building they’re house, I’m sure I’ll be back to visit again for a housewarming party, and I’ll be able to explore more of this amazing state.

Montana Adventures

all pictures by Jacob Bell and Ali

Glacier National Park Sunday Drive in MT Glacier National Park (2) flathead lake

Gypsy Travel: Yellowstone National Park

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North Entrance

Quick update: the website has been suffering due to its owners preoccupied obsession with finding a job. Now that that’s done with, she can sit down and pretend to write more articles. Let’s get on with it.

Yellowstone! It’s located in Wyoming but spills into Montana and Idaho as well. It’s said to be the first national park in the U.S., established by Ulysses S. Grant (odd that a military commander would be interested in the environment, but I digress). When you look at it on a map, it looks to be in the middle of nowhere. That’s about right. Continue reading

Meet Roadtrippers: Lilo and Hans

The first people we met was Lilo and Hans from Switzerland. They arrived late one Thursday night at Richardson Grove RV Park where we were staying in the Redwoods Forest. I remember thinking their RV looked unusually small and tall, even in the dark. In the morning, when we went for our morning jog, we realized it was a Fiat RV. We also realized these were no ordinary Rv-ers. Continue reading

Where are we now?

Hello! I’m still alive I promise! I’m sorry for those wonderful readers who keep checking back to see if there is something new. I definitely owe you guys an explanation.

Short version: since leaving Idaho, we traveled the rest of the U.S. by travel trailer until we got to Florida, where we sold our beloved Bella, bought another car, and road tripped back to California. Continue reading