Dreams of the future

I used to think that you had to have a professional goal. The only dream I ever had was to become a writer and to explore the mountains. I was a misfit, I was behind. I worked to bring in a paycheck. I was good at whatever I did, but never found any real joy. It was a job, not a career. 

My dreams kept dragging me back to the mountains. Learning every valley and stream and waterfall. Memorizing every twist and turn of the trails. Talking to people about the history and stories of them all. 

Finally I thought… why not be a Forest Ranger? Obviously this isn’t an overnight accomplishment. That’s what lead me to start my research. That’s how I stumbled across the Conservation Corps and how I’m set on my current path. 

No, I have not acheived my goal yet, but I’m at a good starting point. I have not abandonned being a writer, but at least my day job might be able to bring me as much joy and fulfillment as my dream job. And it’s not too late. 

It is not a simple path, or an easy path, and maybe that’s what helps to make it more desirable. It’s the fight to make it happen. It’s discovering the missing piece to fill the void. 

Keep your day job while you need it…. but don’t settle on that being your end all be all. Dream big, and strive to make those dreams come true. 


Best Friends

When I was younger, I was never really good at making friends. The kids at school were boring and unimaginative. Playing with Barbies consisted of “Ooh why I love your dress, let’s comb your hair.” Girls were mind numbingly dull. But at least the boys I knew enjoyed adventure. 

My mom wasn’t one to to let me have friends over. That meant meeting and communicating with people she’d never met before. What I did have however, were two god-brothers. My parents and theirs had been friends for years. Chris was four years older and Mikey was only 2. 

We played together since I was old enough to crawl. I played cops and robbers, masters of the universe, and in turn they would even play My Little Pony with me. Never combing of hair, more like search and rescue and daring adventure. 

The boys would spend every summer with us. Sometimes it was just at home. Though often we would venture into the Blue Ridge Mountains with Old Red Socks. We trekked over Mount Mitchell and Pisgah and Craggy Gardens. Every weekend night we’d spend on Curtis Creek spearing crawfish, fishing, and generally getting dirty. 

As time goes, families grow apart, children grow up, and people move on. But the memories you gain in between are enough to last a lifetime. 

I still talk to Mikey from time to time. He is married with two beautiful children (including a son that looks EXACTLY like him). 


There’s a certain time of the day when all of the colors are faded or blend as monochrome. The sun is just at the perfect height to affect how we see everything. It gives the world an artificial appearance. But truly there’s nothing more natural.maybe it’s only here in Florida that this happens. Our maybe it’s only myself that it happens to. 

The world turns a touch and color floods my vision once more. 

Sometimes we can only live to survive. Paycheck to paycheck. But if you’re lucky enough to have a dream, never shuffle that to the bottom of the priority stack. Take whatever opportunity or help you can to make it happen. 

The world can be harsh and glaring if you let it. 

Don’t let it. 

I think some of the best times I ever had with mom was when we lived in North Carolina. I would usually get a day off in the middle of the week since I worked retail. Iwona would be working, Dustin was in school, and we’d take the day and explore the mountains.

We’d start with breakfast out. Usually at the Denny’s in Black Mountain. We’d both order a coffee and sit and talk. Usually just sit. Neither of us were big conversationalists. We just enjoyed each other’s company. 

I’d slowly stir the cream into my coffee, watching the swirls make intricate designs. We’d plan out the day before beginning or adventure.

The fall was always the best. We’d tackle the Blue Ridge armed with a camera and her little red Plymouth Sundance. That car loved the mountains as much as we did. It carried us overy hill tops and dirt roads enough times to fill a book. Maybe one day it will. 

Piece by piece

Pack my bags… I’m ready to go… *snickers* Yeah not quite. So far I have secured a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and new boots.

I am SO happy with this sleeping bag. Not only does it meet all of the requirements and is warm and squishy… but it is SO me!

Reversible to accommodate temperatures ranging from 15 degrees and up. Too hot, turn it inside out or even use it as a comforter. It’s the Ticla Rambler and I’ve never been so happy with a purchase. Shame that it’s on close out at rei.

I’m holding off to purchase my pack until I actually make it to Asheville. There’s an REI there and what better way to choose a pack than to cram ALL of the stuff into it that you need to and see how it works?

On the list of things to tackle is take my car down to GM and have them comb over the recall items and get a full tune up. I need her running nicely since we won’t really be able to afford a lot of guff over the next few months.

I’m looking at dates in early next year. Okay, well I WILL be looking at dates then whenever they get posted. I’d hate to miss Ethan’s birthday… but no matter how I swing it – I’ll be missing something. Christmas, Birthday, Easter, Anniversary… There’s a lot that one must sacrifice in the pursuit of their future. I wish I could bring everyone along, but rest assured that I will have it well documented to share when it’s all said and done.

Curtis Creek

I may have blogged about Curtis Creek in the past. It’s fine if I did. It’s a great place and worthy of multiple mention.

For those of you who don’t know or haven’t read that post… I was adopted. It was set up before I was born. I guess my due date must have been toward the middle of July because my mom and Old Red Socks decided to take short vacation before I came along.

Dad packed up their R.V. and took off to his favorite haunt. An old logging/hunting/fishing road just off of US 70 in Old Fort. About six miles up the road from when you turn is a small bridge that crosses over this babbling creek. They parked in the little stretch and prepared to camp. They weren’t able to enjoy their trip for very long. A messenger was sent to find them. I was born on July 2nd and the messenger tracked down my parents on July 4th. At least in the time of no cell phones, they were predictable.

There were a couple of places that we always visited on summer days and weekends. Curtis Creek was at the top of the list.

If you drive down this road now, there is a beautiful little campground set up for r.v. and tent camping. $5 a night complete with bathrooms and picnic tables. If you continue up the road from the campground there are other little spots along the road that make for some good camping. Little pull offs. Park your car, have a campfire, set up a tent.

Make sure to bring your fishing pole and license. The stream is FULL of rainbow trout and crawfish. When I find the pictures I have of it, I’ll be sure to put them up.