It’s a big country

So since I’ve been home it has literally been GO! GO! GO! Part of the going involved driving with my sister back to Wyoming in her new car. We left on Thursday morning at 6 am from Seattle and following with our father’s better judgement, we stopped in Bozeman, MT, and stayed the night. We arrived in Powell, Wyoming at her school in the morning on Friday and headed out to our Aunt Wendy’s parents’ house about 10 minutes from civilization. They were all out in the yard taking pictures for their company, Running Horse Realty. Upon arrival I learned that my cousins, whom I had not seen since I lived with them 2 years ago, were heading up to the Big Horn Mountains to go camping for the weekend. I decided to join them, so off we headed to about 10,000 feet above sea level to our camping spot.

Battle Creek

Battle Creek

On the way to the camping spot, I was able to sit back and enjoy the Wyoming scenery. I was amazed how different the state is compared to other places I’ve been and lived. I loved how wide open the land was and all the little small towns. We even passed a sign that said, “Population: 10.” I even noticed how their vehicles seemed, well, as large as the places they roamed.

Now that's a truck.

Now that's a truck.

On Saturday morning, we decided to head “just over the hill” to the “crick” to go fishing and have a little picnic lunch. The “crick” ended up being not “just over the hill.” Since I hadn’t planned on going camping, I had no camping gear [like closed toe shoes, warm clothing or jeans] and the pair of boots I borrowed happened to be a size and a half too small so the “just over the hill” hike blistered the crap out of my toes.  The “crick” was beautiful though and it was fun to hang out there for the day.

The Crick

The Crick

More of the crick

More of the crick

So the “just over the hill” hike didn’t sound very appetizing for the way home so Eric decided we’d find another way back to the camp. The other way home ended up taking twice as along as the way there, so by the time we arrived back at the camp, I think we hiked 5 miles. We all came back and crashed. Unfortunately, I crashed with a case of altitude sickness. The headache, nasuea and dizziness were not my idea of fun. My Aunt was having a hard time breathing due to the dust, smoke and allergens in the air so we decided to head down the mountain to get ourselves better. We headed back up the next day and took it easy. I enjoyed spending time with my cousins and Aunt. The kids have gotten so big since I last saw them!

Jackson

Jackson

Joey

Joey

Ellie

Ellie

Monday we loaded up the horses and headed back to Powell so that I could run up to Billings and catch my flight back to Seattle. Flying out of the Billings “International” airport was a treat. There are 6 gates at the airport and we got pushed through security at 7 pm because they were closing for the night. It was pretty funny after recently flying through Newark, NJ, which I’m fairly certain has over fifty gates, to the Billings, MT airport which has 6. It was a great weekend and I enjoyed some beautiful sunsets courtesy of the wildfires burning in Wyoming.

Wyoming Sunset

Wyoming Sunset

Wait a minute! This morning I was in a foreign country!

I'm proud to be an American

I'm proud to be an American

Well on Saturday the 9th I set foot back on American soil and it didn’t feel as “homey” as I expected it would. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been lovely to be home and see family but I thought it would feel a better fit than it currently seems to. Now more than ever I’m confused as to where I really belong.

However, the Olympics are on and I LOVE the Olympics. I have enjoyed thoroughly the thrill and stress of watching the world’s best athletes compete against each other. PHELPS!

SO as for the eternal question of “what’s next?” I’m back in Portland in the horrific cycle of job hunting for something that I’m not quite sure what it is yet. Desperately hoping I’ll find a job where I can enjoy possibly melding my experience with non-profit and my love of working with high school students. If you have any ideas or anything… please let me know! I’ll be nannying for my old agency, Caregivers’ Placement Agency, for the time being until something else comes up.

Here are some pictures from my final days in the DR! I got to spend a week at the beach with Meredith, Jessica and her brother and sister in law and their 2 daughters Lucy and Lydia. It was great to relax, play cards and get a great tan!

Our "beach house" as Lucy called it

Our beach house as Lucy called it.

I tried to tell this kid to say no to crack.

I tried to tell this kid to say no to crack.

The biggest mango ever! It weighed over 4 lbs!

The biggest mango ever! It weighed over 4 lbs!

Me and Jess at the beach

Me and Jess at the beach