The other day I was going through my drawers to declutter some stuff. It’s crazy how fast you accumulate things when you have an actual place versus a van. I came across this postcard and a copy of quotes in a folder from my travels around the country.
It came from a lady I met on a trailhead in Dogtown, Massachusetts. Before I talk about this amazing woman let me explain the trail a little bit. This trail, Babson Boulder Trail, was very interesting and it was such a great stop during my travels. A guy by the name of Roger Babson created a trail where he etched sayings in over 30 boulders. Each boulder giving inspirational self improving quotes.
“Another thing I have been doing, which I hope will be carried on after my death, is the carving of mottoes on the boulders at Dogtown, Gloucester, Massachusetts. My family says that I am defacing the boulders and disgracing the family with these inscriptions, but the work gives me a lot of satisfaction, fresh air, excerise and sunshine. I am really trying to write a simple book with words carved in stone instead of printed paper. Besides, when on Dogtown common, I revert to a boyhood which I once enjoyed when driving cows there many years ago.” Roger Babson
Now the lady I met at the trailhead was Peggy, at the time 74 year old cancer survivor with tons of wisdom you don’t pass up a conversation with. We talked about life, traveling and Pup (of course Pup!). She had just wrapped up her hike when we met and I was just getting ready to head out for my hike. Upon my return from my hike I had treats for myself and Pup and two notes in my windshield. She made a copy of the quotes she said she read everyday, to which I read frequently during my travels. I’m glad I found this because it’s much needed! And I’m also happy to say I reached out to her via the email she gave me and she doing well four years later.
Like Peggy said in the postcard – Enjoy this precious gift called life! Peggy if your reading this thanks for the wonderful memory!
About a year and half ago I am boondocking at the very spot, in the Dixie National Forest, where I had my first dirtbag trip. I rented a car for a week to take a road trip to finally spread more of my moms ashes. She wanted to be spread in three different places…one of the places was the mountains. She also wanted to be let go speeding down a highway to fly free. I could do two in the same trip. As much as I wanted to do it with my two brothers, I knew it was time to let some more of her go. I got both their permission to free her in her second spot while flying down a mountain highway.
When I picked up the rental car I ended up getting a Mazda 6 wagon. To me it was a sign, a sign to let loose some of my wanderlust. I packed up the car with mom, my running shoes, food, blankets and a pillow and set off for my week adventure! Pup and I roamed from California to Colorado stopping where ever we wanted to. Of course I kind of had a plan of what I wanted to see. I had driven this interstate route from CA to my home state of South Dakota many times to visit family. I stopped at Zion National Park in Utah boondocking just out side of the NP for free at some BLM land. Stopped in Glenwood Springs, CO to run the bike path along the Colorado River you see from the Interstate 70. Random story about that run. The interstate as actually closed from Glenwood Springs to Gypsum. There was a man hunt for a shooter in the area. I took it as a sign to run pollution free with no cars passing. It was wonderful because there was not a sole in sight the whole 8 miles I ran. I know, I know…not smart to run when there is a lunatic on the loose but image the solitude I got from such a populated area.
Driving back west from Glenwood Springs to Rifle, CO I drove south through a cool mountain highway in the Grand Mesa National Forest. I decided this would be the highway where I spread my Mom’s ashes. Flying down the highway she floated free in the wind. I cried and then with tears of laughter I told her she was welcome for picking the snowiest spot.
That road trip sparked my dream to travel and run even more! At the time that wandering dream was just that a dream. I was consumed with the thought that if I did follow my dream I would jeopardize my life’s outcome. Money and material things drive us as a society. It’s hard to think about risking everything to be happy. Especially when so many people say it can’t be done.
Well, I wrote this sitting on top of a red rock peak in the Dixie National Forest after running 4 miles into Loose Canyon. I can tell you now that dreams are possible to achieve if you really want it bad enough. What’s hard to believe is that a year and a half ago I didn’t think I would be doing what I am.
Like I told a good friend of mine recently. Sit down and think about what you want in life and how you’ll get it. Don’t try to “figure” life out. In the last year I have learned that figuring it out is impossible. It took me three years to setup what I am doing now. Live in the moment and never stop chasing your dreams!