JAdRunning meets Restless Wanderess

As a wandering traveler sometimes I get called crazy, sometimes I get called inspirational. The crazy part I can understand but the inspirational part is hard for me to wrap my head around. I only have myself and a dog to worry about. I have a bed in a van, eat junk food, drive to trails and run. Only thing different now then my old life is I quit my job to live in a van to travel until the money I saved runs out.Insert the “crazies”, or as I see it “normals”, from the picture above into this story. A single mom with three kids (4, 5 and 10) and two dogs traveling the country in a SUV. Now that’s inspiring! I was scared to death when my dream started to fall into place…I can only image what it must have felt like for Michelle to live out her dream!?

Our first interaction was when my aunt shared Michelle’s Facebook page, Restless Wanderess, with me. I reached out telling her if she had any questions about the part of the country she was going through at the time, I could try to give suggestions. From there we followed each other on social media wondering if our paths would cross at some point? Well, a year later we happen to be crossing the same path. I was headed east and she was heading west.

Ethan has great photograph skills. Photo Credit: Restless Wanderess

Long story short we finally got to meet up for a hike in Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming. In true wandering spirit form we clicked like long time friends. Michelle later said she wasn’t sure how I’d react to her rambunctious group. But, it didn’t phase me a bit. On the contrary I felt like a I was being a bad role model when I’d laugh at the funny things they would do and say.Topics of the hike: Snow White the hamster with cool black strips, dare devil trail running youngster, feeding the prairie dogs, their cross country journey, grown little man child needing a ride in mom’s back pack even with two bags of potato chips at the end of the hike to motivate him, tent vs hotel camping and a whole host of fun things.Coolest part about meeting Michelle and her family is that I got to see again another example that following your dreams is possible. I truly do understand that things may get in the way of what you want. Took me three years to finally pull the trigger to live out my dream. It can be a new car, traveling the world, getting in shape, or whatever your imagination creates just keep working towards the dream!

More pictures from out hike on my JAdRunning Facebook Page

Meet Mariann & Maria – Alpaca and Runners Extraordinaires!

This is one thing I love about traveling around…it’s meeting amazing people! Meet Mariann and Maria of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas.
Parked in front of a trailhead waiting for someone I made plans to meet with for a hike later in the afternoon, this big Dodge truck pulls into the parking area. They moved a couple times making me think maybe I was parked in the way? (Kind of was almost in front of the start of the trail).

“Need me to move my van”, I asked?
“Nope, we’re just here to get some firewood”, Mariann replied.

As I crawled back into my van I watch her and her daughter unload a wheelbarrow and chainsaw. First thought was; chainsaw….they’ll have some really good wood for their campfire. Second thought was; wheelbarrow…that’s more then just camping trip wood. So I jumped out of the van to see if I could help.

Mariann ran the chainsaw and her daughter Maria was master of the wheelbarrow. Maria was insistent on being full controller of the wheelbarrow, come to find out she bought it with her own money! She wanted to help contribute to their wood gathering outings since running the wood back to the truck would be her task. So she spent her hard earned money from her egg profits making it her sole possession.

Chatting in between a chain change, down tree move and a couple breaks I come to find out Mariann is a beast of a trail runner! She humbly told me about her achievements and I humbly put the word beast in front her name…haha. Let’s not forget Maria she’s not just a wheelbarrow master she’s a trail runner too. Last year at the age of 10 she ran the 18 mile Bighorn Mountain Trail Race beating out more then half of the competition! So grateful to meet these two on my journey.

Everything led to us meeting this day. Truly the right place at the right time!

Checkout their website at www.bhmalpacas.com for some neat items!