I am coming to blunt end of the most intense lunar cycle i’ve ever experienced.
The bike ride was one thing. and it was an uber-intense thing. but i dialed it back to moderate and was able to find joy in all the parts of all the days. It was only 17 days that i rode my bike. Mike Hall crossed the finish line while i was wearing a lost-and-found-bathing suit soaking at Elkhorn Hot Springs. and drinking Double-Haul IPAs. and eating fried chicken.
so i stripped it down, best i could, to the things that bring my life equanimity.
In the beginning…we unanimously decided to shed our skin. we intentionally molted from the Macaroni Piggies to the Howling Wolves. tonight, when the wee peeps got out of bed to see the moon rise, we howled. we’ve been howling all month. i tell ya something. howling feels good. howling in a pack feels real good.
we feasted. we ate so incredibly well all month long. juices galore. muffins. soups made from bone broth. mighty bites. treasure chests. tuna steaks. shrimp. bacon-wrapped elk backstops. kombucha. brats. elk tacos. antelope chili. cornbread. our bread…chocolate cake…dove ice cream bars…smoothies. root vegetables…
we were completely prepared for this. it was not a big deal to be stranded since Tuesday alone with my peeps. we had plenty of nutritious goodness in the pantry, the freezer, and the fridge. i have bone broth galore and purees of all sorts in the back fridge…with the beers. we keep nuts and dried fruit stocked like cray. we made bread…
and today. today, my good buddies. my art-nighters. my people who get what i have going on…showed up ’round noon with backpacks-full of produce and eggs and coffee and wine. they skied in 4 miles..with wee baby Fern…and showed up with hugs and cheer. the same as the finish line to the bike ride…only this required slight more effort on their parts.
and once again, in the transition outta the experience, i’m choking on the gratitude. i sorta wish i could express my adoration to the brilliance of steve jobs. without FaceTime, i may have gone bonkers. people checked in with me. and i was supported.
I rode with this fella for a while on the trail from Lima to Island Park. he was a combat veteran Navy Seal…and this was not his first…or his second, i think, time on the ride. As we pedaled together, i mentioned that it was nice to chat with someone…that i had been riding alone since Whitefish. He kept his drishti ahead of his wheel and said “well…that is a testament to your mental fortitude, ma’am”. and i pedaled silently alongside him and thought. boo-mother-effing-ya. you don’t know me at all….but i sure appreciate that you can see the depths of my mental fortitude. i never thought to think about that before. i never thought that, perhaps, that is a strength of mine…
and later, in the same very day, a young pedaling-for-PTSD combat veteran marine, rode alongside me a while. he didn’t keep his drishti in front of him. he completely cocked his head and stared at me and proclaimed “that took a lot of courage to do what you did.” it never occurred to me to think about that either. courage. i rarely give it an inhale. fuck fear. that’s kind of how i try to play it. and i appreciated that he gave me something new to think about.
This week challenged me deeply. i tried my m.effing. hardest. and i still failed. at the end of each day. and then i let go. i dug in to plans D and E.
and i happily relied on my mental fortitude. this was fun. i can type that with assurance. i did not allow the struggles to bog us down. we spent time outside everyday. we experienced the snow as it changed and morphed from monumental dumping to rain to rock-hard ice.
when we first chose to move out here, the very first time we checked it out, we had to ski in. and that was three years ago…so i could easily ski both homies in. i either had one in the backpack and one in the chariot, or i had both in the chariot.
except now is a horse of a different color. This week, we were stranded out here at the Moose Willow Ranch. i say that and retract it both at the same time. of course, we could have skied if we needed to, and a helicopter could have landed if it needed to. but all the vehicles are out of commission.
since Tuesday, the Howling Wolves have been separated from the rest of the U.S. of. A.
It was an experience of a lifetime, and we focused on that.
It is one thing to joyfully ride your bike on a given trail.
It is an entire other thing to be isolated with your two children miles and miles away from the closest people…and have your three best buddies show up on skis with fresh produce.
i continue to dream my life and live my dream.
i continue to be bowed-all-the-way-to-the-ground-grateful for the humans in my life that i get to label as friends.
The Wolf Moon to the Snow Moon have hardened and softened me. i reckon i am on the path to grace that Liquid Bliss demands.