Writing again, the raw struggle of text and photos with the ease of quick Facebook. After my nephew passed, I stopped writing. I stopped life. My last post was home in Montana and what a trip since. I decided to retire from life, retreat, rebuild…try to be Thoreau in my cabin. So many stories since that epic move.
I retreated from relationships binding grind. Well, a side from my most faithful companion- Chloe. The good Lord saw differently and blessed me with a wife and child.
Full Time is my new life on the road. Bornfree 24′ motorcoach, selling part time to maintain the life style.
My son Jake will be one year old in a few days. At a campground just days ago, an elderly man commented ” sure is a waste traveling with him this young – he will never remember a thing”. I could not disagree more!
These formative years define a child. Yes, our lifestyle as full time RV denizens is out of box. But, I know their is a purpose and direction in all.
What follows is our lives on the road:
Warning – do not try this at home!
Disclaimer: This is not the exciting stories of UFO. Skinwalker, and native tales
A long strange trip it’s been! Spent my second night in my casita as Mike Weddle calls it! The peace of a home for the first time in my life.
I’m so very blessed here on the Crow Reservation to be surrounded by friends and family. Chloe and I spend time cruising the back roads and taking pictures – fishing and hunting – and working on horses to subsist. It is a simple life! I would not want it any other way! I have mornings for meditation and prayer.
While I have not seen TV or taken an actual shower in weeks (I figure it keeps the women away) – It is a different peace I have found.
My life is changing – spending more time alone. Something symbolic about my weekly commute to the Lookout Tower here in the Wolf Mountains.
One chapter in my life is closing and I really have no idea where I’m going or what is next. So, I go to the Lookout and think.
For the first time in a long time a woman was kind to me and for that I am thankful.
I am most thankful to my Crow friends who allow me to stay on their land, love me, make me laugh and freely give! Woody, Benny, Holly, Ashley…thanks for friendship! Cherished!
So, no matter where my boots land…Lodge Grass and these mountains are forever home.
Early morning walk…
And I wonder what family lived in this old house
They looked north to the river…
And south to town….
And everyday I wonder…
About the home this once was…
Lodge Grass, Montana…
I have never been concerned about my appearance. Born ugly, I embraced it and moved forward. I remember in 9th grade Kim Hobi said I had a bulbous nose…bulbous was a spelling word and she had to use it in a sentence.
Downtown Billings Montana, not too inbred but close…I park the old 1991 Ford f250 close to Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters. Yes, most times I am driving the Mercedes Benz G but I was hauling stuff home so… I figured I would look at the Filson jackets while a friend
searched the racks for high end clothes. I am dressed in Cinch jeans, Keen boots, and a camo sweatshirt with my old Filson cause it is raining…
I walk in and the lady sniffed…okay I forgot to shave sue me…but I smell good! I go over to the Filson rack thinking wow, I want this down hunting vest. The sales lady sniffs…I figured some other customer farted so I paid her no mind.
Chloe loves my Filson too
My friend comes from the back of the store and we leave. Driving home, I reflected on the sales lady and how we all tend to judge based on clothes, vehicle, and appearance. But then I paused, I always wear either jeans or Carharts and hiking boots with t-shirts – Mercedes, Land Cruiser, or F250. I wondered if what I drive to town affects my way of acting? Or maybe someone did fart? Guess I’m just too comfortable in my own skin.
Every morning, I walk. I walk across a makeshift bridge cross Sunday Creek. Chloe dives in and swims the deep three foot crossing.
Crossing alfalfa fields, past an old abandon house, down to the Little Big Horn River to swim the dog.
Chloe loves her morning retrieve…
Chasing pheasant and turkeys on the way home, our morning walk ends petting the horse and finally hot coffee.
Chloe snuggles up under my old Filson coat – warming up on the buffalo hide.
I am downtown Lodge Grass, Montana getting honey fresh from the hive!
Walking into the Apiary my buddy owns, I notice that cops are swarming a trailer (no pun intended). So, I yell inside and rally the guys to take a look. We all pile out like a buncha idiots on Jerry Springer and cops all over –
One cops walks past and asks “what is this”
Crow Native dude says “huh?”
The cops points to the building – “What is this?”
Crow Native dude says ” Lodge Grass Apiary”
Cop – “huh?” –
Crow – “LG Apiary” really slow…
Cop – “what?” (as in are you messing with me) and we all realize someone was absent from school the week APIARY was on the spelling list!
Crow – “Apiary, bees, honey….”
Cop – “oh, you work there”
Bees buzzing and I am holding 36lbs of local honey laughing…
I guess there was another shooting in downtown Lodge Grass – cops everywhere – and I drove home!
Thanks Claude Dawes for thinking to run up and lock down the school and safeguard our most precious resource!
Sasquatch Huntin Mobile
I leave home around 11am headed into the Wolf Mountains just east of Lodge Grass, Mt. Headed to one of my favorite spots – the 4H Pond – where ice cold spring water flows! The approach to the spring is a climb in 4wheel lo – sure ya can make it in a car but why beat up ur ride? I am idling up in first gear low and just come around a bend
small black bear
when I see a young black bear. I stop get out and take pictures – the bear obliges and stands up to check out the old Toyota ( I can tell he approves). I idle down into the pull-out where the spring water flows so cold it is a blessing! I pray and give thanks as I always do while letting the ice cold water wash my hands and head. Chloe, my four year old lab plays in the creek. I fill up a seven gallon container and a 1/2 gallon jug for the trip back.
I walk back to the Toyota and hear a loud knock knock knock – pause – knock knock knock; Chloe begins to growl and I tell her to load – she refuses and we both look in the direction of the knock. At the top of the ridge to the south east, something big moves through the trees as the knocking stops. Cold realization hits! Sasquatch.
My buddies and I always say we are going squatching – the local Crow People have shared sightings and encounters with me – but I never really thought I would hear or see a Sasquatch. I can not say what I saw through the trees. But whatever it was – it was sentient and wanted me to look up out of my reverie and see this trans-dimensional being. Oops, trans-dimensional – I have always believed in Sasquatch and just figured it came and went at will from another dimension not yet perceived by humans.
I came down from the mountain and stopped at a friends house to share my water wealth – then another friend stops and is headed up in the Big Horns to fast and pray for four days – I ask him to remember me in his prayers and he gives me a feather after he drinks deep.
A good day –
Ashley ThreeIrons got mad at me because I did not write about Shannon a couple of years ago when I was writing about Kyle her husband. I really did not know Shannon back then –
Two years pass and a friend says “you could spend the rest of your life in Lodge Grass and be perfectly happy”.
Lodge Grass is a wonderful microcosm of the world – I have lived all over the world and choose Lodge Grass as home.
But what does that have to do with Shannon OldElk and why does she have such a cool last name. I saw Shannon dragging a washing machine down Main Street – chain wrapped around the machine and her old Toyota just a cruising along. I got a call from Roxy asking for $150 to bail Shannon out of jail – the Crow Indians got a
“landbuyback” money settlement – where the government is yet again buying up reservation land. A lot of folks got between $12,000 and $500,000 for their land – and bought mega-trucks to cruise the Rez! Yeah, Shannon sold a small piece and kept the rest of her land for her children! (I respect that) So, Shannon is driving down the highway in her $400 Toyota beater car and gets pulled over – the cop comes to her window and before he can say a word – Shannon says “I know why you pulled me over!” (the cop perplexed) says “why?” and she proceeds to say – “you pulled me over because yer jealous of my land buy back car!” of course it did not help that her plates were off the other Toyota.
I respect Shannon – over the course of three years, I have loaned her about $100 in increments of $10. She has always paid back! 100% payment which is amazing around here! I respect that!
Shannon has challenged me on many occasion – just last week when her son George got kicked out of school for “sexual harassment” (giving a fat kid a wedgie) she brought him to me because he needed a lesson. Well, the day wedgies are sexual harassment I will be damned – so for $20 he mowed the lawn! I asked him after he got done if he learned his lesson? He said yep, I made $20 for giving a wedgie and did not have to go to school! Good Parenting on both Shannon and my part!
Shannon has challenged my morals – she once asked me”what is your…well you know…like I like to drink but what do you do that is wrong?” She was well into a good bottle of whiskey at the time – but it gave me pause for reflection. Yes, I know what I do that is “wrong”. I too have been deep into a bottle of whiskey and philosophy. We all have made mistakes, we all love and try to help each other and we plod
forward as a family.
Shannon OldElk is real! and I am glad that Shannon and her husband and her wonderful children whom I dearly love are part of my Lodge Grass Family!