Indian Joe and his last drum

Indian Joe was a dearly loved man in Lodge Grass, Montana. He was adopted into the tribe many years ago and his first Powwow regalia was hand made by Twila Oldelk.

I remember the last time he sang and played this drum – his voice and the cadence of his drum resonate.

When it came time to have my son’s first drum made, I thought back to the Crow design on his last drum.

Jake has a rich native history including his great great great grandfather Curly (scout) Ashishishe (c. 1856–1923), known as Curly (or Curley), was a Crow scout in the United States Army during the Sioux Wars, best known for having been one of the few survivors on the United States side at the Battle of Little Bighorn.Curly (scout) Ashishishe (c. 1856–1923), known as Curly (or Curley), was a Crow scout in the United States Army during the Sioux Wars, best known for having been one of the few survivors on the United States side at the Battle of Little Bighorn. He is also related to Plainbull the close friend of Plenty Coups.

Jake’s first music memory is Carlos Santana Maria Maria played just after he was born. While I played Northern Cree In Our Drum We Trust – he cried.

Today he sang and played his drum for the first time! How appropriate since we are bound for War Eagle our favorite show of the year.

Winding Down

Our left and right media know so little about real people – real America. Coming out of Montgomery, Alabama last night – I was still contemplating the city seal.

It seemed to define oxymoronic- I asked my customers both black, white, liberal and conservative to explain it. Some stated it was covertly racist and some explained it was “how far we have come as a city”. This in a state that bans interracial marriage. This is still the “old south”. I was loved, hugged and greeted with “brother” (or maybe it was my wine slushies) by both races. From the black guy selling guys underwear at a a women’s event – (I bought five pair) – to the kind white lady selling pearl broaches and necklaces – the city was full of kindness and love.

Rolling out of Bikes, Blues, and BBQ’s, I reflected on the eclectic makeup of clean preppy bikers mixed with rough “real” ironbutts. The bikes were loud and the crowd was drinking filled with a conservative ethos.

The coffee guy and I joked about the “Christian Bikers”.

They did not tip the coffee guy ever! They were dressed like wannabe Hells Angel’s and I figured the two rival gangs would battle it out over freewill versus predestination.

But the bikes were loud and awesome and Jake just ran around saying “dat dat dat” so excited to be one of the bikers.

America is eclectic and great despite our differences.

Hot Springs, Arkansas was hot. This is the only show I have ever asked someone to leave my booth. A politician walked up spouting double talk. I politely listened as she extolled how we need to invest in education and elderly healthcare. I agreed and asked how she felt about my own concerns. Our military and the second amendment- she stated we needed to cut the military, cut military benefits, reign in the VA benefits and guns should be confiscated. I was polite – with an edge in my voice – when I asked her to please leave my booth. I did not argue, did not loot, pillage, or bash. But all my customers cheered and bought more slushy!

Rodney King said it best as he was being beaten by police so many years ago ” can we all get along?”

Yep, Rodney – we can!

Oklahoma is Ok

“How do you like the people of Oklahoma?” Tough question since I’m schlocking wine slushies at the Oklahoma State Fair. They are awesome (and they are) – I reply. My patron replies – no they are alright but uptight.

12 hour shifts, no breaks, hardcore sales! All vendors look out for one another and I ask Jason my Tornado Storm Shelter neighbor to keep an eye while I go to the bathroom. Four minutes later I return to all hell breaking loose. The fair Nazi enforcers are at my booth writing me a ticket for booth abandonment! Jason (who shells out about $10k for his booth) says whoa…I was watching it…and talks her down to a mere warning. She wags her finger in my face and says you have been warned! I asked her if I needed to go to the principal’s office! They checked on me hourly for the next ten days…

That was the only negative we turned to a positive and it’s all good. A young African American woman approaches my booth with a baby emblazoned on her tshirt – big – is the only word (on her shirt not her). I lead off with ” it was all a dream” – she was shocked an old white guy new B.I.G.! Bought two slushies! Ching $$

My neighbor made my stay at the fair! Every morning he would present me with a cup of black loose leaf tea from Nepal his homeland. Each afternoon, green tea from Nepal. The humble two handed gift was so heart warming and full of love. Moving…

From the wonderful Guatemalan family to my other neighbor Stu Mayo (the kids used to tackle him on the playground and yell “hold the mayo”).

Stu (not Stewy – only his mother calls him that..my bad) cooked for everyone as he preached the gospel of nutrition through his $5000 pan sets – yes you read that right. Every night, he would ring the bell and for a dollar he would deliver great chicken stew! He asked for a donation of a buck but fed all whether they had money or not. I respect that even if his Sam and Ella jokes were lame.

Oklahoma State Fair – 129 hours of good people! I rode in with my stock each morning- legs burning – all good!!

On the road again – Arkansas- my favorite state…BIKES BLUES BARBECUE here we come.

Primitive

The review online for Dripping Springs in Las Cruces New Mexico said – “primitive”. Hooked!

I love boondocking (no power, no water, no fee). Short stint on a one lane dirt road and bam setting up camp. I also love the fact that there is good singletrack for my fat bike. Surly Pugsley makes an awesome fatties fit fine – fat bike. I’m fat and getting back in shape with this generously forgiving bike is plain cool. Oh wait, I told Katrinda that I bought it to ride Jake around in his wagon. Well, dual purpose is best put your Surly to the test.

Pug is forgiving and while some bemoan the weight of 4″ tires and say it wallows…This bike is plush like a full suspension mountain bike.

High desert, 4864 on the altimeter! This is the nomad life I love. Just remember at 90 degrees it is a dry heat.

I climb for a mile over 1000 feet slogging through sand and RIP the trail back home to Jake waiting on the front carpet…good life….blessed and thankful.

Goodnight…

Full Time

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Disclaimer: This is not the exciting stories of UFO. Skinwalker, and native tales

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