Montana Spring

Native Stories, Overseas Travel Stories

February 3rd – it is snowing in Montana again!1508628_10152062498362087_877022010_n

I had sold my dream truck two days prior = no truck.

Climbing on the Arctic Cat 650, I go out to check gates and houses on the ranch – I secured the main gate and put my foot on the cattle guard to pivot and mount the atv – my heavy Muck boots miss the cattle guard and go through up to my knee and snap. Broke my foot! The funny thing is – it is snowing and I can not get my foot out of the cattle guard. I take my broken foot out of my boot – push my boot along under the cattle guard and retrieve my boot. I reach for my phone and remember that a power surge after “no power for almost a day” fried my cell phone. I grimace and carry on checking fences and horses.

No, I do not have Obamacare or insurance (yes, I tried to sign up several times and the computer said I do not exist) so – I manipulated my foot and popped the bones “seemingly” together. My foot swelled like Popeye and I limped. Motrin…

Foot wrapped and in my old Croc – again on the atv (my only transportation) I am in the back feeding horses and the front wheel on the atv pops sideways. Front ball joint popped out from using it to plow. I walk back to the barn 1/2 mile and get my high-lift jack and tools and carry them dragging my foot and cursing myself for selling my truck. Fix the atv with a hammer and bailing wire – ride back home. Now I have to walk to feed horses!

I look back today as I sit on the front porch looking out over the beauty of the ranch and think – sold my truck, fried my phone, broke my foot, killed the atv, no power, snow snow snow…and I laugh at myself.

I am building an old Toyota 4Runner so I can get up in the mountains this summer without breaking the bank on gas – trout fishin, hiking and camping! Montana winter makes one appreciate the fragile nature of life and cherish spring! and yes…the foot is healing. Can not wait to take the top off the 4Runner…now who is going fishing and camping with me?

Here is a short photo tour of my Montana Winter!

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Hay Hay Hay

Long road in -

Long road in –

Cool Gift

Cool Gift

4Runner added the front bumper -

4Runner added the front bumper –

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Dinner – elk!

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ATV Heaven

 

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Happy Happy Happy

The warm fire -

The warm fire –

How I felt after breaking my foot!

How I felt after breaking my foot!

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Expiation

1969 Jeep CJ5 Adventure, Native Stories, Overseas Travel Stories, PowerWagon

Wary –the word within the word is well understood but vague. 

 The night of the interview with George Noory – when I disappeared or blacked out for a few minutes – I just came back and was looking at my phone. Everything was black outside and in as if a huge void had descended over the property – sucking everything out. I have had a bad headache based in my lower neck ever since. Moonshine is the cure – thanks Willy !
Tonic
 
When I was about 4 years old two men (black suits – white shirts)  came to our home and took me into my parents bedroom for tests – I remember it well – I was told it was so I could go to special school. I remember the tests and they seemed in retrospect mental acuity tests. I remember it like it was yesterday but a couple years back I mentioned it to my parents and they said it never happened? I remember being scared of the dark and yet never being able to articulate it – I remember wanting  a room within a room where I was protected…I was so scared and yet when I was young I never told anyone (till now) – I remember later after we moved  asking my friend if the aliens ever talked to him and he laughed and said good one. I remember fear – fear that they would come back. 
 
I have never amounted to anything – although many envy my life because I always travel and live way out – it is odd…my dreams and goals are simple – travel and write and visit with people in an RV…I know sounds weird. 
 
Anyway – there are spots in my life I do not remember… I do not have a psychic powers or really any gift other than being able to write –  but remember clarity during a night with peyote tea. I saw the powers – thanks I know u understand. 
 
I know the other side and have seen it – not sure I want to cross over again. 
Expiation
English: The Expiation Français : L'Expiation

English: The Expiation Français : L’Expiation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chuseok (ChewSuck) and Metal Chopsticks

Overseas Travel Stories

chuseok038This is probably my favorite time of year anywhere in the world! I love the crisp mornings here on Westwood Ranch as the Little Big Horn flows and the trees begin to turn.

The fall always reminds me of my time in Seoul, Korea. The horrid heat of summer broke and the full moon was fast approaching – Chuseok. Korean version of our Thanksgiving without the Indians. Dressed in traditional Hanbok and eating traditional food was one thing I always loved! The Hagwon (Private Academy) I was working for decided to take all of us out to have dinner about a week before Chuseok. I had only been in Korea for about three months and my language and chopstick ability were not great. We went to eat Kalbi ( Korean Barbequed Beef Short Ribs) an expensive treat in Korea!

Kalbi

Kalbi

Now Kalbi is cooked right in front of you on a grill indoors! The garlic and kimchi smell is overwhelming and I must admit that I was hungry. Being a guest I was told I could take some meat off the grill first (you take the meat and wrap it in lettuce with goju – hot sauce) so I picked up my metal chop sticks and attempted to pick up some meat -as I squeezed down on that succulent piece of meat my one metal chopstick slipped – no not down into the hot coals but pirouetted end over end straight at the director/owner of the academy. I skewered him right in the head! I was mortified! He began to laugh and handed me a fork and told me I was restricted to using it the rest of dinner. I have since mastered the art of metal chopsticks

Metal lethal chopsticks

Metal lethal chopsticks

 

1989 The President of Guatemala

Overseas Travel Stories

Guatemala, 1989 tourist visa and livin the life! I borrowed a friends Volvo (do not read “oh wow Volvo” – read ” 450,000 mile beater” and set off to see Central America. I am flogging this Volvo 4 cylinder for all its’ worth heading up a mountain to cross over into Santiago Atitlan. The views are stunning ! Lake Atitlan in all splendor guarded by her volcanos. The Lake is a blue that is only experienced not described. Finally, I pause for Guatemalan coffee at a beautiful hotel I have sworn to return to before I retire. I plunge off the mountain to land at my buddies compound on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Maria, the maid greets me with coffee and pastry and I settle into a few weeks in Atitlan. Next door to my buddies compound is a five star hotel with an incredible restaurant that serves Gallo (a local beer) and Black Angus steaks.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

I sit at the restaurant’s bar alone on this sultry summer evening looking down to the terraced pools that lead ones eyes to the beach and lake and volcanoes. The restaurant has pillars cascading half moon down to the pool and the entrance and bar give a perfect view. I had a coat, shirt and tie tailored in town the day before and sat smoking a good Cuban cigar looking out over peace.  I notice that at each pillar well dressed men have materialized and here I am the lone gringo at the bar! Two well dressed men sit down on either side of me and I notice a bulge in their jackets. People begin to rise and clap and I look to the entrance. A well dressed man in his mid-forties accompanied by a stunning woman and a young boy walks in and smiles, hold the chair for his wife as she is seated. Marco Vinicio CerezoArévalo the president of Guatemala – the first civilian president in fifteen years.

I had no idea who he was! I just knew that two armed gentleman are sitting on either side of me and so I bought them both a beer! They were both gracious and curious. They asked me many questions and looked at my passport. They were very polite and curious not interrogative. They asked me if I would like to meet the President of Guatemala (they assumed I knew) and I was thrilled. No one left until the president left and then only slowly. The two security men told me to come to the fourth floor in a half hour. I tried to pay my bill but the tab had been covered and I took the elevator to the fourth floor.

Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo

Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévaloelevator to the fourth floor.

Guns and security bristled in the hall as I was escorted in to meet Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo. I shook his hand and stuttered a sincere thanks and love of his country. He was gracious as the smell of cigar smoke lingered it was a moment locked in the eternity of my mind.

Left for Dead Korea (Part 2)

Overseas Travel Stories

Emergency room bustle and an American and everyone is tense! The nurse approaches and she is drop dead gorgeous Korean style! She speaks Konglish (Korean bastardized English or vice-versa) which is a plus. I am holding my smashed left arm and hand up on my chest with my right hand tenderly. She approaches with a nice big syringe and I am thinking wow…drift away to lala land with morphine! She indicates that I must drop my pants and turn around. I can not drop my pants and hold my broken arm and hand. She drops to her knees and fumbles with my jeans realizing they are 501 Button Fly Levi’s, she looks up distressed!

in my mind she looked like this!

in my mind she looked like this!

I lean way back placing the weight of my broken hand/arm on my chest and reach down to rip open my jeans. That is when I remember my underwear! Mom sent me a “cool” pair of boxers for X-mas with little Ralph Lauren Polo bears waving American flags and marching! Yep, she pulls the Levi’s off and bursts out laughing!

She runs into the hallway and gets the other nurses to come look at the American’s funny boxers! They laugh and laugh and finally she bends me over and administers the shot! I feel nothing – nothing as in no numbing bliss! I look at the nurse and ask ? She smiles and tells me “Bitamin B berry berry good for heeealing” ( Vitamin B very very good for healing). They do not give pain meds until after all bones are set in Korea. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!

The nurse inspects my torn groin (without the help of the other nurses thankfully). She proceeds to take me to the doctor’s office where he will set my bones. Snap snap snap – push snap – ” oh you berry berry strong American man, you no cry!” No, I did not cry. I was in a place far far away called give me morphine now land! He finally gave me a shot of “painkiller” and I started tripping! I have no idea what “korean medicine” he gave me but instead of “no pain” it gave me Bob Marley singing “No Woman No Cry”. Pain meds in Korea do not work on me they just gave me psychedelic dreams! Within a week, I was back teaching. I could not teach through the pain but my best buddy Petey brought me Stoli Vodka and I taught drunk for the next ten weeks! I have never been more fun or popular! No one missed my class and everyone got an “A+” !

Stoli

Stoli (Photo credit: Oscalito)

Interestingly enough, I went back to the doctor for x-rays the following week and he took my cast off smiling and smiling. He had the same hot nurse come into the room and talk (distract) me. She smiled and told me how handsome and strong I was! The doctor kneaded my arm near the wrist and I was pretty drunk and happy! SNAP – he re-broke the wrist where it did not set right and re-set it! The nurse smiled and said “see, you berry strong – me like American man – do you need to throw-up?” Yep, all in one sentence!

When the cast came off 10 drunken happy weeks later, I could no longer use my left arm and hand. The doctor smiled and said “no problem, now go Chinese”.  Acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy combined with “oh God, I don’t want to be a gimp with a limp arm” ie prayer…brought my arm back to 100%. Well, until I was rappelling down at Glen Canyon Dam but that is another story.

Left for Dead Korea (part 1)

Overseas Travel Stories

I don’t know if you ever had a thought that later comes true? Like you are seeing something happen before it happens! I was the second person through a GREEN light on my motorcycle on my way up to teach ESL class at Woo Song University in Daejeon  South Korea. I stress second person and green light because a week before at this same intersection I had a “look into the future moment” – a prescient warning if you will – of a motorcycle being hit! I was being careful!

English: "Hagwon Row" in Dunsan-dong...

English: “Hagwon Row” Daejeon, South Korea

The screech of brakes as I look to my right only to see a flat front Mac Semi bearing down on my tiny motorcycle and me! I had about two seconds to realize that I needed to grab the grill or go under with my motorcycle. I looked up and saw  two people looking in horror at this “Mee-Gook-Saram” as he goes under their semi! MeeGookSaram – loosely translated “Stupid American”! They thought they could run the red light because the cars were far apart.

I grab with my right hand as my motorcycle goes under and my left hand and  arm are sucked under the front passengers side tire – crunch! My bike spits out the back of the semi – mangled. My hand comes out at a right angle to my arm as I drag myself out from under the semi. My ability to speak Korean is knocked out of me and yet a small old Korean lady hobbles out of her home to hand me 2 aspirin and says in broken English ” Bayer Aspirin, berry good” I smile and thank her. I still can not speak Korean! The shock of the accident has left me Korean speechless . The internet shop owner I know grabs me and says in Korean ” 119  (911 Korean style) too slow – I drive. Thankfully, I still understand Korean.  We rush off in his van to where the real pain begins!

Nine broken bones, one torn groin, multiple lacerations (yes, I was wearing a helmet) and I seriously want some morphine! I still can not speak Korean but get the most beautiful Korean nurse with a huge syringe! Humor and pain combine because remember your mom always told you to wear clean underwear!

One of the first advertisements for Bayer Aspi...

Bayer Berry Good!