Tuesday, July 3

UHM?!

Blogger no longer supports Mozilla Firefox.
I have to use Google Chrome now - which I dont have...... yet.
Im on my gramma's computer right now.

Sorry - youll have to wait even longer for my next blog.

Monday, July 2

Long time coming...

video
I've been meaning to blog again - really, I have - it's just that my life for the past 4 days has been hectically..... boring.

And empty.

But I've decided to push myself, and I promise that tonight I will blog a real blog, and not just film some lame video...

I just cant promise that it'll be written before you're all asleep ;)

Wednesday, June 27

Oregon!!

WE'RE HERE!!!!!! :D :D :D

 It feels so wonderful to finally be at our destination.





I went running this morning. My knees are killing me now. I'm not so sure it was the best idea to run the morning after being cooped in a car for 4 1/2 days.

And guess what else?

I'm actually hungry!!! Do you have any idea how good that feels?!?! I am actually wanting to eat food! It feels amazing!!



***background note: For those of you who don't know, when I'm in the car/on a car ride, i loose my appetite. I discovered this on my first trip down to Mexico when I was in the 7th grade. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of physical activity I do while in a car, or perhaps it's just a form of car sickness or something. Whatever the case, the first time I feel hungry after I get out of a car, it always feels wonderful.

sorry, but there's nothing to write about. I'll get some more stories down later ;)

Monday, June 25

12 more hours....

Apparently we are only 12 more driving hours away from Eugene, Oregon (where we will be staying with my great grandfather).

I. AM. SO. HAPPY.

I just want to drive straight through.... but Im sure we'll wind up stopping again for the night.

I'm just so tired of being cooped up in the car. I feel so lethargic and just... gross.

Although last night I used the hotel's fitness room and ran two and a half miles (well, more like ran a mile and a half with walking intervals spread periodically throughout). That sure felt great.

But we will be leaving soon. I finally got all those posts up that I've been writing on the road. They take forever to load, man!

Anyone know if I like, need to upgrade or something?? Blogger just doesnt seem to like working for me. It's slow and keeps logging me out in the middle of typing a post... It's quite annoying. =P

Yesterday Morning....

 A 2-hour trail ride on horseback in the mountains.

That's how I started my day today (actually, that's not entirely true. I started my day with a big bowl of sticky oatmeal and raisins... but who cares about the little details, right?) ;)

When we first started off on our ride, I thought that I was gonna be stuck walking the trail the entire time, as my grandparents are obviously beginners and there was a little girl and her father accompanying us. However, as we were on the trail I kept glancing back and was impressed and amused to see the girl (about 6) purposefully lagging behind and then trotting to catch back up.

I laughed inwardly and smiled at her dad, who for a moment looked embarrassed. I think he was nervous that I might say something to the trail guide.
"I used to do the exact same thing." I told him, trying to reassure him, and then I turned forward and kept quite so as not to draw the trail guides attention to the back of our small group. I wanted the girl to get as much out of this trail ride as she could.

The scenery was great, and the trail was fun, despite having to walk. We got to travel up steep hills and cross shallow creeks. My horse, Wally (aka: Wall Street), was given to me because my grandparents had put me down as an advanced rider. I was expecting him to act up at some point, but the most he did was nip the horse in front of me (my gramma's horse, Trojan) when he wasn't moving fast enough.

Until the end, that is.

I finally got up enough courage to ask the trail guide if I could possibly trot, as the trail was flat here. At first she looked a bit hesitant, as I was in the middle of the group, but then I motioned to the little girl and her father behind me.

"I'm sure they'd love to as well." I stated, glancing back at them and smiling as the little girl looked at her dad and nodded vigorously.

The trail ride agreed, and told us we could wait until they had gone on ahead and then we could catch up.

So I stopped Wally, and my grandparents rode on ahead.

And then Wally started acting up. The other horses had just gone out of sight when Wally began dancing from foot to foot and flicking his head into the air. I tugged on his reins to tell him to wait just a tad longer, but he just got antsier. I glanced back at the two behind me.

"Ready?" I asked. They had just barely nodded yes when I let my reins loose and Wally took off, as I knew he would. I kicked him into a canter right away, and we caught up to the rest of the group in no time.

Man, I wish that was longer...

I heard the little girl behind me, laughing.
"Whoa, Dad! What was that??"
"That was a canter, Sweetie."
"I've never done that before! It was fast!"
"You did really well, Hun."

After a minute of walking, I turned back to them.

"Wanna do it again?" I asked the girl. She suddenly looked shy and I quickly looked to her father, realizing I probably should have asked him in the first place. He looked at me.

"Sure we would." He said with a calm smile.

I pulled back on Wally and once again we waited for the group to go on ahead. Wally continued to dance around as he had before, but I held onto him a bit longer, letting him pull on the reins but not releasing them.

And then he started to rear.

They were more of small hops at first, and I just scolded him and told him to knock it off.
But of course, I don't speak Horse, and he started to rear up over halfway and kept jumping forward at the same time. I was worried about getting the the little girl's horse riled up, so I tried to turn Wally in a sharp circle so that he couldn't rear, but it didn't work. I heard the dad let out a small laugh, and I glanced at them apologetically.

"Looks like we gotta get going." I stated, and faced Wally forward. Apparently that was enough for him, because he leaped forward without my say so. It was a weird gait, though, and he suddenly went from canter to trot to canter again. The sudden changes caught me off guard, and I lost my right stirrup. For a quick moment I was startled, but then I realized that I was overbalanced because I was relying too much on my left stirrup. I didn't know what else to do to get back my center of gravity, so I quickly kicked my left stirrup free in the middle of the canter and focused on staying upright.

Once we caught up with the group again, I calmed Wally down and nudged my feet back into their leather loops, then let my muscles relax as I felt secure again. I heard the girl behind me talking to her father again.

"Dad, did you see the girl in front of us?"
"What?"
"She kicked her feet out of her stirrups when she ran!"
"Oh she did, did she?"
"Are you supposed to do that, Dad?"
"Everyone has their own style of riding, Hun, but I prefer to keep mine in the stirrups."


All I could think of was, yeah, you and me both.

So that is my long story of an event that really only took place in a few minutes, and probably wasn't as exciting as I made it sound...

But it sure was a fun ride!!

We stopped so our trail guide could get a picture of us...

I loved this! Anyone out there get the pun in this?? Please tell me there are some Bananza lovers out there!!





Sunday, June 24th, 2:43 pm







Bill Cody Ranch...

Last night we stayed at this ranch called the Bill Cody Ranch, in western Wyoming. We pulled into the parking lot and, I admit, my first impression was not great. Oh sure, the view of the mountains and cliffs was beautiful, but I was more fixated on the fact that everything looked so.... fake, I guess. The cabins looked like something out of a toy factory (think of plastic link-n-logs), and the cars parked all over the place took away from the "wild" look I think they were trying to go for.





But then....... I actually got a look around.
                   And I realized I had judged, and I judged wrongly and badly.

The ranch hands were all kids fresh outta collage and needed a summer job. The owner - Bill Cody - was actually using the ranch as a sort of hobby (he lives in Texas and is quite wealthy on his own), so he doesnt really need the money that the ranch brings in. Instead, he uses that money to take care of his ranch hands and hires new people all the time, giving everyone a chance to live in the outdoors, work, and earn money for collage all at the same time.

Of course, I didnt know this until quite a few hours after we arrived.

My grandparents wanted to take a shower after our long day of riding in the car and dealing with all the vehical problems we've (well... they) have faced, so I took my laptop and walked down to the main lobby to use their internet to see if I could post a video on this blog. I was sitting there, probably looking timid and shy and typical city-kid, when all of the ranch hands suddenly came into the room, laughing and talking.

I wanted to sink into the couch and disappear, and i hoped they didnt notice me.

I got my wish. No one approached me or talked to me, and I sat down and continued to type away on my laptop.

*** Sidenote: Believe me, the accusing thought of "get off your stupid computer and go outside!" was constantly blaring in my head. But now, in order to leave, I would have had to push my way through the people to get out the door, and I didnt exactly feel very social. I decided to stay.

Pretty soon, the hands (all looking in their early 20's) gathered around the piano that was about 10 feet in front of me, and then they began to play and sing some country songs I know. I felt like I was intruding, but wouldn't it be rude of me to get up and leave during their song??

I shut my laptop and continued to sit, deciding to watch and study them and try to forget about the akwardness that I was feeling.

I watched as these young men and women laughed and joked with each other, all the while singing songs like Adele and Lady Antabellum. The laugh lines around their mouth and the spark in their eyes spoke that they loved what they were doing, and I couldnt help but smile along with them.

I decided then and there that I really, really liked this place.

When they had a break in their singing, I quietly slipped out, leaving them alone and ending my intrusion. I jogged back to my cabin (number 8), promptly tossed down my laptop on the bed, and grabbed my new sketchbook.

I suddenly wanted to make up for my time on the computer.

I hastened back outside, worried about the fading light (it was around 9pm), and sat down on a log to sketch a nearby cabin.

I can't explain it, but that evening was memorable. Sitting there on that log, the nearby creek gurgling, the daylight dimming fast, sketching for no real reason.... It was so peaceful. It was my moment of alone time after a day and a half of never having a moment to myself.

By the time I went back to my cabin, a feeling of content had settled within me, and I could feel the wisper in my heart saying,

Thank you, God.

Yay! Videos!!

The first video. Recorded on Saturday morning - in the motel parking lot.

video

             The second video. Recorded later in the day on Saturday. Walmart Parking lot.
                                    *stay tuned for ending face shot. You'll laugh.

video
                          
                               Third video. Same day. Same location. One hour later........

video



That pretty much sums up the morning and afternoon of Saturday, June 23. We were in South Dakota and traveled to Wyoming by the end of the day.

i apologise for everything being to out of place. Now that I know how to compress and edit videos, things will be a bit better organised ;P

Sunday, June 24

Yellowstone

video



IT WORKED!!!! I searched and read up for a long time on how to get a video to post on blogger.... and I got a video up!! Okay, now I'm gonna see if any of the other ones will post now that I know the trick =D

Stay tuned!!