Travels
Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography

I'm going to be doing a weekly vlog series stating where I am, how im feeling, my thoughts, and any other events that are going on. Im not sure if anyone is interested but I figured id make these posts anyway. I have three more coming to you soon. Gotta do some light editing on those. 

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Hello, one and all! Hope you guys are doing well and that things are dandy.

We are a month in on this trip. A whole freaking month and I can't believe it. It's wild to think about how long we have been out here exploring, driving, and just living life. We have done so many trials, Been through many states and we have only just begun. Right now we are parked outside Crazy Horse and that experience was a wonder to see. Who would have thought we would be carving into stone giant monuments for future generations to see? Of course, at the rate they are going, it may not be done for another 50 years or more. With it being a private foundation they don't get much coming in to actually carve into the stone. sad to think ill never see it completed because it will be Magnificent when it is but also interesting to think about if it will survive long enough to get to completion. Only time will really tell of course. 

I also visited Mount Rushmore and that was quite a view in itself. I do think it's a marvel to think about all the people who helped make it a reality and the amount of time and effort that went into the process. The details in the carving and the ingenuity that went behind that process are a lot to wrap around for the time it was built. It makes me feel a spark of creativity as an artist. Of course, I can't do realism like that but one can dream of doing something of that scale and detail. 

 

We will be going out to spearfish canyon and then to Devil's tower. I'm excited to see more of these amazing places and I am ready to explore them. We are in no rush so we have taken out time getting around. Luckily out here there are plenty of places to camp for free so I have been using that to my advantage and people don't bother me whenever I park in these places. I will be saving these locations for future use which will be helpful and can also share locations that I have stayed at with others if people need it. I'm sure I will have plenty of locations as time goes on. 

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Will make a separate post about the Badlands for you guys and I also have three videos dropping here in the next few days. I dropped one the other day and they are vlogs about my thoughts, feelings, and events happening on the road. I'll make a separate post for that as well. 

Love you guys. 

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Art for sale, purchase to help support my travels!

 

 

 

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Right now we're in Pierre South Dakota and let me just say that this little town is such a cute place. There's not much here but it is extremely fascinating to know that there is history in this little town. In 1808 Lewis and Clark first visited here as part of the Luisnanna purchase to try and explore this vast land and see what the U.S was really like since (as it turned out) all the books that they read were incorrect. After Lewis and Clark first came here it was then established in 1817 as a fur trading post. After that, it was founded in 1880 and slowly grew when more people came in with plans to expand the railroad and made it the center of industry for Cattle, Mining, and farming. 

 

The town today has a little over 13,000 people and it's still got some original buildings from the 1800s around. They have the very, very small jail which is the size of an outhouse with a much smaller roof, and they even have the original school there which is the size of two outhouses put together. My favorite place around here though is the La Frambroise Island. The island itself is wonderful to explore. It's got 9 miles of trail and is 580 acres. None of it is inhabited except for the trails themselves and they do their best around here to make sure it stays that way. Personally, I think it's wonderful that they have such a wonderful place to explore. From October until May dogs are allowed to run off leash so for Lylah that means the island is fully hers to run around on and enjoy. 

I can only imagine what it was like for Lewis and Clark to come here. Besides this little town, there isn't much of anything to the east, and to the west, there are the badlands. I can only imagine the cold winters and the terrain is difficult to follow. It's not flat and your eyes definitely play tricks on you but nonetheless...it is beautiful.

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Next, we move on to the Badlands 

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One of the things that I sadly suffer from is migraines. I've talked about it some on this blog but today I'm gonna take you down story lane as to how bad they can really be. 

The first thing to know about migraines is that they are kind of a curious study. Doctors have been trying to get more information on how to treat them and there are facilities that have started to specialize in treatments and programs to help people who are afflicted by them. Of course, as most medicine is, it is outrageous in price and they usually only help those who have super serious cases. Mine isn't to that point but it's still up there on the scale. 

Migraines are painstaking, life-draining, and just awful to battle. Every time i Have on I use a scale of 1-10 on the pain level scale and also take into consideration nauseous levels as well able to see without wanting to puke. Over the years I have learned what form of attack to take with these migraines and most of the time I get lucky and I am able to fight it off before it gets any worse. This particular case was not one of those things. 

On October 10th I visited ST.Louis and went into the arch there. I had never been but my friend J had given me the recommendation to go up in the Arch to experience not only the view but the pod that takes you up into the arch. It's a particularly weird feeling and the design is still from the 1960's and hasn't been changed (in terms of the mechanics so it's all original) and gives you the vibe of a Ferris wheel mixed with a death trap.

If you are claustrophobic, don't try this particular attraction. It is SUPER small and you will probably freak out. 

In any case, I go up the arch, It's amazing, and even though it's short I was glad I got to see it and experience a little blast from the past in this modern age. 

I get done with the arch and go back to the parking lot to get Lylah. The area around the arch is a huge park so I walk her near the arch and sit down in the grass for a while letting her soak it all in. She has never been a city dog so the sounds, noise, and people are a lot for her to take in. So we sat and I let her decide how she felt about the area. Luckily it didn't take too long for her to settle and once she did we walked back to the van. 

Once back at the van I realized that the migraine was starting. It was a dull throb at first. Almost unnoticeable but I knew what to do. I took some Ibproufine, drank a ton of water, and ate a quick snack to dull the pain. With that, The migraine edged back and I got in the drives seat and set off toward Iowa. Twenty minutes later the migraine was back and in full force. With much disdain and knowing that I was not in a good position due to my eyes straining with the lights on the dash, I made the appropriate adjustments so I can drive to the next gas station. 

I  pull into a loves, park and decide it has to be from not having real food and just snacks. So I set up my single burner and make some chicken noodle soup. With that in place, I lay on the floor and wait for it to be odne. Once finished cooking I stuff my face and drink more water. In ten minutes the pain has dulled. I look at my GPS and I still have a little over an hour of a drive. Getting up I get back in teh drives seat and make my way to teh rest area. 

Let me say this for those that dont know. Its not often that I get a migraine that persists over a few hours. this one persisted. 

The next hour or so of that dive was hell. I am not 100% sure how i got to the rest area without puking my brains out. Somehow I pulled in, let lylah out for a quick potty and got in bed. I had hoped hte next day would be better and more full of acticity and fun. After all I was in Iowa and I had neve been here before. I was hopeful. 

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Morning came and as soon as I opened my eyes I knew. I was in trouble still. the migraine had not gone away and it was pain staking. The only good thing About this was that I had let go of all o fmy work times in case this happened. In pain I managed to get up, let lylah out to go to the bathroom, gave her food and then went right back to bed. I was so neausous and felt like my head was gonna explode. It was an awful three hours and I hoped it would pass soon. At this point I wa salmost twenty hours in on this migraine and I just wnated it to stop. 

After a three hour nap I gave in and decided I needed food and a coffee. Hoping that would help I packed the van and left to the closest coffee shop. Let me tell you, driving was not a good idea but I managed (I was going 40 in a 60 to give reference). I got in the scooters coffee drive through (but not before throwing up whatever was left in my stomach) and then got some food and coffee, parked in the lot and then ate my food and drank half my coffee quickly. Crawling back into bed I waited. An hour goes by and the migraine quietly subsides to nothing. Twenty hours of fighting this thing and it finally went away. 

Migraines are the worst and its painful and all you can do is ride it out the best you can and hope it goes by quickly. Most of the time they do but there are moments where they stick around. This one was one of those moments. Luckily today is a normal day and we are looking to do some activites in Iowa while were here before moving on to South Dakota. 

Stay tuned for the next update and pictures to come. 

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This morning I had a first happen. While I was working I noticed a police officer swing through this little rest area that I've been staying at and promptly leave After a few minutes of idling in the lot. When he left I let Lylah out and proceeded to feed her as I was on hold waiting for someone higher up to assist me. I let her eat her food, we do some training, and then she goes Potty. Once she's done I let her back in the van to hang out while I work.

In the mornings I work five hours a day and then I promptly leave and will be gone till late in the evening when I come back to sleep and work the next morning. I'm not harming anybody and I'm just hanging out and resting until I'm free from work. Really I'm not breaking any laws and I'm not "camping" here by any definition. I'm using the facilities to rest, I'm not building any fires, and I'm picking up after myself and my pup and throwing my trash away. 

A few hours go by since I saw the officer and then he swings back into the rest area and parks near me. He gets out and comes a knockin. Luckily I wasn't on an active call and was able to answer right away. I opened the door and there he was. Staring up at me as I look down at him. Now mind you I didn't get out of my vehicle/home and I kindly asked him how I could help him. 

He stared at me for a moment and then proceeded to start the conversation I could tell he was uncomfortable with. I dont think he expected a 20-something traveler to step out but here I was. 

Him:"I'm just checking in on a call I received saying that you have been here since Friday. Are you broken down?" 

I stared at him for a moment "No I'm not broken down, just visiting. Currently, though I am working"

He looks at my vehicle for a moment checking to see if there are any signs of a breakdown but doesn't move anything but his head to see. 

Stumbling on his words he finally settles on " what is your name?" I give it to him "Date of birth?" I state my birthday. "Middle initial?" I tell him. After a brief pause, I interject. 

Me:"I'm really just visiting, checking out the parks, hiking, running, and climbing. It's just me and ill be gone in a few days' time. Just hanging out there during the day to work and a little bit at night to get some sleep but in the afternoon to the late evening, I'm not here. I would be in the state park but they don't have great connection and I have to have that for my line of work" 

He stares at me and looks at the dishes near my feet and glances at the passenger side of my vehicle where my laundry is clearly visible. 

Him:"Are you visiting anybody in the area or anything?" he stares with a frown now on his face. 

Me:"No just visiting the parks."

Him"Is this vehicle yours? How long have you had it?" Now it was my turn to stare at him. An odd question but ok. 

Me:"This vehicle is mine and under my name" 

Him:"Well, it says that the vehicle is under a Honda. How long have you had this vehicle?"

My brain now is doing circles trying to figure out what he just said. Who the hell is Honda? I've never even heard of a Honda before and I certainly got the title registered in my name. I made a mental note to see what that's about later. I smiled at the officer. 

Me:"Not sure why that is. The vehicle is mine, it's a travel/camper van and I've had it for two and a half years now. I reassure you it's under my name and it is mine."

I think at this point the officer was more confused than anything. Not only did he not expect me to be cleaned up and dressed well but he also wasn't expecting my answer about not visiting anybody. I mean I'm visiting mother Nature, does that count? 

Him: "Well like I said I was just checking in on a call that said you have been here since Friday and wanted to make sure you weren't broken down."

Smiling I glanced back at my computer to make sure things were good with my job and weren't needed before returning to him. 

Me:"No officer, not broken down although I do appreciate you checking in on me. We will be out of here in a few days' time and in the parks this weekend before I head northwest" I paused for a second. "Have a great day officer" and then he promptly walked away and got in his vehicle. After a few minutes he drives off and  I smile a little to myself. It's interesting to know that people reported me and were concerned but also a little bit out there. Clearly, I'm not broken down, and I'm not here 24/7 camping and causing a disturbance. I pick up after myself and Lylah and make sure not to leave any trash behind. I'm also spending money in the area and visiting the parks as I go. 

I'm sure he expected to pick up a homeless person that has a stolen van but if that's the case then I am the cleanest homeless person he's seen and not only that but I come with a portable shower and good hygeine. 

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