Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography

Tomorrow afternoon I'm hitting the road again. I've been in Stanley for about three weeks and it has been amazing. In truth, I am really sad to leave. It's been beautiful here and I have made so many amazing memories and I have made some amazing friends with people that I am more than excited to see again. In September I'm planning to run a race and then ill be heading back in this direction. I'm going to stop and see the North and South Dakotas so that I can check those off my list. then ill be coming back to Idaho to spend some time here and explore more in detail. I have met someone who works in the forest service and he has been more than accommodating and has let me stay here. With some discussion, he is down to have me come back and spend more time here once the race is over. 

Knowing I have a place to stay and knowing that I will be able to relax is just wonderful. Metting people is one of the biggest reasons I love to travel as much as I do. If you make connections you get to know others and once you stop being strangers then you have places to crash for a short amount of time between being on the road. It's honestly wonderful and being able to stay here In Stanley, enjoy the small-town life, and just be still for a bit has been wonderful. 

Lylah and I have done so many wonderful hikes here and I have so much footage to share with you guys. I can't wait to make a YouTube video and share it all. It's just stunning and I am so happy I made the last-minute decision to swing back into this town. In about two months ill be back on the road again and will be semi-permanent in my travel life. Of course, I'll be making trips back to the house in TN but that is to be expected so that I can see him and my lovely kitty who is waiting for me back home. After all, she is my first pet and I never would want to abandon her. 


With that being said next stop will be salt Lake city. The good news is that it's only a five-hour drive so it's not too bad to do in a day's drive. 


To support my travels click the link to go to my online gallery where I have several art pieces for sale. 



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Here in Stanley, there are a bunch of things that I am not used to. The biggest surprise at first was how lax they are with their dogs. They are super into letting their dogs have free reign the whole time that they are out here and they do not discipline their dogs much if at all. It's kind of crazy to see and honestly, it can be annoying depending on your personality and viewpoints on the dog/owner relationship.

Sometimes I do think that it's nice to have the ability to let Lylah off-leash whenever I want but at the same time, it's annoying to watch others wonder why their dogs never listen and why they run away from them to go off into the wild. It's not really hard to figure out why. I mean if you were a free dog wouldn't you take that time to go do what you wanted and its even better if there are no consequences (for the dog)

For instance, the other day a few people came over to the place I'm staying and one of the dogs took off when the owner wasn't looking. Next thing we knew there was a small search party trying to find him. People were shouting his name and driving around trying to see if they could spot him. for over an hour he was missing and just roaming around having a grand old time, digging some hole, and once he was done he started his journey back in our direction. Relieved but frustrated his owner stated he wasn't going to be off-leash anymore. Of course, that wasn't 100% the case. After that, she would let him off-leash and then call him back when he was attempting to take off. He would come back only to attempt to make his way back over to the prairie that's near the house. 

Through all of this, I watched in silence thinking about Lylah in this situation. I would be frustrated, angry, and sad. I would be worried someone would pick her up or worse dognap her (that has been on the rise in the last year) and I would never see her again. Luckily he came back and in hindsight, I don't blame the older pup. He lived his life on a leash pulling dog sleds and I'm sure that when he gets the chance he just wants to roam and explore that freedom that he has. All in all, I was just glad they found him and that he was ok. 

I think the biggest thing I learned from that experience is that everywhere I go is different and new some dogs are really well trained and others have that little extra spunk that you need to pay attention to. All in all, I would say that if you ever come to Stanley and you don't want to have your dog off-leash, well then keep them on and step in when necessary but otherwise don't worry about it. After all, everyone's insight is different on what they do and don't want out of their furry friend. 

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I am still in Stanley. Enjoying the fresh air, the wonderful 70-degree weather, and the company. Since being in Stanley I have met some amazing people. I've made friends with people who would love to have me come back through at some time in the future. I even had a nice place to stay with a local in the area which is fantastic. He has been more than accommodating and I am so glad that I have met someone who doesn't mind my company and wants me here. I've done rafting and even have done some kayaking on some creeks which were new and exciting. I've seen a few lakes and have done some pretty difficult hikes here. It doesn't take much for me to lose service which is a wonderful upside to me. 


Not only do I get to enjoy nature and let Lylah wander around But I also get to enjoy the time and be alone, not just from others but from the noise and from people in general which is not only amazing but much needed. Sometimes out here when you go on these hikes you end up being completely and totally alone which for some people may freak them out but for me is a much-needed time to not only spend with Lylah but also to let me have some sanity on my trips. Being able to enjoy nature is always a fun time and the views here are just spectacular. This place has made me feel so good and I have loved every second of being here. So far in the U.S I can see myself really enjoying staying here. It is a small town so there is no Walmart, Albertsons, or even a target but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's great to know that places like this still exist out here and of course, I hope it stays that way. 

So far in this area and from talking to the locals, it seems like they purposely made it super hard to get building permits here which is fantastic and means that it will keep most people away. Well, that and the winters here can be brutal from what I understand. It can get below zero but from the talk around town, it's not too often that it gets that cold. 

The interesting part about all of this discovery is finding out that they still have homes where you can use a central heating system (meaning cut wood and burn it) in the living room that heats up the rest of the house slowly but surely. I had never really seen a setup like it before so finding out that there are places that still use that central system was not only fascinating but kind of a throwback in time. I never thought I would experience that and I am so glad I have. 

In a few days, I'm finally heading down south to Utah. I was supposed to leave tomorrow but I ran into an issue with my phone and I now have to wait for my backup phone to arrive before I can leave. The good news is that at least I have somewhere to hang out and that I can explore for a little bit more. 


Thank you to all of those that have purchased an art piece in the past month. It means the world and helps me out tremendously. I'm excited to make more artwork when I get home. 

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Have you ever been to one of those towns where it is in the mountains away from everything and I mean everything? 

Well currently I'm in one of those locations. This cute little town is called Staley and it is in the great state of Idaho. The only service you get is directly in the town itself and it has a whopping population of 263 people. Which last time I was here they were a little over 100 so it  went up quite a bit but hey that's what happens when covid shuts everything down and you have nowhere to go. 

Staley is a place that is only open for about five months out of the year to the general public mostly because when it snows they shut down the roads and the people in the town have nowhere to go and nobody can really get in except by snow mobile. Which is wild to think about. The location is in the center of Idaho and as some of the locals say, its the heart of the state. 


This is my second time here and I am so happy to spend more time in the area. Last time it was just a quick drive through situation and I thought it was quiet quaint and I thought it was a place I would love to come back to. So here I am. in this quiet town with a little over 200 people and just enjoying being out in the wilderness with very little connection and just enjoying being with Lylah. 

In honesty this place really makes me appreciate nature and all that it has to offer and the people here are nice and just want to have everyone enjoy their little slice of paradise but not too much that it becomes a place like the Tetons. I honesty hope that never happens. 



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After the half marathon at the Tetons, I randomly decided to go ahead and sign up for the 5k In Yellowstone. After doing the half in the Tetons and having a few glasses of wine I just decided to embrace my abilities (even if I'm slow) and see what I can do at the 5k. Back in Florida I used to run 5ks with my dad regularly and of course, it meant getting up stupid early to do it but I didn't mind in the end. After all, I ended up placing at most of the ones I participated in, and really that was a nice confidence push. 

Then covid happened, dad moved and everything kind of got turned around. I did virtual races but those were just for me and I wasn't really training to be in any race. All in all two years passed quickly and I didn't know if a 5k race would happen anytime soon. Moving to TN I was slower and moved up in my age bracket so the competition was steeper (Turns out that once you turn 25 a lot of females get into running races. Who knew?) 

So with a couple of glasses of wine in me and already knowing the 5k course for Yellowstone and being only a few hours from the Tetons I decided to go for it. After all why not. What's the worst that could happen?


The week flies by, I make my way into Yellowstone, settle in, and get ready to run the next day. 

Fast forward to the race and I am in my van getting ready. I am alone with Lylah unsure of how this will turn out but I am ready. I want to get it done and I can feel my impatience. I tried to edit photos to pass the time but it didn't help too much. I got out of the van and walked in circles and finally when the announcer stopped talking we made our way to the start and sat there for fifteen minutes while the announcer talked away. honestly, I'm not much for the sitting and listening aspect. I wanted to run and get it over with. See how I would do and feel the impatience roll off me. Those fifteen minutes were so long 

Finally, we did the National anthem and the 60-second countdown began. In this race, the people that were going for a medal were allowed to go all the way to the front and bypass the people that were there for the first time or were just doing the fun run. So I stood my ground in the middle of the group ready to go. 60 seconds counts down and were off. 

The short version of what happened is that I started out really fast and then slowed down by a minute the second mile. In the third mile, I cut off about 20 seconds and then another 8 at the finish by going balls to the walls at the end and chasing this tall dude down for the last tenth. I crossed the finish line and heaving I took the medal and sat down on the grass to catch my breath. 

The course was great the problem is that it was in the sun the last mile or so which heated up the course like crazy. So I quickly got overheated but was still able to give it my all. 

With the finish line behind me, I took a chance to get Lylah out of the van and hang out in the grass. recovered and resting I waited for the results and guessed what happened. I placed 5th in my age group! It may have been last but I freaking placed. Just barely but I was so excited. I wanted to give it a try and I did it. I was able to get a 3rd Medal for two races in a week's time. What a wonder and what a time. So glad I decided to go ahead and sign up at the last minute. 



 I have plenty of art pieces that are ready to be sold and shipped to your home. All purchases help me out my travels and make the wonder that much more wonderful. 

Art gallery here 

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