Writing the previous post caused me to experience post-traumatic stress syndrome! I am still amazingly embarrassed that I allowed myself to, essentially, journal on-line. This reaction has really surprised me since, as anyone who has met me knows, I am brutally honest - with myself, in particular. I don't seem to keep many secrets and come across as open and revealing. As I've discovered, however, much of the openness is a smokescreen and even I don't know what is behind it. Years and years and years of journaling, counseling and introspection haven't provided answers and I've pretty much stopped looking. I have dealt with depression most of my life, as have all of my siblings, and now I choose to stop talking and start drugging. I expect to drug right up to the end and that's OK! Anyway, as far as soul-baring confessions are concerned, that is probably the last of it, for awhile anyway.
So, anyway, I want to finish up my travels in 2009. As amazingly spectacular as the spring and summer were in Denali, they fade in comparison to the very short (about a week and a half!) autumn. The entire world turns red, fuscia, orange, burgundy and every color between...the tundra is on fire! I took well over 1000 photos in just that week or so. My heart is beating faster just thinking about how beautiful it was. Truly...being in Alaska for four months last summer was a peak experience, truly mystical. I've never been surrounded by such majesty and, if I were even 10 or 15 years younger, I would have stayed! I could be very happy in Anchorage, which is the perfect city! Not too big but big enough to have everything a civilized person needs to be happy. With "Met at the Movies", one can live just about anywhere now and feed her soul! So, add a perfect roommate and you have the perfect summer (ok, ok, there were some problems but they fade with time and only the wonderfulness of it remains). I subscribe to the adage that "you can't go back", though, so I won't be returning...at least not any time soon. I'm still struggling with what to do this summer, though I'm pretty sure I'll be staying in Denver. I'd like to work for the Rockies (MLB), but may not be able to since I'll be gone much of March and April (in China/Tibet) and then all of May (in Phoenix). My Denali roommate and I are talking about working at Shenandoah in the autumn. With the China trip looming, I've just not been able to plan any further out.
I got home from Denali in mid-September, unpacked and then, the first week of October, left on a one-week road trip to the Black Hills with a dear friend and neighbor. We went first to Devil's Tower in eastern Wyoming...what an amazing site. Again, tons and tons of photos, which I'll post along with Denali autumn. The colors of the prairie grasses filled my heart...shades of yellow, gold, brown, orange...just gorgeous! We stayed in a little town in northern South Dakota called Belle Fourche, as it turns out, the geographic center of the United States. (Seems they figured out the point at which the 50 states would balance exactly if suspended from a (very large!!!) cable). Who'd guess? We stayed in a funky little 50's motel and loved it! From there we day-tripped to Badlands National Park, Custer State Park (lots of herds of buffalo), Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial and Jewel Caves National Monument. We had a lovely, laid back time and thoroughly enjoyed it.
OK, that catches me up on travel. And, hopefully, my trip to sanity is also completed!