Sunday, September 21, 2014

Goodbye Paradise, Hello Real Life!

It's over, it's done. The summer, gone.

How absolutely terrifying. The three months here are gone like the wind and I still have no clue what to do with my life. But I don't think any of us really do anymore.

Besides the fact that I have no future career plans, I am beyond excited to say that I'm going home in a week! I get to soak in the hot sunshine, feel the sweltering heat of the Arizona fall, and SEE MY DOG!!!! I'm super excited to see my fam bam, but let's be honest, I love that little guy more than anything in the world.

Anywho, my life is packed. Four months of clothes, souvenirs, cowboy attire, tack, pictures, etc is backed into the back of PC with a Southern Accent's pickup! We're heading down the road to see some familiar faces and even more exciting places. 

This summer has been the ultimate test; for both myself and our relationship. Prince Charming and I went from seeing each other every month or so to spending 18+ hours a day together, 7 days a week. That's intense. There were some moments where I wanted to kill him, but others where I was beyond reassured that I want to spent the rest of my life loving this one man.

It's been a summer for the history books. One that I will always remember. Will I ever come back to this place? Hell no. But did I love being here. Yes! I met some amazing people and friends that I genuinely believe will stick around for the long run.

So it's been a good run. I had a lot of fun. Rode some crazy fun horses and fell in love with the mountains all over again, but it's time to pack up and head out. I need some cell service, real food and familiar faces.

Roots or Leaves?!?!

Okay, so maybe I over estimated my abilities. Maybe I think I can do more than I really can. Maybe my pinterest board is the most glamorous part of my life right now. And maybe I'm okay with that.

If you would have asked me 4 months ago, I would have said let's pack our bags and go somewhere, anywhere. Let's leave this place behind and see the world that's out there waiting for me.

But now, 4 months later, I'm ready to do nothing more than go home. I ready to go to bed every night snuggling my dog. I'm ready to eat home cooked meals. I'm ready to not share a bathroom with 10 other girls, or a washing machine, or a living room. I'm ready to have a house not a room. I want a kitchen, a car, a TV, cell service. I'm just ready to have familiar things in my life again.

I always thought that I could live a gypsy life. I have always wanted to travel and see the world and have memories of amazing places. And I guess I have done a little of that, but I wanted big and grand and I was ready. Now, I think I'm ready to have a life. Be someone, not somewhere. 

At this moment in time I want to be a lifestyle blog failure. All my hopes and ambitions of becoming a traveling blogger are dwindling with my need to be home.

This summer has been both amazing and terrible all at the same time. Yes, being a wrangler is the ultimate job, but this wasn't everything I thought it was going to be, but what is really?

The big issue here is that not only do you have to wake up every morning and work all day long, you have only a 100 yards from the barn to your room. There is no escape. Every meal, every moment outside of crew housing is spent smiling, inquiring, laughing, and being nice and right now I'm exhausted. I just want to eat Hot Pockets in my sweatpants. I want to open a real fridge and make a meal. I want to hope in my car and drive to a Fry's. I want to be in civilization.

Maybe it's less that the nomad life isn't for me and more that I want adventures and memories, not bunkhouses and mindless chores.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!!!

There is something kind of crazy about go to sleep with a world full of blue skies, green fields, and changing leaves, then waking up to a ground covered in snow.

Being for the hottest state in the world, I am not used to all. Of course I don't live under a rock and my two summers spent in the Rocky Mountains gave me some exposure to what snow is like, but never have I gone to sleep with green grass and woken up to white everywhere. I've also never seen snow fall and stick. So it was an exciting day for me here in Paradise.

Weatherman said it was gonna be a cold one, but they sometimes lie when you're living in the mountains. They promised 8 inches of snow overnight and oh boy did they deliver. The final inch count at the end of Thursday was 13 inches. What?!?!? How much!?!?! It was crazy.

We were all woken up at 6AM for snow shoveling duties. Equipped with push brooms and one snow shovel, we were to sweep the stairs of all 24 cabins, before breakfast. {For a place that is coated in the snow in the winter, we weren't even kind of prepared}. The word denial seemed to be floating around the day before and was soon crushed by the amount of snow we shoveled in the first two hours of the day.

After breakfast came more shoveling and filling of wood boxes, wood splitting, and then a cowboy toy tournament in the hen house, then lunch, one more shovel sess, and the usual afternoon off. The verdict is: I LOVE SNOW DAYS!!!

With one full day of snowing underneath our belts, shoes, and cabin stairs, we woke up to sunshine and melting snow! Still too much snow to ride, so what do we hillbillies do? Bust out the snowmobiles and attach sleds to the back. We spent the whole morning being covered in snow, pelted in the face with frozen trail, and converting the feed truck into a hay wagon. Then we finally took rides in the afternoon.

If the season could have ended right there it would have been perfect, but everything happens for a reason and maybe this week will really show me that I'm ready to leave the sunshine and snow for storms and excessive heat.

So it was a day for my history books and I won't ever forget how much I can't handle the snow, my blood is too thin for that nonsense. But it was fun while it lasted.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm Legal, FINALLY!

Well I've really only been waiting for this for the last 21 years....and let me tell you, the anticipation was much more fun than the actual turning 21 part.

So I graduated college, spent three months in the mountains, and learned a whole lot about myself, all before I turned of legal age to drink. Just a bit anticlimactic.
But hey, it feels nice to finally be able
to order that horizontal license, get into my first bar after 9, and order a real live adult drink.

So my birthday started with a short breakfast, followed by a plea to ride the ever so handsome CYCLONE!!! With my favorite horse tacked up, I headed to the arena for some team penning! After a semi successful morning of team penning, I headed up to lunch solo. Prince Charming and Texas we're headed to clean up teens camp. So after making the decision to not attend dinner that night, I was greeted with a birthday cake and a song and this picture of Prince Charming.

Finally the day ends and we head for town. When you live in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, your choices are limited as far as restaurants go, so we head to our favorite spot, Bozeman Trail Steakhouse where I ordered my first legal drink, Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat. It was totally awesome. Then after dinner we headed to Crazy Women Liquor where I was able to purchase a Peach-a-rita! Yep, I'm that much of a girl!

All and all it was a pretty low key kind of 21st, but with 3 other girls here turning 21 with in a week of each other, it begins to become a little bit anticlimactic. I'm super excited to go home and celebrate with my family. But I will say turning legal in Wyoming has a special place in my heart.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

We were checking off our bucket lists and seeing every monument from here to was epic.

But not really. Considering we're a mere three hours or so from the two rock carvings, we figured we might as well make a day trip to go see them. So after a long night of Square Dance and free gifts, we were woken up bright and early by an ever so eager Texas.

With plans to leave at 10, we were packed up and in the car full of snacks by about 8:45. We might have left a man behind, but hey, minor details.

After a quick breakfast stop and fuel run, we were on our way with the help of our ever so trusty paper map, because electronic maps are so much less useful. After several hours of red dirt songs, rolling hills, a few Buffalo, and some much need cell service, we are finally within road sign distance of the two parks.

First we pass Crazy Horse, with our hearts set on seeing just old dude faces for now. Finally we arrive, we park and grab the camera with a strap, tourist style.

It was amazing. It's just like you see in the pictures, which to be honest, made the whole thing a bit anticlimactic, but still totally worth going to say you've been! After a short walk around the Presidential Trail we headed for what we all know everyone comes for, THE GIFT SHOP!! Well this place is stocked with people, key chains, squished pennies, coffee mugs, and even the occasional dream catcher. Well after elbowing a few children and adults, we were able to make it to the register and pay for our finds. {As an avid key chain and magnet collector, this place was heaven.} Then we were off...

With a mere 14 or so miles between the two monuments, we headed for Crazy Horse. Which was beyond amazing. It it absolutely massive. There is no way to really describe how large it is.

So for those of you that don't know, Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain carving that is still under construction. Started in the year 1948 by a Polish sculptor, the memorial plans to be the largest monument in the entire world. When the carving is done it will be the Indian Chief Crazy Horse riding his stallion pointing straight over the horses ears in reference to a quote he said "My lands are where my people lie buried." Thus far there is a face and the start of the hand and significant about of rock moved in order to start construction on other parts of the memorial. The project is entirely funded by the people that come to visit and the sales from gift shops and such. There are no trails for guests to walk up the memorial, only to see it from afar and view a model 1/34 the size of the monument.

Unlike Rushmore, there are several gift shops, an Indian cultural museum, the sculptor's original homestead, and several restaurants. There are tons of things to do and the scenery is incredible.

Overall it was a successful day trip that ended with a wing feast in Gillette. But if I was going to choose between the two, I would have to pick Crazy Horse. Although the price of admission is a little higher, the profits are going to a good place. There is a ton to do and the amount of time, culture, and history that is ingrained in the mountain that holds such an significant figure is breathtaking. Don't get me wrong, Mount Rushmore was awesome and no we didn't do any sort of the tours that they offer, but there was much less to do there and really after I had looked at the monument once I was ready to explore the other areas of the place. So yes, it was totally worth it to go to both and I had so much fun with Prince Charming and Texas, it was one of our few well used days off.