I was going to go to college and become an accountant and play bluegrass fiddle on the side for extra spending money and lead a fairly boring but satisfying life and be content in the mountains of Tennessee or North Carolina.
But crazier things have happened to better people….
So, here’s how it went:
I was born and raised in small town Stedman, NC. I grew up in a loving family with a little sister just mean enough to keep me honest and parents who encouraged us to be strong women who knew we could do anything we wanted if we worked hard and kept our eye on the prize. We rode horses, we played sports, we had adventures.
I started playing fiddle at about 13 years old, I think. I got real involved in this and soon learned that this fun hobby could possibly become a career. I got in a few bands, made a little money, and saw a good portion of the South with a fiddle in my hand and a microphone in my face. It was fun. I got a scholarship to play fiddle at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. So, off I went to college.
I quickly fell in love with a fellow musician and we had a tumultuous, addictive relationship that would come to teach me about the world, myself, and about a million other things. I pursued a degree in accounting and kept on playing fiddle and worked at a horse barn teaching riding lessons.
The summer between my junior and senior year found me feeling restless and trapped, unable to think for myself or find a focused path. For some reason I started looking for jobs riding horses. While researching on that beautiful, beautiful tool called Google I stumbled across a ranch in Colorado called The Rusty Spur. On a whim I applied for the wrangler position. As fate would have it I’d get offered the job. And I took it. Three months in the wild west sounded like fun. It was.
I lived in a one room cabin with no running water or electricity with this crazy Texan girl who taught me how to party and who quickly became my good friend. We rode horses all day long on 10,000 acres of Colorado beauty every day and spent our evenings in the saloons of Kremmling drinking whiskey with good looking cowboys. What a life!
I was hooked. I learned the peace that came after a long, dusty, hard day’s work. I re-found my connection to the horse and all that comes with that. I got chased by a bear! I climbed a 14,000 foot mountain. I made new friends. I was good at my job.
But I had had a plan. I had a degree to finish and a boy to marry and a “real” job to get.
So, I went back to Tennessee.
And then life slapped me upside the face. WHAP!
Life said, “Girl, get your shit together. Get your head on straight. You found something you love. You found a place that sets your soul on fire. You’re going to find yourself out there. Why you going back to what your heart already told you was a dead end?”
Typical 21 year old, I didn’t listen.
So, life took it to the next level…
I arrived “home” from my first summer in Colorado to find all my things placed neatly on the front lawn. No joke. You can’t make this stuff up. Well, actually you can, you see it in the movies all the time but I thought that’s the only place you saw it. Nope. It happened to me. Actually. In real life.
So, okay life, you got my attention… Clearly I didn’t get married. I whipped out that last year of school quick as I could and practically RAN back to cowgirl life.
I never thought I’d be so happy to see a one room cabin and an old wood cook stove. But I was.
Another happy summer on the ranch found me searching for a way to stay out West for the winter as well. Back to that beautiful tool called Google. Don’t ask me why but something made my fingers type “dog mushing jobs” in the search box.
What I ended up with was a job working at Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours taking tourists to Granite Hot Springs via dog team.
I am from North Carolina. We do not dog sled in North Carolina. I do not know what possessed me to this day. But I FELL IN LOVE.
On several counts actually. First with the dogs and the job. What amazing creatures. What a trip back in time. I was hooked. (Later I would learn that dog mushing is actually a sickness which you can never be rid of no matter how hard you try and even when it sucks all your time and brains and money away. Dogs are an addiction and I love each and every one of them.)
Secondly with the country. If Colorado was beautiful then Wyoming was like a heavenly masterpiece that seemed painted just for me. Particularly Bondurant.
Thirdly with the man I now call my husband whom I met in a twist of fate that would change my life permanently and in the greatest ways imaginable. Big of heart and of stature he immediately won me over (that’s a story for a future post) and it wasn’t long until I moved to Wyoming permanently to help run his father’s outfitting business, Sleeping Indian Outfitters.
Now that is our life. We take horseback trips and hunting trips in the summer and fall and I run dogs in the winter.
And people say to me all the time, hey, you have the craziest life (they truly have no idea haha) write a book, you should blog, etcetera, etcetera. My response is who wants to hear about my silly life? Well, apparently somebody because you guys talked me into it.
SO, here goes. You’ve got a (not so) brief introduction to either get you started following this blog (what is that word anyway?) or to affirm that you could care less about some crazy girls weird adventures and stories from past and present.
Think what you will. My life is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a conventional one… but I LOVE it.
So, I’m going to try to detail some of it here… I’ve got stories, maybe recipes now and then, maybe poems, maybe songs, maybe photos. Who knows what this will turn into. I don’t blog so I don’t know anything about what is supposed to be accomplished here. I’ll just wing it…
I promise only to always be honest. Who knows what might come of it but I hope at least someone enjoys it or maybe finds some inspiration or lends me some inspiration…? I don’t know.
And I hope I can get something out of it too, maybe a step back, a reflection, a moment to chill the heck out and relax and see that dreams do come true even if you didn’t know they were your dreams to begin with….