Destination … Mt. Vernon, South Dakota. Population 462. Wow!
It was about 4.5 hours East from Belle Fourche. The temperatures were about 36C all day.
Lots of SmartLess
Then lots of country music
The best part upon arriving in Mt. Vernon was that I had NO idea that by visiting my friend Courtney in South Dakota, that I would be taking a HUGE trip down memory lane to my days growing up on the farm in Alberta.
But it.was.awesome! Check it out!
Courtney brought me back to my roots pretty quickly .. Starting off with pickling cukes!
I am now prepared for pickling with my sister, mom and dad once I am home. Because it’s become a renewed annual tradition, which is awesome! And the pickles, folks, are to die for!
And then … we went out to the garden and walked around the farm … and OMGosh .. a Combine!!! And farm equipment! And cattle!! Lots and lots of cows!
And then I saw this .. which was so fantastic.
Okay, here is the backstory …
Trish and I used to ride around on our Trike (pre-Quad days) ALL.THE.TIME!! We were both driving the S-10 around the farm when we were 10 years old. I couldn’t wait to take my Dad dinner when he was seeding or combining because I got to drive out dinner to him! And like, by myself!!!
So seeing Hattie take her little brother out on the Quad, was priceless. When she asked her Dad if she could take Walter on it, Mike said “How old are you?” and Hattie said “I’m 9.”
And Mike replied with “Exactly, go slow.”
So … frickin’ awesome!! These kids are going to grow up and be confident, courageous and humble human beings! They already are!!
What a fantastic time with this lady and her family.
I totally forgot about my Monday morning call with a group from London … but glad I remembered it … just in time!
So a little later-than-planned start, but I was on my way to an old ultra-running friend’s place in South Dakota with a jet-fueled gas station ☕️ in hand. I’ll let my readers guess who they mystery friend could be and I will give away the name later on in the post, or tomorrow. 🏃♂️
So …. I do weird things on solo road trips.
Like, keep track of the number of times I stop to use the “ladies room” (a phrase I stole from my friend Tannis, which just sounds better than “I stopped to go pee”).
I like taking photos of signs. It’s a little hard to do when driving solo and on roads that don’t have many turn-outs .. but I’ve been known to come to a screeching halt and make a quick u-turn to go back to take the snap. You’ll see one of those in my video below.
One thing I am doing is documenting the price of gas along the way. It was $4.89 a gallon in Burlingame when I left (this is for the Supreme leaded because that’s apparently what my precious car needs). And today it was $4.159 in Park City. So .. that’s a bit of useless information and a minute of your life you’ll never get back. #SorryNotSorry!!
News Alert: This blog post is on the longer side because who knew so much could happen on a 10-hour drive between Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota! Well, allow me to share.
In Good Company
In 2019 when I took my first #SoloRoadTrip it was Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” Podcast that kept me fulfilled during my travels. I listened to episode after episode, and was eating up all of the “rah-rah, build your confidence, live your best life” blah blah on the airways. I frickin’ loved it!
This trip the Podcast that is keeping me going is Smartless …. OMGosh it’s laugh-out-loud, pee my pants, so f’en hilarious! Jason Bateman is SO funny. I love the connection to Canada with Will Arnett. And I feel like Sean Hayes pulls out the sarcastic humor that catches you off guard in a good way. Check it out. It cracks me up!
Complete Podcast Playlist:
Collisions/YYC – with Amanda Hall – who is #MakingAlbertaProud with the company she founded “Summit Nanotech”. One day I’m going to say … I knew Amanda when … Good luck w/ the Series A raise, lady! I know you’re going to ##CrushIt!
Smartless with Gwyneth Paltrow was awesome! SUPER funny and who doesn’t love her!
Smartless Reese Witherspoon – OMGosh, she’s so adorable and hot (regardless if you’re a man or a woman, who doesn’t have a crush on Reese!) Gotta watch that one.
Smartless with Amy Sedaris – who I didn’t know, but she is frickin’ hilarious! It’s A-mazing how many famous actors/actresses that these 3 guys have worked with over the years!
Last Smartless episode of the day was with NASA Astronaut, Marine Biologist and Physiologist – Jessica Meir. Who I certainly didn’t know, but she’s not only wicked smart but funny!!
The Goop Podcast– “Realizing our Belonging” – because I still need a little rah-rah, feel good content. 😆
And now … Random Photos From The Trip ….
Continental Divide & Fences
For those that used to watch “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” … remember the 3Lifelines that the person had?! Yeah, well, I had to use the “Phone a Friend” today when I kept seeing the Continental Divide signs driving through Wyoming. Except I left my Dad and Sister and video recording (sort of the upgraded version of “phone a friend”). Thanks, Dad for being my source of all knowledge!
But here is another riddle and I need to use the “Poll the Audience” lifeline.
Can someone please tell me what these fences are, and why are they everyone along the Wyoming backroads?? I look forward to someone helping me solve the mystery! “Thanks in advance!”
For My Sister … Inside Joke
This video is for my Dad and all of the Oiler fans out there. This is the video I had to turn around for because the sign caught my eye. Thank goodness it didn’t also say “Home of Champions”. LOL
Entering South Dakota
The landscape changed as I was welcomed into South Dakota and I easily found my way to Mike’s place … in time to have a glass of wine (or three, sorry, Mike … I pushed you off the wagon!) … We have a good chit chat w/ Ron about days on the farm … and then enjoyed a delicious meal while we reminisced about the crazy ultra-running days (and yes, all of the old running peeps – we totally talked about you – Claire, Scott, Moselle, Leigh, Frank, Christine, Jon, Jane .. and of course, the crew support team of Rob and Kristin). ha ha!
Grateful for …
Safely getting to my destination
An awesome home-cooked meal; old friend and bed to crash on
Laughing out loud humo(u)r on the Smartless podcast
Enough cell coverage to listen in on two calls today, and one was with a group of kick-ass women in an executive coaching group that I love – thanks, Amy!
And the mystery friend is revealed. Thanks, Mike!!
And for those that might be wondering … this is the look of a LONG day folks … not the wine!
Today was extra special because I got up … and then went back to sleep. LOL
Easy to do in the super comfortable bed I got to enjoy and my heart full with joy from the days before.
But I did finally get up and make it out for a run / walk (and just because I’m honest to a fault, it was really a walk / run .. not even a run / walk… but that’s OK … 3.5 miles is 3.5 miles and getting out for anything should be celebrated :-).
For some these pictures might not depict much, but I guess it’s from my days growing up on a farm because I LOVE dirt roads and stitched-together fences – just like these ones I found on my hike today. Notice how I upgraded it to a hike now. Pretty slick, huh. 🙂
I needed a new picture for my match.com profile so I snapped this one post workout. To show the sporty side of me 😊 Maybe I’ll add the picture of my golf clubs at the driving range as well! ha ha
When I texted a friend and mentioned what I was doing, she asked, how was the driving range? … followed by, you golf?
To the first question …
.. The first few balls were spectacular .. and then, well, I’ll blame it on the heat.
As to the second question …
… I’m always grateful for my first husband 😆 for teaching me how to golf (actually, it was his best friend Scott that taught me, but Mike inspired me so I give him all the credit!). This year I’ve been fortunate enough to dust off the 25 year old clubs and hit the links with my friend Tannis and her main squeeze Z. If anyone wants to meet me at the driving range once I hit Alberta, let me know! ⛳️
After all of that work, I had to relax and enjoy the view. ☕️ Thanks again to Beth and Keith for the amazing gift of a b.yond comfortable bed and beautiful view!
and then …
Dinner .. with a few of my favo(u)rite things … and a new project we are kicking off in our July issue of Disruption magazine!
Other notable highlights …
It was wonderful to chat with one of my long time besties today, Moselle. Yesterday I got to catch up with Jules on my drive, who has been there with me through some of the toughest times. Thanks for the travel tips and always being there for me, ladies!
And from 20 year old friendships to brand new ones … My friend Dylan cracks me up and I’m living vicariously through him right now. He is the master Match.com-er … so I guess I should ask him to approve my photo.
And of course, I had a great chat with Mom and Dad. It’s going to be fun to visit some of the places that they traveled through when they road-tripped across the U.S years ago. And I love how they crack me up every time I call. They are a little comedy act sometimes, even though they don’t realize it!
Well, off to bed because it’s a long drive tomorrow … but I am SO excited to be headed to see our old running pal, Mike, tomorrow in SD. I’m excited for a home cooked meal after my 10-hour drive. Plus wine. Always + wine, people. 🍷 You know that about me, right?
What a treat that is going to be!
And .. as for #SoloRoadTrip Day 3 …. That’s a wrap!
Some might say the 80 East from Nevada to Utah is a little boring, but I beg to differ. Especially when it’s your first time driving it.
7.5 hours of drive time but the mountain ranges on both sides gave me a pretty sight to look at the entire way …. and the long, straight highway kept my focus on my future. I loved it!
It’s a huge treat to stay at a friend’s place while I am in Utah! It’s just a bummer that I missed them by 7.5 hours. 🙂
P.S. It almost took me as long from the gate to the house, Beth, as it did from Reno to Park City! LOL But the view is definitely worth it. With huge gratitude!!
And now for the best part ….
And now I’m holding myself accountable to a promise I made … which is to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to videos. I have to post at least one per day. This one makes the cut, for obvious reasons. 😍😍
I’m at home and winding down with my glass of red wine after a Canadian going away party that gave me a gift I wasn’t expecting.
You always think … “I hope I meet someone fun … or, I hope it’s a good group of peeps” … or maybe I’m the only one that thinks that and if so, then maybe be careful if you invite me to your party in the future for fear of my expectations .. LOL.
But alas, my honest self is here to reveal that those expectations are always on my mind … That I meet someone or I learn something that I can apply in my life and become a better person because of.
So tonight …. I’m happy to say that the evening exceeded my expectations. And sometimes my expectations are high (which don’t judge, isn’t a bad thing) … but sometimes they truly are as grass roots as the farm that I grew up on.
This is today’s view from the road to my “home” where I grew up and where I learnt so many lessons that I’m still applying to my life today.
Well tonight I met someone who grew up similar to me … on a farm … who made it from nowhere to somewhere … and who now looks at life from the same viewpoint as me. Yes, one side is capitalism …. no shame there, but also from a perspective of purpose, planet and people. And, my God, it was refreshing. Just the whole conversation and perspective blew my mind and inspired my thinking.
And yet I can’t help but find it fascinating that you can meet someone at a party for people that you know (relatively) very little, and you can connect with a random stranger in a profound way, even though you’re from completely (and I mean completely) different subsets of the world. But (and here’s the good part) with a glass of wine (or two) and LOADS of curiosity … you can uncover that your simplistic upbringing has created a similar mindset and belief system that, unbeknownst to you, is probably a reason why you’re sitting across from each other talking about a subject that would bore the rest of the guests in attendance.
But for me … what I loved, is that I could talk for hours and feel so grateful for the random encounter that somehow, now, seemed perfectly curated.
Because no matter if you’re 33 … or 46 … married with two kids … or twice married and no kids … from East Germany or Northern Alberta … Communist or Capitalist …. it is really amazing how much we can feel and learn and appreciate in a short period of time, and with absolutely no reason whatsoever, feel an amazing bond of energy that lifts your soul and makes you take a pause in life … if only for a moment.
And the icing on the cake is when you can share a story about the long road “home” … that only had two left turns after 5,6, 8 hours of driving …. before you reached a vast farmland that seemed to offer so little, but in the end gave you everything you needed in life …. then I’ll call that a hell of a win for a Saturday night.
Beyond grateful … for where I grew up … and for where I am today.
A few years ago I read an article in a running magazine about the concept of a “Tribe”. As soon as I read the words, they resonated … and I smiled knowing that I understood.
Like anything in life, we can take a concept and create whatever we want from it. For me .. the concept of a Tribe has always been an evolution. A decade ago I was introduced to the mindset of a personal “Board of Directors” …which I applied for many years until I read about the concept of a Tribe, which I liked much better than Board of Directors —- because it implied people are there beside you versus there above you.
So what … who … is a Tribe?
Sometimes … your Tribe is your group of childhood friends that remember you as the geeky, not-so-polished, perhaps a little awkward kid … who wanted to hang out with you because he/she was just as geeky, with as much room for improvement as you!
Sometimes … your Tribe is a group of people that share your passion – for the things you love and support … be it a sports team, a political movement or a personal commitment to a cause that extends beyond your individual capacity to make a difference.
Sometimes .. your Tribe is your morning run group … the men and women that are there at “O’dark hundred hours”, who keep you company as you wake up and face your greatest fears … or celebrate your smallest of successes.
Sometimes … your Tribe is simply your friend(s) that have your back. Period. They are there for you no matter what —- and they call, and text, and they show up like no one else ever could. Now those are good people.
Sometimes … your Tribe can be a surprise — A person that you just met, that you share an amazing connection with and have endless amounts of things in common … Or it could be a new idea that takes shape and leads you into directions you didn’t know existed. It could simply be something that thing makes you go … huh?! … I like that … I want to be a part of that … I want to shape that … Perhaps I want to lead it. Or maybe following is perfect too – but I want to make sure I’m not missing it!!
I believe your TRIBE is exactly what — and who — and how you want it to be … you might have to go looking for it … or it might fall into your lap. Either way works …. beautifully.
We can do a lot on our own, but with a Tribe, we are unstoppable.
Thanks to my Tribe. The concept is a growing evolution but you are all a constant rock of stability in my life. >> You all know who you are.
It’s 0830 and I have yet to get out of bed. Call it lazy. Call it boring. Call it un-productive, but today I call it perfect.
For the better part of nine months this year I woke up on the weekends with one of my most favorite things planned … to go for a run. I had to start from scratch last year as I was coming off an injury that turned into a surgery that got complicated by a great distraction … so it wasn’t always an early morning and a long run, but it was always the focus.
And then the training runs did get long … and the desire and need for new trails came up … and those were even a further drive away … which meant that sometimes me and my (amazing!!!) running gals would head out for 18 miles and oops, get lost and then run 24! Friends and family were very patient when we left by 0630 and got home in the very late afternoon. And then, yep, of course we’d all get up Sunday and go for another run (albeit not quite as far).
In the final two months of my training I was out of the door by zero dark hundred … running in the double digits … and enjoying the beautiful trails for hours. Sometimes with friends. Sometimes on my own. Often I would run with one or two for 10-ish miles and then someone else would join or replace the others so that I could get my long runs done without too much time on my own. My running friends are beyond awesome.
So today …. No long run. Actually, probably no run at all. Just the day in front of me for however I choose. And right now, as I type this post … I’m loving what is in front of me … a smile from spending two days with a new friend and enjoying a precious little girl … knowing my mom is home from her hospital visit and on her road to recovery … the thought of making perogies with my sister when I am home next week for the holidays (I’m certain to impress a boy with home-made perogies, right!?!) … and thinking about the canvas I’ll paint for my life in 2015 … I’ve never been to Utah. Perhaps it should make the list this year. I hear there is lots to do in Utah and I bet they have a few trails I would enjoy.