Great American Road Trip- Part 3

July 23, 2017 ~ SD-WY (605 miles)

Wall, SD; Badlands National Park; Rapid City, SD; Black Hills National Forest; Hot Springs, SD; Casper, WY; Rawlins, WY; Rock Springs, WY

At 6:15am in Wall, SD, I sit outside my cabin on the patio drinking coffee and writing on the two-person bench. The sun rises quickly behind me and casts long shadows that stretch toward the nearly empty interstate. It’s going to be a hot one in the Badlands. Heat rash has become a normal part of venturing out in high summer for me. Heat exhaustion can creep up too. Sunscreen, bug spray, water, and my straw hat are a must today.

National parks, small towns, the highways and byways… the great outdoors… people think it’s flyover territory but I know better. There is so much life happening not on the internet- parks, museums, cafes, wilderness. This life is a little bit of heaven for me- a porch, a coffee, a sunrise, my journal. This is what vacation should feel like- adventure and exploration. Continue reading “Great American Road Trip- Part 3”

Great American Road Trip- Part 2

Saturday, July 22, 2017 ~ MN-SD (519 miles)

Minneapolis, MN; Mankato, MN; Worthington, MN; Sioux Falls, SD; Mitchell, SD; Chamberlin, SD; Wall, SD

I wake up at 6am on vacation day one. The weatherman expects temperatures in the 90’s-100’s along my route. Hoping I am not overpacking, I bring the tent and sleeping bag, just in case. One never knows what might happen 1,000 miles from home.

Leaving first thing on Saturday morning (instead of Sunday) feels dumb to me because I must scramble to pack. I simply couldn’t get it done Friday night. But it gives me more time out west, one more travel day. I am on this road trip alone so I need to allow some extra time for that. In the morning rush to pack, the coffee maker overflows but the rest comes together: atlas, food, cooler, suitcase, day pack, toiletries, electronics, passport, messenger bag… Continue reading “Great American Road Trip- Part 2”

Great American Road Trip- Part 1

I bought my brother’s car: a 2013 Chevy Spark that is only slightly larger than a postage stamp. I named her Lorraine. As a kid, long cross-country road trips were what vacation was all about. So, with a ‘new-to-me’ vehicle in my possession (after three years without one), I could not resist scratching the itch to head out onto the open road.

Lorraine is in great shape according to my mechanic so driving solo for 4,500 miles, over 15 days, through 9 states did not seem so nutty to me. But if you want to get some weird reactions from strangers, be a woman driving alone on a very long road trip. Out there in the Wild West, I found an uncharted horizon that women’s lib has yet to conquer. I guess traveling around the mid-west is not considered so unusual for a mid-western gal. But seriously, I did not consider driving to the Pacific Ocean and back to be that big of a deal either.

So, I went. And I wrote every day. And I took some 2,100 photos along the way. I took my time at times, which caused me to have to make up time with some long driving days. Was it relaxing? Not really. Was it breathtaking? Oh yes, oh yes indeed. My road trip occurred July 22 to August 5, 2017 through MN, SD, WY, UT, ID, OR, WA, MT, and ND. I will share my stories and photos of this amazing trip over the coming weeks. I hope you find it as interesting and enjoyable as I did.

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, August 2017

Also See:
Great American Road Trip- Part 2
Great American Road Trip- Part 3
Great American Road Trip- Part 4
Great American Road Trip- Part 5
Great American Road Trip- Part 6
Great American Road Trip- Part 7
Great American Road Trip- Part 8

Isolation

Is it your history
Your failing health?

It is impossible
To guess
What lies in the folds
In the hearts of others

So many of us
Do not advertise
So that strangers
Will take no notice
Pass us by

Cannot exploit
Our weaknesses
Safety perhaps
Isolation as well

Sometimes
For long times
We cannot take it

Pain clings
Must be washed off
Again and again and again

We are just not ready
That is OK
That is a perfectly fine choice

Regardless of what others think
You should and should not
Do with yourself

Look at them
Be kind
The mess of their lives
Make it obvious

They do not have it
Figured out either

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, June 2017

Artist Life

Success comes from years of failure and practice and headache and despair. When you finally succeed at whatever it is, there is often a surprise as if you popped out of a magic hat that way. I feel the real danger for artists is to compare themselves to commercially successful artists, assuming they did it all on their own- Maverick with little more than grit and determination. While that is true, they did not start out successful and back then, back then they didn’t have staff. There was not a whole team of corporate paid handlers, marketers, cleanup crew. Yes, the artist has the raw talent but their team polishes them. So please, for the love of God, do not give up on your art because it is not perfect. You don’t have staff to help you. Not yet.

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, May 2017

Sands of Time

You do not have that kind of time
You do not have time to put it off
The writing, the painting, the music
Day to day has its demands
Takes its pound of flesh

No, your family doesn’t respect your art
Enough to leave you to it
But if you are compelled
If you write because you must write
You do not have that kind of time

The kind of time that keeps you stuck
In the moment twenty years ago
When your ‘big reveal’ blew up in your face
All the joy you hoped to get out of it
Turned into deep grinding shame

Coated your heart with enough anger
To shield the wound in it
But the hole that is there
Still sucks the sands of your life away
And you do not have that kind of time

Write it out
Ink it
Line it
Fill it with
Crumpled paper drafts

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, May 2016