Monday, November 26

See, Sea, Si

Thanksgiving this year found me in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico with Emily, Franz, Maddie, Katie, and Lana. We stayed in Emily and Franz's condo on the beach (Sea of Cortez), with ammenities such as ocean view, hot tub and pools, exercise room, internet, flat screen televisions. I experienced utter relaxation for the four days that we resided there. Not once did I put my watch on or check the time on any clock. It just didn't matter, no schedule, no phone service, no demands.

Maddie and Katie, as much as Emily, Lana, and I, loved going out at low tide searching for the sea's treasures: crabs, sponges, snails, shells, sting rays, and fish in the tidal pools left in and around the shallow coral reef.

Lots of game playing ocurred. Emily and I are officially addicted to the Seafarers of Catan, a rockin' expansion to the Settlers of Catan, where you have to worry about the thief as well as the pirate ship.

Tuesday, November 20

A Witness to the Changes

It was kind of hard to leave Montana last Friday. Nine months had passed since I was ushered into the Big Sky country by a snow storm whipping across eastern Montana. By late April, the snows of February and March quickly melted in the flat country and in the high country those same snows fed rivers and lakes for many more months. The summer was hot and dry and smoky from all the fires. But that didn't stop me from hiking, rock climbing, and traveling the state. And by August, the heat dissipated and fall settled in with cool breezes, golden aspens, and the occasional snow that majestically crowned the 9-10,000 ft peaks.
Its incredible. I've been a part of four seasons in Montana. I've watched this chunk of earth change as it makes its way around the sun. I've marveled at the beauty of the last wild (undammed) river in our country, the Yellowstone. I've paused to watch bald eagles soaring above alpine lakes. I've come face to face with weasels, martens, and marmots. I've seen meadows change from green grasses, to blankets of wildflowers, to burnt orange remnants of vegetation. I've picked my way along the frozen earth where bison have left three to four inch deep scars as they moved along the river foraging for grasses. I've been awakened from sleep to the chill howl of coyotes in the distance. I am a witness to these changes, to these lives. I've lived in Montana.
I feel a tug, a current that might just carry me back there someday. I'll be ready.

Saturday, November 10

On Square Dancing

I have been recently introduced to the historic art of square dancing. The past two nights I have worn the night away spinning, doe see doeing, stomping and clapping. My friend, Collier, has a bluegrass band that plays around town. She and another band member just got back from a square dance calling workshop in Portland the other day and were excited to practice their new skill. They came equipped with about 13 dances to call. About 12 of us MCCers made it to the dance Thursday night (all of us novices). We danced for a few hours, it felt like I had ran three miles by the end of the night.

Collier invited some of us to her friend's farmhouse last night to do some more dancing. We had a feast of elk roast, potatoes, cole slaw, and garlic bread before the music playing began. The musicians included two fiddle players, one stand up bass player, a mandolin player, a banjo player and a guitar player. Throughout the night most of the musicians traded instruments and continued making music. It was incredible. There was also a washboard that some of us, not so musically talented, could try out. Square dancing once again into the night.

How cool is this place? I love it!


It is true. My title of Lord of Catan has been swiped out from under me.

Upon learning the game, Heidi, has beaten me and others two out of the four times that she has played. Not a bad record, if I do say so myself.

Still Scheming...

Tuesday, November 6

Lord of Catan

That's right...I am...for now.

Don't be jealous Evan and Brian, Calli and Lana, Emily and Emily, Mom and Dad, Alaina and Andrew, Sara and Phil, Wes and Rita, and all of the Judds.

I'm spreading the joy of Catan to the world. I've got a few more converts out here. Begging to be beaten.

Friday, November 2

When crew leaders have no one to lead...

...they become directionless. Looking for any type of amusement. Thus fence hopping.
We graduated our crew members on Wednesday and took off for an overnighter in the mountains on Thursday. There are eight crew leaders in Bozeman, we all get along great. Some hiking, some gaming, some eating, some sleeping. Nice.
(fence hoppers: Heidi and Tucker)