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A Good Life Lived

Someone once said "A good life lived, is a collection of happy memories".

I have been working on a few projects, which has required me to go through thousands of images taken along this journey of mine. I find myself drawn to the images, that tell my story, my collection of memories.

This moment in particular. July 17, 2013. I was winding down one of my first road trips through the west. 7 days of quite the adventures! Storms across the plains, my first encounter with ghosts, camping in less than desirable locations, grizzly bears and so much more. The night before this image was taken, I made the grueling trip from Wyoming to the Badlands. I was tired, hungry and looked worse for wear. I just needed to find a place to camp.

I found an RV Park along the interstate and pulled in. I asked for a site for the night, and explained, I was just going to car camp. The pompous ass working, took one look at me and said "we don't take your kind here. There is a truck stop up the road - sleep there!" I remember leaving in tears. I was pretty new to this road trip-camping thing and was terrified at the thought of sleeping at a truck stop - I think I had read way too many murder mysteries and it seems the girl always got kidnapped at truck stops and wayside rest areas - both of which I have since slept at - but remember I was new to this!

It was getting dark, I needed to find something. I saw a sign and followed it to a KOA campground. I pulled in to the office and as I was walking up to the entrance a gentleman was coming out and said "I hope you're not looking for a site, we took the last one". This sent me into instant tear mode. Now what? I was so tired! I explained my dilemma and will never forget when he offered for me to park at their site. It was just he and his son, their motorcycles and a small tent. There was room for me! I wanted to hug this kind stranger, but just wiped my tears and followed him to their site.

So relieved, I settled in and was browsing though images from my trip, when there was a knock at my window. When I opened the door all I heard was "supper time!" Even though I was starving, I politely said "oh gee, I really can't accept, you have done enough for me". Thankfully he would not take any of my declining. It was a wonderful dinner of steaks, brats, beans, potatoes and cold beer. Topped with an amazing conversation over a beautiful campfire. I went to bed that evening, with a heart full of gratitude.

The next morning, I head out before sunrise for my first time in the Badlands. The sun was just starting to crest the horizon. I found a place to pull over and sat on a cliff with my camera and just watched this beautiful day God was creating. I looked over to my left and this ram walked out on a ledge, stood there, looked at me a couple of times and finally laid down and watched the sunrise with me. Tears, once again were streaming down my face. I knew at that very moment, that this was what had been missing in my life. I was missing my soul.

My life changed on that trip. I knew I wanted more adventures, even though, not all of them are pretty. I knew I needed to keep searching for my soul. I knew that I needed to be grateful - always.


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