Weekend Traveling.

To make a long story short, the usual available couches in Missoula were unavailable. So a search and a couple couch-requests on couchsurfing.org turned up a place.

Orange Acres responded with a previously-drafted, all-encompassing acceptance message. The eye catching line: “I live with my cat, 4 dogs, 9 mini goats, 40 chickens and a assault rifle”. This was immediately followed by: “women are very safe here.”

For most women, the presence of a gun does not equate to feeling secure. It’s actually the opposite for some women, including myself.

So I was skeptical, but went and stayed there anyways.

Behind the Orange Cars used car lot was a ranch-style complex. There was a commune style kitchen and living area, an upstairs shared bunk room, and a washing room connected to the dealership’s garage. Behind the main building was a range for goats, sheep, run down cars, trailers, a couple new building projects, chickens and who knows what else.

My night’s stay was in a cozy one bedroom cabin, complete with a bed, dresser, lamp and heater. This generous cabin stole my excuse to sleep outside, which I was looking forward to but didn’t mind otherwise.

There were friendly people there. The vibe was very friendly and non-threatening. Maybe the assault rifle made that possible.

I wasn’t there long. Bikram, and pub trivia filled the evening. A wonderful canoeing trip on the Blackfoot river early the next morning cut my stay at Orange Acres short.

I’ll be back though. Not to enjoy a free stay, but to actually converse with the other travelers.  Learning and sharing personal stories is the essence of travelling. Without this exchange, travelling just is sight seeing; the visual repertoire expanded, another push-pin in the map earned.

Meeting and conversing with other travelers gives that destination a human angle, a story and a personality to the location and experience. Next time I travel alone, I’ll remember and make time for this.


Best of my old blog

To start this blog off here are the top five (personally rated) postings from my old blog. This will have to do until something creative infiltrates my life.


Sloppy Salads

Tragedy struck the deli today.

I spilled half a 5 liter container of our popular Lemon Parmesan Tortellini Salad. 3.79 pounds of it to be exact.

My coworker stood over me and watched me labor over individual little red and white pasta rounds. This specific tortellini was designed to fit perfectly into the holes of our floor mats. My gloved fingers could barely grip the greasy noodles.

“Man,” said my coworker. “I wish I was a dog right now.”

And he continued to watch.



I had been wondering all semester if the university really knew of my graduation date.

I mean, I hadn’t heard anything from them. No ‘save the date’ email or notification on where to buy all the graduation paraphernalia.

Time went by, and I was getting a little anxious; what if there was some mistake in the paperwork? What if I failed to complete some hidden requirement?

But I need not worry for a moment longer.

My official graduation notification came this evening not in a letter, e-mail or handshake from my adviser, but a telemarketing call.

That’s right, a telemarketing call. I know I’m graduating because I received my first call from the university, asking me to donate money as a future alumni.

WSU. World class. Face to palm.


Humorless Slush

“Yes, it comes in sugar free too” said the Barista here at Sisters’ Brew Coffee House.

She didn’t even crack a smile. Obviously, she didn’t find the Red-Bull Slushy option on their menu as funny as I did.




Tom threw a greasy fry to the begging seagulls at his feet.

“Don’t encourage them, you’ll just attract more,” I warned.

Sure enough they came, their gawking red eyes stared blankly at us and they cried out in vain for the easy snack.

A homeless fellow approached from behind the scavengers. “Goddamn seagulls,” he said to the skittish white birds below him. “Don’t you know I’m hungry too.”

The man looked up to us. “Hey, you all don’t suppose you could spare some change so I can get a burger, do ya?”

The restaurant is famous for its one-dollar burgers and cheap fast-food eats. “No, sorry we just spent our last.”

“Oh well,” the vagabond sighed.

He turned away and headed to the folks lined up for their food. “Maybe when I die, I’ll come back as a seagull.”