The First Leg – Pulled Hard!

by Shannon McArthur

This isn’t my usual type of post – but usual is unusual these days. What’s happening on this Spirit-inspired venture? Am I throwing caution to the winds; accepting the challenge to trust Spirit to provide and lead me to be where I’m supposed to be at any set time? While I think I’m taking the prophecy, the Story of The Stones, to the people, is that the underlying purpose that Spirit has in store? I feel people need to know the promise of Mother Earth has been received, but I’m not driving this bus… oh, sometimes I am… but, right now, I want to share a few bus times…

Sitting in the lap of Mother Earth in the sunshine, I look out over the remnants of a forest, a tangle between the path and the lake. The hillside is so steep I almost slide off the long dry grass. Two kayakers just glided silently by, guiding their craft between the plastic orange balls anchored in place for who knows what reason. Across the lake, children play at bocci with their dad. Mostly, there’s a soft laughing of the trees in the breeze, a crow calls, someone shuts a car door – you’d be amazed at how well sound carries across water! The water is silver-over-green; evergreen and grass green, a reflection of the forest and the lawn where the kids are playing.

Logs are strewn across the hillside like pick-up-stix and the birds are singing. A squirrel chatters and a tattered Canadian flag waves weakly over a sign on a snag in the water that says who-knows-what…  There’s new little trees growing; a ponderosa and some fir, some spindly spruce.

It’s peaceful; a pair of Canada geese drift by and a wren is busy in the weeds. These moments are a gift far past any ability to put a price on or provide appropriate compensation. I’m here to say: amazing people exist on this planet. Beautiful children. Generous women. Gentle men. There are also many who are blind to true beauty. Many who aren’t seen because of their lack of beauty. Some people look past the visible and see the inside of people; they see the real beauty, and the hurt and the need. Some people give and give, doing their utmost, their hummingbird effort, to meet the needs they can/see. Honey is such a person. Her privacy is important to me so I won’t use her real name. She wonders at the things I say and smiles and ruffles the ears of her beautiful old dog. We walked the lake together; did qigong. She crochets and watches TV during her few hours of downtime. Otherwise, she is driving and swimming and reading and helping all sorts of people challenged in one way or another. I guess we were in need too, though I didn’t think of it that way. She didn’t make me feel that way either. She made me welcome and comfortable, and gave us a key! Bless her a million times; it was a long time since that kind of release.  There was also a different kind of release going on… my magical car, my PT Cruiser, has been traded in!

Our new ride is a Chevy Van (there’s a song!) When I got the PT Cruiser I had a rune reading from my friend Alexx who works out of The Golden Buddha in Kamloops, BC. I had another before making this decision – he said I would have “an opportunity” and not to miss it because it wouldn’t be offered again. I had no idea what he was talking about at the time. Later, it seemed perfect and helped make the final decision. It seats 8 &/or holds all we need for camping between festivals or sites. JJ is driving and we intend to meet up with Rob in June, somewhere. We met in Rotterdam at Synergy Hub 1 where we dreamed of taking the Hub on the road… Now we’re doing it!

May 3, 2017 – We’re leaving today. Down to Kelowna to pick up my passport and then on to Banff, I believe. It’s all fun and camping! I’ve waited so long to get back to Nature! Thank you, Great Spirit, the Creationing of All That Is, that I get to do this again, and to get to speak for you…

I sent a message to Mom, May 4:

Sitting in Kelowna A&W for morning coffee. Site last night was good but the traffic noise was abysmal! Getting things ironed out; taking new things out of boxes and trying to make them work. Listening to people chatting about the end of the world. (They just don’t know that it is the world “as they know it” and it is happening as we speak!)

I’m sorry we didn’t say (get to do the tearful!) goodbye… It was good – sometimes it’s best to just rip the bandage off!  Talking about that – the bandage worked very well and I now have a new nail! Shirley found 10 minutes for me and all 10 look the same again. Good thing I know all these lovely people – thanks to you for that connection!

You should see this place… every one of them (oh, except maybe 1 couple out of 50 people) is OLD! So this is where old people go for breakfast! (Here we are!) I hope to get even better at one-on-one connection with people in the real world; being in Synergy Hub 1.0 in Rotterdam gave me a sheltered place to be – it’s different out here in the “real” world. I feel like I’m missing opportunities, but I will not make me wrong. I know I’m presented with these challenges as ways to learn… I just have to (want to) learn gently!  

Am sitting in the van warming up after a night of rain. We’re in the Wenatchee National Forest. We got in yesterday afternoon and had a lovely evening, campfire and wraps for dinner. I found out that I can’t eat the ranch dressing we have. I had indigestion all night, along with the rain on the tent… at least we were dry, mostly! Condensation on the inside of the tent was more than expected, as usual! Now the challenge is to pack up the wet tent without getting everything else wet. We do have a tarp somewhere back there…

I’ve been thinking about doing ceremony for awhile. It was easy when we were at the lake but camping in the rain has put a damper on things. I’m not as ready for weather as I expect our ancestors were. Stopping at a secondhand dealer to augment my wardrobe seems indicated – I need more fleece! …and so it degenerates into another discussion of the inadequacies of now – actually wanted to comment on opening the iPad this morning at exactly 7:00am. I’ve been having a lot of that… 1:11 and 3:45. I told JJ it’s like a reassurance that Spirit is with me.

…Maybe if I start packing up, JJ will join me. I’ll offer to drive so he can sleep and that may help… I’m getting cold now too, along with urging from my body that going would be good! Time to find some clothes!

JJ wants to sleep. I started packing up but he yells that if I keep making noise, he can’t sleep. I offer to let him sleep while I drive. He said he wouldn’t because he knows I didn’t sleep either. I’m cold. I don’t feel like “wasting” my power on this – iPad power, I mean.  OTOH, I have a charger and the van has a good battery (maybe).

It’s started to rain again, gently. Maybe it will stop. YES it will stop. It’s getting brighter. I saw there were blue parts showing through the grey parts so there is hope… (didn’t stop for quite awhile but I didn’t melt – nor shrink!) I have hiccups because of the indigestion. And cold fingers. There are worse places/parts that could be cold. (Oh, sometimes this Pollyanna attitude gets tiresome, even to me!)

Driving south, I wanted to capture the progression of flora – from the suede hills of home, Kamloops BC, on Highway 97 – sagebrush hillsides dotted with spindly white-blossomed saskatoon bushes and the brilliant yellow of balsam and dandelions. The brown centre and big soft green leaves of the balsam don’t have the impact of dandelions, but there are enough of both to be uplifting and eye catching. Under the ranks of bare fruit trees (all pruned to the same height) are rows and rows of dandelions. There was one field we passed, so quickly I could barely focus on it, that had not been made into rows – perhaps it was an organic field, hand-tended with love. It was a grid of bare trees, like black stitches in a patchwork quilt of grass-green dotted with yellow sparkles! There were no little dandelion puffballs, the timepieces of children of all ages, until we got across the border.

South of the Canada/USA border the orchards continued until the forests of Wenatchee National Park. The ponderosas reminded me of our mountains back home before the pine beetles had their way with our beautiful trees. As we left the National Forest and emerged into the valley itself, along with the balsam and dandelions scattered throughout, there are small white and mauve mounds, with a light dusting of tiny white flowers overall, like icing sugar blown gently across the landscape.

Further south, the flowers have stopped and grasslands spread out around us, with sheep and cattle, and antelope! but mostly just empty land. The rain has caught us – a bank of clouds from east to west! Drops hit like hailstones and sheets of water erupt from under the wheels of 18 wheelers, RVs and cars alike. I’m glad we are as heavy as we are or we could hydroplane at these speeds! We saw only one speeder pulled over by the highway patrol. JJ mentioned that we hadn’t seen any in Canada, nor in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany….!

And even more south we’re out of the rain finally – and I see on one side, far away, sunshine on mountain snow; tall pointy mountains – and on the other side, far away; similar mountains with sunshine sparkling on the snow, brilliant white against the dark grey of the skies. We ride in the foothills, the sagebrush grasslands created by foregone ice-flows between two mountain ranges.

Ok, almost into Idaho and now it IS hail! Along with big raindrops – and the windmills go steadily around and around, spreading their arms across rolling green hills studded with more brilliant balsam. The white (saskatoon) bushes have also reappeared, and bigger than ever!

I’m banging my head against the wall! Internet access is the hardest thing to maintain! Have I ever got my hat off to those who travel and maintain a blog. How do they do it? Oh… no internet! I would but I CAN’T Google that. Pththth!

Adventures… yeah, you could call them that. My visa card was declined by a machine at the Garden of Eden Truck Stop; my PIN wouldn’t work for the 3rd time (put in by the helpful attendant who really should not have had his fingers anywhere near). No gas; no credit card; debit card won’t work in the US. I told him he had guests for the night and I’d see them in the morning!

We found a parking spot at the back of the lot between a couple of trailers and pitched our tent. Other than the noise (compressor for a refrigerator truck, trucks coming and going, highway traffic, etc.) JJ got a good sleep – and a shower this morning to send us on our way, in a good way! Bless the attendants on the morning shift! I had no idea truck stops have showers, (and a tub!)

After filling up JJ suggested we go up and see the Sawtooth National Forest, perhaps camp, but at least he would make me a meal. Well, the meal was great but with a couple of feet of snow still lingering in places, we decided to backtrack and we’re off again on the 84! Hoping to escape all the snow and rain, though we noticed that the Sawtooth National Forest extends down into Utah and we may end up at the other end – hopefully more the lakeside campsite JJ has in mind!

Colorado greeted us with red rocks and a red road! There are so many antelope that Dad would be happy to see them. There was one vista that caught my breath in my throat and brought tears to my eyes – I thought Do we have to sacrifice such beauty for peace? The tears fell as the scene fell behind, with snowy mountains far in the distance, background for the rangeland of ridges and washes of rounded rocks underscored by sagebrush and black cattle on green fields.

So that could be the last of the travelogues I’m going to do… things have gotten rather interesting and now some decisions have to be made – the van has broken down; various other issues have resulted in the need and opportunity for a bit of a rest while we wait for news of how much repairs are going to cost – $515 just to assess the problem. OK, Spirit, what is the purpose of this?

Anybody wants to help, we’d welcome it: