After spending most of 2020 staying in buildings with foundations instead of vans with tires, I am finally back on the road for the next few months. I have an appearance scheduled in Las Vegas for the Biomed Expo (which includes Medicine, Science, Technology, Consciousness, and Environment.) That takes place Oct 23-25.
Just a few days ago I left Chicago and I'm now in Rapid City, South Dakota, where I'm setting up my permanent address and also doing plenty of sightseeing. It's beautiful here -- moreso than I expected!
Here's the vantage point I had while I conducted my class, DETACHED. That's the benefit of doing the vanlife thing. You can work anywhere!
Unfortunately, this is the first time that I'm on the road without my adorable whippet, Whisper. While in Chicago staying with my close friends, Whisper managed to tear her ACL in the back yard (and we don't even know how she managed to it.) The surgery isn't recommended for a dog over 12 and not only is it extremely expensive, it's a long recovery. My friend (and Whisper's previous owner) says, "We shouldn't put our pets through too much -- just for us." And she's right. So, rather than bringing Whisper along and keeping her stuck in the van all day, ruining her opportunities for sport and adventure, that friend offered to take her back -- to give her a healthy, relaxed life for her final years.
While I know it's best for Whisper, it was NOT an easy decision. But I kept mulling over the realities: That we would both be curtailing our lives for each other -- which is beautiful, but also unnecessary. She is now enjoying her new life with her previous owner and other whippet friends, and I'm free to explore and make appearances however I see fit. When I'm feeling lonely without my pal, I remember to be grateful for all the amazing times we had together and for how life for both of us is better off. It's not always easy, but that's the challenge of life here on this paradise planet. We can't enjoy the beauty of life without the difficulties. That contrast is everything!
Thanks for reading! I'm excited to provide more imagery and thoughts about Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and my continuing adventures as I head to the Denver area next week!