Natalie Ogbourne

Today I’ll be linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky, sharing what we’ve learned over the past month, specifically what I learned during twenty-eight days on the road. Eight of those days I spent with my dad and the rest with my husband and children. Dad and I hiked and camped and attended a nature writing class together in Yellowstone. I was home for only one day before getting back on the road, taking I-90 again to Rapid City, where my husband worked for two and a half weeks. The kids and I went along to keep him company.

Arching over everything else I’ve learned is that there is no place like home, even if that place is in the West. It’s been a long month and it’s good to be home. For now. So, I hope for you and for me some time at home in the coming days.

Happy trails.

  1. Errant: traveling or given to traveling, especially in search of adventure<an errant knight> Or an errant family.
  2. By law, Black Hills Gold can be crafted only in the Black Hills.
  3. I agree with Aldo Leopold: Some people can live without wilderness. Some cannot. I cannot. Oh, I can live, but not well.
  4. Sage, with its tiny silver leaves, works magic on mountain oxygen. It surrounded our cabin at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch on every side. The morning air hung thick with it when we opened the door, wandered onto the porch and breathed deep. Not all of my classmates were enamored with its magical qualities as I. One morning when our instructor sent us outdoors to practice the art of the day poem there was enough sneezing followed by the lament, “I’m allergic to sage,” to inspire a few humorous poems.
  5. Reading my unfinished work to my classmates was terrifying and it seems that when I am that terrified, I go straight past the ubiquitous shaking of the hands straight to the shaking of the arms. All the way to the shoulders. It was agonizing, but I’m glad I did it.
  6. I will always be thankful for the week I spent with my dad.
  7. Clouds bring rain to the campsite, but they usher in delightful skyscapes and fiery sunsets.
  8. Rain doesn’t hurt a camping trip all that much. We ate in the rain and slept in the rain. I was cozy in the van and my dad stayed dry in his tent.
  9. It would probably be good for my marriage to slow down my rate of chatter. I paused more on my westward adventure with my dad. My husband would probably enjoy the same treatment.
  10. There’s a controversy over whether the pens used for the reintroduction of the wolf to Yellowstone should be preserved because it was a historic event or taken down because the wolves themselves returned Yellowstone to its historic state. The return of the wolf to Yellowstone was a thrilling event. After watching that unfold from afar, hiking to the pens was an exciting journey. Stepping inside? More so.
  11. Duck Dynasty. I watched it for the first time during my 27 days away and I have to admit I enjoyed it a little too much. (Yes, I know it’s been on for years. We kind of live under a rock sometimes.) Phil’s blunt and usually correct wisdom, Jase’s Jaseness, and Willie’s tendency to end up on the ground made me laugh out loud and I don’t do that often enough.
  12. Water slides are not for the faint of heart. Or perhaps they are not for the faint of stomach. Without careful attention, one may find oneself sitting in a damp suit under the manufactured shade of a plastic palm tree typing about pacing oneself in a water park.

How about you? What what did you learn during September?