Settling into the Heat of Summer

Settling into the Heat of Summer

July 11, 2022

The day has finally come that I have planned my first trip back to New England to visit family and friends.  It will have been almost a year since I have seen most of them by the time I go there in late September.  I have had my mom visit twice since I’ve been on the road, but have not seen my father, siblings, or old friends.  My little brother is getting married so it is something I couldn’t miss.  I only hope my flight does not get cancelled!  I’ve told a few family members that I’m coming in a couple of months and hope that word will get around.  I also contacted some friends to let them know so they can plan on visits with me.  I told the wine club to plan a meet up for the week that I will be there and hope this will work out.  I’ll also get a chance to meet my niece Hannah’s new baby (who hasn’t been born yet, but will be here by then).  I haven’t ever been away from my people for this long before so I wonder what a homecoming will feel like.  It doesn’t feel like it’s been a very long time, but that is probably because I’m happy, busy, and having fun.  

We had another fun game night at the campground and played Taboo this time.  We have already decided that we will play Settlers of Catan at our next game night.  Building community here is happening… I got some people excited about some local adventures like river tubing.  Other people are suggesting and planning group activities which is great.  We will have a few new co-workers joining us within the next few weeks so we will be sure to include them as well and hopefully we all end up feeling like we are having the summer camp experience we all want to have here.  I have been picking up more shifts at work as we need new tires on the truck so not many new photos to share this week.  I did go scouting with Luke one afternoon for photo spots for his late night Milky Way shots.  We drove down a couple of dirt roads in town and ended up stumbling upon Cedar Mesa arch, but I didn’t have my camera with me and was too tired to go back to the truck for my phone to take a picture.  Here’s a picture of the arch I took off the internet.  It’s cool, but not the most impressive arch around by far.  We also did use my new blacklight flashlight to look for scorpions one night after a campfire.  We had no luck, but we did not look for long and it’s possible that the noise and light from our campfire had just scared them away for a bit.  Here is another picture from the internet of what a typical scorpion looks like.  We will find one eventually!

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It’s been in the 90’s here all week which has also slowed adventuring down some.  When I had a day off I was content to float in the pool to cool off and just have some relaxing time.  At the end of the week I found a fancy star tracker device stashed in a maintenance closet at work.  I showed it to Luke to confirm what I was seeing and he believes he could get great shots of deep space material with it.  We’re talking NASA level pics of nebulas and galaxies.  This will be an exciting new endeavor and unexpected perk of being here if they let us borrow it.  We are coming up on another week of cloudy and rainy days so we have more chances to capture lightning and cool storm photos again.  

Today was supposed to be for paddle boarding with my friend Marisol, but she had terrible tooth pain so I took her to the doctor instead.  I hope that what they gave her provides some relief.  The lake will just have to wait for us.  Luke and I did take a sunset drive one evening as well down our All American road route 12, this time headed towards Tropic.  We stopped at an overlook to enjoy the view and he got some excellent shots with the drone.  I had the camera with me this time so I also captured some photos.  

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Another camper friend left for a new job this week so she sat down for her interview before going.  Meet Greer Linksayer, a wonderful human I have befriended.

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Greer is 27.  Some of the friends she has made here call her Gwee.  I have no idea if there is a story behind this nickname so we’ll leave that one as a mystery.  Like all of us, Greer is a nomad.  She is camping here alone in her trusty minivan with her art supplies.  Greer shares that her love of traveling started early on as her mother worked for an airline so they were able to travel inexpensively.  Greer was homeschooled until high school and has fond memories of her mother taking her and siblings to important cultural or historical sites as part of their education.  After high school Greer spent one year in college before determining that staying in one place did not work for her.  Then started her nomadic journey.  First she went off the New York for a seasonal job at a yoga retreat center at 19 years old.  Greer is a self described hippy kid who enjoys yoga, art, people, and being in nature.  She shares that she finally felt like she was meeting “my people” at this place and returned there to work subsequent seasons.  She made some friends there and together they moved to Santa Cruz, CA.  Greer learned about ecstatic dance and began to build more confidence.  I was not familiar with this so I looked it up and it’s an interesting, bizarre looking, lovely thing.  If you look up a video of people doing ecstatic dance you will assume that they are on drugs or struggling with some type of ailment.  In fact, drugs are not allowed in this practice.  What you are seeing is people freely expressing themselves in a fearless and judgement-free way, connecting with themselves and others, and getting great exercise.  It seems the perfect practice for someone who values their freedom as much as nomads do.  

Greer is also an artist, mainly painting.  She loves to paint scenery and landscapes or things found in nature.  Her process begins when she is in a new place by simply taking time to observe the environment and learn about the ecosystems there.  She often uses plants and animals as symbols in her work so she wants to first understand them in their natural habitat.  She shares that this gives her “more of an artistic vocabulary”.  Greer seems to paint for the joy that it brings her.  She shares that she has no specific goal in mind with her painting and it is not a linear process for her.  She may go awhile without painting something and then put pigment to canvas only to later paint over what she had created.  She ended up in Escalante because this town has a Plein Air art festival in September that she read about in an art magazine.  She thought she might meet more like minded artists in this part of the country and so far has met a few.  She hopes that her new job at a local retreat center will bring her closer to “her people” again.  Here is one of her beautiful paintings.

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Greer shares that she likes the freedom of nomadic life.  Freedom to follow ones impulses, move often, and have control over more aspects of life and choice.  She feels this lifestyle is also about growing and learning more about herself through her contact with new people in each places she stays.  She reflects that freedom and growth are paradoxically also the most challenging parts of nomadic life.  Greer seems to love jumping off into the unkown as scary as this can be.  Our last fun fact about her for today is that she lived in Mexico for five months where she made an album with some friends she found in NY.  The group is called The Vegan Beats and the album can be found on Spotify.  Greer sings on this album.  The Vegan Beats  What will she do next…Here’s one last picture of her with her infectious laugh which she is often displaying.

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