On Friday, August 4th, we ventured from the Jentel Arts Retreat to mix with the locals and attend the PBR Sheridan Rodeo! We went to see the pro bull riding tour, and it was pretty exciting and looked very dangerous, with a few riders getting their hands caught while being thrown, tossed around like rag dolls in the dirt with their arms still attached to the bull. OW. Afterwards, we danced under the stands to a live band with John, the mechanical bull operator (who actually flipped Karina over his shoulder at one point), then we hit the famous Mint bar in town. All in the name of local research, of course…
On my drive to Idaho, I stopped at a state park in Wyoming called Vedauwoo, which means “earthborn spirits” in Arapaho. It is an incredible place of towering rock formations and bluffs, where Native Americans came to have vision quests. I pulled in late at night and could only see the rocks within my headlights, and I actually got a little spooked by how powerful this place felt in the dark! When I got up at sunrise and stepped out of my van, I was awed looking around me at the circle of crazy rocks I found myself in. I explored all day and had some great meditations on the rocks. I realized that I have been holding on to a lot of fear about funding this trip, and it was a great place to let it all go, and trust that everything will work out as long as I trust myself think positive. It was also a great place to count my blessings, and realize how much I do have to be grateful for.
After that I drove all day through Wyoming, which is just incredibly vast and empty, with long expanses of rocky terrain and scrubby desert brush, ringed with mountains in the distance. I could see the weather for miles away, and watched lightning and rain storms in the distance while I drove in the sunshine. After watching one storm for over an hour I finally drove into it and it was like driving into a car wash. Water was spraying in the vents on my dashboard!
I arrived in Sun Valley, Idaho to visit my oldest childhood friend, Jody, and her husband Craig. I arrived just in time to hear the Dalai Lama speak as he visited the region. We were fortunate enough to actually get to meet him for a moment and have him bless Jody’s pregnant belly! Here she is with her blessed belly, which I body-painted for her, by the Big Wood River.
Visiting the hot springs on the Big Wood River. The air was COLD but the sulphur springs were HOT! You could see the boiling water bubbling underwater, and it was crucial not to get too close to the bubbles or they would burn. …Here is Craig doing his best Dalai Lama impression.
Life is good in Idaho!