I knew I was going to be away for quite some time - at least two weeks - and that I would be encountering much different weather than is found in NW Montana at this time of year. I also knew I would be riding in a pickup truck and that the less I could go with the better. So I packed as lightly as possible.
I managed to pack for the longest trip I've been on in my life with an absolute minimum of baggage. I didn't realize it at the time, but along with less physical baggage, I also packed a lot less emotional baggage for this trip. You have a 50/50 chance of guessing which served me better.
I had to shop for short-sleeved blouses due to the warm weather we eventually encountered, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I packed just right. It was an absolutely incredible trip, but at every turn I was faced with situations that in the not-too-distant past could've ruined the entire thing. I was stuffed in the cab of a pickup truck with the cowboy for hours on end; I was meeting his entirely lovable, but pretty much totally neurotic family for the first time and I was distanced from every element that makes me feel comfortable, with no recourse. I knew when I left it could go either way - to hell or to heaven, and I knew that I was perfectly in control, or not, as to how it would go.
As is usual in life, it was a little bit of both, but the heaven far outweighed the hell. I think if we can get to that point in our lives, where we know it's up to us which way the shit flies (to be just really crude about it), we've accomplished something. I've accomplished something. Hope you'll stick around for the details.