Mayfly-A Fly Fishing Woman’s Tale

The Autonomous Traveler

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When I was newly divorced and my kids were off to college I used to go to a place with a band every Friday evening with my single female friends. Heads up and stomachs sucked in, we pretended to be aloof.  Neon beer signs, the tiny red dots on the sound equipment, and a street light through a grimy window provided the bar’s main illumination.  But dragged down by disappointment and gravity, we welcomed the dim lighting. We always chose a table close to the small stage thinking that proximity to the band increased our chances of being asked to dance. We deemed some of the males unsuitable and rejected them. And since there is justice everywhere, even in a place that served draft beer and cheap wine, the men that we saw as desirable rejected us.

I would sip coffee in my living room the next morning hoping it…

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A North Country Love Affair

The Autonomous Traveler

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Author’s note: Since I wrote this piece a few years ago, I have to confess, The North Country and I now have an open relationship.  I go to Florida during the winter months.  But this is home, my base camp and I always return.   I’m here now. Unfortunately, the weatherman is predicting ice and sleet for this weekend. Ugh!

A North Country Love Affair

Being involved with the North Country is like being in a bad love affair. The summer woos me with warm breezes off  one of  The Great Lakes and the river. It offers me lush greens and sunlit days. It entices me with a multitude of lavish experiences: picnics under the trees, quiet moments on the shore, spectacular thunderstorms topped off with rainbows, and romantic interludes under the stars listening to the crickets and watching fireflies. It presents me with fantastic gifts: the sweet serenade of birds, the…

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It’s All About the Math-Hiking in the Adirondacks

The Autonomous Traveler

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One day when I was 46, I decided to hike all 46 of The High Peaks of the Adirondacks. I tend to live out my life in headlines, always proclaiming a new interest with passion and bursts of wild enthusiasm. So 46 at 46! The coincidence had a certain mystical quality to it and I was convinced that it was a personal thumbs up from Mother Nature herself.

My odyssey skyward started slowly. Having been recently divorced and with my two children away at college, I suddenly had time for myself and took up walking. It was good exercise and a way to manage my weight. But most of all I loved the freedom to finally be a self-contained unit moving forward in the the direction of my choice under my own power. I found peace in the rhythm of my steps and breathes. I enjoyed the smells, the green…

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“Can You Hear My Voice this Time?”

The Autonomous Traveler

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Sometimes traveling is not about tickets and long flights. Sometimes a significant journey is unplanned and brief. On March 14, I came out of an adult education class at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida and saw a large circle of college students under the campus gazebo. Because I didn’t want to intrude, I stood and watched from about fifty feet away. I listened to the speakers talk about the loss of seventeen lives in Parkland, Florida and the need  for people to reach out to each other with kindness. I moved into the circle and was handed a candle.  As a flame went from one person to another, a young stranger shared the energy of the light with me. The group walked silently around the perimeter of the college, coming back full circle to the gazebo. A group of students sang a song with the line “Can you hear…

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70/7000 Flying Insects, Thin Tent Walls, A Flood, and A Bag of Jewels

Day 61  August 25, 2001 I stayed in a campsite in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Two unsettling things happened there.  First, the whole campground was filled with all types of flying insects.  I asked  if this was the norm and the people in charge just shrugged their shoulders.  Forest fires were popping up all over …

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70/7000 A Bar in a Church and a Grizzly Bear

Days 57-60  August 21-24, 2001 Heading home but still taking in the sights. I took this picture of  The Mint Bar built inside a church in Sundance, Montana.  Ironic? Amazing?  Amusing?  "The Wild West" is quite the place! I stopped at the Cabela's Store in Billings, stood under a stuffed grizzly bear, and learned that …

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Another Apology to My Readers-September 2018

My apologies to my readers because I am interrupting the flow of my 70/7000  saga but this autonomous traveler needed to get away alone this  week. Don't get me wrong, it's been a wonderful summer with camping, friends, home improvements, fly fishing, grandkids, and my first endeavor as a blogger.  But whoa, it got way …

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Resiliency for Traveling through Life! And How to Get It

I’m reposting this for my friend, Leona, who turned 89 a week ago. We had lunch today and I found out she never saw this post. Enjoy this, dear friend. Love you and happy birthday!

The Autonomous Traveler

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When I was an elementary teacher, I heard about a summer class, something about making kids stronger. The course description said the class was taught by a guidance counselor who had helped students find their inner strength. I wondered if he would reveal the culmination of all  this wisdom in a little package or capsule of words and procedures that would push my students and, maybe, myself to never ending excellence? Was it worth taking 5 days from my summer vacation to go to the class that was over 60 miles away? And then I got the idea! I’d find a campground in The Adirondacks near the class and commute. I would be a student during the day and at night I would complete any assigned reading by the light of my gas lantern and a wood fire. I loved the idea.

The instructor seemed knowledgeable and passionate about what he did…

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