Posted in Adventure, Life

Mission: Missing Dog

What started like a peaceful evening on the patio with a little writing and yes, more ice cream,ended up in total Mayhem. All of a sudden there was panic and understandably so as it was noticed that the neighbors dog was missing. I was going to give the bicycle a rest today, but I guess the universe had other plans. Somehow the little garden door unlatched and escaped was one big black poodle named Pocco. The small pathway led to pastures and fields, but also a main high speed road not too far off. After swearing that the dog couldn’t have opened the latch, that he was sure he had closed it and that someone must have opened it, there was no time to waste. He decided to call nearby family and the police, thinking his dog got stolen, while I set out on the bike to look for Pocco. I never even padded the dog, this could get interesting as I didn’t know if he would so much as let me touch him. Further I had my phone with me but I was truly prepared and didn’t have the neighbors number to call if I found the dog. Perfect, way to go.

I searched the surrounding area and was paddling like crazy, nothing, no Pocco. I decided to check back to see if someone else had found him. Two cars later, one neighbor keeping watch at home and me on the bike, finally a tip came in that someone had just seen him in the middle of town. Everybody went into that direction and we split up from there. Of course it ended up being me who saw a black tail turn around the corner. I had found Pocco, but he wasn’t happy. Scared and barking he didn’t let me come close, despite the sweetest talk. He ran, tail between his legs and I jumped back on the bike hoping to corral him and chase him home. After all there was traffic but luckily not as much and fast as on the much busier high speed road behind the fields. I felt like the sheepherder with his sheep yesterday, except I was chasing a dog with the bicycle. And man, could that dog ever run. All I could do was follow him and after a few turns into the wrong direction I hoped someone would find us soon or later before I ran out of breath. Who was I going to call? Needless to say someone finally did reach us with the car and all ended well. The neighbor was relieved and had to call off the police, Pocco was thirsty like heck and I got the best workout yet. The happy ending…

Good thing I had that bike 😉

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Posted in Adventure, Travel

The bus stops right here – Rothenburg o.d.T.

Check it out I even made a logo for “Fern” and this picture was taken on the city wall surrounding Rothenburg o.d.T. (ob der Tauber). I hope you like it.

It is finally here, the first installment of “The bus stops right here”. I knew a few of you have been excited about this, thank you very much for the support of my quirky ideas. You’re the best. I’m happy to say that the wait is finally over with more installments on the way. Meet “Fern” my little miniature hippie bus that travelled to Germany with me. Fern (meaning far in german) embodies what I hope to pursue in the future. A simpler lifestyle with a home on wheels, traveling to wherever the wind takes me to fuel my wild spirit, and pursue my values and core beliefs. To live by even simpler means, to get rid of the stuff and baggage, but be richer through memories and life experiences. Adventure makes my heart beat higher, as well as to be in my own time and without schedules.

On this first ever installment, you will travel to one of my favorite places. The bus stopped in Rothenburg, a quaint medieval city that is only a short distance away from my hometown, and always a must see. Rothenburg allows you to escape and makes you feel as if you are on vacation. It does get crowded though with tourists in the summer, but on this night it was perfect. We left towards the early evening hours, and it was a mild April day. Unusual warm for this time of season and unusually uncrowned once we got there. Guess nobody planned on taking vacation in April which is often unpredictable and rainy, but not this time. I think we skipped spring all together and headed straight for summer. I’m not complaining after nearly freezing to death during the first weeks of my arrival.

We parked just outside the city wall that was still paved solid. The inner city is made of cobblestone, preserved in its prior history, with market places, tiny medieval doors, fountains, and shops. Only a few short steps from the parking spot is one of the many accesses to the city wall. Steep, narrow steps, whisk you up above the rooftops and a view of the inner city. In the distance you see can churches, other watchtowers and the city life beneath your feet.

Outdoor cafes and Biergarten are a part of german history and are definitely all over the place in Rothenburg. People come together and sit in a relaxing atmosphere, throughout the day and in the evening when the sun settles it’s alpenglow last light on the steeples and romantic core of the city. German “Gemütlichkeit” reminds me much about a Post on the danish Hygge that I did awhile back and has the same concept.

Be forewarned of pictures from Rothenburg to crowd this feed.

Posted in Adventure, Hiking, Inspiration

Bryce Canyon

Just a little distraction from what has become my every day, with a little picture from a previous adventure to Bruce Canyon. A must see to explore and a truly amazing place. We took a 3 hour Mule ride into the canyon, passed natural archways, and these formations called “The Hoodoos”. From the colors to the never ending rock spires, narrow, winding paths, and a few fearful moments of slipping over the edge, it was an adventure and scenic spectacle I will never forget.

Posted in Adventure, Hiking

Rockin my world

It’s no secret I love rocks. From gemstones, to painted and collected rocks along hikes, to my beautiful mountains, I feel happiest surrounded by peaks and arches. This picture was taken last year in the Alabama Hills at Lone Pine, California. I also love to be surrounded by all the wonderful and kind people I have met here on WordPress. You rock my world every day.

“The coolest people I have ever met have the most colorful pasts. They lived life’s of risks, made bad choices, learned lessons, explored and they are not afraid of being real. Tattered tapestries woven of similar threads, they’re my kind of people – My favorite shades of crazy”. ~Stephen L. Lizotte

Thank you for being YOU – My favorite shades of crazy 😉

Posted in Adventure

“Fern” Follow-up

The time is nearing for “Fern” and me to take the journey to Germany. It warms my heart to see that “Fern” was so well received by you, and that you enjoyed the idea of doing a variety of posts called “The bus stops right here” to document the journey and to introduce you to my home.

Next week is my last full week before Germany and I only work six more days until then. I thought of doing a little trial run and take “Fern” with me on a hike here before he hits german soil. What do you think?

Posted in Adventure

The bus stops right here – Introduction

Hey guys, guess what? I bought a bus yesterday. Some of you may know that I dream of a tiny home on wheels, in the form of a renovated school-bus. To ditch most of the responsibilities, work here and there, mostly write and paint, travel and park it whenever a beautiful spots begs me to stay a little longer and live the minimalist lifestyle.

With Germany coming up, these plans are on hold for now, but that didn’t stop me from buying a bus yesterday. Ok, so maybe it’s a miniature version of a bus, but I instantly fell in love with it and had to have it. The grand scheme has already evolved since the purchase of such “Flower power” VW bus and it will travel to Germany with me. From there I hope to do blog segments (WiFi dependent) that I will call “The bus stops right here” to document the journey. Or is “The buck stops right here”? I’m sure it will be a little of both if Mom misbehaves, but anyways. It could be places the bus travelled to, and stopped, or other things that are yet to be finalized and planned. Sorry that I’m already getting ahead of myself by sharing this without having all the details. What can I say, I got excited and thought it will help me have some fun while introducing you to Germany and my new surroundings in an adventurous way.

I’m not a 100% set yet, but as I saw the bus I was thinking of the name Fern. I can’t tell you why I want to call it that, but it keeps sticking with me and I keep referring to the bus as Fern. Fern in German means far away….and perhaps Fern and I have a purpose to fulfill while I am far away. What you think?

Posted in Adventure, Europe

Boat return – Bodensee 

We made it back to St. Bartholomä in time to look around and scout out the souvenir shop. It was stuffed full to the brim with little trinkets, maps, patches, miniature cowbells and other memorabilia. The eye couldn’t figure where to wander first or on what to settle. Of course it was the maps that seemed most practical as we explored a few cool hiking trails of the surrounding area. Today was not the day to purchase this map, but already it was the pre homework for a future trip. This trip was short and we knew it, nor would it allow enough time to do such a hiking exploration. It was stolen time, as I left Mom behind in the hospital. It was time to give myself a short break from everything, but it was also the beginning of the groundwork, the birth of an idea which would inspire a future trip. The day of return would come, with more time at hand and perhaps different circumstances, I just knew it right then.The boat tour at Bodensee offers two different routes. One that docks at St. Bartholomä, and the other that continues on further to the end of the lake. The later one offers a hike to a waterfall and to a hut above the lake. You could spend weeks just hiking from hut to hut, find modest accommodations, a roof over your head, with the atmosphere and feel of a simple existence, a life less complicated while food was all included. We were undecided of which one to take and in the end we choose the one to St. Bartholomä. Leaving the boat, after getting there, I immediately felt as if we made a mistake and I wished we could continue on. In hindsight I think it was the right choice and it leaves a yearning in my heart to return and to explore the second option when time is not such a big issue. I imagine myself up on the mountain, hiking the green pasture, smelling the wildflowers amongst the wild peaks, watching chamois and other wildlife in the distance while hearing the rhythmic sound of cowbells, enjoying the bliss, while taking a nap and feeling the sunshine on my face. It has to happen in the summer when the days are long, so this wonder can be enjoyed as long as possible. The future was already unfolding in my mind and I understood as to why our initial choice felt like a mistake. But for time sake and for making the most out of what we had, I know that our decision was perfect. Our hiking excursion to Eis Kapelle, the ice cave with the chamois was nothing to complain about and I’m glad we saw it. 

We boarded one of the last boats that would leave St. Bartholomä this evening. A growling noise from my stomach came as a reminder that we really didn’t eat all that much. We noticed a few places that offered food along the way, and they were typical of the touristy feel of the area, as well as the price point that came with them. We decided to push on and it was getting late, we still had no place to stay for the night and this became a priority. It was no big deal and in the worst case scenario we would sleep in the rental car. The mid-size, compact car I had reserved for this trip, turned out to be a touring van that provided enough seating for seven people. You should have seen my eyes as I first saw it. If that was what “compact” looked like, I’d be curious to see what “big” looked like. I never experienced a van with so much power, driving this fast and gliding over the road with such ease. Not that I have experience with such a thing, but I was impressed and it quickly grew on me. Now, on top of it, it might just become the perfect solution in case we got stranded and found no place to stay that late. It was getting dark already as we arrived at a place near Ramsau, and the only thing that was still available was a whole apartment flat. It was perfect and we took it. The night was saved with a hot shower and a hot meal in the accompanying restaurant. The balcony would be awesome in the morning to enjoy the surrounding views, and we knew right then, that we wouldn’t leave a minute earlier as we were required to. We would soak up one moment at a time and it is something that I have come to enjoy and value these days. The awareness that I have gained over the years, to make the most out of these moments, to be still, without rushing through them, the ability to realize that every one moment, every one experience only comes ones in a lifetime, allows me to slow down and pause for awhile. It is very satisfying and I find a lot of gratification in those adventures. 

In the end, the apartment was wonderful, but either way it would have been fine. I would tell you that if you find yourself on an adventure, and if you can stay flexible and limit your expectations, every outcome will be perfect. You might find yourself surprised about the simple things, and the moments that will hold the highest meaning. Your time will be free of disappointments, with more moments to enjoy what truly matters. 

Still, the comfort and the beauty of this spot, the views and the feel of being surrounded by Germany’s mountains was hard to beat. Everything was exactly how it was meant to be.