"I was, in fact, homesick for wildness, and when I found it I knew how intimately - how resonantly - I belonged there. We are charged with this - all of us. For the human spirit has a primal allegiance to wildness, to really live, to snatch the fruit and suck it, to spill the juice." - Jay Griffiths, Wild: an Elemental Journey

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wild "Plans"

It seems that a day doesn't go by lately without someone asking me, "So, what are your plans for the move?  Have you decided where you're going?"

The answer is "no."  And "yes."

No, we don't know where we're going, as in - where we're going to live, as in - where we're going to pay rent and possibly get jobs.  Yes, we do know where we're going to start the journey. . . probably. . . most likely.

So here, to appease all of your curiosity (and give me a chance to talk about my favorite subject as of late - the big move) is our written-in-sand, loose, ever-evoloving "plan:"

1. We know that we are leaving to move west.  We know that we are ridding ourselves of most of our belongings before we do so (a combination of selling, donating, recycling, and throwing away).  We are pretty sure that we will take Oldman's Toyota pickup truck on the journey.  This will enable us to sleep in the bed and hopefully keep most of our few, remaining belongings in the cab.

2. The last day of school is June 8th.  We plan to leave as soon as possible after that.  It depends on when my colleagues finish writing their progress reports, because reading all of the 5th-8th grade reports is my final task as Head of the Middle School at FCS.

3. We will likely register for the Wilderness First Responder course through NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), which takes place in Tahoe City, CA beginning June 27th.  This will be our first major stop on the journey.  Becoming certified in WFR will not only be a great tool to use to remain safe as we continue on our own wilderness adventures, but will hopefully also help open career doors down the line.

4. After the course, the "plan" gets a bit fuzzy.  We want to wander a bit, without too much pressure to settle in one place.  We'd like to see the California coast, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park in Utah, pretty much all of New Mexico (Taos especially), and maybe Tuscon.  We will wander until we run out of money or find a place that we just don't want to leave - whichever happens first.

5.  When we stop wandering (temporarily), perhaps we will find a little town with a wilderness store where Oldman can work, and a cute little cafe where I can work.  Neither of us want to work in our old careers (as a mechanic or a teacher), at least for now.  Perhaps we will find a small room to rent where we can lay our heads and store our few belongings.  Perhaps we will stay for a month.  Perhaps for a year.  Perhaps forever.  Who knows.

6.  I plan to write about this entire journey - at least in my blog, perhaps also in a book.  So I hope you will all stay tuned and spread the word to more readers!


  1. Melanie - It's awesome to hear that you're doing this. Life is exciting and you're going to have a great adventure. If you find yourself near Whitefish, please call me and know that you're always welcome to crash at my place. It would be awesome to see you and go on some adventure with you. Put my number in your phone (just in case you've lost it: 406.261.5875).

    See you soon - maybe!

  2. Katie! Thank you. :) I think of you often, and am quite confident that our paths will cross again; in fact, I'd like to make sure of it. As you can tell, my plan has shifted from moving to Montana. That happened after I spent a very cold weekend in the Adirondacks ice climbing, and realized that I don't like to be that cold! I want to be in a place that has more sun. Yet, summer in Montana captured my heart like no other place has yet on this earth. So I will return at some point, and we'll adventure together! Thanks as always for your generous offer to crash at your place!