In the never ending quest to fund my adventures, I jumped at the opportunity to work the “Famous Idaho Potato Bowl” yesterday, (formerly known as the Humanitarian bowl).

Yes, your favorite nomad, dressed as a potato was launched from a giant potato gun across the blue turf of the Boise State University football field and onto a giant piece of foil in which I was then wrapped and carried off the field to be baked.

Don’t worry! I got away!

No…no… nothing so exciting as all that… I merely sold t-shirts and ridiculous foam potato hats and other such official schwagg in the fancy tent village behind the stadium.

I was, however, allowed to partake of a wonderful baked potato bar in the tent next to mine. The ladies running it were very nice and let us come in to warm up and mooch food and hot cocoa all day.

From our vantage point, we could see… none of the game.  I, myself was not really interested. however it would have been nice to know what all the yelling was about…. my view was of the back row of the Ohio University marching band, so, the tubas. they were really fun to watch, at one point one of them slipped because he was just rockin’ out so hard and we thought he was going down… but he recovered gracefully and continued to play. It made me miss the days of hanging with all the great band geeks in high school… I never played in band, but those kids were fun!.
I do know that in the last 34 seconds of the game OU beat UT State by one point. but I could see the scoreboard from my spot. None the less, I had a lot of fun modelling and selling the game day schwagg with the ladies I was working with, my Heather, and then Amber (a little story about her in a minute) and Megan.

Balloons escaping following the National anthem…
I couldn’t help but think, ‘this is sponsored by  a farming organization…
and how much litter did they just launch over their state?’

View across the merch table into the tent village… those yellow sweatshirts were still hard to sell after they went down 50% in price. yeah… whoever thought ordering hundreds of mustard yellow hoodies was a good idea… was wrong. 

Our lovely view of the back of the bleachers… can you tell which tuba player is into it? 

So Amber, in her 20’s had never gotten to experience Christmas as most of us remember it…She grew up as a Jehova’s witness so no celebrations growing up. (I met her for the first time when I visited Boise in June, we got along quite well but didn’t keep in touch or anything)

Anyhoo, so she recently decided that she wanted to experience holidays like most kids. She dressed up as peacock for Halloween, decorated a tree, hung up lights…

Well about a month ago her friends decided it was time she get to know what it’s like to be a kid on Christmas morning. So they conspired and schemed… and everyone went out and got her a gift. (when I heard about the plan, I thought it was such a cool thing to do, couldn’t resist making her a beer muff to add to the pile of presents.) The pile of gifts was dropped off with Amber’s roommate Friday night and while she slept, he played Santa Claus and arranged them all underneath the tree for her to find the next morning.
I guess he’s been kicking himself for not videoing her opening all of her presents, as she was jumping up and down, dancing around… Just like a little kid on Christmas.

Yesterday morning before we went to the game, she had already posted pictures and thank you’s on facebook.
After the Game, when Heather and I dropped her off at her house, she brought us in to show off her pile of loot and gush about her wonderful friends.
How freakin cool is that!? I’m so glad I got to be part of it. even if it was only in a small way.

I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing that on here… But it’s the one time I’ve really felt Christmassy this year…

 I’m not feeling the normal festive spirit that I used to get… the past few years have been like that…. maybe it’s the lack of being home for the holidays… or the lack of ability to go out and get gifts for my loved ones… altho, I really don’t like giving gifts when it’s expected. I like surprises.  I much prefer to surprise others with gifts, for example, if it’s august and I find something that reminds me of you, that I know you’ll love and appreciate, (and I have the cash at the time) I’m probably just going to go ahead and get it for you. and sure, I could save it until Christmas… but if I’m likely to see you before then.. I probably won’t wait.  the occasion is I thought of you and felt you needed to have it, nothing else. And you absolutely do NOT need to feel obligated to give me anything in return… except maybe a hug… I like hugs.

I missed Thanksgiving this year…
I mean, sure I had turkey and stuffing and mashatatoes… cranberry and pies… and i had people around… but the thing was, i was working, i was camp chef  at a hunting outfitter in Montana. The people that were around, were clients… and the 3 guides  that worked there. … I don’t know them, not really… they were nice fellas and all… but it was me cooking all day, by myself,  at camp, they come in at lunch, leave again, then go back out, and come back and have dinner after dark. And all the while, I was alone. and what’s more, is I was planning on making a run into town to call the family, but i lost my phone the day before. so I couldn’t even have thanksgiving conversations over the phone. it was lonely….
I enjoy traveling on my own… I loved my drive out to Montana this fall, just me and my dog. i love knowing that if I want to stop and see something, I can. If i need a bathroom break, I don’t have to fight anyone to get it.  But then… i have the road and my music or audio book to occupy my conscious mind… If i need someone to talk back to me (my dog’s not much of a conversationalist) I can put my earpiece in and call someone.
But to be somewhere so cool as southern Montana… all by yourself…. it’s lonely.  The first 2 weeks were fine… no problem… get up, make breakfast, go back to sleep. get up a couple hours later, play with the dog, take a hike, whatever… make lunch…hunters come back and eat, then take a nap… i go do.. whatever, a hike, read a book… play with Shelby… Hunters go back out for the evening, i prep dinner, go play for a bit… make dinner, have it ready by dark, hunters come back, eat, hang out a while, go to bed… i do dishes and go to bed. toward the end of my month there… i got lonely… i got bored… i got fed up.  i would prep everything for dinner after breakfast… have lunch ready, and as soon as everyone had eaten… i would “have to run an errand in town” and i would go hang out at a coffee shop… too bad i didn’t think to start a blog sooner…there’s a bunch of pics from Montana i haven’t even got up on facebook yet… i’ll go thru and post a couple tonite…

Shelby snoozin in her bed under my cot…

Watching the incoming storm from camp in Paradise Valley, Montana

Last week of camp was pretty successful hunting…
i kept catching my dog trying to get away with a souviner

This is what happens when i get bored… weird things happen…day before thanksgiving. 

First snow of the season just getting started.

my office

some of the fellas sighting in their guns…
notice, my dog is not on the picture…
she’s hiding under the  bed. 

The saving grace for my lonely feelings at camp was found (altho not yet realized) the night before i started working at camp, I stayed at the backpacker’s hostel in Bozeman and made friends with the manager there… my weekend ritual quickly became go and hang with him on my night off and swap travel stories , get some food, maybe watch a movie… it was really nice. i made a good friend there i believe, and i intend to keep in touch… he’s hopping a plane to London for a few months around the time my road trip recommences at the start of the year…we’ll have to meet up sometime and swap more stories and photos…
I’m currently signed on to work hunting camp again next fall… but I don’t know if i really want to… there’s been talk of Africa… and that sounds awfully appealing…. and I wouldn’t have to give up Gauley season for Africa… but i’m still unsure… leaning toward new adventures tho…

My out of camp hideaway… Bozeman Backpacker Hostel.
I highly recommend it.

me and my hostel friend… 

well… that was a tangent i hadn’t originally planned when i decided to blog tonite…

i guess stories of the ugly sweater party.. and maybe some pics of it might come tomorrow… but i’m sleepy and for some reason it’s suddenly 3am… funny thing about conversations…. i started this post at a reasonable hour… then my lovely friend called me on skype and we talked and crocheted together over the jetson’s phone. an hour and a half later… i’m on a tangent… go figure.

hope all’s well in your world! thanks for joining me in mine!
good ni… morning. 🙂

One thought on “”

  1. I was a band geek in HS (clarinet). I also didn’t care about the game but the socializing among the band was fun.

    That is very cool about your friend with her first kid-like Christmas. Good for her that she decided to make up her own mind to celebrate and kudos to everyone for helping make it memorable.

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