Moving to Maryland, Road Trip, and Visitors!

Since arriving in from Alaska the 16th of May, it’s been a tad bit like a whirlwind of things to do. Best friend –  Lorien came into town (Seattle) to spend about a week with me. We tried to fit as many Seattle and Washington things in as we could. Over 800 pictures were taken… The Hoh Rainforest is very photogenic to be fair though. The week was entirely too short but still wonderful. At an undated point I will post some of the photos (don’t hold your breath though, I’ve a back order of the things).

I’ve been preparing (or my version anyway) of moving East, which is all kinds of chaos for me.You may or may not have heard about the move to Maryland that I leave for in just a few short days. Due to my time management problem of updating the blog with all the pictures that I have to share I haven’t post much.

My desire to be back with my horses or finalize where they will spend their lives without me has been longstanding now. Obviously I want to try everything possible before giving them up to someone else, so keeping my ears open the last year or so and networking with people all over the country has paid off with a opportunity. A farm in Princess Ann Maryland is where my new home for the next little bit shall be.

Some of you may know/know of Carmen from Coyote Tracks & Tracker School. We interned and worked together at Coyote Tracks and have remained friends for life ever since. Originally from Ocean City, MD Carmen has moved on to great things in Saint Croix with her Husband to start their dream of an outdoor school after working for Tracker School for years on New Jersey. Carmen and her family in Maryland have had a 25-acre farm for some number of years now and more recently have no one to live there and care-take it. Upon hearing of my ideas of teaching with my horses I was offered not just the position of caretaker but also to bring my horses!

Maryland has never been someone I imagined living. While most would love the idea of the beach being only an hour or less away and two hours from D.C; I do not find this a helpful balm to living my mountains, snow and evergreens of the Northwest and Alaska. But sometimes life takes us to places our surface selves scoff at would never pick. So it is with Maryland, even with my complete lack of desire to ever live in the state with its flatness, humidity and sun; I am looking forward to having a whole house to call my own and land that hasn’t known chemical or mass altering for years. Rosie & River will move with me, while Reuben will stay behind in Seattle with his job and space to seek out what life has to offer him.

Wait what about Reuben in Seattle!? ‘You say’. Reuben and I are effectively ‘broken up’, but remain friends and hopefully will continue to be so as life takes us each to different places. I’m grateful for him in my life in so many ways and will continue to be.

The Maryland farm has an old farmhouse, two ponds, woods, and open grass; but no fencing.  My first objective is to fence along the road to ensure the dogs are safe. Then I will be focused on creating a space to bring the horses up too. All of this will be work I will probably have to perform without major tools (tractor, large electric saws, etc), and hopefully aided by whomever family member or friend who helps out. While my brothers have committed, they seem rather adverse to hand saws. I hope to be able to bring my horses up before the summer is over, but that may be asking a lot.

The Phillips (Carmen’s family) will be helping when they can, but if anyone who wants to visit or lives nearby that would like to be a part of the creating, I will happily instruct/teach/ride with once the horses are moved up. In addition to fencing there will probably be other basic fixing up to do down the road so there is no shortage of work!

In addition to the horses, I hope to grow some food (nothing elaborate) and that is another area that friends and family would be greatly welcomed to assist me with. Particularly the putting in gardens, as I don’t have a green thumb L.

I plan to train other people horses, both at my place and nearby farms to support the critters and myself. Lessons and learning how to train your own horse will also be available. I will probably do some dog training on a small level as well. What I really hope to do is work with the people interested in co-leadership skills, group awareness, the power of the Horse and what they can teach us about working together and bettering ourselves. I know, to some it sounds like absolute new-age hippy stuff. But I assure you, everyone could learn a powerful lesson working with horses in a space to experience the dynamic of group unit that is neither hierarchy nor hive minded but a cohesive unit where each member is unique but acts together.  If you are in the position of leading/directing, you should learn more about co-leadership, if you work with children – particularly special needs like autistic, both the child and you really need to work with horses in this fashion, if you are a life coach, healer, therapist etc you could learn so many skills to help those around you. Now unlike the ‘professionals’ in the traditional sense, I won’t certify people or be accredited/certified myself but instead it will be the horses doing the work and I will simply create the space and translate when needed. I’m not going to be ‘treating’ or counseling, just offering experiences.

In addition to the horses, care taking, gardening, I will still be traveling here and there. I’ve people in Alaska who still want me to work with their dogs and house sit when they are traveling a few times a year. There are tracker classes to be attended, people to meet and learn from.  This is all once I have a handle on things at the Maryland Farm of course.

Actually getting to Maryland:

Now that the destination is known, the journey is revealed.  The Black Dragon (my Subaru) will be driven across the states yet again with the dogs and my belongings. Jackie (who is now in Seattle with me as I write this) has flown up to see some of the Pacific Northwest and to do the cross-country drive with me. We already have high aspirations for the trip including Yellowstone WY, Grand Teton WY, Devils Tower (also WY), Mount Rushmore SD (Jackie has never seen it), Badlands SD, and anywhere else along the way that catches our eyes. The idea is to use the 2-person tent, eat out the cooler, and take turns driving. I’m sure a hotel will be gotten at least once to shower at some point. The Black Dragon is once again trekking mountains and will hopefully keep chugging along!

The estimate leave by Date was June 6th, but that was greatly dependent on what the auto shop says about the Black Dragon’s health and what Jackie would like to see of Washington State before we start. Since I began writing this post, I’ve gotten word back on the Black Dragon and it seems my poor car has been going along on pure will alone (yet again) and needs some serious work just to make it to the east coast! Now looking at the 9th or later and that could be pushed back even further. My poor Dragon!

Originally I was to be in South Dakota for the Sundance at the Wild Horse Sanctuary in the Black Hills, but due to the lateness of the drive and unknowns on the road, I’ve decided that unless a plan ticket falls in my hands from D.C to the Dakotas for cheap, I will focus on getting my next with the farm. I’m a little sad that I will miss the Sundance but have been assured that I am indeed invited for next year.

The route will be the northern one except when dipping into Wyoming, then heading southeast to bypass the great lakes states, I have no need to deal with Chicago/Cleveland traffic. By going northeast we will hopefully miss some of the heat and most of the rather alarming storms (Oklahoma City anyone?). I highly doubt the Black Dragon’s windshield with multiple cracks could stand up to baseball sized hail and I don’t want to try to hide from tornadoes.  We’ve AAA and are trying to ensure the Dragon will make it, but right now I’m doing bare minimum (damage control) repairs due to the serious price difference of having it worked on in Seattle verses Tennessee – so please envision the Black Dragon arriving in Maryland with all four passengers (dogs, Jackie & I) intact! A big thanks to my wonderful Aunt Michele for finding the auto guy who seems to know what is what and honest about it!

Jackie is very excited to see Wyoming (last time he drove through he was about 4 years old) and I of course love being on the road in my own car journeying.  River has been watching me pack books into boxes and anxiously hovering (she knows we are moving, not just traveling). I’ve a new camera (okay new for me) in the mail to ensure that I can get some decent pictures no matter the weather – I got a Olympus Tough camera (waterproof, freeze proof, crush & drop proof) that I should have a harder time breaking (that’s the idea anyway!). My original dinosaur of a camera is still semi working (only in good light and only when it’s not below 50 degrees) but is sadly no longer reliable.

Kathy G. Has generously  shipped her extra iPad for me to use so that we have some Internet and gps options both on the road and once I get to the Maryland Farm. So there will now be some G3 internet, my cell or email is a good way to contact me!  I’ve a feeling that it will take me awhile to actually set up working internet at the Maryland Farm.

Whatever may come of all this in the long run – even ‘failure’ in the traditional sense, I believe this will be a important experience not just for myself, but all the people who are touched by it. So if you are drawn to what I am embarking on here, please let me know and maybe you’ll find yourself working with one of my mares or cultivating wild edibles for your table. I’ve a feeling this whole experience is about people assisting one another to further their skills/experiences.

~ J


2 thoughts on “Moving to Maryland, Road Trip, and Visitors!

  1. Joannie and Jackie: I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip to Maryland–a lots of fun, a little adventure. I sure enjoyed seeing you guys and getting to spend some more time with you!! Love you, Aunt Michele

    • Thanks Aunt Michele, was great seeing you and Jackie was chatting about his time with Uncle Dave and you for quite a bit – he had a great time 😉

      Love you!

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