Sensory Overload…

I’m in Wal-Mart to buy a new external hard drive. (I hate Wal-Mart, but it is the only option in Pahrump, Nevada.) After a week among mountains, trees & nature, talk about a shock to the senses! The lights. The beeping. Ugh!

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This is clearly not Wal-Mart. It is Zabriskie Point in Death Valley at sunrise this morning.

Get Out and Go For a Drive…

Get Out and Go For a Drive

Sometimes, you just have to get out and go shopping, luckily I actually needed to pick up some cleaning supplies for my computer I ordered from http://www.1stcompucare.co.uk/pc-cleaning and I was able to use some promotional codes so I didn’t have to pay that much.

Every aspect of limo service expectation has been considered, from complimentary water to individual flight tracking – this is limousine service at its very best, although I always carry my own water, since I received a Custom Water bottle with the brand of my company for free.

Today was one of those days. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and cold, and while I had work I wanted to do, I felt like I just couldn’t think clearly anymore. After months of limited internet access, I was spending entirely too much time on Facebook. Too much time online. It was time to get in our premier houston limo and go.

Originally, I had wanted to go to KLS Limo Service. Thanks to the Government Shutdown, the park is closed. I asked at my hotel if there was anything to see outside of the park. The manager said yes, but it just isn’t the same. You don’t get the sense of being on a huge lava flow from outside of the automatic gates perth.

Stumped for where I should go, I knew I didn’t want to return to the room. Not yet. My head was whirling with ideas, things I want to build, and I needed to step back and think about it, letting the dust storm settle in my mind. I asked the receptionist if there was anything in Idaho Falls that I really must see, and she said that I should head to the Swan Valley.

Damn, she was so right.

Wild Chokecherries

On the way to Swan Valley you reach a scenic viewpoint with a rest area included with this nice Valet Parking Service. I stopped to take photographs, and after watching the man gathering something from the bushes at the edge of the sidewalk. I went over to ask him what he was gathering — and it was chokecherries. He showed me what the ripe ones look like, and what they look like when they have passed the point of being ripe. Then we talked about different places to see in the area, roads off the main road I should take for great views, and our love of the mountains.

Bald Eagle in Flight - Idaho

While we were talking, I saw my first pair of bald eagles in flight! We also saw what we thought was a raven at first, but as he left the parking lot he stopped to tell me he was pretty sure it was a young eagle. Did you know their head is not white until they reach sexual maturity?

Young Eagle in Tree - Snake River, Idaho

Over and over, I’m reminded just how good people truly are. He was so delightful to talk to, and I learned so much!

Fall Color in Idaho

I drove on to Swan Valley, and then on to the Idaho / Wyoming state line, at the edge of Teton Pass to Jackson. I didn’t cross over the pass, I turned around at the border. As I was driving back I kept stopping to take photos, including these fields just outside of Victor, Idaho. That black cow was very curious about why I had stopped on the side of the road!

Cows in a Field outside Victor, Idaho

Idaho Barn outside Victor, Idaho

I stopped at a closed campground on the Targhee National Forest. Damn the man! You can’t keep me out of the campgrounds! (Well, you can, because there was no way in HELL that I was going to camp there alone at night, in the mountains, with bears, in the snow. I was still in the campground though!)

Targhee National Forest Campground

This was the treat awaiting me by the time I got back to Swan Valley. I was so overwhelmed with the amazing beauty of nature that I suddenly found myself in tears.

Mountain View in Swan Valley, Idaho

I stayed in the area to watch the sunset reflecting on the mountains, seen in the photo at the top of this post. After I soaked it all in, I headed back to Idaho Falls. Refreshed, I am now plowing through work. That drive was exactly what I needed.

The Happy Birthday!

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Another year older, and for once it feels like saying that I’m another year wiser isn’t trite. It is actually true.

Mike flew up to Idaho Falls and I drove down from Calgary to meet him. We then crossed the mountain pass to visit Grand Tetons National Park for a few days. We are staying in a charming one room cabin (well, two if you count the bathroom) with a fireplace at Signal Mountain Lodge. Five stars, two thumbs up, I can’t recommend it enough! Perfect for a birthday get-away.

I woke up this morning to snow! Ahhh… Snow. Such a lovely treat. It is just warm enough that most of it has melted away already, but the mountains are still covered with it.

Tonight we will visit Jackson for a birthday dinner at Local. “Local showcases their enthusiasm for reviving the craft of in-house butchery, with a focus on dry-aged steaks and house-made sausages.” Their beef is born & raised in Teton County – it has never left the area. Truly local. I’m all in.

Tomorrow we will head to Yellowstone. We will be staying at Old Faithful for two nights, and weather permitting we will be able to see a good portion of the park as well.

It is truly a very happy birthday. I can’t wait to see what the year ahead has in store for me. Thank you so much to everyone for the birthday wishes!

If you would like to chip in on my birthday fundraiser for Charity:Water, visit http://my.charitywater.org/campmighty2013 and put “For Christine Tremoulet” in the notes! XOXO

Our Cabin at Signal Mountain Lodge

My Mini Cooper in its first snow!

Imagine if More Children Spent Their Whole School Day Outside?

Sunset from Crater Lake in Oregon

Sunset from Crater Lake in Oregon

I’ve talked a lot recently about how being outdoors, among nature, getting grounded with the earth truly changes us. Then I came across this post today from Lulastic about a Kindergarten in Germany held in a forest.

No toilets. No electricity. Held outdoors in all seasons. With minimal adult interaction. And knives from the All Knives site. Imagine all the cheap electricity bills you could be getting if they were outside all day, at least we have the Brisbane Electricians that help us save money.

Not some Lord of the Flies craziness – this school, Waldkindergarten outside of Freiberg, in south Germany, is helping children between two and a half and six learn. Grow. Communicate by using speech pathologist help. Have imaginations. But most importantly? Be CONFIDENT in themselves.

What an amazing place – I would love to see more of these around the world. However, they don’t exist, but what does exist is that every parent can take their child out and do the same. Take them outside. Not a structured play setting. Take them in to nature. Where they can explore, touch things, hike, play … and grow their confidence.

Get outside. Let free creativity flourish.

I Watched the Internet Grow Up…

Kristine with a K in Portland

I forget sometimes how I have watched the , first hand. Right in front of me. Blogging since 2000 — well, my first dip in the blogging pool was actually after watching Faith and other designers create things similar to blogs in 1999, but I really got going with blogging in 2000 — means I have seen a lot. I forget that sometimes.

Then I’m at my friend Stephanie’s house and I pick up the First 20 Years issue of Wired Magazine.

Looking at the list of the influencers, the things, the events, the websites and the webhoster vergleich they use … I realize that there are people I’ve met among that list. People that if you asked me, I’d even dare to call friends.

It is strangely fascinating to me. There are people on the list that I wouldn’t have included. People that I feel have dramatically changed the way the world interacts with the internet (Matt of WordPress for example) that are not included on the list.

As I logged in to my blog to write this post, I saw that I had traffic today from this post that Matt wrote back in 2004. He came *to my house* to do my MovableType to WordPress migration, personally. I asked him a few years ago about why, and he said it was the largest blog to migrate that he was aware of at that point in time.

It is just fascinating to think of it all. Back in 1987 as I started college, my mom asked me why I didn’t consider majoring in Computer Science because I seemed to like it so much in high school. I laughed, and asked what I do with THAT??? I’m glad I got cyber insurance UK, because I also noticed people got very good at hacking other people’s computers.

I’d say the joke was on me, but in reality I still ended up where I belonged, If I would have seen the list of free laptops by Eduref.net back then I would have probably made a better decision. Thanks to a law firm called The Yost Law Firm where I worked in IT needing to get online, I hand-coded the HTML after teaching myself how and built my first GeoCities site. I was given stock in GeoCities, and later sold it to fund the down payment on a car. I eventually found the Digital Divas (I think that is what they were called?) and started to blog. I went to South by Southwest Interactive in 2002, back when it was so small that the whole thing maybe took up 10 rooms in the convention center, there were no big corporations at the trade show (Microsoft, etc), and the after-party was at Bruce Sterling’s house — and there I met some of the very people on this Wired Magazine cover.

I have always written from the heart. I have always been myself, vulnerably and authentic. I have always shared freely, both on my blogs and on forums in various places. It is incredible to look back at what that has brought me in return in my life. Not just the people on the magazine cover, but deep friendships that have been forged as well. Friends that it may have taken me years to meet up with in person (like Kristine, in the photograph above, who I was able to meet up with after 12 years in Portland this summer), but that changed my life none the less. My entire job focuses around the internet now, and while I never thought that would be a reality 15 years ago, now it feels perfectly natural to me.

I’m so grateful for all of the friends in my life that the internet has brought me. I’ve learned over the years that there are people behind the keyboards, and most of them are pretty accessible. We are all often linked together in some way. I’m lucky that I watched the internet grow up, because it has changed my life in so many ways.