Thoughts and Tie Hackers

The road is forgiving. It rises and falls, dips and sways, shady and often barren. It is ever changing.Time is not.  When I see the weather change, the wind rise and the rain fall, temperatures drop, I cannot hesitate. My day must begin. Each movement is directed forward. Awake at 5:30. Brush teeth, clear the eyes.Eat breakfast, pack stroller, load, drive, unload, goodbyes. Start beacon, check flags, food, water, begin. Walk, run, breathe, dream….check flag on phone, stop, read name, think, thank you, place, salute, move on. Run. Drink, Eat, Run….do it again and again and again. I love these days. They are each unique and new and refreshing.

As I left the shadow of the Tetons behind I headed up over Togwatee Pass. At just over 9600 it climbs steadily at a 6 percent grade for 17 miles. Imposing? Yes, and even more as the rain and winds move in. My rain gear gets put on and the Snickers bars come out. Chocolate does amazing things at this altitude, it is the great equalizer. Snow comes and how cool is this!!! June 12th almost on top of the Continental Divide and snow! The fog grows. Motor homes and travel trailers move slowly by. I need coffee. Pretty much always, when it gets to be 2 p.m. Hmmmm nothing up here so over the top and down, down, down I roll. Often I forget what I am doing. I feel little below the waist and I look around as if I am in a slowwwwwww moving car….

The Tie Hackers logged this area of Wyoming over 75 years ago. Trees were felled then given to the Hackers who squared them up in exact dimensions and the “ties” were then sent down a flume on the side of the hill into the Wind River and floated down to Riverton, WY. Backbreaking work for low pay. Paid only so much for the ties that you did. I can only imagine the harshness of the comditions. At the Triangle C Dude Ranch I am greeted by the staff and enjoy beef brisket and potatoes and sauteed veggies, salad and cake and ice cream. Above the bar are various boots nailed to the crossbeam of the ceiling. These are boots of prior employees or someone who had died there. Nice. I am encouraged by the outlook on life the young staff has. They are intelligent and in or recently graduated from college. They are positive and energetic and it is contagious. As  I leave the rain continues. The road forgives and time continues to relentlessly move me forward towards that landmark in Dubois……………..the giant Jackelope!! …….

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8 Responses to “Thoughts and Tie Hackers”

  1. Matt Mullane Says:

    Cousin Mikey! I look forward to each and every post! It is great to hear what has been happening on your adventure. Keep up the great pace and enjoy every stride! Looking forward to seeing you in July!

    Matt

  2. Lori Says:

    Happy to hear you are still on course and meeting many along the way that give you encouragement.
    Always in my thoughts and prayers
    God Bless

  3. Linda Wright Says:

    Your stories are so inspiring and your journey even more. My friend this is something that will change not only you, but so many you are touching. Angels always around you as you continue your quest. HUGS, Linda

  4. Mike Swain Says:

    Hi Mike! I think of you and your mission often. Glad to hear you are in good health and spirits…carry on soldier! Best Regards

  5. antonia armenta -miller Says:

    Mike it was such a pleasure to meet you.. we are soo glad you enjoyed your stay and the kids are still talking about what an amazing and inspirational thing you are doing… god bless and god speed… love antonia and the Triangle C Ranch

  6. kath Says:

    Again…..as I sit home in NE & follow your journey…it is beyond words how you or another another human being on our face of earth could accomplish what you have thus far. When you write your thoughts & experiences & some of your inner feelings, it is excellent and with a passion. May God shed his grace on thee.

  7. Mark Powers Says:

    I have followed your journey from the planning up to today. It is simply amazing gift you have been given by God to inspire others through your honoring veterans. I am proud of you as many are. May your java always be strong. May you find peace each day. God bless you and God bless America.

  8. Carl Oesterle Says:

    Sir, I know you are long past Dubois, WY but that is where PFC Chance Phelps is buried. An excellent movie starring Kevin Bacon was made based on an email written by LtCol M.R. Strobl, who escorted PFC Phelps’ remains home after he was killed.

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