Tag Archives: hike

Utah.

(Month one)

The west has always had a sturdy grip on my heart and Utah is a spot I’ve wanted to head back to since I visited a couple years ago. Now that I’ve been here a month I remember exactly why I was so hype on it. I mean red rocks, sunshine, hiking, camping, swimming, sunsets, canyons, etc… It’s basically a little kacy paradise, with one exception, the damn 3.2% beer. Mmmm all the bloat, none of the buzz.

Fear not though, big mama has a healthy stock left from her days in Maine and hath discovered the liquor stores sell the real McCoy (but only warm and by the single bottle). Wouldn’t be mad if someone decided to get me a membership to the beer of the month club for x-mas… wink wink… Siblings…

Sups glad I hauled my life the 3,000 miles out here, me thinks I’ll happily be living life out west for many moons to come.

Northern Maine.

I have officially completed my first assignment living out of a tin can! There was definitely a learning curve to it… If you are buying a camper, listen REAL careful, when you are hooked up to a sewer drain you still have to close your valve and only open it up to drain it when it’s full. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way, but that one has got to be the hardest. Praise the lawd baby Jesus I only shi-shi in my camper, cause I left that valve open and I made a toilet paper clog like you wouldn’t believe. I’m hella lucky to have a plumber brother and a pops that is handy as hell. Happy to announce that 2 months worth of urine will be staying in Ohio as I continue west! A little lighter, a lot less stanky. Oh, TMI? Sorry. Not really. The truth is gnar.

Leaks, mice, no electricity, and life being scaled down to 20 ft made for quite the adventure, but I wouldn’t change my summer for anything. Shout out to all my neighbors up in Paradise for taking me in like part of the family and guiding me through my first season! Literally would still be in the dark without you guys (they helped me get my electricity working, get it?).

Mars Hill was the dopest kind of a middle of nowhere assignment. I tried my hand at nursing home nursing, the result is a realization that old people rock hard.  I joyfully painted nails and listened to travel stories and collected 50some new grandmas and grandpas. But I’ll be glad to get back into the excitement of the hospital world in a couple weeks.  I hiked, biked, paddled, and I had a blast, but it was starting to get cold and mice were trying to move in, so you know it was high time for big mama to hit the trail.

Stellie, Jackie and I are now taking a little 3,000 mile cross country road trip for my next gig.  If you live off 70 and wanna grab a brew in the next few days, holla atcha girls.

Acadia.

After dragging my mom and sister all the way up to Mars Hill and sitting in the car for 3 days straight we were past due for a bit of fun. Of course that meant hopping back in our cars and putting in another 4 hours of driving down to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. (It really is a wonder none of us threw a blood clot…) But it was so worth it.

We got real Maine on life.
The lobster was my spirit animal.
I was the lobster.
The lobster was me.
My b.o. smelled like wild blueberries.
I started talking like Mark Wahlburg in any cop movie ever.
Basically.
We went hard in the Maine.
And.it.was.awesome.

 

I can’t lie, I was sad to see my girls go. Another rad mother daughter adventure in the books, time to start brainstorming next year’s escapade!

Arizona.

So I left AZ a month ago and this is way late, but I need to get back on the blog train, so here she blows!

Once I got back from New Zealand my goal was to push my way back into nursing differently.  After 9 months out of the hospital I figured I would have a little trouble finding an agency that would scoop me up, but  I talked to a recruiter the day after I got back from NZ and a week and a half later I was on my way to my first travel nursing assignment in Bullhead City, AZ!

Now, Bullhead City is in the high desert and probably a place you’ve never heard of (fair nuff). It was a great first experience though and I think it was the right spot to sort out this dreamy work and travel combination. During my 8 weeks there I made it to Flagstaff, Sedona, Vegas, Lake Havasu, Oatman, and I managed to take a weekend trip to Austin. Plus, lets get real, after 9 months on the road I didn’t have much to my name so getting back to work finally got my bank account heading in the right direction…

Now I’m on my second assignment in Austin and it is going fantastically, I’ll be here until the middle of July, and I’ll try to not be such a slacker on this ol thang.

Wanaka and the West Coast.

I headed to Wanaka on NYE and spent quite a few days in the area, it was an adorable little lake town and I was more than happy to have time to work on my tan, get some hikes in and recharge. After a those days of flying solo in Wanaka I managed to talk a pal from Queenstown into meeting up with me and now we’re on our way up the West Coast and around the North side of the South Island. That’s right, y’all, the story is now Little Kacy, Big Travel Buddy…stay tuned to see how that plays out!

Only 10 more days before I fly home, so the pressure is on to make the most of it!

Make Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

This time of year is for family and friends- for getting together, catching up, for being around those that you love. Being halfway around the world I knew that there would be some challenges,  but life is what you make of it… right?

Christmas in Milford Sound has a magical ring to it, so I booked a hostel and a bus ticket and decided to roll the dice.

I. got. lucky.

On my way up I met a Canadian chick, also traveling alone, looking for a hiking buddy-sold! We sat down to plan our Christmas hike and learned that there are really not any hikes within walking distance of town,  the lodge, or anything, so we had to get a little bit creative on transportation methods ;). We made it out to the Gertrude Saddle trail head and hiked Christmas day away, surrounded by waterfalls and mountains.  On our way back to the lodge we managed to recruit a new team member and orphan Christmas was officially a thing! A respectable crew of 6 backers, we got together to make our “only add water” grain variations and canned meat dishes (sounds much sadder than it was) and followed that up with an evening of charades and scrabble with our newly found Indian BFFs (totally not orphans, but their parents enjoyed the break…).

Given that I couldn’t be home, the holiday was more than I expected and better than I could have imagined.

Now I’ve been back in Queenstown for the past few days enjoying hanging out with the friends I’ve made and working on my freckle collection, but with only 3 weeks to go the pressure is on to see the some more of this beautiful country!

 

 

Solitude: Success

After getting to Te Anau I looked at a Department of Conservation map, picked a remote little site, loaded up Big Teal, and headed out there for some peace and quiet with no real plan. It was a great chance to slow down and join the finer things club. When traveling it is easy to get caught up and feel like you’re not moving fast enough to see everything, but constantly racing around it is easy to miss the magical world that constantly surrounds you. I walked slow, stopped to look at all the weird fungi, and made some great bird friends who did my hair and made me a beautiful ballgown to win over the prince… wait… nah, that’s Cinderella’s bit. But I still felt a bit like I was living in a fairy tale!

Just a word to the wise- BUY BUG SPRAY IF YOU’RE IN NEW ZEALAND. The sand flies and mosquitoes are ruthless demons.

Sand flies and mosquitoes. The finger choice was strategic...
Sand flies and mosquitoes. The finger choice was strategic…