Hello

Hi!  I am an artist and writer in Missoula, MT.

I write and publish a zine every month.  Find out more about it on My Zine link above.

I also make mostly fine art, but occasionally weird art books or sticker sets.  During the xmas season I make funny xmas cards.

Lately I have been doing a hiking project where I go on a hike every week and then blog about it.  So my usual art website is a little full of hiking pictures.

bbbapril2019_page2

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Hike 6 – Main Corridor of the Rattlesnake Trail

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I am not sure why, but this hike has a spot that reminds me of writers block.  It has a place that I just can’t seem to get past.  We will call it the bubble.  All the hikes in this area always seem to turn around at this basic area, or continue up one of the forks instead or continuing down the main trail.  My goal for this hike was to get father than I have gotten before, which I succeeded in doing.  The main corridor has one big trail that is really the size of a road that is very trafficked by bicycles and then another trail that is small and intimate that mostly follows the creek and tucks in and out of lots of lovely places to sit and enjoy the creek.

I was just getting out of the bubble, and decided it was safe for me to stop and do some writing.  I want to write an epic nature poem inspired by the writing of Mary Oliver.  So, I decided that on my hikes that I want to pick inspiring places to read Mary Oliver poems and then work on writing some of my own.  I started writing and then read a poem to the creek, and wrote some more.  Then my bowels made themselves known.  Oh no!  I had to poop.  This was a problem because 1. I didn’t bring toliet paper.  2. Even if I did, this area is more like a public park lately instead of the great outdoors.  There are too many people for comfortable pooping.  3.  WTF! I still hadn’t quite gotten out of the bubble.

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I packed up and resolved to go for as long as I could.  I feel like I can hold a poop for a few hours, so not all was lost.  I followed the little trail to a bigger trail and walked for a bit to a fork in some other trails and behold there was an outhouse.  Holy Holy!  I always scoffed at these bathrooms 1 mile up a trail. Why is it there?  But this time I quickly walked towards it excited.  My body was like yes!!  I went for the handle and …. fuck.  it was locked.  WHY PUT A FUCKING OUTHOUSE THAT FAR UP A TRAIL IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO KEEP IT OPEN AND MAINTAINED!!!! I still wasn’t out of the bubble! Luckily if I kept moving my body forgot about something else it wanted to move.

And I made.  I did.  I got out of the bubble entirely.  Finally.  I was hiking for a really long time on the main trail that is like a road.  It is was dry and very far from the creek and really not my favorite trail.  Finally I saw the smaller cooler trail that follows the creek and I threw caution to the wind and went off trail to get to it.  I just really wanted to find another place by the creek to continue my writing .  I finally found a place.  It was perfect.  It had a perfect sitting log right next to the creek and I was just starting to write when a man showed up.  My bowels also showed up so it wasn’t just this guy that sent me back to the trail before I could get much of anything written.  This was my turn around spot.  I started heading back for the sake of my but, but I still was looking for another inspiring spot.

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And I found one.  I found a place that has a beautiful cliff face that hangs over the creek and was the place that I had made it to the only other time I had busted out of the bubble.  Josh Wagner and Jorge and I had made it that far years ago.  We all threw rock in there and generally enjoyed ourselves until the walk back when young Jorge he was maybe 4 or 5.  Whined terribly because he was tired.  He was only ok if we kicked pine cones down the trail.  So for the majority of the trip back we kicked the damn pine cone.  I remember hating it by the time we got back.

In this place I was just about to sit down and start writing when the same guy showed up.  I decided to wait him out and we had a nice conversation about his dog and bears and then he left and let me get a little bit of writing done.  When I would sit down to write is when my need to shit would be intolerable, so I didn’t linger and got back on the trail and didn’t stop until I got to my car.

I was glad to be on a hike alone.  I love my hikes with other people, but there is a magic that you have a hard time seeing because it is eclipsed by the presence of the other person.

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Hike 5 – Tower Street Open Space

This is less of a hike and more of a meander.  It is a one mile loop.  I am HUNGOVER after a crazy trip to Bigfork yesterday.  Terah had called me on the way home while I was pretty drunk and wanted to know if I wanted to hike or something in the early part of the day and I was like, “I have to go for a hike tomorrow anyway, so lets do that.”

Looking through the book I wanted to find like the easiest and most shaded hike and when I saw the Tower Street one I was like, “yeah.”    Terah did a big project in this open space when she was in her last year of art school.   She built all kinds of earth sculptures with two other people.  That part of the river always makes me think of her.

terahattheriverI was so hungover that I wasn’t the best company.  We dipped our feet in the river and then meandered back.  The river changes coarse every year and there is now a beautiful little off shoot that the trail goes right by.

riveroffshootIt is been really hot and it seems unrelenting.  Hopefully this next week we will find more of a hike hike.

 

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Blah Blah Blah V15 issue 7

bbb_v15is7_coverFigured I should post something that is not about hiking since this website is all over all my art business cards.   This is the cover to my newest zine.  I have been having a hard time creating lately.  The pandemic is fucking with me.  It is a little crippling.  But I still publish this zine NO MATTER WHAT!!!   Love!

 

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Hike 4 – Deer Creek Trail

This hike was awesome in multiple of ways.  First off it was one that was not on my radar at all.  I had never been there, I had never heard of it.  We followed the directions in my trusty hiking book, which led us up an unmarked road where we parked at an unmarked trailhead, which was just a gated road with no other cars parked at it.  When we pulled up clouds had filled the sky and it was a bit ominous.  I was glad Aaron had decided to come with me again.

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[This picture is me looking back at my car at the beginning of the trail.]

It had a spooky feeling to it, but also a rad feeling of exploring a new place.  As we hiked it seemed way less spooky.  We followed the trail, which is basically an old logging road, up and around a side of a mountain.  And the sun came up and it was just straight up beautiful.  Then we found huckleberries.  And that was freaking rad.  We picked a bunch.

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Then Aaron took a bunch of photos of me.  When we got home he turned them into gifs, which is rad.  I tried to post them here, but I didn’t work, and I just don’t know enough to figure it out, but I will post them on my instagram.  Originally, I had wanted this hiking project to be just me, alone, hiking.  But last night was one of the best date nights Aaron and I have ever had.  It had never occurred to us to go on a hike for a date.  But it is so good.  I think it may be our new go to thing to do.

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[Check out that hair.  I rarely think about my appearance, especially when I am going for a hike.  So, there I am in all my raw beauty.]

Picking huckleberries was making my back hurt so I sat on a log while Aaron picked more and I examined the hiking book.  In the book it had said that the trail would eventually disappear about a mile up the trail and that is where you turn around.  We were pretty sure we had gone farther than a mile and it hadn’t disappeared.  Looking at the map I realized that we had actually left the intended trail and went up one of the off shoots instead.  We didn’t mind.  We ended up in the perfect place.  Now we have a whole other trail to explore next time.

thetreeandi

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Hike 3 – Curry Gulch Trail to Curry Cabin

There were daisies EVERYWHERE!!  I love daisies.  Dandelions and daisies are my favorite.

daisyeyesAnd Aaron, my lovely husband, joined me for the hike.

aaronandiwithdaisiesThe hike was again up the Rattlesnake.  That is the first part of the book, and it is a short drive and there is enough shade and a creek to dip my hat in.  It was a hot day today, we definitely needed shade.  I am not sure what kinda effect the 4.8 mile hike had on me, but when I got home after eating a smoothy I was laying in the lounge yard chair in the shade.  I sort of drifted off and then woke myself up.  And then entered a weird dream state where I was awake and dreaming at the same time.  This has never happened to me.  It was terrifying.

This hike was the farthest I have made it yet in this project.  Having Aaron there definitely helped with that.  I guess when I am by myself I worry about pushing myself because I want to be as strong as possible because I am alone in the woods.  But with my protector with me I could push it a bit more.  It was also nice to go on a hike with him.  My son, Jorge, was at my parents house so it was just Aaron and I.  I think in our entire 13 year long relationship I think we only have ever went on one other hike just the two of us.  Not that we haven’t hiked together, there are just usually other people with us.

currycabinLook at me being totally tired.  I did it though.

I did this hike with Terah and Courtney 10 years ago.  I have a picture of me standing next to the cabin then too.  I wish I could find it and post it too, but I don’t have time to dig through a crazy lot of pictures.  I don’t even remember if it was on film or digital.  I would have never guessed it was 10 years ago, but I made a note of it in my hiking book.  That was when I first had made the goal to do every hike in the book.

I also found a tiny wild strawberry

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And, well, it was a really good hike.  I am glad I am doing this project.

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*******For those of you that noticed that I skipped a week.  Last week we went backpacking.  And since it was not a hike in the book, and I wanted something to write about in my zine, I decided to just skip a week in this project.  Also, I didn’t take a camera backpacking because they are heavy, so no pictures of that trip. ******

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Hike 2 – Woods Gulch

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This hike is a hard one.  It is all up hill.  I picked it partly for this reason and partly because it is a very shady hike and it was a hot day.

I wanted to get an early start, but I also wanted to make experimental pancakes this morning.  And Jorge and Aaron were leaving for Butte for the day, and there is just something as a wife and mother that I wanted to see them off on their journey, so I didn’t end up getting up there till after 1pm.

It was hot and hard and I so wanted to make it all the way to the top of the ridge, but I started getting too wiped out and decided to turn around.  I am glad I did because before I got back my legs were turning into jelly.  Shaking and everything.

I think I only went 2 miles after looking at the map and stuff, but I think that it ok because I gave it my all.  I wanted it to be a little hard because I am hopefully back packing on Monday and I wanted to get in the groove for it.  I say hopefully because I also have jury duty that day.  Every time I have ever had jury duty it has been cancelled the last minute, so I decided it would be too sad to cancel the backpacking trip we have been planning since February.  If jury duty isn’t cancelled I am just going to make everyone go without me.  I doubt they would pick me to be on a jury anyway, and I could go meet everyone.

Hence the experimental pancakes.  How can I make my favorite pancakes without a banana and almond milk.  I think I figured it out.

 

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Hike: Week 1 – Stuart Peak Trail

I recently read the book Julie & Julia about a girl who made every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and, well, it inspired me.  I want to do a project that isn’t my art or my zine.  I was like, NOT an art or writing project!!  After weeks of thought I decided to do a hike a week out of my Missoula Hiking book.   The rules of the project are as follows. 1. Try to go it alone (but since I am a mom and a busy girl I can cheat if absolutely necessary).  2. Must make a blog post about each hike within 24 hours of the hike.  The quality of blog post can be poor.  No one is reading this.  This is for me. (so is this a writing project?)  3. Must be a hike out of the book.

Hike1springgulchNot only am I doing this hiking project, but also this week I decided to do a weird cleanse thing where when I wake up I have to drink 16oz of water with a whole lemon squeezed into it.  And then I drink 16oz of celery juice and then 16oz of water before I can eat anything.  And then I am only supposed to eat fruit.  So it is hours and hours each morning until I have my much needed coffee.  I knew that if I waited until after I could consume coffee I wouldn’t get out the door until late in the afternoon.  I worked till 1a.m. last night, so I slept in until 11a.m.  I was hell bent on getting out that door.  Celery juice and water and fruit all packed.

My no coffee brain forgot about another super essential, sunblock.  Also, a hat.  But luckily I had an extra hat in the car.  I was sitting there at the trailhead after ransacking my car looking for sunblock, I was like do I just not do this today?  But decided I would just make it short.  I can sort of feel when I am starting to burn.  So off I went.  The sun was hot and I didn’t make it very far before I decided to duck down to the creek.  The trail I was heading for is just off the main corridor of the Rattlesnake trail.  I touched the creek and felt its magic.  I sat for a moment.  The spot reminded me of my friend Laurie who passed away last summer.  We once sat in that very place and did a writing exercise.  Anyway, I cried a little.  I decided to take my hair down to save my neck from burning.  I dipped my hat in the creek and rubbed some mud on my shoulders and then carried on down the trail.

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Last Fall I went to a panel at the Missoula Festival of the Book where they talked about how solo walking fed their writing and how they needed it to write well.  Well, I walk a bit by myself around town.  But I do not remember the last time I walked in the woods alone.  It felt so good.  To move when I wanted to move, to stop when I wanted to stop, to let my mind wander and think.  I guess we will find out if it feeds my writing.

It wasn’t long before I realized that if I didn’t head back soon I would indeed be burned and looped back.  I think I might have went 2 miles if that.  But, it was a good first hike of this project.

And the coffee was dang good when I got back.

wildroses

 

 

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Dear Fingernails

dear fingernails,

I am glad I don’t chew on you any more.
I am glad I just pick at you.
I am sorry they are tattered and ragged,
from eating pistachios.

 

 

*this poem was written for my last zine, but didn’t make it in for lack of space

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Blahx3 volume 15 issue 3

Wow, these are some crazy times we are living in.  Here is my newest zine.  And I have every intension to post some outtakes from this zine on this here blog.  But for now here is the cover to my march zine

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