Parking lot dance party

After our visit to the volcano, we headed to a hemp farm at an old mill in a little town called Adams, Oregon. We met John, Marissa, and their toddler daughter (an adorable angel with pigtails who was fascinated by my girls). They’re growing hemp and milling lumber to build a hemp house on the edge of Marissa’s family lands in the Umatilla Reservation. It’s illegal to grow hemp on the reservation because the elders link hemp to Marijuana. John and Marissa are trying to educate the elders about the regenerative qualities of hemp for carbon sequestration and soil remediation. As well as the potential to revitalize the farming community with regenerative farming.

Marissa was a rodeo queen when she was younger and John was a rider. They met at the rodeo, which they told me is quite common for those parts. She got to travel a lot because she was queen and it opened up possibilities for her that she’s still thankful for. She also practices breath work and we discovered that we have some friends in common in the mindfulness world, namely the powerful and vibrant Ghylian Bell, who I’ve had the honor of working with for Mindful. Such a small world, and it was so special to meet someone I’m connected to in a tiny town out west.

It was my first random small world experience on this trip. Interestingly, I had a feeling I was going to meet someone I should know as soon as we pulled into the mill. In usual fashion, we pulled in and Eric got out of the RV and went inside to meet whoever he was interviewing. Me and the girls leveled the RV and cleaned up whatever had shifted or fallen during the drive in. Sometimes, when I have a ton of work to do, I don’t get out to meet anyone until after Eric’s done the interview—I’ll take the group photo after the interview. But this time, as we cleaned up, i had the thought that should meet these people sooner. And before I had a chance to act on it, there was a knock on the door, and there was Marissa with her cutie kiddo on her hip, and a little bag of rodeo swag in her hand.

Ever since then, I’ve been trying pay more attention to those little moments, where a thought bubbles up that I might normally quickly dismiss.

Parking lot dance party

We said goodbye to John and Marissa, and the little farm in Oregon, and made our way north to Walla Walla, Washington. Gregg followed us once we got to town he and took Eric to visit a hemp farm while me and the girls went grocery shopping to stock up for breakfast the next morning. We had plans to stay along the Snake River that night (July 23rd) about an hour north of Walla Walla. It was a gorgeous big full moon night when we finally started to head out of town. And it would have been an amazing night to be in a campground in the middle of nowhere in eastern Washington. But Washington State announced they were closing all the state land in the eastern half of the state to camping. KOAs were still open but fire risk was high. And while we would have been fine, I had zero capacity to go to bed that night wondering if there would be a fire (again). So, even though Eric was against it, I spent way too much money on one of the last hotel rooms in Walla Walla, Washington.

When we got to the hotel, Eric was grumpy. But when he saw the girls exit the RV and start dancing with absolute joy in the hotel parking lot, he recognized that they needed this break, too, and got on board the hotel train.

I got a shower. We all slept good. The girls and Eric went for a swim in the morning while I had some work meetings. We got back on the road that afternoon, heading for Missoula, Montana.

The smoke and haze got thicker as we travelled through Utah. It continued into Montana where a record number of fires are burning.

Swipe left for more