Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Laid-Off and ON-THE-ROAD-AGAIN!!!


Middle Elk Fire, Buford, CO
Taken just four miles from the fire.

This morning is the first morning in four months that I didn’t wake up depressed!  And I didn’t even know I was depressed until this morning.  Why you ask???

First day in four months I have not had to get out of bed and go clean up after dirty nasty humans… 18 garbage cans, and seven toilets.  Who would not be happy to be spared that first thing each day?

Well, I am officially laid-off. Sat. night, Sept. 22, I was evacuated from my summer job with the Forest Service due to a rapidly advancing fire five miles from my camp. On Sept 24 my boss laid me off due to low attendance ($59 income the week before the fire and $67.50 income the week of the fire).


Helicopters picked up water from the Lake all day on Friday, Sept. 21, giving me a very bad migraine.  They were very close to my van and directly overhead most of the time.

So... I am ON-THE-ROAD-AGAIN heading out to kayak the last 8 of the lower 48 states... which are KS, OK, AL, LA, MS, MO, TX, AR... not necessarily in that order. I will then make a quick visit in the FL panhandle to see my sister before heading to Quartzsite AZ for the rest of the winter making jewelry.

In January, I hope to visit Monterey CA to see folks there and kayak the Bay again. After that, maybe WA state to see my beautiful grandchildren.

Just wanted you to know I am O.K.--


Saw this beauty on the way back to work last week.


  1. Hello. Thanks for the update. I have followed your blog for a long time and was worried you would get stuck up there with snow if you didnt' get out soon. Enjoy your freedom but be thankful for your experience. Looking at your pictures you look like the picture of health. The lifestyle you are living has been good for you. I am so proud of you and look up to you as a role model. Some day I hope to be like you. On the road and Free!

    1. Thank you, Anonymous. Yes, I am glad to be off the mountain. There was a feeling of ice/snow in the air that was chilling to the bone. This morning, over 4,000 ft lower, my van was 25 degrees F warmer. Feels very nice. I'm taking time to relax and sort the van and trailer and plan out these last eight states, reviewing my notes, etc. before pushing on. Happy to have you following along.


Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.