“You’ve got to remember to get off the bus!”

A simple message with a powerful meaning.  The purpose of my solo road trips is to get off the bus of life, but sometimes I can get lost in staying in the car.  This Love Myself a Bit More Tour gifted me with the opportunity to actually meet my pen pal of 2 years.  He lives in Spearfish, SD where I have never visited.  We became pen pals during my Tree Hugging Tour of 2015 when I was considering staying in his Airbnb.  It just did not work out, but be became friends instead.

He pointed me in the direction of an amazing hike for my short stay in Spearfish.  Along the way to Harney Peak I did my usual drive by shooting with my camera.  The hike was challenging and breathtakingly beautiful.  I came home physically tired, but emotionally refueled.  When my pen pal arrived home, he invited me to explore the canyon hikes that only locals would know.  Yet what he told me was that we were going to get off the bus.  This profound mantra was a recommendation given to him on his journey in Alaska.  A fellow traveler told him while on the bus trip that in order to get the full experience you have to get off the bus.  That message stuck with him and now it sticks with me.

Getting off the bus with my pen pal was spectacular.  To start being a passenger in this beautiful land was wonderful.  The dog and I were hanging our heads out of the windows looking wildly around at spectacular scenery.  We pulled over just off the road and headed down a small path.  We climbed up rocks and makeshift ladders to reach a view of the canyon that melted my heart.  Lying down on the rocks looking over the ledge has never been so fun.  I thought we might be done for the day, but no.

When someone asks me how my legs are feeling, my eyebrows raise as I wonder what exactly they are trying to get at.  My legs had recovered from my earlier hike, so I thought.  I raised my shoulders and said, “I am only here one day so let’s go.  YOLO!”  Off we went to hike trail old 76 with a spectacular view.  In order to get to that view my melted heart and lungs had to wake back up and kick it into gear.  Oh and my legs were on fire by the time we got to the top.  Gratitude for not showering after my morning hike washed over me.  Drenched in sweat with my heart beating in my ears while my calves burned I stopped to take in the view.  Wow!  There was a sign at the top posted “Do not go beyond this point.”  No problem, my body was saying the same thing to my mind.  Getting off the bus is truly wonderful.  Descending the mountain felt amazing.  Hardship is all a matter of your starting point.  The only way to enjoy the downhill fully is to have put in the hard work to get to the top.

I left Spearfish the next morning after a night of story sharing.  I look forward to returning to this part of the country and visiting my pen pal again so we can get off the bus.


Kristin Springfield
Advocate of getting off the bus

Trust the Universe; you never know what might happen.

My practice of surrendering to the Universe and trusting that life will work itself out has not been easy.  Yesterday I received the gift of a lifetime by simply trusting.  This road trip (Love Myself a Bit More Tour) was planned with the desire to return to a few of my favorite spots from my Tree Hugging Tour of 2015.  One remarkable place was just outside of the Badlands National Park at Circle View Ranch.

In 2015, on one of the longest driving days, I told the Universe I wanted to be kissed by a male.  Well, Circle View Ranch provided love at first sight of me by their donkey named, Jack.  Yes, I was kissed by Jack the Jackass.  It made me laugh and cry at how quickly the Universe responded.  After two years, I desired to return to the Badlands to see Jack.  While making my reservations, I learned that a room may not be available due to some big car rally renting the entire ranch out.  Amy, the owner, called me just before my trip to say there was availability and she knew I’d do well with respecting the rally.

Honestly, a car rally doesn’t peak my interest in the slightest bit.  I thought maybe they would set off fireworks or something that I could enjoy from the sidelines.  Much to my delight, the Universe had way better plans for me.  I pull up to the ranch to discover 40 luxury tents on the property and an entire team setting up the largest outdoor speaker stage ever.  Here I am in the middle of nowhere to rejuvenate and spend time with God, and a party comes to me.  While checking in, the coordinator of the event shared that this was one of the stops for the Cannonball Run.  This event happens once a year for people whom own luxury rally cars and want to explore the USA on the back roads in style.  My plan was to pretty much stay out of the way.

Yoga on the sun drenched patio called to me and I listened.  As my practice came to a close, cars started rolling onto the ranch just in front of the home I was renting.  These were not just luxury cars; they were the highest end sports cars I have ever seen up close.  Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari and many others danced in the dust as they found their way to a tent.  It all seemed surreal as I calmly sip my water on the patio.  Next I focus my attention on this huge stage that is performing a sound check. I realize there is a good chance that this evening will have way more than a firework show to watch from the sidelines.

Drivers and their guests begin to make their way to the event tent next to the stage.  In order for them to get there they have to walk around the home where I am outside enjoying the patio.  They are not sure who I am and stop to talk for a moment.  That is when I realize what type of party came to welcome me back for my second visit to Circle View Ranch.

I love to dance!  It is rare that I can get my friends to join me in a night out on the town.  Frequently, I have to bargain with them and make plans months in advance.  My favorite music is Electronic Dance Music with an amazing DJ mastering it all!  The Universe heard my desires and brought one of the top DJs right to my door, Steve Aoki.

Steve is amazingly talented and performs privately only for the elite!  This intimate dance party of about 80 people with my favorite music blew me away.  I mean how amazing is that?  Apparently, the Universe sees me as elite, I might as well step it up.  I danced the night away and had the time of my life.  The best part was that I didn’t need to arrange any transportation, as my door was 100 feet way from the stage.  Fellow dance partners became fast friends as we stirred up dust during our best dance moves!  Belly dancing met twerking met jumping in the best of ways.

This morning I woke to share breakfast with the same people who joined in dancing the night away.  Turned out Ice T, Coco and his baby girl enjoyed this party as well. We enjoyed coffee together while talking about life with a two year old.  I picked out a Lamborghini suited with police lights and sirens to call my own for a few moments.   The owners of the vehicles were charming and surprised to meet someone like me.  Apparently, solo road trips are intriguing and considered courageous to be a woman doing so.  There were invitations to join them on their rally and to participate next year.  Smiling in jest, I explained that I would not qualify.  They replied with, of course you do!  I further explained that I drive a Ford Escape, to be met with high fives by the drivers of the most expensive cars on the planet.  Apparently, my quick wit, sarcasm, and lack of interest in gathering a sugar daddy are also rare in their experience.  This banter lead to great conversations with well wishes for the next leg of our road trip tours.

They went their way in line with 40 luxury cars to their next stop of their rally.  While I made my way back to the Badlands National Park to hike.  I found my bliss in nature, and the party met me there.  The Universe certainly has my full attention!

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Kristin Springfield
Surrendering the Universe
Life brings the party right to you


Same goal in new places

Montana is on fire and parts of Glacier National Park are evacuating.  That is awful for many reasons.  During my Tree Hugging Tour 2 years ago, Montana held a special place in my heart.  Actually it made it to my top five places to move to, and is number one place for me once the hot flashes begin in my life.  This road trip (Love Myself a Bit More Tour) was to peak in Montana at Bowman Lake.  On my last day of work before this road trip, I joked with my coworkers to check on my whereabouts on September 17th.  That was the day when my original schedule had me turning around to head home.  My heart wondered if I’d simply stay in Montana or keep driving toward the West Coast.

Due to circumstances out of my control, I will not be traveling further West than Spearfish, SD.  My goal at the planning of this trip was to walk in Nature and spend time with God.  I felt very close to those two things when I was in Montana in 2015.  Apparently this trip I will be meeting Nature and God in brand new places.  New areas of South Dakota, Illinois, and Kentucky have been added to my 2017 tour along with a return to Western North Carolina.

Today I explored for the first time, Turkey Run State Park nestled in Indiana.  It just so happens to be the middle point between the homes of my brothers.  This park is filled with trees that grow right out of rocks.  The message of these trees were, “I have shown you that growth can happen absolutely anywhere!  Here I thrive on this rock ledge.  You decide to thrive. Your physical situation does not determine that.” I smiled looking heavenward while silently saying,  “I hear you.”

Kristin Springfield
Choosing to thrive