I’ve been a lazy, naughty blogger of late, leaving all my readers wondering if I’m still alive and if so, where in the world am I? My sincere apologies if you’ve been looking for the latest adventure story. But after this update, you’ll have to wait even longer. I’m taking a break from the blog to focus on the book I’m writing about those adventures. I’ll be back in a few months, and in the meantime you’ll still be able to follow me on Instagram at cherylkoshuta, or as always, through my Facebook page which consists solely of blog posts and Instagram posts.
I spent the summer (northern hemisphere) traveling through one of my favorite places on earth: the vast expanse of the western United States. If you saw my June and August posts, you know part of the story. (And if you didn’t, scroll down and read them!)
I stayed in the U.S. in desert heat and mountain heights, until mid-September when the aspen leaves started hinting at a golden hue. But before that happened, I joined a group of friends for a horse-packing trip to the Wind River Mountain Range and Wilderness Area in Wyoming in August.
I love wilderness—the concept when I’m not in it, the reality when I am. It’s the closest thing I can think of to travel in exotic places. No roads, no amenities, and no helicopter rescue if something happens to you. In keeping with the “picture is worth a thousand words” philosophy, I’m showing you what it looked like instead of writing a bunch of words.
Other than words to say, I’m not an experienced rider and it really hurt when my trusty mare, Little Jo, slid on a steep granite slope and I fell off, after which she accidentally stepped on my inner thigh as we both struggled to stay out of each other’s way. And words to say that I didn’t even blame her when an hour later, she reared up at the loudest thunder-clap I’d ever heard—like a shotgun near my ear—and I landed flat on my butt on the rocky ground. (My back still isn’t quite right after that.) Clearly Zorro I am not, but the bruises on my body for the next few weeks rivaled his black outfit.
I eased out of the wilderness experience slowly when a moose and her two twins visited the patio of my friend’s house in Sun Valley. Mama dwarfed the furniture and started eating the landscaping. I googled “how to get rid of a moose in the yard” and learned that the solution is to re-landscape so they don’t want to eat your trees and shrubs. No yelling, throwing things, or making noises—you don’t want to piss them off. Moose are damn big and really aggressive when they have babies.
Finally, to the break from the blog and the book. I’ve been making slow progress all summer. But I keep getting distracted—by travel, fun things to do, and even writing sporadic blog posts. I’m taking a break from the blog to focus completely on getting a first draft done before having even more adventures!
So, as I’ve said, in mid-September I left the U.S. again and returned to Portugal. I spent a month in this country last year, but only 2 days in Porto, and I’ve been hankering to come back ever since. I’ve rented a flat in Porto for October and November and intend to work hard on the book, not travel around. I will, however, allow myself to eat fresh seafood and drink port as a reward for my discipline. Then, from December through March, I’m settling in Driggs, Idaho to write, ski, and hunker down for my first full snowy winter since 1998.
I invite you to visit me in Porto in October or November (I’ve got a spare bedroom), or in Idaho anytime in the winter (I’ll have two spare bedrooms!). It’s about time I pay it forward and be the host again after almost two years of being hosted by other people around the world.
Always remember Travel Rule Number One: If someone invites you, go. Even if it isn’t somewhere you thought you wanted to visit.