LIfe’s Big Question

It is crazy to have to think about what I am going to do when I finish graduate school. I am about to start my second quarter and I have to figure something out. Scary. I love two things; maritime history and American history. Predictable, yes. I was talking with my mom today about the whole thing and what to do. Should I spend the crazy amounts of money to finish my SCUBA stuff or just wait. I keep chaining my mind. What to do? Big, huge, massive question. It will fall into place, this I know – BUT when? Here’s one thing I do understand. I hate architectural drawings and blueprints and using a freaking plum bob. I want to preserve historical artifacts, and yes downtown districts have history, but it is not personal to me. I still can’t get over the fact that I got to hold Andrew Jackson’s guns, walk into his lib ray and hold a letter than Robert E. Lee wrote. 

The western United States is fairly new. On my trip I drove through these small little towns that at one point, were very prosperous. Now they sit in ruin. The little museum in Stanley, Idaho has so much potential, but it all comes down to money. Theodore Roosevelt’s farm in North Dakota is in danger, along with so many other places.

I am really just rambling my thoughts on here. I guess my calling will come. Classes need to hurry up and start so I can start answering Life’s Big Question.  

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It’s Still Summer

As I sit here on the plane home, it hit me that I still have two weeks of summer vacation. This is a good thing since I need another vacation to recover from the one I just had. More so the crazy mama cow. Anyways, I just finished reading my former professors blog and saw that where I went to undergrad starts back tomorrow.

He made a few good points about first day jitters. People will be dressed up, and apparently it is required for convocation. That’s one thing I will not be attending anymore. People will get lost. I still find it hard to believe since there are only two buildings that have actual classes and then the nursing school off campus…still.

This post will be dedicated to the differences I have noticed between undergrad and grad school. I apologize if the layout is weird, doing this from the iPad and there is a screaming child behind me.

1. Grad students dress up more. Okay, in my area they do. Take the animation kids for example at SCAD, they don’t. It could be me too. They look professional.

2. I still get lost around SCAD. For one, it is not a campus. There are buildings scattered all over downtown. Thankfully, all of my classes are in one building and we have our own parking lot. Pus of being on the bad side of town.

3. It is a lot easier to get kicked out of grad school. There are different check points and if you mess up more than once, see ya later. There is no GPA of .something allowed.

4. The books don’t get any cheaper. Don’t even get me started on the supply list for my classes. Never ever thought I would have to use a plum bob. I am still not sue how to use it either.

5. Not only does that school give out parking tickets, but you get them from the lovely city of Savannah too.

6. You still are told what books to read.

7. iPads cannot be used in class.

8. I haven’t seen a single person wear pajamas to class.

9. As with undergrad, get to know your professors. They will most likely be writing your job recommendations letters.

10. 8:00 am classes are still evil. That will never change.

Mama Cow vs. Fly Fisher

 

 

 

 

Yes, there is a story behind this. I will get to that later on in this post.

Wednesday I attended the Fly Girls fly fishing class with Morgan Buckert, a local fly fishing pro in the area. We started off with with some fishing early in the morning on the Big Wood River. There was little action to be had. The one fish I got decided to jump out of the net as I was getting my camera ready. The smoke also started rolling in, so we called it a bad day of fishing around noon and headed to eat some lunch. After eating, the class portion started. I learned how to tie a few different knots. I also understand why dad wears those goofy looking glasses when he ties on a new fly.  It takes patience! We also learned all about the different flies around the area and their hatches. Thats cool and all, but I’ll stick to the fake flies.

Big Wood River

Thursday I took another drive up to Stanley. That also meant driving the crazy roads again. The second time around was not so bad. I left 30 minutes before I needed to so I could stop and be a history nerd and look at the historical markers along the way.

Alexander Ross

He came across this summit searching for beaver on September 18, 1824.

He traveled along this road, not paved of course.

Gold!

Levi Smiley found gold on Smiley Creek in 1878. Vienna was s thriving mining town with a $200,000 twenty stamp mill to crush gold. There were 14 saloons, 3 stores, 2 meat markets, a bank, hotel, sawmill and 6 places to eat. More than 200 buildings vanished when this city became a ghost town after 1900.

What it looks like today.

I am sure there were other professions in the town too….

Sawtooth City

Gold was discovered here in 1879. By 1882, there were 3 saloons, two places to eat, a meat market, store, a Chinese laundry, blacksmith shop, mills, and about 90 people building their town. Four more years went by before miners worked out a system to process their gold. 200 miners were employed in 1886. One disaster after another led to suspension of work in 1892.

Sawtooth City today

I arrived to my destination at Sawtooth Adventure Company. I found to be one of the few girls on this trip. Go figure. There was a boarding school there to go on a trip with about 30 boys. Fun… They made it their mission to try and ram my kayak and flip me over. Their mission failed. Ha! I made it through with only one little mishap. I got stuck on a rock, dead center. After paddling and moving back a forth something finally gave and I was off. I was paddled to catch up, a fly fisher nearby yelled, “Gnarly dude! Look yourself up on YouTube!” I haven’t. Hopefully there will be some pictures from the trip since I did not want to pay for a whole CD.

After we returned I headed off to the Sawtooth Museum. Very, very, very tiny. Here’s what the inside looked like.

Mini wagon

“They just couldn’t make a living up here.”

Indians

On the way back to Sun Valley, I stopped at Red Fish Lake. The picture will explain.

Mountain lake.

I stopped at the fish hatchery next. I had no idea what I was looking at, but it looked cool.

Oh boy!

Trout

Hatch away

On the drive down I noticed the smoke coming in. The wind changed. I also passed a dozen firetrucks headed up to the area affected. From what I have been told the fire is huge and still spreading. The news said it might keep going until the first snow occurs.

Smokey the Bear isn’t too happy.

Today was my last day of fly fishing. I had the very good looking Argentinean guide today, Carlos. We headed to Lost River on the other side of the mountain to get away from the smoke. We drove through Sawtooth National Forest and Challis National Forest. The road = scary. Gravel and only one way down. Very high. Glad he was driving. We passed cattle, roaming cattle. Then I learned that there’s farms up there. People live up there, hardcore cowboys. We got to the river and hiked a mile or so through bushes and got to the spot. No fish.

We headed to go upstream, when two other fishermen said not to cross where we wanted to because there was a mama cow and calves behind the bush. We turned around, went back down and crossed at another point. No sign of cows. Good. Carlos was messing with something and told me to go on. I turned the corner and theres a baby cow and it starting mooing. I froze. Carlos froze, and then we hear it. Mama cow comes charging. Carlos yelled run, and I ran. Mind you, wearing wading boots and waders does not make it easy to run. I just had to make it across the crossing and over the fence. Splat. Wading boots stuck in the mud, feet aren’t moving. Mama cow is closing in. Carlos grabbed me, I hit the bank. Lost a boot, but somehow flipped over the fence without hurting my fly rod, or me.

Carlos then tells me that the same mama cow probably, chased him last week. What a day. Only 3 fish. No pictures since I landed on mine when I hit the ground.

The Lost River

Once the smoke started to roll in we called it a day. An exciting day for sure. Tomorrow is going to be relaxing since I can’t really move my body as of now.

 

 

From Bald Mountain to the Sawtooth’s

 

 

 

 

I have finally arrived in Sun Valley, Idaho. Okay, I have been here since Sunday afternoon. All is well here and we are not burning from the forest fire. I honesty did not know that there was one until I went to board the plane in Salt Lake and was told that the flight might be diverted to Twin Falls, ID if the smoke was too bad in the valley. SkyWest also would not be paying for the $20 bus ride. Thankfully we made it. I forgot how pretty it is here.

Flight into the Valley

Yesterday was spent on a little hike up Bald Mountain. It is right outside of Sun Valley in Ketchum. The hike was 5 miles with a nice lookout around 2.5. I am not much of a hiker so I was not looking forward to it. I forgot all about it and just took in the beauty of what I was looking at and also trying to survive the mountain bikers racing by me. The paths are onto very big at all.

Bald Mountain Trail Head

After about 3 hours I reached the top. I got sidetracked taking pictures of the paragliders. Once I reached it, I soon learned why I was seeing all of these people flying through the air; the World Cup qualifier was going on for paragliding. I had no idea that even existed. I sat behind the yellow line and took tons of pictures. It was just to cool to watch them take out and just be flying.

Top of Baldy.

Most of these guys were not very fit and did not look like athletes at all. They just let the wind take them wherever they needed to go! Words cannot describe it.

Setting up

Lift off

So cool

After some lunch I headed down the mountain and back to the Valley. I rented a bike to head out to the Ernest Hemingway Memorial.

Excise the car, guy pulled up as I snapped this. Rude.

I came here all the time as a kid when we used to vacation here during the summer. I don’t know what it is about it, but it is so relaxing. Also I good place to just come and reflect.

Best of all he loved the fall, the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods and leaves floating on the trout streams.

Monday was a great day. Today however was dedicated to fly fishing. I do not have pictures of the fish I got, I left my camera in the car. Opps. They were very small rainbow and cutthroat trout. I took some of the view off the take out point and the drive down from Stanley. They speak for themselves.

Salmon River

Sawtooth National Park

 

Lewis and Clark

Area of the Idaho Wildfires. 19 miles from this point

Tomorrow is another day full of fly fishing. Lets hope for bigger fish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There Is No Place Like Home

I have been home for a little over a week now, and it has been relaxing. Currently I am on a plane headed to Sun Valley, Idaho for a little vacation. Wireless on planes is still strange. Last weekend I went out to the boat and had some friends out for a spur of the moment thing. Here’s a recap in pictures.

Matt and Eddie 

The sunset was gorgeous that night. Mom made some rib-eyes and other food for everyone to chow down on. Some interesting events occurred, but the day was fun. They were also the only ones to go tubing. Matt is a champion tuber in my opinion.

Images from the day

As you can see the sunset was very pretty. Without even realizing it, I had some members of my family tree from AOII out. As one would say, “party with pandas.”

The week kept me very busy. Tuesday night Amber and I went to see Eric Church at the Opry. I think I am going to make it a point to try and see him every time I come home. He’s my husband. His set was all acoustic. Just him and his guitar. It was really personal too and he also told the story behind two of his songs. More pictures.

He’s just so handsome

Wednesday was spent at Bluewater Scuba Center in Franklin. I had my first pool class for my open water certification to become a PADI open water diver. The instructor kept things interesting. I knew at some point when we went under the water my air supply would be turned off, I just did not know when. One of the most important things from that session, do not panic. I didn’t, and hope to not panic if that were to ever happen in a real life situation. After the pool session was complete, we went over the written work. I took my quizzes and passed my final exam! One step closer.

Thursday was the lsat day pool work. I had to hover for 30 seconds without moving my legs or arms, and without touching the bottom, surface or side of the pool. Difficult. I eventually got it.

The next day was the open water dive at Pennyroyal Scuba Center in Hopkinsville, KY. It is a old rock quarry, and it is beautiful.

After taking a giant stride into the water, we started our work. We did three dives and went over a ton of stuff. The only thing that gave me issues was finding my neutral buoyancy. We say two huge largemouth bass taking a snooze around 35 feet. Scuba diving feels like you are flying. I love it.

pink tanks!

Saturday was my final dive. I was not looing forward to the hover at all, but it was much easier when you can’t tell you are upside down. I did navigation drills and passed those! Once I ascended to the surface I didn’t see the instructor, so I started looking around. All of a sudden I see this little board come up from the water and it says “Congrats Diver Leslin!” I let out a yippie! We did our final dive I was presented with this nifty card

Pass to the quarry!

 

Well I have to go! Almost in Salt Lake!

My Addiction to Purses

I do not have a ton of purses, but I love them. I also seem to have expensive taste as well. I have to bags that I always switch around.

I guess since I cannot wear heels due to a bum knee, I stare and always look at purses. There is no telling how much money I have spent on them! Oops…

For starters, my navy blue Longchamp.

I love this thing. I have had it for almost two years. I also have a brown one, but it has been through a lot. My navy one has as well, but I just cannot get a new one.

It holds everything.

1. Kate Spade coin purse – the one I have is just pink.
2. Vineyard Vines wristlet
3. Lilly notebook.
4. Nikon Camera plus wide lens (not pictured)
5. Lilly koozie
6. Tory Burch Wallet

The next purse I use a lot is my Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Leslie

It was a little pricey, but it is great for going out. You can wear it like a cross body, or just as a shoulder. Both are just fine.

I can also fit everything in it too! The color of mine is not the black, it is the oyster.

For class I use the large Longchamp.

My laptop, notebooks and books all fit. I am not sure how I am going to organize for the fall quarter, but when I figure it out there will be a post!

It is also great for traveling, as it makes a great carry on!

Well I must get to packing as I am heading home tomorrow! I will try to post when I can!

Six Months In

I cannot believe I have been in Savannah for almost six months. Time has flown by. It is still weird. Work is over. School starts back in one month, and I know what I’ll be doing with my GA spot. I have learned some things in these six months.

1. Some like it hot, but Savannah loves it hotter.
2. There is a plus to living very close to the beach
3. Meeting people, it’s hard.
4. The dating selection is bad
5. It’s a good thing I don’t look like I go to SCAD (or so I am told)
6. I have accepted things that have happened in my life.
7. I still miss Nashville like crazy
8. Crime and drug free neighborhoods, they don’t mean anything
9. It is normal to see 15 people in handcuffs
10. Being approached for money is a normal occurrence
11. Always have change on you. Pennies do not count
12. Any kind of hobby that involved getting out on the water is expensive.
13. Stray cats are all over the place. They are also mean.
14. Hipsters are everywhere.
15. Make sure to read the tide signs when at Hilton Head
16. Do not speed on the Thunderbolt Bridge
17. Always have a raincoat or umbrella. Summer showers happen almost everyday
18. Palmetto bugs are the “good” cockroaches
19. Spiders like to live in grills.
20. Electric bills are a pain.

I am sure I’ll learn more in the next six months. I am very excited to head home in a few days and see friends and family, and also go on my little vacation!