So an EarthWalker presented me with a “Quote Challenge.” Pretty simple rules, three quotes by a philosopher who lived in ages considered more ancient in the history of Earths’ walking bi-peds who taught themselves to read, write and think a lot.

I have to admit I have found philosophy to be more interesting in a historical context than an inspiration or rule of life.

Historically and even today people who think and verbalize a different idea run the risk of being trampled by a mooing herd that can easily be frightened by a shift in wind direction. Or they will be praised , worshipped, and adored. As far as I am concerned being a philosopher at the right or wrong moment in history could get you either one.

So I look at it with keen interest in how philosophy influenced history. Such as the French Enlightenment writer Francois-Marie Arouet better known by his nom de plume “Voltaire.”

You see Voltaire’s writings greatly influenced men known as “Founding Fathers” of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine were influenced by Voltaire.

But this is a challenge to the reader to pursue the philosophy of Voltaire and his influence because this blog is more about the influence of our dear mother Earth.

So I will lead this towards a more “Ancient” philosopher to meet the challenge presented to me and keep the integrity of “In the Middle of Somewhere.”

So I present my ancient philosopher “Siddharta Gautama.” He was from what is known as India and lived somewhere in the sixth to fourth centuries BC.

This was during a time when peoples admired, worshipped and celebrated wildlife. It was a part of their societies and beliefs. The Aztecs and their Jaguar. The Egyptians with their cats and vultures. Native Americans and their bears among many.

It was written, I am sure after many re-tellings, that Siddharta Gautama believed he was a Sarus Crane in a previous life. A majestic crane found in India, Southeast Asia and Australia. Loved and cherished by many as “Love” birds who chose one mate and was known to be devastated and heartbroken if it’s mate died.

Because of this the followers of Siddharta Gautama worshipped the Sarus Crane as if it was Siddharta Gautama himself. This afforded the bird great protection from being on the dinner table. Because after all who would eat the holy man “Buddha”

Quotes attributed to Buddha;

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

Buddha’s Sarus Cranes are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN

HEIGHT: ~ 176 cm, 5.8 – 6 ft

WEIGHT: ~ 6.35 kg, 14 lbs

POPULATION: ~ 15,000 – 20,000

TREND: Decreasing


antigone – Indian

sharpii – Eastern

gilli – Australian

STATUS: IUCN: VU; Cites Appendix II; CMS II

Pictures and stats of Sarus Cranes from the website of the International Crane Foundation


Where do they go ?


So where do they go ? Now that it has come to it’s end.

Is he back in the mountains of New Mexico, sniffing through the pines ?

Is he on the Missouri river in Montana ? Running wild on the banks of the river until he cools his heat in the flows ?

Is he once again asleep on the couch that he is not supposed to be ?

Is he barking at the horses in North Dakota, or chasing the geese in the places we have roamed?

Body surfing in the Ocean ?

Is he asleep in the tent covered by fleece.

Is he running fast with freedom in his heart ?

I still feel him about me very loyal and close.

I can see him walking through the bottomlands in the State we called home. The heat of Summer making it lush and green. A place he was happy, with a river close by. He is walking away forever, I can’t call him back no matter hard I try. 

It’s over and his time has come. All I can say is I love you, I will miss you and goodbye !! You have been the best dog ever !!!

Best wishes my ever loyal and my dearest friend ! You changed me forever and for that I am grateful, and I will be until the end.

Heart broken


A Journey of a different color


Around 7:20 pm my father passed away , going on a journey of a different color.

He had been suffering for some time from a whole list of different illnesses that would have taken out a lesser man. But as we all know
no one can predict the moment you set forth on your own.

I returned to St. Louis in early September when I was told no more could be done and that he was now being transferred into hospice care.
He was taken to the home of my incredible Aunt and Uncle who with great love and care opened their world to the last days of dying man. They also opened their world to my fathers family who wanted to make him comfortable and happy until the end of his final act of life.

I was fortunate to be born into a family who would give their best to a man of gentle nature.

He was lucid enough to recognize his fourth son who he followed closely as he paddled one of the largest rivers in the World.
He told me hello, took my hand as he asked ” Are you going to continue your journey ?”

I told him in the Spring, when Zeusy heals and the Winter has passed.

He responded by saying “Good, I should be well by Spring.”

For many nights I witnessed the delusions of a dying man. Some of them where anxiety filled frustrations of life. But more often than not he was in happier places so well known to him. He was often fishing, performing his duties in the Navy and back in his birthplace of Owensboro, Kentucky. Talking to whomever his mind and heart unlocked to allow him to relive a moment in his life of eighty-four years.

As strange as it sounds I was happy he was in those happier places, not feeling the pain and suffering that he had been in for many months from the cancer that had over taken a man who up until a few months before was working a part time job. He was still driving and mobile enough to live out his days not a prisoner to the limited space that becoming too old to move beyond your front door forces you in to.

My father loved kids and they loved him. The little ones felt the comfort and safety of being around a man who enjoyed their company.

His vices were candy, tobacco,  and a good drink. All things a modern society frowns upon, but a modern society could never derive the pleasure from them as my father did. They wouldn’t know how.

My father was a man of his times, never saying he loved you, but proving it in his actions. Especially to his grand children.

A man of unquestionable loyalty. He was married to my mother for 57 years. Longer than a lot of people live.

The night I said goodbye to my father I saw fear and tears in his eyes. It shocked me. He then told me he loved me. I told him I loved him back. He told me not to go at that moment because it was dark out. I told him I would go in the morning, and it would be okay. He calmed. He closed his eyes and said ” Besides, it is cold out there.”

My father last words to me were the same type of words I have always heard. Performing his duties as a father he gave me simple, sound advice on a dark, chilly evening. Even as he fell back asleep inside his worn out and dying body.

Good luck on your journey Pop. I wish you all the happiness and joy that any man could want !

And I assure you, you have always been, and always will be on mine.


Zeusy wants this bone!


Found this bone in about three feet of water about a mile and a half. North of the Knife river.

The handle of the tomahawk is 22″ long.

I can verify that it is a bone because Zeusy keeps trying to grab it!

Can anyone guess what it is? 

I have no clue.

My uneducated guess is it is a cow femur.

Took a right turn and went up the knife river for a mile. In Stanton,ND.

Going to Knife River Village Historical Site. http://www.nps.gov/knri/index.htm

Where Lewis and Clark found the lady of the expedition!




This monster is a part of Ft. Peck Lake. Everyone in Montana told me to portage around it. Glad a I did!  High winds, white caps, huge swells. No way I was putting me and Zeusy in our overloaded canoe on it! 
Thanks to my new friends for portaging me, you two are the best!
Back on the Mo. River. Standing looking at the confluence of the Milk river. Great stuff!
Thanks people of Montana!