MN Ren

My first Ren Fest was Minnesota…1982!
I was, enthralled.

Second trip,1986.
I bought a royal blue or cobalt blue goblet that
At some point in my life, in a mad fit of purging I got rid of it.
I regret that now.

My ticket from 1982, pamphlet 1986… mythic ephemera

Since 2008 and every year after, minus 2020 (canceled due to Covid concerns) my friend  and I have been attending the CO Ren Fest.
Nothing much really changes but we go 
regardless, just to take it all in.
We never tire of it.

Now, back in MN where my fascination with the fest  
began I managed to score from a local thrift/antique 
place this 1987 MN Ren Fest mug!

Best Ren Fest Emblem!

Though not an 86′ and certainly not blue it’s still a great artifact from a different era.

Fell Magic

As if by some strange magic, as if out of nowhere, a massive wave of depression crashes over me.

Fell magics are at work against me and dread once again grips me at night, past the witching hour and on through to the early morning pre-dawn.

Idle hands hasten the foul feelings that drift inside my mind.
I must stay busy lest I fall victim to sadness and sleep.

I find myself searching for something that is boxed up and a thousand miles away in mountain storage.
Sometimes it’s a book I seek and other times an artifact from adventures past, but mostly it’s a piece of home, comfort…familiarity.
Intangible items inside my head.

An afternoon storm crossed the lake yesterday, tumultuous and short lived, laden with rain and bursts of wind.
And though I was briefly distracted by the tempest, once again the dark thoughts returned, unease.

I am under a weird spell of separation from city and work.
A ranger returned to the wild, broken.
I’m finding it hard to relax and connect to this place and freedom once again.
I felt the same when I began my adventure in the city.
It took 2 years to adjust to that environment.
I observed even then the laughable reality of a ranger out of his environment and lost…until I figure it out.
And now, another change.

It is all for the good, of that I have no doubt, but this transition is difficult.
And of course, where do we go from here?

Uncertainty is the enemy.

Manowar – Heart of Steel

I was very much late to the greatness that is Manowar and having only ‘discovered’ them around 2012 I quickly became a fan and now count myself as a brother within The Hall.

There are many of their songs I take inspiration from but currently this is at the top of the list.

Heart of Steel

Build a fire a thousand miles away
to light my long way home
I ride a comet
My trail is long to stay
Silence is a heavy stone
I fight the world and take all they can give
There are times my heart hangs low
Born to walk against the wind
Born to hear my name
No matter where I stand I’m alone

Burn the bridge behind you
Leave no retreat
There’s only one way home
Those who laugh and crowd the path
and cut each other’s throats
Will fall like melting snow
They’ll watch us rise with fire in our eyes
They’ll bow their heads
Their hearts will hang low
Then we’ll laugh and they will kneel
and know this heart of steel was
Too hard to break
Too hard to hold

Stand and fight
Live by your heart
Always one more try
I’m not afraid to die
Stand and fight
Say what you feel
Born with a heart of steel!

Through Plaguelands to Lake Country

Two hot and muggy days of ranging through the
Plaguelands and we have returned to Lake Country, my
ancestral home.

Roughing it?

The truck held together as did the weather with
only a brief spot of rain towards the end.

We are here for an undetermined amount of time to
catch our breaths, rest, regroup and begin the
process of finding a new home.

Though it feels like we’re on vacation the thought
that there really is nothing to return to after the
vacation ends creeps in…as does the anxiety and
The first night here was significantly depressing.

We’ve brought a small amount of belongings with us;
mostly clothes, some food stuffs like olive oils,
spices and the like (a small reminder of home) and
a meager selection of books, electronics and
personal items all of which needed to fit in the
truck cab or the bed.

The Ranger has become our ‘home’ and though I have
maintained it well throughout its 15 years and
170k miles I am at times, concerned.
I’ve owned Rangers since 1989 and they’ve always
come through for me…I must trust in Ford the

My Ford: Shiva

We are weary, stressed and have much to do…but it
could be worse.
We are thankful for what we have and humbled by 
what lays ahead of us.

Laden Ponies

A final entry from The Hobbit before leaving Colorado.
It sums up everything I’ve been feeling for months now in regards to our situation, the move and the future.

Gandalf Stormcrow acting as an agent of change shakes the cobwebs and dreaming from Bilbo and ushers him forward to the path of destiny.
And, as is currently happening with myself, poor Bilbo is caught flat footed on the eve of his greatest adventure.
Quite possibly if he had thought it all through or prepared for it, it may never have happened at all.

So, out the door goes Bilbo…

Chapter 2: Roast Mutton…only somewhat edited here.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside without a hat, walking stick, or any money or anything that he usually took when he went out.
Leaving his second breakfast half unfinished and quite un-washed up.

Very puffed he was when he got to Bywater just on the stroke of eleven and found he had come without a pocket handkerchief.

“Bravo!” said Balin who was standing at the inn door looking out for him.

“I’m awfully sorry.” said Bilbo.
“But I’ve come without my hat and I’ve left my pocket handkerchief behind and I haven’t got any money.
I didn’t get your note until after 10:45 to be precise.”

“Don’t be precise.” said Dwalin.
“And don’t worry, you’ll have to manage without pocket handkerchiefs and a good many other things before you get to the journey’s end.”

That’s how they all came to start.
Jogging off from the inn one fine morning just before May on laden ponies.