I packed two boxes of stuff to store at a friend’s house, gave much away. Over the years I collected many Sikh/Yogi items including yoga books, swords, Sikh artwork, and other items I brought from two trips to India. I decided to go to the ashram to sell all these items after Sunday Gurdwara. Since my dramatic car accident earlier that year, I was wearing my turban only when teaching, so I showed up without a turban. The items were very nice and there was a rush to buy most of the items. One woman asked how I got such wonderful things to sell. I said they were mine. She looked curiously at me and asked how that was possible since I was not wearing a turban and did not look like a Sikh. I told her my name and said I used to live at the ashram. I shared that I was leaving to live and teach Kundalini yoga in Europe. With a judging attitude, she said if I heard a voice telling me to take my turban off, I should ignore it. I replied the same voice that told me to wear the turban 18 years ago, told me it was okay to stop wearing a turban. With a harsh look, she took the stuff she bought and walked off.
I remember when talking to friends about my trip, I told them I expected to be in Europe for about six months. All shook their heads and said it was clear to them, I would be there longer, much longer. So I prepared for an extended stay.
My departure from Santa Fe was the beginning of a road trip that took me through Nevada to California. I visited with my daughter who was currently living with her mother. Then headed to northern California to visit with an old friend from Santa Fe. Then it was time to begin my work as a tour guide with François. A few years before I did a similar tour with her in the southwest. I was looking forward to this great adventure to visit places I have never been to before or since. I drove and provided commentary for Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks. All beautiful and remarkable places in nature.
Then to Canada, passing through Calgary to Banff, a small town with a crossroad for animals moving through the area. It is quite common to see Elk and other large animals strolling through the main streets of the city. I bought a down vest and windbreaker which I still wear after 26 years. The journey took us up the Glacier parkway with a ride on a specially designed bus to drive steeply up and down the glacier. We arrived at the small beautiful town of Jaspar. I understand why many Germans are drawn to Canada for holidays and second homes. A final destination in Canada was Lake Louise with a short hike to a tea house. A magical and blessed place. After three weeks, it was time to drive François to Chicago for her return to France.
A short visit with old friends who moved from Santa Fe to Wisconsin was filled with some memorable moments. Have you ever heard of a potato gun/cannon? You can look it up on the internet. It was a fun thing to do with potatoes. The rural area where they lived had odd street names. They began with A street, then B street, then C street, and – well you get the idea. When they got to the end of the alphabet, the next street was AA street, followed by BB street. It gives me a smile even now. My next stop was Boston, where I would attend a wedding with dear friends.
Photo the tea house and a Sikh sword.