Just 60 miles from Devil's Tower, the weather had turned surly, forcing us to change our plans and hunker down for the night. It's said the greatest blessings arrive from unplanned events. We were soon to become believers.
The RV park had no more than ten pull-through spaces, a small office building and a few occupied mobile home lots. Spoiled by KOAs, the place was far from impressive. But to owner Marty Martin, it was a little slice of heaven. We got to talking about it the next morning.
Marty had run the rat race as a city employee in Colorado Springs for far too many years. While logging his time, he'd dreamed of owning a business far away from city life, somewhere in the wide expanses of Montana. Hearing that the RV park was on the market, Marty had shucked it all, bought the park and moved his family to Montana for no better reason that he had always dreamed to.
Had we not been awakened that morning by two gleeful daughters squealing about the nearby barn, we'd have never met Marty. Wiping sleep from our eyes, Mom and Dad stumbled as daughters tugged, dragging us to the source of their enchantment. Baby lambs, baby kittens and baby chickens. Everywhere. Like owners of their own personal petting zoo, our girls held court, relishing being crawled on by every critter in southeast Montana.
We'd already paid good money to show the girls Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Nevertheless, just like a child's favorite Christmas toy is often the largest cardboard box, this animal menagerie had out-performed the greatest wonders America could toss at them.
Standing there waist-deep in sheep, Marty walked over and introduced himself.
"Weren't you scared?" I asked, trying to discover the source of his courage for following his dream to buy the park and move to Montana.
"Sure, a little," he smiled, immersing himself in the memory. "But I've learned that if you want to do something bad enough, go with it. Don't hold back. If you hold back, you'll always hold back."
"Had everything worked according to plan?"
"No, but you adjust as you go along. The park's been slow so I learned golf cart repair as a sideline and now service the carts at the neighboring golf course. But I still get to wake up to this wide expanse of hills and plains every morning. I see deer over there, and there's a mountain lion that comes over that bluff, and you should see the sunrises! I haven't regretted it for a second!"
An hour later, after showers and repacking, we were once again rolling down the highway. The RV was quiet but our thoughts were buzzing. Our daughter's eyes pointed outward but their vision was looking in. They were obviously lost in dreams of getting an animal farm of their own.
Had they left their thoughts and glanced at Dad, they'd have seen him dwelling on a few dreams of his own. Dreams that burned ever brighter thanks to Marty Martin's sage advice.
"Don't hold back. If you hold back, you'll always hold back."
Mike Johnson is an energetic writer & entrepreneur. Learn more about Mike's offerings at www.MikeJohnson.biz