Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lessons from the Couch: July '08

The month of July, was for Mike and Melissa, the beginning of their adventures in couchsurfing. This month they hosted a total of three couchsurfers a total of five nights. The Harrington's learned many things as did those who slept on the couch. The following are excerpts from the Guest Book that relate the lessons learned by couchsurfers and Mike and Melissa as well.
Friday July 11, 2008: K.K. from "The North"
"Things to consider after this visit: ugly/tacky sweater parties and full body dumpster dives."
Friday July 11, 2008: Mike and Melissa

"What we learned from K.K.:
  • Listen. Observe. Enjoy.
  • Old German textbooks are definitely worth 50 cents."

Monday July 21, 2008: Phil from North Carolina

"Things I have learned and received today:

  • Minestrone can be made extra yummy with green tea.
  • Altitude makes yummy bear that smells more than tastes, like banana.
  • A sister with a bike and a nearby residence is a lovely thing.
  • [Southeast Asia] is a perfect place to begin a journey with one's perfectly chosen mate for life.

Monday July 21, 2008: Mike and Melissa

"What we learned from Phil:

  • Serve people everywhere you go.
  • Travel by car and bike.
  • Buy corn, cabbage and onions in Nebraska as a "thank you" gift for couchsurfing hosts.
  • Start an online business so you can work and travel w/ less hassle.
  • Simplify.

Melissa, Phil, and Mike enjoying breakfast before Phil's departure.

Sunday July 27 - Wednesday July 30, 2008: Sarah from France

"I felt here like at home and that is the best feeling you can have when you're travelling...I have really appreciated your conversations, the way you show me how beautiful the mountains in Wyoming can be, and the fact that you make me meet some of your friends."

Sunday July 27 - Wednesday July 30, 2008: Mike and Melissa

"What we learned from Sarah:

  • Enjoy your food. Experience the meal. Slow down. Stop counting calories.
  • The purpose of couchsurfing is to adapt to your host, live life the way your hosts live life.
  • Le Mans, France is home to an impressive car race.
  • America does not have the proper flour for crepes.
  • Greyhound is always late.

Sarah, Melissa and Mike at the Trailhead for Medicine Bow.

Mike, Melissa and Sarah at the top of Medicine Bow Peak

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HR Camp Provides Relaxation and Random Conversation

On a warm summer day in late July, Mike and Melissa made their way up to old stomping grounds - HR Camp. Looking forward to visiting old friends and spending time in a place of beauty, Mike and Melissa took a little detour on their way to Worland, WY for family visits and wedding attending. Within the boundaries of their old "summer home" Mike and Melissa were able to reconnect with staff friends, camper friends and meet new friends. They were impressed, once again, by the beauty which is possessed by this place and in the deepest corners of their hearts yearned to wake every morning in a place a beautiful as this. While being overwhelmed by beauty and awestruck at the Creator's work, Mike and Melissa also stumbled upon a conversation that had them bursting at the seams and rolling in the aisles. The conversation began simply as a question of desire, a desire to know: what if horses were gerbil size?

"What if horses were gerbil size?" quickly turned into, "what if gerbils were horse size?" Now, consider for a moment: cowboys riding gerbils, knights riding gerbils, children riding gerbil-centered carousels at the fairs...the list goes on and on. But when we put greater imagination into these images you see the short legs of gerbils carrying royalty, rodeo-stars - imagine a "bucking" gerbil, would 8 seconds still be a challenge? And what about the gerbil wheel? Would it be left behind for the gerbil-size horses or would it be enlarged so that rider and horse-size gerbil would run circles for entertainment and exercise?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fun for All: Mud Volleyball and River Floating

The weekend of July 19th and 20th proved a fun, exciting, dirty, and wet time for Mike and Melissa Harrington. Visiting Melissa's parents in Wheatland often holds many great adventures and rewarding experiences, this past weekend was no exception. Saturday morning began the fun with pre-game mud-stomping. The game for which they were preparing is none other than, mud-volleyball. It is a game of skill and finesse, athleticism and balance, but mostly is is a game of good-humor and humility. The mud is unforgiving as Mike quickly learned and experienced quite intensely by the end of the game as his eyes worked vigorously to expel the dirty matter clumping in them.

Mud volleyball, summer '07

Things continued in the spirit of fun the following day with a float trip down the North Platte River. Putting in at the Guernsey bridge and taking out before Whalen Dam, Mike and Melissa enjoyed four hours on the river with friends and family. By the end of the day, Mike and Melissa had also picked up on a couple new facts involving none other than Chuck Norris. For example, did you know, when Chuck Norris does a push-up, he doesn't push his body up - he pushes the whole world down...?

Mike and Melissa will anxiously await next years weekend 'o' fun with the Allen and Lambert families and hope that many others will consider joining in the fun, games, mud and water!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Recent Purchase Leads to Beautiful Photos

Monetary gifts are often given when one celebrates such milestones as marriage, birthdays, graduations, retirements, holidays etc. This year, Mike Harrington benefited greatly at the generosity of friends and family as he celebrated his birthday in April and his college graduation in May. Understanding the value of saving money, Mike was able to hold on to his birthday earnings and graduation earnings while "shopping" for the perfect gift; a camera.

For many months now, Mike has grown a desire to have a quality camera, so that he may perfect his photography skills - friends and family say, "he has a great eye for photos," now he has a great camera for photos. Mike shopped online, compared products, prices, and did some number crunching - in the end, he chose a Canon EOS 40D digital camera to be his first photography partner. With great appreciation extending to family and friends, Mike now presents some of his most beautiful and outstanding photos, ENJOY!

Field of flowers: Vedauwoo recreation area
Rock and Flowers : Vedauwoo recreation area
Hawk in the clouds: Vedauwoo
Chipmunk Posing: Vedauwoo

Janayah, child of friends Tony and Mellany
Peeking Through: Backyard of 6th and Clark
Joy-filled: LaBonte Park, Laramie, WY
Potted Flower: Corner of 6th and Clark
Cowboy Sunset: Laramie, WY

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Couchsurfing: Not Only for Deadbeat Sons and Daughters

July 12, 2008
Laramie, WY

Today we interview Mike and Melissa Harrington in regards to their first experience hosting a couchsurfer acquired via

Harrington Times: Please begin by explaining for our readers what is couchsurfing and how did you find out about this extravaganza?

Melmik Harrington: Well, couchsurfing is exactly as it sounds...minus the surfing. People from all over the world create profiles on, this includes information regarding likes, dislikes, location, couch availability etc. From there, when one is preparing to travel, they search the website for a home and a "couch" to sleep on while travelling - escaping the cost of a hotel room, meeting new friends, and getting the opportunity to know the local culture, hang out spots, and customs. We found out about this activity through a good friend of ours Andrew Prior, later that afternoon we had created an account and began searching for a couch!

HT: When was your first couch-surfer hosting experience?

MH: Our first hosting experience was just last night, Friday the 11th of July. A girl by the name of K.K. was making her way to the "farm" in North Dakota from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She chose our couch, regardless of the fact the we had a garage sale the next day and would likely be waking her up early in the morning.

HT: Have you ever been hosted as couchsurfers?

MH: We have not yet officially been hosted as couchsurfers, but are looking to contact a couchsurfing host in a few weeks when we take a trip up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to attend the wedding of a dear friend.

HT: Are you nervous about opening up your home to strangers or entering the homes of strangers?

MH: There a few things that can cause some nervousness, but overall we trust that we are just as safe in the home of a stranger as in a hotel. We also considered the type of people who must be willing to enter such agreements, we concluded, they must be people like us if we are considering such an adventure.

HT: What was the best part about hosting this particular couchsurfer?

MH: K.K. has a very gentle and kind spirit. She was eager to get to know not only the two of us but also our upstairs neighbors and their guest. She was grateful and flexible! Not to mention, she happily filled out a page in our NEW guestbook - we had a very great first experience!

HT: Any other comments?

MH: Family and Friends, don't hesitate to create an account on, it's a great way to meet new people and save some money. Also, don't hesitate to give us a call, email, etc to reserve our couch - we'd love to have those closest to us sleep on our couch and fill in a page or two of the Guest Book!

HT: Thank you for your time and information. May you have many more couchsurfers come and enjoy your company.

Extra, Extra! Read All About It!

On July 12, 2008 in a small town known as Laramie, Wyoming Michael J. Harrington along with his bride Melissa R. Harrington began a blog. The blog was set up via an internet resource, blogger. Impressed by "blogging" friends Micah and SaraJane, Emily and Heath, Matt and Jon; Mr. and Mrs. Harrington felt it was high time they too began keeping a record of the more exciting events from their day to day lives. When asked about blogging Mr. Harrington replied, "I don't think I'll do a lot of it personally." This leaves Mrs. Harrington to the task of keeping her family and friends up to date regarding the fun, zany, joyful, interesting and new events happening in the Harrington household. When asked how this makes her feel, Mrs. Harrington replied, "I'm pretty excited, I really like writing and am looking forward to a new way of keeping loved ones informed." Blogger is available for use by the general public and can be accessed through the world wide web at

May family and friends anticipate future posts and stories that will grace the 'pages' of The Harrington Times.


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