We’re traveling for a few days in Maine. Mostly around Deer Isle, the Blue Hill peninsula and Penobscot Bay. Lots of great scenery already. Will post a few sample photos in transit. Will take some time to go through them all when we get back.
Skate boarders, hipsters, panhandlers, buskers, high end shoppers, protesters, lots of women in yoga pants. Firemen in full regalia, boots to helmets, jangling heavy gear-festooned coats, clomp past awkwardly. Knights errant in full armor. A false alarm – no fires, or earthquakes, today.
Chilly in June in the shade, then hot in relentless sunshine under brittle blue skies. Always, always blue skies. The young man in the long green tie-died sarong next to me says his name is “Nature.” This the view from a coffee shop in Santa Cruz on a Thursday afternoon.
Took an all night sleeper car on the train from Portland, after a week spent there. Drove down US 1 from Oakland a week ago. The photo above from the drive.
Some boating scattered throughout, of very different sorts, and hiking. Quite a West Coast odyssey.
Again more storms and no wind, but drama in the sky every couple of hours. Went for dinner back on the salt marsh and got chased home in time for the light show.
A cold front is crawling southward, arriving sometime today. We’ll head for Charleston to explore a bit (with raincoats) while it works its way through. It may finally blow things out some. Sunday looks promising.
We’re spending a week near Beaufort, South Carolina (beyoo’fort. not NC’s bo’furt), and hope to do some sailing in the sounds and inlets while we’re here. A Stationary Front has stalled over the coast, though – little or no wind, hot and steamy. Small popup storm showers wander the horizon like grazing cattle. Not much good for sailing, but great for cloud watching.
Out the window, the North American continent glides slowly by at 552 mph. Last week it took all day to cross a time zone — a long day, making good time. Today, three time zones will come and go in as many hours. Time is relative. On a boat, with a fair wind, we might cover three miles in an hour, and are happy to do it. Ironically, that slow pace is a far richer experience than this, as was the driving.
The plane passes right over Hood River, and I think I see Emily’s house. The Columbia Rover Gorge, so beautiful and majestic yesterday, from here looks flat and uninteresting. Fog fills it to the rim, adding to the effect. Skim milk spilled on a table. Mount Adams and Mount Hood yesterday rose up from the Cascade Range like mythological giants. If appearance made a sound, theirs would be booming thunder. But from 30,000 feet they’re just small, mute protuberances.
Columbia Gorge filled with fog
Oregon. Idaho. Montana. Nebraska. South Dakota. Minnesota. Iowa. There’s the Mississippi, frozen and still. Wisconsin. Illinois. Before the sun touches the mountains I’ll be in Virginia.
the frozen Mississippi
A couple of times during the trip, I checked the dash cam to see it was working as intended. It’s pretty amazing to see. Many handheld photos, taken throughout, show a remarkable landscape, changing dramatically from moment to moment. It’s a big country.
It will take some time to winnow through. Clear blue skies, rain, snow, wind storms, dust storms, white outs going through high mountain passes; forests, farms, prairies, deserts, rivers and cities. It’s all there. It’s still there.
Left Emily in Hood River this morning. Not an easy thing,
But she has a bunch of friends already, and a job, and a place to live, and a vigorous sense of adventure. She’ll be better than fine.
Back in Portland, met up with Doryman, who was on his way to Port Townsend to deliver a boat. We spent hours talking philosophies: Eastern, Western, Personal, purely conjecture. It was good to see him. He’s thinning the Doryman fleet, paring down, preparing for a new phase of adventures of his own. So much suddenly becomes possible when you cut all the lines that keep you moored.
Leaving at 5am to catch a flight back East. In the coming days I’ll start backfilling details and photos. There’s an awful lot of story left out — so much you just can’t get your head around when you’re moving so fast, let alone get down in any coherent fashion. Epic indeed.
For now, this is tonight, my last night in Oregon, in Portland, in a group house hostel in the arts district with a bunch of twenty-something’s, in the fog: