The Pacific Northwest

I’ve been spending some days in the Pacific Northwest.  Drove to the entrance to Mt. Rainier national Park, but they had a requirement that even with four wheel drive, you had to show you had chains.

Puget Sound
Puget Sound

Don’t you feel safer knowing the bureaucracy is protecting you from yourself?  I know I do.  Hardly.

But driving along the tree lined roads, walking under moisture laden evergreens, is still almost a religious experience for me.  In fact about as close to religion as I will ever get.

To think that my life outside NYC started here 45 years ago and it turned out to be a long path, my love for these west coast rain forests has never abated. I still feel an energy coming from every tree.  Now the only difference is I feel an energy coming from every wave on the ocean.  And waves actually have energy, so maybe much like a self-winding watch; I am being constantly energized being on the ocean.

Julie and I’s discussions are centered around the triple points of her school, our next dinner and our life on the ocean.  Upon arrival on Flores in the Azores, after our first steps on land, our initial conversation was that having just completed 14 days at sea; we could have easily done another 14.

Many people have asked us about being afraid on the ocean during storms.  As I looked at the dark green of the forest, I was reminded of our last camping trip, where we camped, on a small logging road midway between Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens.  This was a route I have taken a few times since I discovered this route that goes south all the way to the Columbia River back in 1997.  A beautiful drive through forests surrounded by the three mountains (Mt. Rainier to the north).

Rte 706 Mt. Rainier
Rte 706 Mt. Rainier

Well, that night, after finishing our steak dinner cooked over a wood fire, as we finished up our bottle of wine, we heard three distinctive log thumping’s, like someone swinging a baseball bat at a tree trunk.  Thump, thump, thump.  It seemed close, the sun was just setting, as we walked down the path about 100 meters looking to see what could have made that noise.

Seeing nothing, we walked back to the car, but then our imaginations got the better of us and we slept in the car.  That night, I was more afraid than I have ever been on the ocean.

What a fraidy cat.



Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

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