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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer Breeze

Today, I'm working on getting caught up on chores. I have mail to sort through, a wrecked aft cabin to organize, a water tank to fill, and whatever else may fall into my lap. I was looking at climbing Deer Mountain today, but I hate rushing to put stuff together last minute, and Joey will be staying with me for a couple of weeks, so the aft cabin needs straightened out. Period.

Still, on my list of things to do is go outside, reorganize my stuff, and avoid the tourists at all costs. As I write this, I'm looking up and seeing the Disney Wonder roll up, and that is one big cruise ship. I'd hate it, being on that size of boat with literally thousands of people I don't know doing these half-ass "adventure tours" that don't really give you a feel for the town. If I give any usable travel advise on this blog it's this: if you want to see southeast Alaska, don't take a cruise. Take the ferry. You don't even need to get a room. You can pitch a tent in the back deck. You can get off at any port, stay as long as you want, abs catch the next ferry. And when you get to these little towns, all any cool local hippie where a good beach to camp out on exists. Trent kayaks from the rec centers. Go explore on your own time. You'll get a much better taste of what Alaska is. If you're lucky (and it won't take much because these salt of the earth people are super nice), you can meet someone to take you sailing or fishing. My, my, my, it's a beautiful world.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ramblings of a Drizzly Evening

The rain has come back to Ketchikan.  We had such a lovely summer.  So many hot days of sunshine and warmth.  So many sunny evenings and bright, early mornings.  The rain has returned, and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't go away until February or March.  But without the rain, the trees wouldn't grow to be so big, and a treehouse sometime down the road would be out of the question.

Tonight, Joey and I did the radio show on KRBD.  I played some music I hadn't really listened to in years.  Some of it got me really excited.  Some songs remind me of bittersweet things from my past.  The interesting thing about getting older is that so much time winds up between you and all of these very fixed points in your life.  I was talking to my mom today, and we figured out that when she was my age, I was 6.  I can't imagine being my age having a 6 year old and a 2 year old.  They had just moved to Salida.  My hometown was brand new to them.  And now, 31 years older, and to me, that's a whole lifetime.

These songs we played followed the theme of adventure.  Some of the music I chose followed me on road trips across the American west with some of my best friends.  Some was pouring from the speakers in my old Toyota pickup, driving through the Sawatch mountains in the moonlight, through the snow, following my buddies in their own trucks, stopping at the end of the road.  We turned the trucks off and had a beer.  We talked about aliens, looked at the stars.

The next song took me to a seedy dive bar off Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado.  This place was disgusting.  About as much room as Three Sheets (my sailboat), but packed full of dirty, rough-neck drunks.  A local band was playing, awesome now-defunct (if I heard right) Dr. Neptune.  Great band.

Suddenly the music changes, and I'm riding in an old Ford Escort station wagon.  I don't know which way I'm going, because I'm in Maine, and I don't have any mountains to the west at any given time.  It's constantly overcast.  I could smell something in the air.  It was like a sweet smell.  Like a cologne almost, but less... anticeptic.  Moments later, we got off the interstate and pulled in to York Beach.  We stopped and got salt water taffy, met up with the cousin of this wonderful young lady I was seeing (I guess that's the term I can go with) at the time.  He was from Boston.  I remember asking him if a particular ice cream place was any good and his response was, "yeah, if ya like shit in ya mouth."  Perfect.  The whole experience, listening to the waves, jumping into the warm ocean for the first time in my life, having late night discussions about "the DaVinci Code", doing the things kids do when they are still liberal, anti-establishment, outdoorsy, hippie Howard Dean fans from Vermont and Colorado.

The next song comes on, and I'm driving across Utah in the middle of the night.  My two friends, brothers, and I are on our way to Dayton (I think), Washington to see another good friend of ours get married in his hometown.  We left Salida around mid-day.  We went over Monarch Pass, hit Grand Junction and then crossed the desert in Utah through Green River.  We drove through Salt Lake City in the middle of the night, and I remember seeing how beautiful the Tabernacle looked all lit up. We drove through the night, and by the time we got to Walla Walla or closeby, we found some state park on the Snake River, right at a super wide, slow bend in the river.  There was a huge railroad trestle above us, and, right below the parking lot, there was a huge beach from where the river would rise in the runoff months.  Nearby, there was a Lewis & Clark park, some sort of heritage site.  I was so tired, I don't remember.  But we all went swimming in the creek, just like boys do when they're kids.  No shame.  Dirty hippies.  Then we wound up napping on the beach under the train tracks.  Slept for hours in the warm, August, Washington, afternoon sun.

The list goes on.  What I realized as I started writing this blog, however, is that life has interesting lessons hidden in our heads.  The theme tonight was "adventure".  I picked out songs made me think of adventures I've had.  i didn't realize listening to them would make me remember so many vivid details of what else was going on in my life.  I was learning lessons about honesty. (Giving it out and accepting it genuinely were not easy for me.)  I was getting my heart broken, and I was breaking hearts.  I was experiencing monumental joy, and suffering tragic loss.  I was in the best shape of my life, and I was the most irresponsible man-child.  I realized that, in my search for inspiration for adventure, that the biggest adventure I've had so far was MY LIFE ITSELF.  I've had incredible experiences with incredible people, stories to tell my grandchildren someday.

Just a thought there... maybe it's just the fact that I'm over-caffienated and it's almost half an hour after midnight.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Serenity of Community Radio

Tonight, we're going with adventure themes. I've put together a road trip/snowboarding/climbing/rafting mix tape of all the good stuff I listened to on my adventures. Tune in at

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chores on a Boat

Today, I'm catching up on chores. I did dishes, cleaned up a little, and am now at the laundromat doing a quick load of stuff for the week. I remember posting about "soul laundry" a long time ago, living in my can and having the freedom to do what I wanted. Life is different now, and while I still have freedom, I've been forced to come to terms with the responsibility end of things. It's been rough, but it's manageable. I see how my dad has done stuff through the years, dishes, laundry, taking out the trash, and now that it's me, I empathise.

At any rate, here is a picture of dishes. Per my mom's insistence, the dishes must include cleaning off the counters, wiping everything down, and putting anything and everything away. We do what we can.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I Get By With a Little Help From my Friends

Last night, my friend called me and said he was going on a weekend trip with his girlfriend. He asked me to come by and jet his dog out, do some laundry if I want. Laundry is going. Coffee is being consumed. Life is good.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Missed The Blog

The last three weeks, the phone had taken a swim and drowned here in Thomas Basin. I've been without contact.

I managed to do a bunch of stuff. I fixed the toilet, cleaned the boat, organized the aft cabin a bit, moved some more stuff from the shop, and built a flatter deck for the forward cabin so the ridges wouldn't destroy my back in the night.

Otherwise, working to square things away for the many potentialities that lay on my horizon. Stay tuned!