BEV WILL BE IN WASHINGTON SOON
This woman is thriving on the trail. She has truly found her happy place, and I can tell from the sound of her voice on phone calls, and from the look on her face in pictures. There is nothing forced or contrived about her; she is genuinely at peace walking through Oregon, and she is now 100-miles away from the Washington border.
I will be at peace once I get back on the road. I don’t belong in this HOA. Puddle Walker certainly doesn’t. I interact fine with the residents of this tiny hamlet, many of them know me by name, I get through the day with a smile on my face because, well, I love life and life is good, but the road is missing from that equation.
I was talking about this topic this morning with one of my favorite baristas, Jess, who always asks about Bev, asks about my travels, and today we talked about the fact that Bev and I probably won’t be remotely close to each other over the winter. I explained the situation to Jess, she understood, but I still feel I need to make a video about it all, try to explain what it is that drives me, all of the nuts and bolts which make me function the way I function. I think I’ll work on that video soon, call it something like “Why This 74 yr old became a nomad,” or something like that.
I may be wrong about the timeline I am about to share with you, but I’m pretty close. It was after my dad died, which was 1969, and before I moved out of my childhood home, which was 1976, so somewhere in that seven year span we got cable television for the first time. I remember being fascinated by the limited channels we received. One was a continual weather station, one was a continual news headline station, and if there were more I don’t remember what they were . . . but seriously, I would sit there for an hour or more in awe of the continual weather updates and the continual news updates. I had no idea what the future held for cable, but I was sure happy I was there at the beginning to witness the marvel.
Flash forward to this morning, watching tv with my buddy, who turned to Sports Center in time for us to witness, and I swear to you I am not making this up, the National Pillow Fight Championships. And that was followed by a Corn Hole Tournament.
I honestly don’t know what to say. Please understand that in order for those two programs to even air, there had to be sponsors paying money for the programming, and the sponsors paid money because they knew there was an audience who would watch it. And that audience has to be in the millions, or a station like Sports Center wouldn’t even bother with it on this schedule.
An audience of millions watching, on a beautiful August Sunday morning, two overly aggressive men try to beat each other to a feathered pulp with pillows.
Words escape me! After five minutes I turned it off and went for a walk.
NEW TIRES AND THE SHINING
On the same day, Puddle Walker received a gift of new tires, from yours truly, and Bev hiked into Timberline Lodge, the scene of the movie The Shining.
Bev is now fifty miles from the Oregon/Washington border.
Absolutely amazing! The longest hike Bev had been on, prior to March, 2023 and the start of the PCT, was a twenty-two mile training hike, on a flat trail, no elevation gain at all.
She has now hiked through the entire state of Oregon and has hit the 1000-mile mark.
I have run out of words to describe my admiration for her.
I believe, if all goes according to plan, my nursing duties will end on August 31st, at which time my buddy should be able to safely fend for himself. Which means, of course, I will crank the engine of Puddle Walker on September 1st and get the heck out of Dodge, figuratively speaking, of course, this being Olympia, not Dodge City, duh and double duh.
I’m not sure where I will be heading at that point. It’s too early to go south, to either the California desert or Arizona, heat being the determining factor on that point. It’s too late in the year to head east, the fear of early winter being the determining factor on that point, so I may just hang around the Columber River, maybe spend some time in Eastern Washington, until it is time to choose a destination for the winter.
I’m debating, which is healthy, I guess, as long as this doesn’t become paralysis by analysis. I don’t know if I want to spend an entire winter in the desert. Number one, that’s a lot of sand for a long time; number two, there are serious crowds of RVs in the desert over the winter, and I’m not too excited about spending the winter in a crowd of RVs, in the sand . . . so the debate/dialogue will continue for a few more weeks. Which is fine because, well, it’s a healthy pastime, and it shows good planning skills on my part, and really, what’s the hurry in deciding anything?
And then there is the whole Bev issue. She doesn’t want me resupplying her in Washington, but it would be nice to stick around and be there when she finishes the Trail. That would be mid-September . . . obviously I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do at this point, August 9th.
Stay tuned! Eventually I’ll work it all out.
This just in to our news desk . . .
What if I spent the winter traveling around doing service gigs during the winter? I don’t know what that service would look like, but I could trade service work for a place to park and hook up utilities, maybe a month at a time, per place. I wonder how one would find gigs like that?
More to think about. My brain is tired. Have dog, will travel; I just don’t know where I’m going yet.
YOU MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED, BUT . . .
Weatherwise, we are much closer to fall than we are to summer, even though today is only August 11th.
I bring that up because the forecast for Olympia, for the next four days, is ninety-degree weather. Now, ninety-degree weather is hot in June, but in mid-August, the gauge may say ninety, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. The angle of the sun, the shorter hours of daylight, less heat absorbed in the ground to be released later, it all adds up to a more comfortable feeling than earlier in the summer.
I’m sitting in Puddle Walker right now, the dogs snoozing on the bed, a lovely breeze blowing in the north side of the bus and out the south side, the curtains stirred, no bugs to be found, the sun finally disappearing from the horizon, and it occurs to me that life is so very good.
Of course I already knew that, but there are times when it becomes so obvious that even the most jaded among us must at least have a passing thought regarding the wonder of life. This is one of those times for me. I love my life and I love life.
You may not have noticed this about your life, but I hope you have.
Life is good.