Monthly Archives: July 2014

Riding Out the Bump

Every day is a new adventure, and every moment should be savored. But even in the middle of an odyssey like the trip we are now on it’s easy to get caught up in your own concerns. It’s easy to let worry creep in and take your focus away from the moment. So many things can alter your plans or your timetable….but that doesn’t necessarily mean you change the ultimate goal.

We finally left the Seattle yesterday, and we woke up today in Kennewick, WA. The striking backdrop of water, immediate forested hills and not so distant snow  capped mountains in every direction has now given way to flat stretches to the horizon of scorched brown grassland. In fact yesterday morning our hotel reservation was for Wennatche on the east face of the Cascades. That is, until we looked up the status of the multiple wildfires that were raging in the area…..much like when we left the Baja Coast of Mexico in May and crossed into drought ridden California. For us a small bump in the road. For the people in the communities where the fires rage it’s devastating.

It’s been a couple weeks since I have posted. Mostly that’s because we made the call to stay longer in Seattle and do a low-key gumshoe approach to trying it out for size and seeing how it feels as a place to someday plant a part-time flag. A mundane approach and not all that noteworthy to others. Partly because of another bump…one on my tongue that, although I have never smoked or chewed tobacco, had to be dealt with, removed, and hopefully ruled out. Thankfully it was, and yesterday the two stitches left where the bump had been were removed. We pulled out of the parking lot in our road formation (Traci and I in the front seat of the Blazer….Bubba, Lucy and Chuckie in their crates lined up in the back seat), headed east, and here we are Kennewick.

Having spent extra time in Seattle we probably won’t go to Glacier National Park this trip. We’ll get there next time as we hope to be back in this area soon enough.  Tonight we’ll land in Couer d’ Alene and then on to Missoula, etc……unless there’s another bump in the road. People don’t often consider Mike Tyson a great thinker, but even he once said “everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth”. If need be we’ll adjust. For now it’s back to soaking up each moment of the adventure.



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The Best Laid Plans……

We set out May 15th on a road trip that would encompass four and a half months, two countries, four time zones, and well over 6000 miles.  When you are travelling with all your belongings and your cats in your car….how does that work? Well it started with (literally) an excel spreadsheet that covered 5/15 through 10/1 and showed literally:

1) where we would start each day (2) how many miles we would travel that day (3) and where we would stay that night. That last point needed to be a mix of rental houses  and hotel rooms.

Why rental homes? They allow stability and normalcy. Nobody wants to spend every night for over four months in hotel rooms…..with cats. You need a place to relax, to stretch out, and a base from which to explore. You need a break from the road. You need a place to put some groceries and cook a homemade meal. You need a place to hang your hat for more than a night….and not have to put it back on the next morning

Why hotel rooms? They allow flexibility. When strung together a run of hotel stays let you reflect, reassess, and adjust your schedule. A hotel reservation can be cancelled on short notice and another can be picked up another time anywhere…..or anywhere you are or can get to. It would feel unsettling to most people. It feels like freedom and adventure to us.

We are currently in the middle of a two week stretch renting an old craftsman home in the Mt Baker neighborhood of Seattle. The neighborhood lies within the city limits. It’s a nice peaceful neighborhood with a park that leads to Lake Washington and has a nice neighborhood bistro. However it’s not within walking distance of downtown or it’s waterfront. It’s set apart from the beat of the city…which is great if that’s what you want.

Seattle is a beautiful city and a place where we could picture planting a flag at some point. A condo we could base in for the summer and rent out when we’re not there? Possibly. It’s never too hot in the summer. It’s green and lush.  Everywhere you look there’s water and a view of snow-capped mountain peaks. Vancouver Island and the San Juan’s are a short ferry ride away. It’s politically progressive and sociologically diverse. It very well feels like our kind of city and that is always how we have felt when we have visited before……so now’s our chance to find out……right?

Between the location of the house we rented and the time Traci has been spending working on a freelance project we haven’t really gotten to explore Seattle the way like to explore a city, and that’s on foot.  So what do we do now when we have to move out of the craftsman rental Saturday, Traci has a good three days of work left, and we like being in Seattle.

The excel spreadsheet shows an upcoming string of hotel reservations and a mid-trip stay in Denver of longer than we need (lived there five years and there’s no need for exploration). Time to reassess, flex our flexibility, and tweak that spreadsheet.


As always, you can find posts that predate this platform at