Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A few days after I arrived in Toronto, we left on a roadtrip to NYC. We had a memorable stop in Binghamton, NY. Beautiful urban decay, and nice people. The NY city was great. Brooklyn seemed limitless, trendy and fun. Better lighting than Toronto and more romantic.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Well. I made it to Toronto. I was pondering 'the scenic route' but somehow that fell by the wayside with scheduling and the lonliness of the interstate. I left Benton City, WA at about 1 pm, and had a beautiful drive through open wheat country up to I-90. I made it over the Bitteroot Mountains of Northern Idaho, and passed Missoula and Butte. The temperature was fluctuating wildly, warm on the high passes and cold again in the valleys. Must be an inversion. I made it just past Butte, MT before I started to get a little tired. I made camp at the Missouri River Headwaters State Park. I chatted with the man in the camper next to me. He was the only other person around, the campground was otherwise totally deserted. The temperature was in the low 60s! Crazy for mid November in MT. The man in the camper said he was headed the opposite direction, from the East Coast to the West, and he'd had snow the day before in Wisconsin. Good weather for camping! I slept great in my thin sleeping bag after an instant soup and some sleepytime tea. Then to bed with my roadtrip ritual, falling asleep while reading the map. Day two was an absolutely mega-day. From Three Forks, Mt, to St. Cloud, MN. 950 miles. The driving was great. No traffic. Perfect weather. It was even HOT in the car! But no A/C for me! Don't want to put any load on the engine! As far as hypermiling goes, the Audi A6 Avant, is a bad choice. Quattro drive might be a good system for traction, but it not great for milage. I usually average 23 on the highway. Not good. But this day, over 950 miles, I averaged 26! I think the reason was that there was a crazy windstorm, right on the tail. I had at some times sustained wind over 35 mph, blowing dust around, tumbleweeds and leaves all over the freeway. And it kept up most of the day. Then, past Fargo a long, long downhill section. What felt like a down grade? Or maybe it was just highway hypnosis? Anyway when I finally found a hotel room in St. Cloud, MN, I really had highway hypnosis. Objects waved and shimmered. I felt as if I was still on the highway. The most horrifying was when I turned on the TV in my hotel room. I haven't watched TV since the spring, and being on the ship for 4 months has somewhat insulated me from TV culture. It was horrible. To sum-up-- Everything was about fear, and money, and power. Selling, by any means. Sensationalism. Fearmongering. Control. I sought refuge in The Weather Channel, but even there was death. A 'reality' show about the destructive force of Tornados. With a panel of meterologists turned fear dealers. And the commercials were packed with political ads from the coal industry, pre-emptively persuading the public of the doom that will become them if they even THINK about regulating carbon emissions or imposing a carbon tax. Well. I turned off the TV and went to bed. To wake up and burn a little carbon of my own. Day three I made it all the way to Toronto. I pulled in at 3 am. The border guards didn't harass me too much, everything was smooth as silk.
Monday, November 2, 2009
In a few hours I'll be picking up my car from the shop in Seattle and heading East, to Preston, and then hopefully tomorrow, farther east to Cle Elum and Red Mountain. Then in a few more days, farther east across most of the country, across the border and into Toronto. Sara and I are going to share an apartment and try to start spending some short-distance time with each other. It could be seen as a big move but it really seems like the logical next step. I'm excited and relaxed and ready for the challenges and changes and opportunites that life will present. So I was thinking I might as well start blogging again? As this is a voyage of a different sort, to foreign waters, also with its own reefs and beaches with soft waves lapping at the sand.
I've been off the ship now for two weeks and I'm still enjoying the slight euphoria and hightened senses that comes with release from the ocean's deprivation. Never has fall seemed so necessary and its various smells and colors so intoxicating. Many are saying that the colors are much brighter this fall because the summer was so hot. Every hour of that summer is in my hands when I heft a big healthy pumpkin. The pumpkin is a holy artifact of that summer. It is a precious concentration from the rays that fell on the viney, loamy fields each day. Its a way to connect to those long summer days that passed while I was far north, wreathed in fogs on a gray ocean on a steel ship. Each pumpkin seems as exotic and as fascinating to me as a meteorite. This past week we had a pumpkin party and we did pumpkin carving and pumpkin jousting (counter-rotating pumpkins on ropes). I carved out their flesh and made pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie. We drank Pumpkin Ale. We roasted pumpkin seeds. I carved a maple leaf into a pumpkin's skin.