Sunday, July 26, 2015

Land lubbing fun. Washougal 2015

When the boat goes on the hard in late spring we have about 3-4 months at home in southern Oregon to visit, get chit done and have a little fun while we are there.  One of the annual trips is our pilgrimage to Washougal Washington for the AMA Motocross National that has been going on there since 1980.  I myself have never missed a year since my first visit in 1994, racing on amateur days with a couple of buddies and every year we dads brought along the kids, even when they were in diapers.  My kids, like me, have been going ever since and this year was no exception.
The trip started on Tuesday driving the 4 hours up to the Portland area and riding Mountain View MX then on to the other side of the Colombia River Gorge to Washougal where we would set up camp the next morning and spend the rest of the week with our "moto family".  Thursday and Friday the amateur riders get the chance to race on the same track as the pros with the professional riders competing on Saturday.  Both of my boys raced and I stepped up as well riding in the 50+ class on Thursday and the 40+ class on Friday.  As usual, it was a great time and we are already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dream...

The dream was fairly a financially simplistic, semi-self sustaining lifestyle as a live aboard cruiser sailing the tropics of the world. Pretty straight forward and yet extremely difficult to implement after an entire lifetime living "inside the box" with a home, my own business and three, although now grown, children.

A tiny seed of that dream was planted nearly 35 years ago when I spent a year living aboard the original Liahona, my father's custom built Westsail 42' yawl rig.  All told we spent about 15 months or so aboard.  Three months in the Sea of Cortez between my junior and senior year in high school and then after graduation sailing from southern California down the Pacific coastline of Mexico and Central America, through the Panama canal and then northward through the inland side of the Caribbean.  Our trip coming to a conclusion in Galveston Texas some 13 months after our departure.

The memories of that trip, the people, the places and experiences have quietly lived on inside my soul for all of these years but college, marriage, children, a career and life in general had all successfully joined forces to repress the yearning to return to the sea.  However, repress they did, extinquish they did not. Enter the catalysts.  Divorce, children graduating and moving on with their own lives and me sitting at my desk day after day wondering what might lie ahead in my journey through life.

The mind wanders, it wonders, it dreams, it schemes.  Repressed memories return.  Dreaming morphs into planning. Close friends and family see only dreams, to them impossible dreams, but I see possibilities and realities. Soon my mind can think of nothing else and before I know it I am totally consumed with how I can put together this seemingly impossible, intricate puzzle to unplug myself from society's pulls and demands and return to the sea living a simple yet extremely fulfilled life.

A life void of cell phones with their constant ringing and notification tones of incoming texts, emails, calls, pictures, Facebook comments, Snap Chats, Tweets...and the list goes on.   A life void of cable TV, movie theaters, the internet, car payments and insurance, overpriced medical care, traffic lights controlling overcrowded streets filled with angry travelers rushing to where?  Neighbors that have lived next to you for months or years and yet you don't even know their names. Politicians seeking power and money who quietly take away and erode your rights in the name of political correctness. Once again, the list goes on.  We are slowly becoming a country full of people filled with entitlement and simultaneously void of drive and determination.  A society who has legislated away our true beginnings of a free country..."one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all".  The rant could continue for hours but for what?  And at what cost?  Time wasted.  Time that could be spent pursuing the dream.

We dream for a imagine something better, something greater.  Some choose to follow their dreams, no matter the cost.  Others choose to live without dreams or choose to dream but not believe. Where do you fall?  I say...dream on.  Believe. Pursue.  Get some!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cruising vid...

This is a short vid that Tallen put together for me from his time onboard.  Whale sharks, dophins and great downwind sailing all in the Sea of Cortez.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer adventures on land - Mammoth Lakes California

Our little Marmot buddy at Duck Lake

Rainbow Falls with Marne and Tallen

Duck Lke

Crossing over Duck Pass 

White pelicans in Hot Creek.  hmmm

Leaving Laurel lake in the Razor

And of course...some motocross. Tallen second in on the green bike.

Tallen making his way over the tables down "the Mammoth freeway".

Summertime is hurricane season anywhere in the tropics of the northern hemisphere so we take that time to return to our land based home, wherever that may be, and enjoy family, friends and time on solid ground.  It is a time of social gatherings, land based adventures, possibly some money making opportunities to replenish the cruising kitty and a time to aquire as  many items as possible of the seemingly endless lists of things that are needed for the next cruising season.

This last week found us in Mammoth Lakes California for a motocross event with my youngest son Tallen and while we were there we took time to enjoy the amazing and abundant beauty found only 30 or so miles south of Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevadas.  Mammoth did not disappoint.  It never does.  On the menu was a day four wheeling a Polaris Razor up high into a mountain lake for lunch, world class mountain biking, a trail hike up and into Duck Lake and then a trail run out (about 6 miles each way and crossing over Duck Pass that sits at 10,800'), a beautiful afternoon trail run up to June Lake resort which sits atop a beautiful slope overlooking the beautiful June Lake and, of course, motocross racing at an epic track and venue. 

All told we spent 9 days in a tent and loved every moment.  I love the ocean, it's raw beauty and boundless wildlife but as I have said many times before... beauty and the sheer awe of nature abounds everywhere, you just need to make the effort to jump into it.  When you do, turn off your cell phones, breathe deep and take it in.  Get some.

Bret and Marne
SV Liahona