God how you are alive, you pacific northwest.
Your land, your people, your enduring cold.
There is a magic in your geography... a willingness in your dirt to nourish with greenery and lush.
We met you on a cold summer day, with wide eyes and shivering teeth. We set up camp in a tiny forest in Oregon. We traveled through the potholes of a dirt road, waved to the yippie people and their charming babes camping in the woods next to the natural springs. We undressed and sank into the thermal heat, the soothing minerals of a bath in the woods, with nothing but the sound of the river to guide our minds.
We made it to Portland after the morning of breakfast made with fresh farm eggs and potatoes, a simple and delicious meal with the Stewart's. Our new and dear friend Chelsea showed us the Portland we'd always heard of - the Portland with people who dig everything, a city of magic and inspiration. She opened her home to us dirty, dirty folk and we learned the ways of this little vagabond.
Continuing north we landed in Tacoma, Washington. The very place our sweet Ashely told us to go for one reason and one reason only - to spend a night on her mama's boat.
Joyce, mother of Ashley, captain of the beloved Seawillow, is a woman like no other. We found solace in her love for life. Through shared beers and a many shots of Whiskey we learned the ways of this electric woman - her time in the force in Germany, her plan to move to Ecuador on her 60th birthday, the enduring love she has for her child. So smitten with Joyce, we stayed an extra night. Not ready to say goodbye and desirous to learn more about the ambition of a brilliant woman, we took an afternoon cruise throughout the Washington harbor. We sang and drank and ate like kings. We made videos and talked travels and laughed and shouted through laughter, the energy was so contagious. After sad farewells, we continued north.
Onward and up we took a ferry ride over to Olympic National Park. Two wet and sleepy nights in an old growth rainforest had us in heaven - we road bikes along the coast, let the waves crash into on the shores of an old local peoples blessed beach and together we breathed deep and firm, felt the ground between our toes and the sand in the threads of our jeans.
Ever moving, taking in each moment with sturdy hands, we enjoyed the drift wooded Rialto beach and the misty hurricane ridge.
A quick dip in Vancouver (to eat plates and plates of sushi for $10 and bike Stanley Island) we left 4 hours later and headed east for the first time on our odyssey.
Yes the east, to Montana and Wyoming and the spirit land that is ours that we never knew but soon learned.
Traveling with the wind,