Monthly Newsletter, September 2015
We’re continuing to plan for eventual departure in late 2016 or early 2017 on open-ended travel starting in South America, through Central America and ending in Mexico where we’ll re-group and decide what’s next. This trip could take up to a year to do and imagining it brings up conflicting emotions; . . . the comfort of home vs the passion for travel, the security of the familiar vs the risk of the unknown, steady employment vs living off retirement income. But every time we review our plans it comes out the same – the call of the road is strong and we both have a passion for experiencing new cultures, places and things while we’re young and healthy enough to do so.
In September we continued to explore the Great Pacific Northwest near our home in Mukilteo north of Seattle. We attended the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival (see blog post When Ships Were Made of Wood in America’s Pacific Northwest under Trip Reports). We took day hikes into the Cascade Mountains and explored some more of Puget Sound from our sea kayak. What a spectacular place to live!
In October we’re off to New York to visit family and from there on to Mexico to re-visit a place we’re interested in possibly re-locating to; Xalapa in the gulf coast state of Veracruz.
I’ve finally recovered enough from dual injuries over summer (torn meniscus in knee and torn tendon in arm) to resume more physical activities and in September I took to the water discovering my latest passion – sea kayaking. With fine September weather providing plenty of calm, sunny days I started kayaking in the inlets of Puget Sound around Mukilteo and then into the bigger waters of nearby Whidbey Island. On the most recent trip I paddled along the western coastline of Whidbey Island into the open water of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the arm of the Pacific Ocean that separates Vancouver Island Canada from the Olympic Peninsula of the United States. Within an hour I’d paddled a few miles along the coast, over underwater kelp forests, and a quarter-mile out into the gently rolling swells coming in off of the Pacific.
Suddenly I heard a loud cough behind me and turned around to see a Steller’s Sea Lion just 20 yards away, raising himself high out of the water to get a better look at me. These guys grow to ten feet long, weigh well over 1,000 pounds, and they can be ornery. Puget Sound is the extreme southern end of their range and this one was as big as my kayak. I was delighted and scared at the same time, but he swam off after checking me out for awhile. That’s the kind of stuff that keeps me going back out into the wild, whether afoot in the mountains of afloat in the sea.