The ghost of Sookie


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I’m as close to owning a Bristol Channel Cutter as I’ve ever been, she is near perfect and mine for the taking.  Much newer than Sookie and ready for blue water cruising, fatty knees and all.  I’m frustrated as hell, it shouldn’t be this way. I check my email and my new copy of Taleisins Tales has arrived, just what the doctor ordered. Lin pardey can get me through anything, I love her for this and countless many other reasons.

Taleisins tales

I read through chapter one, tears welling up in my eyes, I get a chill up my spine as she talks about the ghost of Seraffyn. The first three BCC’s I was serious about were easy enough to walk away from. The one in Hawaii was damn near new and I had the ability to take possession and sail her home, she was perfect from her free hand windvane to her perfect sail assortment, this purchase would have gone down in history as the best purchase of a Turn key BCC in history but I couldn’t commit. I had alterior reasons for going to Hawaii which I never talked about and I still won’t.  Either way that boat could have been mine but the ghost of Sookie wouldn’t have any part of it.

There is something about Sookie, her spirit speaks to me and I miss her when we are apart, I feel a strange pride and often guilt based off of necglect when I leave her, it’s un natural and quite frankly freaks me out.  We have been through many trials together, she is not just a boat, she is a home and a dream and a better way through life but still… a bigger boat means many things but it’s also cheaper than finishing outfitting Sookie, I don’t care about the money but finding reasonable paying work has me at a virtual standstill. It’s also just plain nice to have a bit more space, a bit more comefort and a bit more weight underfoot.

the latest BCC a few years older than the last but all and all in reasonably good condition, the monitor vane sucks, the rudder is full of water, the wood necgletected, all easy stuff but again Sookie weighs heavily in my thoughts like I’m some how letting her down, abandoning her, throwing her away…

I’ll never forget the first time I stepped aboard BCC, it was Mike Anderson’s, who built Sookie, I’ve spent the last 29 years of my life knowing some day I would call one my home, I’ve helped build them, rebuild them, sail them and know every inch of their construction although way back in 1987 I didn’t know she had a smaller sister ship, the Falmouth, the ship I now call my home.

These feelings persist in me yet as I read Lin’s book, they slowly were overshadowed by the new boat and all of the luxury and advantages it provided even though it was only 29’6″ on deck.  Yes, bigger is often better, I close the book to ponder her words, my life and my relationship with Sookie and the meeting of her larger sistership…

“But I also came to feel her ghost as a special gift, a reminder that size never mattered, that seaworthiness alone outweighed all other traits. Seraffyn’s  ghost lingered as a reminder that the ultimate luxury is time granted to do what we enjoyed most.” Lin Pardey


Ride a Brompton save the world


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My day started out like any other day on the trip.  Eat, stretch, break camp, one more cup of coffee and visits to all the other cyclists for morning banter.  Once saddled up for a long day I would slowly turn the pedals an settle in for the ride.  Rain, head winds and hills always seemed to start my day, cold fingers and a bit of a shiver while I slowly warmed up watching the world unfold in front of my eyes


Im convinced that while never intended for such silly things that my Brompton was the best choice for the trip, I would choose her again and will on my next ride.  Her cockpit was the most comefortable I’ve ever experienced and I’ve been fortunate to own many very fine bicycles, she fit me like a glove.

Karate monkey

The Brompton has turned out to be so economical and such a great investment even on my pathetic annual budget that I’m contemplating upgrading to the titanium version with a few minor tweaks including losing the rack and making my own fenders.

San Juan ferry

Ruining bikes by leaving them tied onto Sookies deck had me shopping for a good folding bike although I have to admit I did fear it would be the end of my long days in the saddle and once and for all out an end to my days of touring, I simply can’t afford two bikes financially or spatially.  I couldn’t have been more wrong, Brompty as it turns out is a world class touring bike.  She also fits anywhere and is just as fun for a quick bop to the store or a day trip to the top of Mt Constellaion on Orcas.  She is alway free on the ferry as am I because I rode her instead of driving a car.

Brompton wine sale

For me it’s all fun and games but I can’t help but to wonder what if everybody got a trusty folder and started parking their cars in the garage or getting rid of them all together.  Not only does ownership of a good folding bike breed financial success by saving all the money thrown away by car ownership but it stops or at least extremely slows your aging process, keeps you healthy, fit and strong which equates to mental bliss.  I can’t remember the last time my body was this tight, a quick 50 mikes is a walk in the park and experiencing the elements from the saddle makes winter so much more enjoyable.

Brompton boat bike

i live my bike so much I’m I’m actually contemplating opening a small shop just for folders, new and used.  I hear talk of this and that, save the planet, global warming… if you care about the world you live in and the body you occupy isn’t time you make a small investment in your health and happiness and buy a Brompton. The US uses an average of 20 million barrels of oil a day at this pace wars will never end, think about that little fact next time you jump,into your car or fill the belly of that beast with fuel.  It’s already started, bicycle ownership is up ten fold, people are dumping their cars or at least using them a lot less.  Every time you jump on your bike an adventure is at hand, the crisp cold air on your checks and that alive feeling you have whooshing down the road on nothing but your own power.  With all the money you save you can eat higher quality food and in general have a higher standard of living.

Brompton 2017

Take the money you save on car payments, maintenence and stress and invest it in your future, life is too short, every peddle stroke on your bike makes the world bigger, slowes the progression of time and one last little tidbit.  Second only to a puppy at the end of a string, nothing in the world is better than a folder for making new friends.  These curious looking bikes arent just the future of a cleaner world, they are the revolution.  I have so much more I want to write about this but it’s Monday and I have a date with  Brompty to ride down to the south end for a piping hot latte and a bit of flirting with an island girl I met the other day when I was combing the beach for agates.  I know what your thinking, but it’s Monday, shouldn’t you be off to work?  If I had a car I would be sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on my way to some hateful job to pay for it but my Brompton is free and so am I…



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I finish wiping the salt spray off my trusty Nikon and set it in its perch ready to go, I don’t have a camera bag or lens cap, my Nikon is for using, not hauling around like some digital piece of jewelry.  It’s a dinosaur by today’s standards but it’s processor is magic, its build, indestructible and like precious few things in this world, its mine.

Nikon D500

Ive been asked to contribute a chapter to a book on budget cruising.  I respond with a very gracious thank you but no thank you.  I find an email in my inbox with 10 links to essays I’ve never read, sure I wrote them and lived them but I’ve never read them.  I ease the sheets and reach down memory lane.  Has it really been a year since my last real cruise.  The words flow like water, I feel like I’m right there in the middle of the cockpit sailing on a journey that is little more than a few data bites now.  As one of the most prolific sailing bloggers of the last decade I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to share my experience beyond the small tribe of readers who have stumbled upon AOH, maybe I’m being selfish or maybe I just prefer to keep it local.

Best blue water sailboats

I don’t feel like I have a story to tell, or at least not a complete one, just snippets, a few passages through life.  It’s late, I’ve been editing all day and I’m too tired to sleep.  I read through all the links and can’t help to be reminded how quickly it all slips through  our fingers.  In some other life I was having my 7th birthday, free diving in a bay in Southern California known to be frequented by great whites but unlike all stories from the sea the reality is usually much safer than the stories built by those who have never really experienced the sea, my home; a sanctuary that was my school room and playground as a child. It still is all these years later.  I’m not living the dream, I’m simply experiencing my birth-right, a privilege I have known my whole life, the ocean, my ocean; but do I have anything  to teach of it all?  No, I don’t think so, my words simply fill the void between images, snap shots of a life at sea.

One of my favorite images, I sailed 400 miles to find this location, it's surrounding as raw as the subject and my life.

One of my favorite images, I sailed 400 miles to find this location, it’s surrounding as raw as the subject and my life.

It’s through my minimalist ways that I’ve been given the tools to fuel my adventures, my film gear, the boat,  Brompty and my much loved ukulele although at this point she is still on walkabout, but I know she is coming home soon.  More importantly it’s my minimaist lifestyle that affords me the time to use these wonderful gifts life had bestowed on me. When you focus on the things you need verse the things you want, you soon realize that you don’t need anymore than your already have.  This is where freedom is born, in not saying just a few more years and… life is now, live it.


“Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning. ”
~ Pablo Neruda



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To the landsmans eye the ocean is always flat, they look across the ocean not much unlike their ancestors did before we had learned to navigate the seas always thinking that the world is flat.  The wind is angry by the time it funnels down the straits of Juan De Fuca.  It hits the bluff at San Juan point crossing the San Juan channel and slams across the bay.  The huge fetch and oposing tides don’t help.  There is little in the way of protection where I’m sitting right now.

As the front passed overheard just ahead of the winds

As the front passed overheard just ahead of the winds

It sounds like a fighter jet flying overhead getting louder and louder until wham! The gust hits you, the boat heels and the dock lines do their best to shatter the wood bull rails.  While it’s scary I’m not afraid for my safety although I have been on occasions while tied to the dock. It’s more that I worry about the strain on Sookie and her bits.  People made fun of me when I had to custom order 8″ x3/8 lag bolts for Sookies cleats but that’s how thick the section is between the cleat and half inch backing plate, insane? No I don’t think so.

At 45 knots sustained on a wind over tide this place turns into hell on water, a cauldren of boiling water washing both under and over the marina.  Boats have sunk, docks have blown away, you name it’s happened here, again the price you pay for living in the islands over the winter.  For the most part it’s not that bad but it only takes one big one…

Im tucked into my lee cloth to keep me from being thrown out of my berth. My down bag snugged up around my naked body, I’m warm and as comefortable as is possible considering I’m having my ass handed to me by a full blown winter storm and it’s only the beginning of October.  Maybe this means an early warm spring will send me on a gentle cruise to the Queen Charlotts but in the deepest recesses of my mind I’m planning a trip down the coast to Pamana if I can find the right co-pilot, although on nights like tonight a warm cabin in the woods sounds pretty wonderful.  Just in case things get out of hand I have my ditch bag packed and ready.  I packed it many times and never had to use it, I’m hoping this is another one of those occasions but it’s better safe than sorry.  It really isn’t much more than an annoyance because I want to cook popcorn and can’t, at this point and I doubt the winds have even topped 40, it’s a calm night considering  what was forecast and the wind is still SSE, its the sou’wester that gets my goat…

From the log of Atarah, Baja, 1988… my notes say 28.8 on the barometer, impending hurricane, it’s reading 28.7 oh shit… from the log of Sookie, Salish sea, barometer reads 28.9 gonna be a fun night…

Wintering aboard


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The hatches are battened, Sookie is warm and dry with extra lines added just to be safe.  Winter aboard in the pacific North West is a different type of monster.  You don’t get the cold temperatures like you do in other parts of the world but the wet windy days are bone chilling. Condensation never stops and the battle to snug on the boat is never ending but one I thourally enjoy.

One of my all time favorite images and yes it really was that cold.

One of my all time favorite images and yes it really was that cold.

Space is at a premium when you live on a small boat, the week will be spent working on a heating system, a project I’ve failed at for over 5 years now and the one and only reason I would ever consider moving up to a Bristol Channel Cutter 28, something I think about and contemplate 25 hours a day.

i wouldn’t have acquired Sookie if I didn’t think she was the best boat on the planet but way back then I never intended to spend a single winter aboard in the colder northern climates.  She is well ventilated and in the dead of winter I can keep her near 45 degrees but dreams of not ever being tied to a dock have me lost between the freedom of owning a boat that It’s too cold to use and being owned by a boat that could go anywhere regardless of the cold yet is tied to the dock with payments. Both equal prisons, neither ideal…I’ve come to a stand still.

For all the love I have for the BCC I simply prefer the lines and sailing charichteristics of the Falmouth better, these two boats are night and day in their differences beyond the first glance.  As far as seaworthieness I don’t know if there  is a huge difference beyond windward ability and comefort wise, while Sookie is smaller I really prefer her layout.  On deck the BCC trumps just about every boat in existence but I have very few complaints about Sookies dack layout, if I have any it’s simply a matter of constrictions due to her size.

i was recently asked if I could have any sailboat on the planet what would it be, a question I really can’t answer.  I love the Hess 26 but I’ve always been a small boat sailor and even that boat seems to be more than I need although having sailed aboard one as often as I can it just may be the best blue water cruising boat ever designed above the pocket cruiser level.

My sketch book is over flowing, my mind sailing in circles and just like I do at this time of year, every year I’m balancing my needs over freedom and wants…it’s so easy to fall from the freedom wagon with wandering eyes that more often than not leads to the origial place we fought so hard to escape from.

 “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Thicker than water


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The storm of the century blew to the north without a whimper over 40 knots but there will be many more.  I get a text from an ex lover, she wants me to come ride the storm like we stole it. Her friends say a sailor shouldn’t be afraid of a storm, landlubbers. As I’m reading the text a commercial fisherman walks into the bar and announces he’s staying a few days as he’s hiding from the impending storm. I smile, seamanship is an awesome super power. The marina is filling fast, lots of sailors blowing in.

Falmouth cutter

I need to pull Sookies anchor line and make new dock lines, she will have more chain and thicker line by the end of the year. Thats how it always goes, I use the un-thrashed parts of her old rode to make new dock lines, the last 100 of her 330′ rarely see the sea or the bottom, new line every other year is good and cheap insurance.  They say blood is thicker than water, I ponder this as she does her best to intice me to leave Sookie and help stoke her fire.  To be honest she had me at hello but Sookie trumps a beautiful young girl with a wood stove every day of the week. She is my home, my master and my servant.

Living aboard a sailboat

It’s late, I just got back to Sookie and my fingers and toes are cold, it’s too early for the frost we have gotten but no matter I’m back and this is my life now. I have no complaints other than a lack of a free range hippie to do some winter exploring with me but that’s how it goes in the islands, summer has gone and with it all of the golden locks that teased me all summer, it’s hybermate season like it or not.

 Blue water sailboats

I get a quote for new glasses, $750 bucks, or I could push the button on my tiny tot even though I still havent found a home for it.  I sitting on this one till my nipples are hard enough to cut glass.  My thick wool sweater will do for now as will my thickest socks and candles to heat the boat.  Sometimes I get lonely but not enough to… let’s face it loneliness and desperation make for a terrible match maker.  There is a beauty in the limbo I dance, that sanctuary bestween shadow and darkness where the light falls into a magic glow reminding me that there are worse things than being alone.  Sookie is looking good but she needs attention before the big freeze up.  The vhf weather is pissing me off , I shut it off, tap on the barometer and pour a glass of wine from my box.  My brain is scattered but in a very good place as am I.

Best small blue water sailboats

From the log of Sookie, storm front.  I get of the phone with my broker, the BCC I’ve been eyeballing  and have made one offer on just fell out of contract.  She’s mine if I want her but do I?  The lantern cuts the cold as I make splices for Sookies new dock lines.  When is enough enough?  Do I really want a heater badly enough to buy a new boat???

Idiodic persistence 


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The level of commitment I have to becoming less of a dirtbag is exactly half of the internal drive  I have for small scale exploration.  I’m not just stepping out of my comrfort zone on a near daily basis, I’m jumping out of the fucking plane without a parachute. No I’m not climbing Mount Everest or rounding the Cape Horn but through the lens of my double vision I see an untapped world of ordinary adventures squared that are epic enough to have me waking up screaming at the top of my lungs, not unlike the way I scream when I’m wide awake, it’s how I deal with the things in this world that scare the shit out of me which is everything.

Touring Brompton

This is the introduction I sent along with my portfolio for a 3 month contract that pays shit, I doubt I’d live through the journey anyways so pay doesn’t matter anyways and it’s not exactly National Geographic that I was submitting for.  Considering that I’ve worked with Nat Geo in the past and recently turned them down it would seem that I’m going backwards in life although this didn’t occur to me until after I had sent the package.  I consoled myself that they wouldn’t hire me anyways  and let the whole thing go.  The funny thing is that they not only responded but sent an offer which I immeidalty declined in favor of a night job scrubbing dishes in a local shit hole restaurant

The question isn’t why would I turn down the contract but why would I want to wash dishes till 2:00 am every day.  Somewhere about 30 milliseconds after I dropped the whole package in the mail it ocuured to me that I don’t want to tell someone else’s story, I want to tell my own and even though the work would be fun and scary which makes it even more fun and scary it could only lead to more of the same which takes me further and further away from what Im perusing right now which apperantly and quite sucesssfuly is anynimity as an expedition journalist convering my completely average and below normal adventures which I might add scare the shit out of me ever step of the way.

Just before leaving on my bike trip I was offered a job selling cars, I was all but guaranteed 200k my first year.  Why would I choose dish washing for minimum wage over 200k?  Yes they are both soul crushing jobs but one is an anchor and one is a launch pad.  Rare is the individual who doesn’t spend their whole life working backwards till it’s too late.  On my budget I could retire for life on one simple year of selling cars but what if I don’t live a year, spending my last year on this planet basking in the tedium of mediocrity sounds like a fate worse than death but what’s worse is I could get addicted to the money and the lifestyle and one year could turn to ten to life.

You can be dumber than a sac of hammers and your not going to get addicted to minimum wage or scrubbing nasty shit off dishes all night.  On the plus side it’s a completely brainless job and I have all my days free to plan the next boneheaded journey I’m sure to take.  I may be stupid or greedy for life but I’ll live it now, I don’t want any anchors, life plans, 3, 5 or ten year goals, I just want to fucking live and scream when I’m scared which is always but more importantly I have an insatiable need to feed the addiction of the all incompasimg freedom I have been given.

Today is a good day, I’m fat full of veggie man tacos and have a glass of shitty wine. It’s a far cry from a week ago when I was stuck in the middle of the woods sucking mayonnaise out of little disposable packets because I was literally stsrved for calories, out of food and sick and injured. It might sound like hell but it was pretty damn amusing at the time, it still is.  I may never do anything great by other people’s standards but  when measured against my timid life where I always have my pink panties in a bunch I’m living at ground zero creating semi rad adventures in not so remote parts of the world.

Today it all begins, I’m liquidating everything I own for a self supported bike ride on my trusty Brompton around the world.  It’s all I can think about, Im already jonesing  for the open road  and the comrodery I found in like minded individuals out there.  It all started with one simple question that I was asked, “if you could do anything in the world what would it be?” My answer quite obvious, I would ride my steel horse everywhere, no maps, i will just follow my eyes wherever they find the most curious.

Zen and the art of Brompton touring


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On my hands and knees perched on the side of the 101 I had never before experienced changing a flat on the side of a fwy.  Cars zoomed by at 80mph only a few feet from me, the wind was blowing 30 on the nose and the driving rain stung as I tried to patch my flat. I was covered in mud the noise from traffic too loud to listen for air escaping and my vision wouldn’t  let me just look.  I would pump the tube lick a few inches and hold the tube by my cheek attempting to feel the hiss of air escaping the tube.  This would happen 5 times in two hours, the road debris were atrocious.

Brompton touring set up

Bears, elk, bat shit crazy drivers, tunnels, bridges, bad or no shoulders and the weather, I can’t even begin to describe what it’s like to try and pedal up hill in the head winds i met on the pacific coast. More often than not I was lost but my bad navigation was by design, i wanted to discover the world I live in, I had nothing but time and my days were spent in overload of exploration.  Of all the challenges I met out there my trusty Brompton never once let me down.  She was a joy ride and made friends everywhere we went.

Touring on a Brompton

I’ve had many folding bikes over the years and ridden everyone of them into the ground.  Ive long since lost track of how many miles my faithful Brompton has carried me but I’ve put her through some serious hell when it comes road conditions although many of the places I have taken her had no road.


The Brompton is not a touring bike, it was designed as a city commuter and while it leads the world in quality and design in the folding bike arena mine has become an urban assault vehicle.  one of the biggest surprises on this journey was truly realizing how lazy I had become.  There are just times when ten miles seems like a chore.  After riding 50 miles day in and day out with a few passes in between now bouncing on Brompty  for a quick 20 miles to Roche Harbor for a latte seems like a walk in the park.

Bicycle touring bikes

My body was transformed  into a 48 year old machine.  I have zero body fat, six pack abs and blown quads, just one of the many joys that riding a bike 512 miles for a free glass of wine will deliver.  I honestly haven’t felt this tight since my days as an ultra runner.  Now laying on my ass in Sookie sipping on a cool beer I have to make sure I heal fast and stay in my groove because I will finish this journey with Brompty come hell or high water, it’s in my blood now.

Brompton art

Once I dialed in my load I didn’t even notice that I was on an unsupported fully loaded bike tour.  She rode so nicely and handled so well my journey was more like a summer ramble to the park.  She also happens to be a pretty damn fine grocery getter and the perfect bike for those few times I actually use her for her intended purpose but I have a cycling date in Seattle so she will carry me to the ferry the bus and the train, with each new destination I will take the requisite 10 seconds to fold her and carry her right on without a word from anyone and no Exra fee but what else would you expect from the worlds best folding bike.  If you think there is a better folder out there I have only two words for you; wanna race?!

Never quit, EVER because if you quit on Thursday, Friday will never come and Friday just may have been the day you made it.



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Having Sookie afloat again is like being reunited with a long lost lover, I fit inside her like we were meant to be together.  I know her every curve and she knows mine. With a spark the aromas of sulfur  fills the air as I light her heater.  The warm glow of her lamps removes me from the growing storm, its forecast to top 50 tonight but we are safe in our slip, the first gusts hit hard, she shudders and dumps the wind.  Sookie is a good home but she is far more than that.

Living aboard a sailboat

i pull my galley knife across a diamond edge, my mouth watering at my first real meal since hauling her out in June.  The music is bumping, the heater cranking and the skillet sizzling.  Buttery eggs over a bed of steamed potatoes and onions, dessert will be my world class kettle corn with a bit of spice.  My glass is filled with Caribbean  rum.  I grind an obscene amount of pepper over the garlic and top it with habanero from the same place as my rum. I use everything in my well outfitted spice rack but the kitchen sponge and set it to cook while I sip on a bit of life in my little cocoon.

Everything is put away, her lines neatly coiled and the cabin warm and dry.  I pull my expedition socks as high as they will go and listen to the rain beating against the deck.  It’s been too long since I’ve tasted the life of the liveaboard sailor and it’s good to be home, to have a real home, a place I know and love.

Sookie dips and heels with the gusts, i set  extra lines with chafing gear to keep us safe, i will check them often and sleep deeply as the storm rages on.  This isn’t our first storm together but in some strange way if feels like it is.  I’m like a mother hen checking and rechecking everything.  It’s going to be a long night but that’s what life is when you live aboard, you take care of each other at all times…

From the log of Sookie, I’m sitting in the weed lounge at the Green Tourtise  hostel in Seattle, it’s very late Sunday evening and the place is alive, I chat with young coeds while surfers jam on their guitars, it’s dark and smokey I love this place.  Shopping online I don’t have enough cash to get to Hawaii and I can’t book a flight to Florida as a hurricane is bearing down.  Somewhere  in the early morning I make a judgement call as cloudy as my surroundings and my head, I’m going home…


So easy a caveman or girl  can do it 


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At the very beginning of my bike tour I stayed with some very good friends, the conversation turned to money and surviving in this world.  I should note that none of us sitting around that table ever have anything to worry about. We all are resourceful hard working people who know the difference berweens dreams and reality.  The conversation was getting pretty deep when one of them snickered, well we know how you got your boat.  “this ought to be good I thought to myself” and so I asked, how did I get my boat.

Living aboard a sailboat

The answer had me laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair, they thought I took a priviate loan from my family.  Let me set the record straight, I aquired Sookie through hard work and determination, scrimping and saving and going without.  I sold anything and everything I needed to and didn’t borrow one single cent, I was in the middle of a divorce during the whole process, it wasn’t easy.  It also took me a lifetime on the water working my way through a dozen lesser boats before I was blesses with such a fine ship


I don’t borrow money and even if I wanted to I cancelled all my credit almost 15 years ago, my fico score is zero and that’s how it will remain, I don’t have a credit card or a golden parachute, nobody  is going to jump in and save me and even if I had one I wouldn’t use it.  I could have gone on disability at the age of 15 and retired for life, the subject comes up once a year and I decline it, I can make my own way though life, without struggle the rewards are zero.  Cycling the pacific coast with double vision may have been the stupidest thing I’ve ever done but the challenge payed off in ways I still don’t know how to describe.  Every day out there my life was hanging in the balance, one mistake and it could have and would have been all over.

Living aboard a sailboat

So back to boats and financing and how to make the dream happen as promised.  I spend about half the year voulinteering my services between things that matter to me and boaters who have read too much of the crap I spew on these pages.  Sure this blog is 100% honest and transparent but I can assure you many of the things I’ve experienced over the years is a lot more fun when you are reading it in fromt of your fire place in that big leather recliner with a hot buttered rum.

Living aboard a small sailboat

My annual budget is less than 6k often much less.  I get between 300-500 a year in donations and appreciate the hell of them and the people that send them but they don’t support this lifestyle.  I live frugally, make all my meals from scratch which is usually a pile of lentils with onions and garlic or some other form of cheap meal.  When I do get paid which isn’t often I stock the shit out of the boat finding sales on this or that.  I am fully insured, not against myself but against all the other idiots out there who have absolutely no respect for other people dreams, i was hit twice this year, both times it took more effort to hit me than it would have to not hit me, I’m continually shocked by how little respect boaters have for other boaters boats.

Falmouth cutter 22

I have no car, I ride my bike and have for 8 years.  To successfully become car-less I had to get rid of my house, move into the boat and take a shitty job, which coincidentally is why my marriage ended, worth it!  I’ve heard all sorts of excuses why people can’t go car-less but the truth is they simply don’t really want to which is fine, just stop spouting off about it. I have no phone, no bills of any sort and purchase very little beyond the scope of the boat or things for my recent bike trip.  Sure my new 35 degree sleeping bag cost 400 bucks but the one I retired had been used over 2,000 times, do the math, you get what you pay for.  I wear my clothes till they fall off my body and then cut them into rags, my shoes have holes through the bottom before they are replaced and I haven’t not been cold since the day I moved aboard almost 9 years ago.  I work shitty jobs that pay shit and suck but only long enough to fund the next journey.  I haven’t made any concrete sailing plans for the next 12 months but sail we will.  I will also spend january and February in Maui working on a writing project and in the spring or fall I will finish the bike tour that my knee pulled me off this year.  Between all that I will work when I can, chill and work on the boat inbetwen all that and still have plenty of time for daily adventures afoot and on Brompty.  I’m always shocked when people go on diets, I weigh 150 lbs soaking wet, if you want to be fit and heatlty this just might be the lifestyle for you.  The truth is we all are really living the way we choose to, if you don’t have a boat it’s your choice.  If you don’t make enough money it’s your choice .  If you are dating an abusive idiot it’s your choice.  Once you realize that everything you have is because it’s what you have chosen life is easy.  I chose to be a professional blogger and as such make  less than 500 bucks a year living my dream but I’m obviously happy as fuck, every morning when I open my eyes my life is my own.

Everything when it comes to living the dream is easier when you are a couple “dinks” but I remain single because I already have enough anchors in my life.  If you are in or planning on a partnership choose wisely, alterior  motives will sink your dreams faster than a pilot whale protecting her pup, as will debt  of any kind unless you have a passive income, i wish I  did :).

No, you don’t need to ask me how I do it, my way won’t work for you, find your own, dive in now because later will never transpire.  Hell if my neurotic, flighty, dumb shit ex can do it and she is every day and loving it so can you.  The last time I saw her she had 300 bucks and a one way ticket somewhere, from what I’ve heard through the grapevine she is killing it, I always knew she would and that she could once she set her mind to it.  I guess what I’m saying is talk is cheap, someday will never come and anybody can do it.  You don’t have to circumnavigate to find this life, start small, live large and always have a ton of booze and food  on board for the awesome visitors that will show up and make your life truly better.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,  the best part of this life is the people you will meet.

Ice blink


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I tried to open the hatch and it wouldn’t budge, I was literally frozen in my boat.  I had to use my back and slam it up against the sliding hatch serveral times before I could break the ice and escape my warm and cozy cabin for a bitterly cold and windy dog walk.  This is one of the many things we go through when we liveaboard full time in the Pacific North West.  If you want to live aboard in winter get a hybermate and lock them in the boat…

Living aboard

Opening the sliding hatch and having several feet of snow fall into your home. Docks that are three feet wide with a solid three inches of ice make for a deadly commute.  Wind storms, the highest I’ve seen is 89 mph in Bellingham.  It’s all part of this life, get a thick wool sweater a good pair of Carharts And get used to living in your foulies.

I can’t say why I came back here when my whole goal was to winter somewhere warm, something about a hurricane in the keys. It’s a crime that I was born with such  thin skin and a chicken heart because winter can be one of the most beautiful times of year to sail around here. Let’s face it, I’m always cold and everything under the sun scares the shit out of me, those were the cards I was dealt.

Sookie is unwrapped and put back together, a quick coat of wax on her hull, a bit of polishing of her stainless and a thick coat of bottom paint and she will again be my floating home.  My number one goal this year is to get over my phobia of the cold and do some serious winter sailing.  In the morning I will start listing every non essential item I own for sale and start a savings account for all the new shit she needs starting with new rudder hardwear and a heater.  I’m going to try my hand at sewing if I can find a teacher and make a proper sun / rain awning but mostly I’m just going to snuggle in for the long dark cold nights of winter.

I can’t say I’m exactly overjoyed to be back here but every star under the heavens aligned to get me here so I’m going to with it.  I bought a tiny amount of food which on this island cost damn near a hundred bucks but tonight’s meal was a very special treat, beef flavored cup of noodles, my mind is still in cycling mode so I’m not used to having cooking options, a warm squishy bed and real clothes. I’ll be on the ferry before the sun rises and back on island before lunch getting Sookie ready to splash into her home, the salty brine.  There is a jacuzzi just across the marina but I’m saving it for tomorrow night when I have cold beer.  I’m fortunate that what ever crazy scheme  enters my head I always have a warm and dry place to lay my weary head.

The candles are lit, dinner is put away and my home is neat and organized. Sookie is clean as a bean and ready for some pampering.  In the morning I’ll fill lthe man can with whiskey, top off my fuel tank and get my brand spanning new outboard ready to rumble, she has a whopping 5 hours on her. My sail locker is full and soon enough Sookie will carry her requisit 4 months of food and booze stores, ok she may already have the booze but man cannot live on bread alone.  After living hand to mouth on the bike it will be fun to do a bit of hoarding and man tacos will be back in the menu any day as will my signature breakfast bowl.  Come on by and let me pour you a drink and stuff some food in your face :).

Blew out my flip flop


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Stepped on a pop top, cut my heel had to cruise on back home.  But Sookie has whiskey, she hasn’t forgot me, in 24 hours I’ll be back at home…

My journey south wasn’t without sailboats, I met sailors everywhere I went including quite a few who visit these pages.  I may or may not write about the watery world this journey took me on but one thing for sure, there was no shortage of amazing sailors and sailboats and yes more than one invitation to sail on once I reached my unknown destination.

Lyle Hess 34

A lifetime has been spent dreaming of this, that and the other.  Distant shores have always been on the tip of my tongue and while I’ve always had a good taste I’ve often wondered if I wanted more than the salty world has already shown me. Now landlocked in a sea of farms and fields I know the answer for today is no.  Not no as in I’m done with sailing but no as in I don’t ever want to take Sookie beyond the sea she currently calls home.

Bellingham is now and has always been one of my favorite places on earth even if the cold wet winters are less than desirable.  I’ve been doing quite a bit of exploring over the last year or so and am continually devising a life aboard as well as a life far removed from the sea.  Spring and fall for travel and winter and summer for working but the how, when, why and where of it all still illudes me.  I’m also falling closer and closer to the breaking point of life without a canine companion which is a full time responsibility in its own right but one I miss more than any other aspect of my years on this planet.

Plane tickets, bus tickets and but of course how and where to live are ruling my mind as I pack away one adventure while I’m already planning the next.  Home means many things to many people, for me it’s little more than where I’m currently laying my head.  As much as I have a absolute and complete disdain for automobiles I’m off in search of a VW Westfailia to call home for the brief season I have committed to working each year between adventures and then there is Sookie, she is tugging at the bits for more northerly exploration and a bit of nesting complete with new heat, a real stove and fixed water tank.

My days are easy and lazy today but in just a few short days that is all going to change, my body might be in recovery but my brain is already drawing up each cut of teak, drilling a monster hole in my deck for a flue and wondering what color the new bags for my new sails will be.  Roller furling is still on the table as is dumping my engine once and for all in exchange for a truly authentic sailing experience.

Adventure is what we make of it as is the tedium and mediocrity of earning the next big one.  In between the lines of all the non essential days I still have my trusty Nikon and iPad, the tools of my trade.  Who knows where I will open my eyes in the morning, the location isn’t as important as the fact that I’m there living out my tiny fantasy of being a modern day explorer in a world where every void has been touched other than those in the deep recesses of my mind…

My fingers are blood red, stained the color of my Jack Tar Cab that is coming along fine.  My ukulele is still lost in space but will make it home soon enough but where is home.  The train I’m on is rickety and rocking me back and forth, at 10:30 tonight it will pull into Seattle where I will spend the night.  The next 6 hours will be spent deciding if I jump a plane in the morning to Hawaii, fly to Key West or bus it home to Sookie.  I’m seriously bummed to have ended my ride but I will pick it up again exactly where I stepped off and finish in the spring.  As for me, well I have a cold can of Sierra Nevada and a bag of chips to sustain me until I arrive at the beginning of my next adventure….

512 miles for a free glass of wine


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Cape Lookout to Newport

Total 512

Miles 27

My tent blows up in a windstorm, water slowly infiltrates my down bag on the coldest night so far.  With the suddenness of a broken shoe lace I am transformed  into a cold, wet soggy mess of a man and now homeless.  I pack up my camp by headlamp and make my way to a long free warm shower till the sun comes up.

My goal today is a simple one, ride 27 miles to the J.Scott Cellars tasting room in Newport for a thick and meaty blood red Cab.  Today will be my greatest test of mental endurance. It starts out with a painfully slow pace, my knee is past done.  In Depot Bay I get a flat just before my last big climb and then the headwinds arrive over Cape Foulweather, they beat me backwards but I won’t be thwarted, I will, even if I have to crawl on my hands and knees have my glass of wine today.

Arrive by bike

Im now a hardened cyclist, nothing can thwart me.  I make it to Newport and just to piss off the wind, I take the long hilly Seneca route.  I arrive and after 512 miles of pedaling through everything under the sun I have my glass of wine with a huge smile.  I defy the no smoking sign and light a ciggi, I’m in heaven.  I spend a good hour sitting in the afternoon sun contemplating.

My knee is blown, my tent is blown, my budget is blown.  It’s time to take a serious look at my situation.  Two hours later I’m on a bus heading to Eugene.  I arrive at sunset, my iPad battery is dead, I have no phone, I’m lost, my blood sugar dangerously low and I can’t find my way around.  I check into a very expensive hotel.  I will take 4 hot showers and don’t check out till the exact second they make me.  Two days have passed, I’m still crippled.  I find the awesome guys at Arriving by bike, they helped me get Brompty ready for my Hawaii trip.  I blow my wad on new tires, they help me dial in Brompty and give lots of good advice, I love these guys, they have always taken care of me.

Lawn flamingo

Id rather have a dialed in system and no money than a few bucks and a bike that won’t get me there.  My new Marathon tires by Schwalbe ride like a dream, I can’t believe how nice they feel and they are much more puncture resistant, Brompty is ready to go but I’m not.

At this point I don’t know where to go or what to do, I won’t winter on Sookie so for now I am a man without a country so to speak.  No matter, this journey isn’t done, I just need to heal up, work a bit and in the spring I will pick up exactly where I left off. The road has given me a new direction in life, convinced me that I will ride all over the world and write about my journey.  Change is a good thing and my new path will be a land based one with big mountians to climb, storms to fight and many quiet roads to slowly linger on as I ride through life on the path less pedaled searching for a glass of wine and a happy ending…

Cape lookout to Devils lake


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Brompton touring set up

i wake early due to being under constant attack by raccoons.  I’m almost out of food, I have 2 cliff bars and a hand full of peanuts, I will run out long before my ride is half way over, I must leave now.  Limping around my camp I break early and start a long lonely ride up a dark and foggy road that is so creepy the hairs on my spine are standing at the huge crashing sounds in the bushes, I’m being stalked.

today I will climb three capes, ride most of my ride on lonely quiet rides and be lost more than once which is half as many bears as I would encounter and twice as many cars that would pass me on two lonely sections totaling around 18 miles.  I’m learning to control the pain I’m feeling.  I know this isn’t a good thing but I promised that I would fully commit to quitting before I quit, for me that will end up being 192 miles of pain and torture.  Why? Because I’ve never found more joy or purpose in anything in my life, I seriously want to ride around the world or at least all over it, not on crowded roads like I am but still I want to travel by bike, sleep under the stars and deal with the elements as they set each new challange for me.  Of all the days I pray for no flats today it is more than ever.

The riding is easy now, there are no hills, no mountians, I am a road warrior and my legs turn the pedals like two well worn Pistons flattening even the steepest sections.  The road has made me strong and now wise, I’ve learned my pace and even janked it’s a respectable one.  I have become one with Brompty and we crank out miles of memories like a kid jacked on a whole bag of Halloween candies, we are bezerk with enthusiasm and take many side roads just to see where they go.  I power up the mountians and bomb down them, I say hi to every person I pass and stop often to chat about nothing and have a swig of water from a trail side river we skinny dipped in while talking about all the things we wished we had for lunch, we are in a food mood and can’t break it and who is this we?  Just a solo cyclist I met along the way.  I ride solo but it doesn’t mean I want to be alone, I just prefer to set my own pace while on the road but down time is a who different thing…

Fort Stevens to Nehalem park


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Total 402

Miles 27

Touring on a brompton
I knew my ride was over the second I opened my eyes, not only was my knee killing me but now so was my back that had been on the mend since day one. I can’t say the feelings going through my mind but I was in a very bad place, A place I rarely visit. I made a cup of coffee using the microwave at the hostile and something clicked in my brain.

How far have I fallen from my pre dawn shivering coffee routine. Screw on the stove fuel, assemble the who unit, pour and icy stream of water pulled from the memory of the previous day and light a match. With a proof that little bit of pre dawn light and heat would get my core going. I would stretch and take deep breaths while I waited for my dark and thick morning brew, now I’m using a fucking microwave. In disgust I took my lazy cup of coffee and found my little Tin topped perch, just like my tin shed in Hawaii. I smoked a ciggi and had a deep conversation with my other half, Stormy.

Cycling the pacific coast

I wondered if I went really slow if I couldn’t just make it to the end of town, maybe I could walk up the big hills steepest parts and coast to Canon beach, there is a bus there if it proved to be too much, I would ride slower than I ever have and stop and stretch every mile if I had to, it was only 27 miles with three progressively bigger hill climbs. Would it work, even one more day would make the pain worth it but reality chimed in, your body is talking to you, quit now or you will suffer this injury again for years to come.


And just like that I threw in the towel and quit my tour. The only question is what to do next, where to go and how to get there. One thing I knew for sure is that the only way I could afford to get out of here was to hitchhike. I packed my things and decided to ride the bus to Canon beach where it would be easier to hitch out of town. All packed up I I mounted my trusty steed, shifted into second gear and slowly pushed my way to defeat. I was miles past the bus stop before I realized it and heading south, my legs gently turning nursing my wound.

Brompton touring

Two hours and 15 miles later I found myself sitting at the edge of a long uphill tunnel with a left hand bend. There was no way I could ride this between the heavy Saturday traffic. I was rested as I had just spend a bit of time on the side of the road fixing a flat, the biggest tragedy was that I had just aired up to 100 psi at a service station so now I would be riding on under pressured tires with a headwind. I took off my helmet and turned on my little flashing light. When there was a break in traffic I hit the flasher button and rode as hard as my knee would let me, smack dab in the middle of that mother fucking tunnel I got another flat, cars bearing down on me horns honking and the roar of engines revving all echoing through the tunnel and my brain. I got off the bike and did the only thing I could, I walked the rest of the way with my heart in my throat.

27 miles later and a very sore knee I had successfully finished the hardest and easiest day of this journey. I popped a few Advil, slammed a bunch of water and ate like I had never eaten before, I’m so fucking hungry and I can’t satisfy the pangs. I made the first day of my new journey, sitting in my tent listening to the dirt bag diary I can’t help but wonder if I can make the next 48 miles, there is no place between here and there…

I may not be able to live as a cycle tourist any more but that doesn’t mean I can’t lollygag around on my Brompton for a bit and see where she takes me. I know my knee won’t push up the steepest hills and my hunger pangs will chase me like the devil but none of this matters, I’m out here following a simple dream, one fueled by Todds blog at Clever cycles and his journey down the coast, his knee is fucked also. By chance I met a young girl, Lucy; when I was perving on her bike, she is good friends with Leal Wilcox one of my favorite cyclists she is part of the dynamic dou that create gypsy by trade, the single best blog on the planet and one I devour on the odd occasion I have the time.

In the morning I will ride if my body permits it and if it doesn’t I’ll grab my Nikon and play tourist, snap pictures make sand castles and take a long hot free shower and an even longer nap. I’m craving beef flavored cup of noodles, it’s my weekly hot meal but the grocery store that’s holds my treasure is 38 miles down the road this morsel will have to be earned and I have plenty to keep me alive until I can ride again and that I’m learning is what this journey is about, riding my bike, the thing I did as a child that geve me my first sense of freedom and mobility, the thing I have done my whole life and the part I’ve played as role model for eight years since I started my boycott of cars.

The mileage has been hard earned a few of them easy but there is a simple joy and the freedom of knowing there are no shackles in my life, I’m not moving backwards my destiny is that way and that’s the way I’m headed, at least for today because that’s all my body can guarantee me, tomorrow may be an entirely different journey but a journey none the less.

It’s not an adventure till something goes wrong


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Total 375

Miles 17

Through the narrow gap of my tunnel vision I feel like a loser, a failure and perhaps in the very near future a quitter.  Talking to my bunk mate I’m told my journey is amazing a dream come true and also to frightening to ever partake on their own terms.  Perception is something that has always intrigued me beyond words. Grab a bunch of shit and see what happens, that’s what it do.

Around the world by brompton

Well, at least that’s my perception of what I do but the reality of my perception is that I always have too much which means on some level I am prepared, or at least I on some level attempted to prepare.  My new friend admits dreams of doing what I doing but also needs specific dates, locations, and all the answers up front to all things potentially encountered.  We live at exact opposite ends of the spectrum but we are not really that different…

My comfort factor is found being in a full blown fucking typhoon with a death grip on the tent I’m trying to set up. One slip and it’s gone as is my small safety net.  Their comfort level is a reservation through the Internet that may not book correctly leaving them in a strange new place needing to find a suitable hotel to sleep for the night.  Both equal adventures and mis adventures depending on the perspective of the person living it.

I remember when in was sixteen, we had stolen my friends parents car and driven to La Misssion in Mexico coming back across the border and hell yes we were smuggling all sorts of contraband there was some hold up in the customs car lane, we just sat there for like 10’minutes going nowhere, then there were a bunch of strange dudes around the car, I was pulled through the window smashed against the car while all sorts of confusion whet on in Spanish, they had confused us for smugglers which in fact we may have been on a pathetic high school level.  They let us go apologized and then for good measure pulled out the inspection cone banged it on our hood and told us to pull into border inspections.  I drove foreward. Climbed out the window and grabbed the cone and sped off into America, no big deal, that’s how my brain is programmed. My friend was freaking the hell out the whole time and did all the way home.  We were both doing the exact same thing but while  my brain was in nuclear reactor fun zone his fun meter had been pegged from the first moment.

I’m still sitting here in my big rocker in front of the wood stove, my knee is killing me and I’m faced with making a decision.  I’m guessing that not unlike all the decisions I make there will be a bit of pain, lots of fun and somewhere in between sunrise and sunset I’ll be there second guessing my logic or complete lack of it when it comes to my decision process.  One thing I know for sure is that there will be no morning alarm, commute or itinerarary.  This journey still is about less which will always in one form or another grant more which is what I want these days, more or less that is.

Wounded knee = lay day


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Who makes the rules? I was up as usual an hour before dawn and feeling like a million bucks.  Shity cup of instant coffee in hand, soaking wet tent rolled up Brompty packed up and on the road before 8:00am. My knee has been giving me indicators but I couldn’t exactly locate the pain, today that is no longer an issue.  My IT band is jacked, this is the reason I gave up ultra running but it’s never been an issue on the bike.

Cycling with logging trucks

By 10:00am I was crippled to the point I could barely walk and even standing was an issue.  I’m taking a lay day but miss the road already, it’s my routine and as routine as it is I love it, always seeing new things and never knowing where I will be sleeping, a new dawn every day, living a good life is quite addicting.  I’m sitting In a rocker overlooking some River and in mucho paino, yes I am fluent in Spanish.  Sipping on a nice tin cup of whiskey I’m bummed at what my future may hold for me, I want to ride on.

Minimalist cycling gear

today will be a day to go through all my gear and scrutinize every gram.  I have two full days of snacks with the next very hilly hundred miles showing one camp ground, I’m not even sure I can make it to Canon Beach but I won’t know if I don’t try.  If the trip is off I don’t know where I’ll go or what I’ll do but Fish Bay is too stormy for my comefort and Bellingham has no slip for me so Sookie sits and waits, as far as winter goes so who knows where I’ll hang my helmet.

Minimalist gear brompton

My gear is already a bare minimum, I don’t have any street clothing, just bare bones riding clothing, I find it really funny when every girl I talk too can’t help but to sneak in flustered peeks at Mr Winky. Riding clothes are the greatest till you dismount.  My Vouri cycling tights have not come off since the sun went away and in conjunction with my Terry skirt keep my lower half happy at all times.  My helmet is so comfy I rarely take it off and while I have one too may upper layers I can’t bear to drop any of them.  Two synthetic tee shirts, a Patagonia R1, my fleece wind stopper vest and an old super cushy, squishy and light fleece jacket, all very old.  My new Precip rain jacket works well but is always clammy.


My biggest tragedy was losing my tiny Swiss Army knife, it was a Greatful  Dead rainbow edition and I loved it beyond compare, it weighed less than an ounce and I used it daily.  I’m not using my tItanium cook kit as I’ve failed at every meal but can’t bear to let it go as it robbed me of many fun nuggets.  I have regretfully sent my uke off to be cared for till I can manage it, the road is just too nasty to bring such a fine instrument and it was a nightmare to carry across the state of Washington but a goldmine in the evenings.  I’m still holding onto my 4 lb Nikon mostly because my iPad is dying but if I find a way into an iPhone 5 or 6 I’m jettisoning both the camera and I pad which will put me in a much better place, God I love Craig’s list.  I can shop and browse items a few days down the trail and actually have been trying to sell my Nikon as I ride.  I have an old iPhone 4 and I should have brought that and left the bug guns home, live and learn.

Pika t bag

I am learning and finding out I’m living quite minimally compared to most cyclists but still have food in my bag from day one, I brought way too much stuff.  My big delema is to dump my unused long undies, they are medium weight and so far just a what if worst cast senery thing, more fear but it’s been really cold and getting colder and 8 wet hours in the saddle begs for warmth but so far I’ve been keeping my Terry skirt cleanish and dry for those emergencys and it’s great for roadside or laundry mat quick changes, a real game changer in the adventure travel realm for me.  At some point I plan on writing about all my gear and how it’s working but so far I’ve had bigger fish to fry.

I’m not sure what day it is but it’s cold and blustery, a few snow flakes actually found me this morning. I’m still in my rocking chair but ready for another hot shower and some gear shifting.  You never know what you will find out here but it’s all good, even the bad has good in it if you can stop take a deep breath and find it.  My next post may be from Hawaii but that decision will be made from the other side of the tunnel and there are many more to navigate on my trusty Brompton…

Cape Dissaopintment to Fort Stevens state park


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Miles 358

Today 28


life is little more than a series of snapshots in time surrounded by all the planning and preparing that is more or less how we choose to spend our life’s units, say a waster of our valuable time here while we wait for the next big moment in time.  Birth, turning 16 then 18 then 21, we retire sometime after 65 and then wait to die, hopefully in a warm comfy space. It’s those brief moments and how we experience them that dictate our life’s worth when measured by our own standards.

living in the present is the hardest thing for most of us as the miles of life pedal on by.  I’ve been so fucking scared of this bridge and for good reason.  I literally got vertigo straight into the 4.2 miles ride.  I tired to breath deeply sit upright and relax And find love in the sheer terror I was experiencing but who are we fucking kidding, my first logging truck hit before I was 100′ into the journey, I was purely and truly scared fucking shitless the whole time. To ad insult to injury there is a giant fucking steep incline at the end and then a tight crazy bombing downhill.  For the entire portion of this bridge I was in the middle of the biggest panic attack I’ve ever had, my heart hurt and I was dizzy, I was also smiling from ear to ear and screaming at the top of my lungs every time a car or truck almost clipped me.  My biggest fear was being hit and flying over the edge where I would break every bone on impact with the water and then die a bitter death by drowning while the giant sharks tore me from limb to limb.  If you think I’m being mello dramatic it’s because you have haven’t ridden across this bridge and certainly not  with double vision.  This ride would be a big enough challange without  fucked up vision but the way I see just makes it that much more difficult.

So I survived the bridge and I’m sitting in a coffee shop in a big comfy chair and taking the rest of the day off, my camp is 5 or 10 miles from here, I’m out of food, fuel and I’m getting two fucking beers to celebrate tonight.  My success hasn’t  come without pain and my left IT band is starting to nag me out of nowhere. I’ve been doing everything I can to nurse it today but it’s getting worse… Had I known there was a second bridge I wouldn’t have wasted half the day screwing around in Astoria looking for a good tattoo parlor.  Fucking cross wind on that second bridge really got my goat.

I arrive at camp and for the first time since leaving on this journey Im surrounded by cyclists, some riding all the way to lands end others spanning the country.  Two girls from Quebec and another guy also from Quebec, i try and decipher thier broken French while they talk of sailing the St Laurence on a steel schooner.  A couple from England, many from Canada and two Brazilian girls.  I’m the only American  we make a huge fire and laugh and talk about this and that.  Starting the fire with gas, one of the cyclists literally caught his entire body on fire, I put him out with minor burns and it was worth laughing about later but at the time quite a scene.  For the first time in my journey I feel like a real touring cyclist, I’ve found my tribe, we smoke the peace pipe and each person, each and every one of us now hardened cyclists tells our best scare story of the journey.

Never in my life have I felt more in place, surrounded by my people and wondering if I can’t just ride forever.  Of course with victory there is defeat and I wake up crippled, my IT band is fucked and so is my journey.  It takes two hours to ride 18 miles to where I find refuge, hand over most of my cash and throw a latte in for good measure, my ride may be over, I can barely walk a single step :(…

Center Bay to Cape Dissapointment


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Total miles 325

mikes 40


Salvation comes in many forms, for me today it was in the form of a McDonals and a bike shop, although we all know that salvation comes at a price.  Pedaling away with fully loaded tires, a Can of fosters beer and more instant coffee so I can drink cold coffee in the mornings until I find a fuel replacement life was good.

Touring on a brompton

Ive grown bored with the senery here in Washington which is good because tomorrow I will cross into Oregon and that’s where the trail really begins. WA was was a walk in the park compared to the challange of Oregon and it pretty much crushed me, I’m curious to see how I adapt in my new state. I’m only nine days into this journey and the road has sucked up half my budget so with a little creative financing and hopefully ten days to get as far south as I can and then I will pack up Brompty and hitchhike to wherever seems like a good place to regroup, save  few bucks and get back to wherever I leave off so I can make my way south again.  As short of a span as ten days may seem, I can’t even remember the person or place I left just 9’days ago, so much has happened I could never write about any of it but eventually my story will find its way to words.  Today was as easy as it was difficult, my legs are tired as am I of carrying my extra burden which I hope to dump,off somewhere soon.  The Oregon coast is one of many challanges and big hills constantly.

Touring food

i finished my ride in Long Beach, a wonderful town with everything but a coffee shop.  I’ve been tearing out the pages of my very old guide book and it’s close to half the weight and thickness I left with.  When my chance comes I going to become a gram weenie and dump everything I can to lighten my load for the next ten days.  Not sure why I brought a passport and the titanium pot is light but I don’t use it as I’ve failed at every cooked meal other than coffee so that was more wasted money.


its funny how I get by in life with so little but every year when I make a bone headed trip like this one, I bring every thing but the kitchen sponge even though I fresh off the last trip where I used little to nothing.  I guess I’m just like the guys pulling the 50′ motor homes thinking they can’t leave anything behind.  I saw my first bear just after dawn, some elk but still no Sasquach.  It gets eerie on some of the quiet stretches listening to all the bump in the woods and wondering what is out there watching you.

my Vouri ramming tights and Terry skirt are still at the top of my hero list as are many other things but keeping my iPad charged is a challange so I will save my gear reviews for another time and place.


Twin harbors to bay center


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Total miles 285

mileage 54


money spent over 50 bucks and worth every penny, who knew that there was a thing called chocolate milk? Haven’t had a hot meal yet but that’s about to change

Not much to write about, the day started with cold coffee and lots of rain. A relatively easy 54 ish miles and now I just dropped 35 bucks for a chocolate milk and commercial camp site as the state one was closed and way too creepy to poach. Raymond was freakish as in every girl and there were many was young and beautiful beyond words, I had to drag my self out of the coffee shop as all the girls kept wanting one more story, it’s not easy being Stormy 😉

Touring in a brompton image

Sammy the stonner tried her her best to get this all in one shot and gave me my first good luck kiss of the day, it wouldn’t be my last, not by a long shot…for some reason I have been getting good luck kisses everywhere I go.  I guess my smile tells a story my tired soul can’t.

Brompton touring

im trying to slow down and it’s making the riding much easier but I have to say at mile 50 and my last hill climb with a warm beer and ciggi on my mind I was in 5th gear standing hammering the pedals like lance Armstrong only I wasn’t jacked on roids…


Twin harbors was a great camp ground and the rangers are all cyclists and had lots of good info  I would suggest starting this ride from here and heading south.

Brompton set up

The Brompton is an absolute touring machine, she has never let me down and each day it keeps getting better.  I do or may need to sidetrack to Portland for new tires or I may just trust that the one I have will hold. I do need a pump but that just may turn up at a local bike shop and my seat??? Yep, not so much love for it.  All and all this has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

  1. notes, I’m stinky a bit sore, really stinky and happy as hell.  I’m bummed it’s costing so much but so is the nature of the world and if I have to side track to work for a few chain links so be it.  I’m starting to relax a bit but today a truck pulling a trailer tried to pass as car and came within 9″ of hitting me head on, what a complete fucking asshole, I don’t even think he saw me but why would he, I was on the side of the road he shouldn’t have been.  I’m glad I started from where I did but I wouldn’t do it again, Washington is a bad state for cyclists and that’s the way it is.  I have to cross that 4.2 mile bridge in a few days, no shoulder and I’m as scared as I am excited.  If you only had one week and about 250 bucks I can’t imagine a better way than a blue collar bicycle tour.

Sylvia state park to Twin harbors


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Brompton flat tiretotal miles 232

miles 32


Brompton touring

By 5:00am everything I possess in the world is soaking wet, im talking it couldn’t be wetter if it was underwater.  Im not sure what to do, I’ve never tried to break camp that is underwater.  Not sure what I expected sleeping in a rainforest but I have honestly never seen it rain that hard in my life and I lived in the wettest spot on the planet earth.  It would rain even harder later in the day. But not until just after I made camp and did my best to clean and dry the tent a bit

Brompton touring

i packed up my muddy soaking wet tent and all my belongings heading for the sanctuary of the closest coffee shop I could find. My Vouri running tights are amazing, just call me Dr spandex but I’m never taking these things off, in part with my Terry thermal skirt they are amazing, warm and I can cycle in them all day, the comefort factor is through the roof and I love the camo print.

Brompton bike tour

this day would start on a freeway in the driving rain, torrent winds and five fucking flat tires.  I should stop right now and try and explain what this is like but it’s unexplainable.  I’m on the side of the Fwy, cars flying by and many of them honking at me, I’m covered in mud as the driving rain blinds me, everything is so muddy I can’t function, it’s so loud I can’t listen for the second hole I missed after the first one was patched and all put back together.  I would get 4 of these, I’m almost out of patches and then the 5th riding into Aberdeen, some of the punctures were huge, in Aberdeen in a last ditch effort to save patches I replaced the tube, the rain and mud are giving me some issues and I may side track into Portland for my first real service in over 2000 miles and newer stronger tires, it’s amazingly crippling when you flat out on a fully loaded bike, you can’t even walk the thing.  So to make a short story longit took me 11 hours to make 32 miles.

Brompton touringim way over my budget, my world is soaked and I’m at my breaking point, it wasn’t until I was in the shower this morning trying to warm my fridigid bones that I realized I forgot my towel in the tent, my shoes were too close as was my front bag and so my my shoes squeak with water as I walk and even my food is wet.  I put soaking wet clothing back on for a very fridigid ride to find a laundry mat and food.  It’s day 7 and I’m taking the day off to rest, eat and regroup.

Brompton touring

so far the first week has been very challanging, amazing and beautiful and more than I ever could have imagined both good and bad.  Money is going way too fast so the trip will be cut short but either way I’m out here today and have been able to meet each challange with a smile, even when I’m having a super rough time of it I’m reminded of the mind numbing alternative that I would be facing if I wasn’t out here getting my ass handed to me around every corner.  I’m super excited to get to Portland were I wouldn’t mind spending the winter although I’m not sure we’re the best place to bus in from is, I’ll cross that bridge once I’ve crossed the bridge, unless I can hitchhike across that is, I fucking hate  bridges and the one at Astoria has zero shoulder and is 2 fucking miles long.

Notes, I’m warm and dry but more rain is on the way, I’m still starving as I haven’t found good fatty food I can afford in this town but I’m headed to the store soon.  Finding a laundry mat could be made into a good scene from the Big Lebowski with a John Goodman character who treated me like a three year old continually insulting my intelligence and reprimanding me to read a fucking sign until I explained that I didn’t have a phone, the directions on the locked door clearly said to cal… I rang the bell not having a phone. Once he realized I didn’t have a phone and was doing things in the direct military protocol he was very nice till it asked the code to the shit infested restrooms, he told me if I saw the code he would have to kill me and harder the punch pad with his life. I’m still weak, tired and hungry but at least I’m dry, baby steps…

Potlatch state park to lake Sylvia state park


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Total mikes 165

miles 46

ciggis smoked 11

My first hot meal in 5 days

My first hot meal in 5 days

I’ve spent the last two hours singing songs about my vagina, I used to be a man but 150 miles of this miserable seat have ground me down from a rooster to a hen, I’m convinced I’ll never have sex again, not even with myself 🙁 Riding along side of the freeway I’m in pure heaven as traffic whizzes by me at 80 plus miles an hour.  The lanes are wide and littered with tire poppers, the on and off ramps are tough and scary to negotiate but I’m almost relaxed for the first time since leaving Lopez. I meet my first two southbound cyclists on the road, there have been a few in camp but very few and not  a single cycle tourist since leaving.  They are cute and bubbly and delightful. I also learn that there is a thing called a map and most cyclists are following it, it’s made by adventure cycling and I don’t have it.  I just have a guide book that was last printed in 2005.

Cycling the pacific coast

i wake up on a bed of nails, literally, my camp is all rocks and I didn’t sleep a wink, listening to the huge trucks driving by the hwy side campground.  Honestly I’m scared, more scared than I have ever been, I’m rattled by yesterday’s riding and have much more of it today.  Cranky and sleepy I break camp and hit the road.  Once you start pedaling it’s go time, my first logging truck arrives at the exact second the shoulder vanishes.  Today will be up hill all day.  A flat on the side of the freeway has me walking Brompty with a ciggi hanging out of my mouth looking for a place that isn’t deadly to change a flat.

Brompton touring

My Brompton tool fits inside my frame and is a work of art, my flat is fixed in 10 munutes but my legs have cramped with 17 miles left to go. I won’t be making the 74 miles to Westport today.  Hopelessly lost I struggle into strong head winds, I’m sore everywhere and all I want is the coffee shop I’m now sitting in resting my tired bones.


notes, today was without a doubt the second most dangerous day of my life but it opened into a beautiful ramble through slow time forgotten valleys, a now defunct nuclear reactor caught my interest as did all of the small towns where every single store was out of buisiness.  Still no bike shop but lots of gun stores, this is trump county.  Looks like rain tomorrow and I will finally reach the coast.

Terry cycling skirt

Current, I’m sitting in a coffee shop soaked to the bone, I’m near my breaking point, today will be a rest day while I regroup…

Port Townsend to Dosewallips state oark


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Ciggis smoked 11

Miles 36

Money spent 17.53

Bicycle touring on a brompton

Heroes and villains, my Nikon is seriously starting to piss me off.  It’s so heavy and bulky, I had a chance to drop it off in port Townsend and I wish I did.  The uke is also a hero and a villain, it’s hard to carry and dangerously swings around.  I’m not sure what to do but both may get jettisoned soon, I hate the thought of not having the uke as it has brought much joy but it’s dangerous and when the rain comes and it will it will be difficult to care for.


I’m sitting just passed the pass of mount walker, I’m crushed after 30 miles, mostly up hill.  I pull off on to the side of the road to rest my body and my brain.  The logging trucks showed up with a vengeance and they are frightening as hell as are the Q-tips in thier 40′ motor homes dragging a car behind.  The shoulder all but disappeared in many places and the the bridges have none, my load is still to heavy and it makes the Brompton unsafe at speeds.

Bicycle touring brompton

I start singing to the traffic as it hurtles by at break neck spends on the windy mountian top, a cyclist rides by and I admire her well earned spandex covered tush and keep playing.  A few minutes later and she is riding back up the other side of the road, I put the uke down, we call across a freeway of traffic, I have a new riding partner for the rest of the day but she is not on tour and continues where I leave off with an invitation and a place to stay in the opposite direction I am headed.

Today started late last night when I got a text from my brother, he was in Port Townsend, I was with a friend and it was late so I caught up before dawn and tracked him down.  I called from the front desk phone, wake up you lazy so and so Hog Waaloop. We have breakfast in the lobby lots of coffee and he sends me off with a bag of Fritos and three bananas.

I don’t know why every day starts with a huge fucking hill but it does and I would spend today completly lost battling big hills and contemplating why I’m doing this.  I’ve been asked so many times and still don’t have an answer.  I’m not sure why everybody feels the need to tell me I’m going to die out here but it’s well over 50 people now who have sent me pre maturely off to the grave.  I don’t want to die, that’s why I’m doing this, to live.  The freedom and time with no clocks, no schedules and nothing but my eyes and ears and all my senses on full overload.

The days are mine and they are hard earned as they should be, there are very few cyclists on this stretch and I understand why, the traffic is crazy scary.  I live in each moment and think about everything in the world from my pink socks to red necks and wonder why they all drive such shitty trucks, I’ve never seen a red neck in a banging new ford and I wonder why?

My day starts at 8:15 and by 100pm my ass announces that the days is done, cold beer in hand and lots of good no cook food I’m pretty happy and already stinky again.  I’m headed south but not committed to continuing south, east sounds fun also and when I ditch my my extra cargo I think the riding will be that much better and faster.  I still am learning to climb out of the saddle with the new front bag and while I’m sore and very tired I feel good, no I feel great.

im the only person in this creepy campground roadside and the constant barrage of traffic irritates me.  This is a rest stop thT locals use as a sex pit,  get me out of here

Dosewallips state park to Potlatch


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Total mileage 119.5 seems like more 🙂

miles 36

ciggis smoked 12

money spent 31 and I’m way over my damn budget 🙁

Touring on a brompton

today has been the day from Hellas the single most dangerous of my life. I woke up to a soaking wet world, uphill straight off the bat and the most dangerous road of my life, if today had been day one I would have quit this journey sold Brompty and gotten a job at McDonalds, although I’m still desperately searching for one for breakfast.


The guide book scared the shit out of me as I read it’s words. It said 16 miles of dangerous roads, that was total bs.  24 miles of hell on wheels and again I’m questioning why I am here and what I’m doing.  Today was not fun in any manner as huge logging truck, dump,trucks and crazy driver whizzed by litteraly inches from me.

Brompton bike tour

Im going to take this moment to pull out the cripple card, with my double vision and dyslexia this journey is just plain fucking stupid.  I see two of everything but the one on the right is what’s really on the left and obviously the one on the other side doesn’t belong there either.

Bike touring bromptonThere was almost no shoulder with a three foot trench at the edge, I had vertigo the whloe time and with my overstuffed load the bike is still awkward in these very challenging situations.  I wanted to take a picture but was too fucking scared to stop.  Also way too many bridges and crowned roads on blind curves that are one of the most dangerous parts of cycling.  For twenty straight hilly miles I pedaled like is was being chased by the devil.  I have never in my life been this scared or shaken up, this shit sucks but I’m hoping it’s well behind me.

Brompton bike tour 2016

Its cold as fuck today, my hands and toes numb the whole day riding in the wet pacific north west mist.  Pulling out of my hell ride , chilled to the bone I spotted a small shop.  I walked in shivering and trembling and had to beg the guy to brew me a cup of coffee.  Stretching outside, the smell of burning wood, the cry of many eagles me the low overhanging mist was as beautiful as anything in the world.  You can’t just drive up and witness this kind of emotion.  What I experienced was heaven on earth, thousands of memories flooded me from a lifetime of road trips.  This is what I live for, this brief moment in time.

The  next four miles are very emotional, tears of joy stream down my cheeks, I find a post office, my front bag is 24.12 still to much.  I hate to do it but I commit to sending away my still unused Nikon and my uke, it’s just not safe.  A big iPhone would be perfect but with my iPad it takes too much effort to unpack and tke snap shots so I don’t.

Im sitting In a warm, no hot coffee shop.  My fingers and toes are burning, the girl that helps me is cute and sweet and a joy to be around.  My comfy leather chair squeaks as I squirm around trying to find the right angle for my road weary ass, I’m spent but there are many more miles today, I want to live right here in this chair, I’m never leaving this spot.  Somewhere on some un named traffic infested hill I crossed my first hundred miles, this trip just started and I’m already past ten percent of the journey.  I need to learn to slow down, we all do.

Deception Pass to Port Townsend


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Ciggis smoked 10

miles  34

cost 36.00

Touring on a brompton

Heros and villains, my bike grips are for sure the heroes as is my Terry mankilt.  The big villain is my bike seat which was replaced with a newer Brompton seat and now I’m desperate to replace this seat again with something not Brompton.  Imagine being reamed and tortured analy, this is what this seat is like as was its predecessor. I’m in no small amount of pain but unlike yesterday where I was crushed, I feel good and could drop another 20 or more miles if I didn’t have dinner plans in Port Townsend.

Touring on a brompton

The thing about your first day is it will never be the same after that.  The freedom and exileration of finally being free, the pain of finally being out on the road and the sheer beauty of your new surrounds.  Everything will continue to change and with each new experience so will you.


Day one ended with a complet meal fail, that heavy shit I brought was rotten and I was too crushed to to anything other than go to bet stinky, sweaty and tired.  A little girl on tour brought me a chocolate chip cookie, it was the best cookie I have ever had.

Touring on my Brompton

I have six speeds, by 8:00 am I had used all of them.  The dry crackle of rubber and dirt fiollow me down a lonely patch of single track and I make my way around a hill it’s way too early to climb.  Deception Pass camp ground is a shit hole with fighter jets blasting overhead well into the night.  Everytime I fall asleep I’m woken by the sound of afterburners. I can’t get out early enough. One cup of coffee and I’m on the road, it’s up hill the whole fucking way, quads burning, granny gear churning, I’m so sick of being so worn out.  I figure it will take at least a week for my body to recover from the summer and another to build back up into cycling shape.  I didn’t spend one second training or preparing in any way shape or form for this ride.

I make it to oak harbor, I shouldn’t be this tired but I am, all I want is coffee and Mc donalds, I want it on this side of the street because I’m too tired to cross to the other.  It’s way too early in the trip to be fantasizing about spandex but my balls really hurt.  I see an Arby’s then Taco hell then lots of fast food stores and another Arby’s, are there really two or am I actually riding this slow.  I see a sign for a Starbucks but it’s out of buisiness, the whole strip mall is.  On the edge of town I pay 7 bucks for a cup of coffee and some form of  strawerry fruit thing.  There is a plastic cup separating the gornola  from the yogurt but I’m too stupid or tired or both to figure this out its 9:54 am

The barrage of high speed traffic is a constant assault on the mind, huge trucks blast by at 50 mph, not only do they not winded the gap but they cross the little white line into my already too small of space, I hate cars and thier selfish drivers, after 8 years of being careless I make a vow that I will never again own one.

ive been climbing for over half an hour, this hill seems endless but I find myself shifting out of granny into my second gear, then my third and 4th, I’m finding my legs.  Then smell of rancid fruit and horse shit make me smile, this is really real and I’m here, after yesterday I was very afraid of today but by 11:40 I’m on the ferry to Port Towmsend.  I’ve crushed this day and even though it was only a short 30 miles, that’s pretty close to what I’m hoping for the whole trip, I’m trying to go slow and really take it all in.

i stink like fuck and need a good shower and to do a bit of laundry, I’m digging riding in my running shorts but spent half of the day fantasizing about spandex, or a new seat or both, neither are in the budget but the fantasies keep me going, spirits are very high but I’m tired and want a cold beer and slice of pizza, first a shower is in order.

After a glorious shower I shared laundry with a cute sailorette I met, out unmentionables did unmentionable things in the dryer while she played the flute as I plucked my uke in the lazy afternoon sun. My day continued to awesome on every front but the rest is private.

San Juan islands to Deception Pass


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Cigarettes smoked 15

mileage 13.5

Bike touring on a brompton

By 9:00 am I’m in my granny gear and my quads are burning, I’m totally unprepared and loving every second of it.  I had stopped by the post office to weigh my front bag, it has a max load of 22 pounds.  After a late light of trimming, shaving and jettisoning everything I could I’m down to 26 pounds and the bike is a bit unwieldy but all and all rides like a dream.  My fucking ukulele on my back is driving me nuts and I know I’ll need to find a better way but I only 15 minutes into my journey.

Bicycle touring

The culprits are my full size Nikon and zoom lense, I had hoped to sell it an find a sweet little micro 4/3 with 35mm primary and that is still my goal but selling a camera on the road is not going to be easy.  I also have way too much food, even though I jettisoned quite a bit and three cans of beer.  I set off with exactly $750’bucks so every penny counts as does every ounce.  My medium wight long underwear are too heavy and occupy oso much space but it’s what I had.  I also had 4 now 3 little bottles of whiskey.  I had also planned on cycling the lost coast so brought a pile of spares but it’s closed due to a landslide so more shit and less money.  Then there is the bike chain.  It’s a long story but it’s in my bag and a hate to replace the one I’m using till it needs it, yes another budget thing but it’s also one more culprit.

The waves are smashing the ferry, I should have folded and brought Brompty up with me but another sign I have too much stuff to wrangle.  This is going to be a very experience with a huge learning curve of how smile I can make my cargo and my journey.  I weigh a buck sixty soaking wet, ad 35 pounds or so of gear and that puts my riding weight at damn near 200 pounds.  My goal was and is sub 180, I’ll get there for sure but not today.

My goal was for an easy first day, a chance to unwind and gilet used to having to clock, I look at my wrist a thousand times a day for no reason other than there used to be a watch there, I never realized how often I did this or how unhealthy it is.  The sun is my clock now.  Unlike just about every person who strives to have more in this world, my goal is to have less.  Just the right amount of this and that, my mind trails off to the homeless guys on rusty old beach cruisers I’d meet all over Hawaii, thier tiny day packs and the freedom it gave them.

Notes I’m crushed, the hills killed me.  I stopped to take off a layer and climbed a huge hill.  At the top a girl in her car was yelling at, you dropped something, I looked back at my seat bag and oh fuck, I left my ukulele sitting on the side of the curb at the bottom of the hill, all my money and passport were in it.  I rode like the devil and thank god it was still there.  Day one the uke has been a huge fail, it’s hard to wear on my back, constantly shifting and strangles me, the things we do for love.  Steiger off the ferry I was smacked with reality, big trucks spewing smog, narrow shoulders and many hills, the guide book says this is easy, I’m screwed.  It was a good and very hard day, tomorow I will see triple the mileage.  The front bag is way too heavy and dangerous, I’ve lightened again today and that damn camera is now heavier than ever, it’s a burden but also important till I can find a lighter one, I’ve already had many thoughts of mailing it away but I’m not ready for that yet. Deception pass camp ground is a shit hole with never ending fighter jets over head and no close water or restrooms.  I’m really tired, spirits are high but energy is very low and I’m a bit worried about tomorrow, where I’ll find the energy to cook and why I brought the things I did, much wasted money that could have been used on better no cook food, warmer clothes and the such…



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I had forgotten how magnificent Sookies v-Berth is. I sprawled out in every direction, the way Chloe used to do and had the best nights sleep of my life. I’ve never been more torn about leaving Sookie before but if I don’t quit smoking, having the best sailboat in the world won’t matter and that’s what this journey is. A desperate attempt to quit smoking, it will be done by riding myself into submission every day and working it out of my system.

Bike touring on a brompton

Although as I sit here pecking these words I’m so worn out I can barely walk, I hobble about dizzy and tired from my long summer.  It will be a very slow start while I try and regain my strength.  My last effort as dock master was wheeling a drunken power boater to his boat, he literally couldn’t walk.  An hour later I got an emergency call and came screaming down the dock on my bike ” out of the way”. This dipshit tried to leave the marina and literally almost ran himself over after falling overboard. Lifting his dead weight out of the water was difficult, a marina full of people and only one person came to help.  Not even the guys that called would assist, fucking humans are a waste.

Travel by brompton

Sitting in my big plush bed with soft white sheets, snuggly socks and my warmies I’m as good as I’m going to get.  I packed and repacked a hundred times.  My front bag has a 22lb max load, I’m sure I’m 10 pounds over that but the road will straighten that all out.

At the very last moment I ditched one Mac and cheese meal and my down vest, this may come back to haunt me but I’m just way over my target weight.  A pound saved may seem insignificant but I’m reminded of a conversation I was having with a millionaire and a billionaire. The millionaire told me that he counts every dollar when the billionaire chimed in that he counts every cent.  Ounces equal pounds when it comes to packing light.

Im in a delicious place right now, retired for month at least and feeling very pampered in my clean clothes and soft bed.  A long hot bath may have been the last for some time as was a good shave.  All I have to do now is pick a direction and turn the pedals. But that’s will come soon enough.  Tonight I will bounce around my clean space, it’s the last bit of safety and security I will know for My journey has already begun.

PS there is no way I can describe how close I came today to saying screw it with this trip and launching Sookie fr a bitter cold winter or just grabbing my uke and jumping the first plane to Hawaii.  As of this point my packing and luggage proved to be a complete failure on my first short fully packed journey.  It’s going to be a long night if I want to make this work, I have way too much

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
― Christopher McCandless

Rubber tramp


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Dragging my Brompton through the thick Hawaiin mud for twelve hours straight had many thoughts going through my head, most of them were what the fuck am I doing here.  I didn’t put much thought into that journey, I just stuffed my shit in my pack and left.

Living aboard a sailboat

when I returned I hadn’t ever gone deeper than 6″ into my pack.  I never used my sleeping bag and most other items were little more than the weight of the world on my back.  I carted my shit around because I owned it, but in the end; it owned me.

Ive never been very good at preparing for things, I just dive and and see what happens.  I’m pretty much on that page right now.  Last night I stuffed a bunch of crap in my bags and it all almost fits.  Im not mentally up to the task of doing this right now due to all out exhaustion but I am doing it.  My motto is if I want something and I don’t have it, I don’t need it.  I sure many items will be donated along the way.

What I do know is that my tent works and I have a warm enough sleeping bag.  My mishmash of clothing should keep me warm and the uke will help my brain and maybe even a few new songs will come out of this.

The  whole boat thing hasn’t really been working out so in switching gears, when she sells I’m buying a flat in the city and going back to a normal life but for now nothing in my world is normal.  Tomorrow after my last day at work I get one special night in a big comfy bed with a bathtub and good music.  The following morning is when the rubber hits the road and all bets are off.  I have no idea how far I will ride or in what direction although  do usually gravitate south at this time of year.

I haven’t a single responsibility in the world so at this point I am more free than I have ever been in my life.  Just me, Brompty, my uke and the open road.  I think Larry Pardey said it best when he said ” As long as it’s fun”.  Be it a day or a year, one of the many benefits of traveling light is the ability to jump a plane, train or automobile at any point and make a B-line to a new adventure.  Going my way?

“A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.”
― Roman Payne 



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My life isn’t a slow motion trailer for the Banff film festival. Nobody knows my name. My superpower is in my anonymity. My struggle has never earned me sponsors, royalties or endorsements.  My autograph is something that will never be asked for. My greatest achievements are the reward of surviving hypothermia, storms both on and off the sea, and the rigors of the life nomadic; a new scar with its own story to tell and fllthy grimy finger nails, salt, sweaty matted everything, Pain… My story cant  be bought or sold it has to be earned and it’s a hard way to make a living.

Sterling Hayden

I am stormy  and my life and the torture I put myself through doesn’t matter to anyone other other than me. My sore muscles, road beaten body or the few data bites my tired fingers peck out on my I pad are all I possess. My studio is in my brain and my canvas is my bleach blond brow, my tanned smile and the crows feet trailing my pale blue eyes that tell the story of a man who wondered what if I just say fuck it, give my shit to the needy and walk away.  You will never understand why I do what i do and it’s not your place to understand.  You are one of the lucky few on a planet of billions who has the fortune, or misfortune to witness to my shinanagans.

This is about the time I start to freak out.  I always say the first three days are the hardest, if you can survive those you can survive anything but what about the last three days.  I haven’t even looked into gearing up, I need to move the boat and wrap it up and still have work and one last top secret project before I leave. The clock is not my friend, but soon enough I will take off the watch that rules over each day and the sun will take its place.  My days will be ruled by feeding time, sleeping time and all of the time of day between sunrise and sunset.

Not unlike many years ago when I turned my back on everything safe that I knew in the world I’m doing it again.  Much like the gypsies who stole me and gave me my name I am a roamer and that’s what I will continue to do until I am captured.

I know all to well of the cold and wet and headwinds and all of the things that go bump in the night.  These same things that I fear as much as the long dark and lonely nights are what draw me out into the world most only read about.  In three short days I will be given parole from the prison I have willingly entered and again I will be a free man and this earth I will roam with no destination other than the present. Run Run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man

“The securest place is a prison cell, but there is no liberty”
― Benjamin Franklin



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Sitting in my crows nest with my binoculars in hand I spy a shippey yacht sailing into the harbor.  A pirate anchors under sail and I smile when I notice he is wearing a kilt, I’m not the only freak in this world that loves the freedom to roam.

Falmouth cutter 22

In two days Sookie will be in Bellingham for the winter.  I have mixed feelings about leaving her but my solo sailing days are over so into storage she will go.  I had originally planned on flipping a coin between wintering aboard and a cycle tour but I have far too many options now to let a coin decide.

The coin flip has always been good to me but when Nina emailed me that she will be back on Maui in late October I decided it’s about time I choose my own destiny rather than leaving it up to the fate of the coin.

I have all my ducks in a row and am gearing towards a warm winter, that is unless I stumble into a willing and able sailing partner but that is the farthest thing from my mind right now.  I withdrew my offer on the Bristol Channel Cutter I was hoping to sail to the Caribbean in November, it’s not my time, not yet anyways.

i have a list of projects to do on Sookie when I return and the price tag will be huge so im off in search of gainful employment and a square bed, indoor plumbing and hot water.  My mode of transportation will be by Brompton but if a warm offer for work appears I’ll jump the first jet south.

Dear Casey, I won’t be coming to Olympia…

Dear Monica, I leaving in a few days…

Dear Nina…

“There’s something really cool about knowing that your destiny is SO big that you’re not meant to share it with anyone. At least not yet.” 

― Mandy Hale,

Orgin of the ukulele low G string


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The snow was lightly falling, I had just ditched my Subaru WRX in the woods having seen a deer get hit by a car and we were starving.  I dragged the carcass into the woods and started hacking it up when a girl with big blue eyes and long curly hair exploded onto the scene.  She was wearing runners with no socks, Dolphin shorts and a thin tank top, her neck wrapped in a scarf and a stocking cap.  We were instantly a couple and would spend the next few months bouncing around between our snow cave and the car as we were both homeless.

Hiding from the cold we stopped into a music shop to look at native flutes, we both played them and it seemed like a good way to pass a few snowy hours.  I picked up a uke and started to play when the shop keeper asked me if I had ever heard of a low G string.  Sure I replied, I invented it. I pulled up a stool, started to plink at the strings and told him my story.


Back before the turn of the century I had been trying to play somewhere over the rainbow, Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole’s version.  My G string was driving me nuts as I couldn’t get the sound I wanted.  I kept basing off my C string as the G wouldn’t work.  I switched from my Kamaka soprano to a new Fluke concert but I still couldn’t find the sound.  One day I was bitching to my uke instructor and asked if he would help me replace my G with a wound guitar string, eventually we fell on a D string and I had found my sound.


Life was again perfect and I was back to hours a day trying to perfect my tunes.  One day I noticed that the all plastic fret board on my uke was wearing out due to the wound G string.  I called the fluke company and asked if they would replace the fret board and of course the answer was yes but followed with a how could you wear out the fret board, they are nearly indestructible.  I told him about my new low G but words would explain so I set down the phone and picked up the uke and played him a song.  He immediatly put Seal Beach on his list to come check out what we were up to.  Within a few months the fluke  uke company had added an option of a wood fret board with metal frets just for the new Low G and again my uke world was in harmony.


When I ordered my new Concert Opio from the guys at the uke site I had them set it up for a Low G but string it with a high G. They went through all thier Ukes and found the sweetest tone and best head angle and then went to work perfecting my new little gem for me.  One of the greatest things about having your uke professionally set up is that a master uker has set the bar for your new uke and it will never forget the first hands that played it.  Mine is already coaxing better music out of me.


There’s something about guitars, they’re just so big, you know what I mean? You’re just like, ‘Ugh!’ It just seems so overwhelming. And the ukulele is, like, the opposite of overwhelming. Zooey Deschanel

My new Opio by Ko Aloha


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I ripped the entire boat apart looking for my headlamp but it was nowhere to be found.  I had an uber stealthy credit at Moosejaw due to them being awesome and me spending way too much on my new sleeping garb.  One buck was all it took to send a new headlamp and cross the last item off my list but something was missing, I had this nagging feeling that I was blowing it when it hit me, I have no way to make music each night in camp.  No excuse to pull over and sit in the shade for hours upon hours doing nothing but plucking my strings and absolutely no chick magnet.  A light bulb went off…

I pulled up my bank account and was faced with enough money for food and a camp site each night for two full months or a new uke and thirty days of living like a scrub and a bit of involuntary  dieting. A duhh, I pulled up and started my search.  If I had all my dreams come true I would spend the next year in Hawaii studying uke on a brand new Ko Aloha tenor with voice lessons to boot but alas I was given a greater gift of figuring out how to sing and play this gem all by myself.

Regardless of price a new uke needs to be set up and the guys at the uke site do free set up on all new Ukes and free shipping If you spend over 400 bucks and I did but I still didn’t think they would have time to get it for me before I shove off.  I ordered on a Monday afternoon or maybe it was Tuesday and they had it in my hands by the following Friday.  I didn’t know exactly what I wanted set up wise so i just turned it over to the pros and I must say even after a very long absence away and with very little talent  this thing plays like it was built for me.

I opened the package and was shocked at how beautiful my new little concert uke is, every detail down to the tuners are impossibly perfect.  It’s going to take a while to make this baby sing but I’ve been rocking out on the dock, in my camp, at work, on the beach and every place I go.  My fingers are sore and tender but they just need a few more laps around the fretboard.  To top it all off they upgraded me to a sic super plush gig bag and sent a dehumidifier along for good measure.  To put it very simply Stormy approves of the whole staff at the uke site and so should you 🙂

Ukuleles will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through time with no ukulele – anonymous



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i wake up shivering and pull on a cap and gloves, it’s dropped below 50 for the first time in a while and I’m freezing.  I curl up in a ball and the wheels start spinning I’ve got to get out of this place.


when you have a warm dry place to seek shelter living in the 40’s isn’t the end of the world but when your living in a crumpled pile of sweat in the the damp cold of the pacific north west it’s cuts like a knife.  Im cold when it’s warm out, when other people think it’s cold I’m on the edge of hypothermia.

My fingers are cold and burning as I peck at my keyboard, the cold has zapped my battery and it keeps blinking at me another sign that I need to get the hell out of here.  I look down at my pink socks pertruding from my new kicks and wiggle my toes, they are warm and snuggly, I smile at simple pleasures.

Key West is sounding pretty delightful right about now, I wonder if I can’t find a little winter refuge there, maybe a new warm life. I take a bite of my banana and sip my coffee.

From the log of Sookie COLD…Tiny little humans run screaming down the dock, back and forth.  They are being chased by imaginary  monsters, thier tiny sea boots go clompity clomp as pink little faces scream and giggle whike they escape the imaginary beast that chases them.  My beast isn’t imaginary and it’s bearing down on me like a freight train, I call it winter…



Finding my humans


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I’m  jamin on my new uke when I hear a scratch on my hull, it’s Casey, she’s crying and hiccuping and sniffeling.  Her journey has been a long hard and lonely one and she is starting to discover what all solo sailors do, that it can be fucking lonely out there cut off from our tribe.

I’ve been been there so many times, in many ways I’m there right now. While I have many aquantences living close to the way I choose I have very few that live on the edge the way i do, it’s hard for people to understand our life and lifestyle when they are so far removed. In many ways I’m completely burned out from the last year of sailing cycle touring working and always sleeping in my damn tent but in others I recharged and ready to move on. I’m getting pretty used to chasing the seasons.

I want to invite Casey with me but I don’t and I won’t, she is too young and has to find her own journey and to make her own way.  I row out to her little boat and we have wine as I wipe away her tears, I offer to sail home with her…

Back in my life I’m only 9 fingers away from my next journey and up until she showed up I didn’t even know what it was.  My search for a community of people who live a full time existence of minimalism and simplicity while pushing every boundary of exploring thier lifes.

I used to climb but I don’t fit in to with the climbers. I was a surfer but that’s not my tribe.  Skiing and Mountian biking ruled my world for years but it’s not that either.  It’s iut there, this I know and I will continue the search for my humans, I know They will show up when the time is right, serveral of them did last night in the form of two Lyle Hess boats showing up and an offer for a place to chill in San Diego although that is many miles from where I am floating now.

“Don’t waste your time being what someone wants you to become, in order to feed their list of rules, boundaries and insecurities. Find your tribe. They will allow you to be you, while you dance in the rain.”
― Shannon L. Alder

The mystery


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Apperarantly rogue posts kept slipping through the cracks while AOH was down but for the life of me I can’t remember what they were.
My dogs are warm and dry in my new kicks ready for the next step of our journey…

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle



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My great grandmother was a physic, she told me many things about my coming life the one and only time I met her.  She was on her death bed but her eyes were clear as the blue water I love sailing the most.  She told me things I would later learn about my self but at the time I thought she was crazy.

One of the things I’ve always carried with me is that she told me to surround myself in a pink cloud and would always be safe.  I’ve done this from that day foreward, sometimes it’s a self induced cloud, others it’s a pink tee or some other article of clothing.  I’ll never forget when my mom brought home a pink pair of Sperry topsiders for me, I was like, why the hell would she get me these but I loved them and to date I have always been safe, even in some of the most dangerous conditions in the world.

I was really hoping for some soft of high visibility pink kilt to wear on the cycling journey that I still have yet to commit to. But have given up as I simply couldn’t find a good fit.  I did find a great Terry thermal kilt for the cold days to go over my camo mangings but it’s a very disappointing grey, although it’s super warm and will let me change my clothes modestly right in the side of the highway. Man kilts are functional as hell when used right and the fit is perfect.

So I found these awesome pink socks to keep me safe on my journey although I’m sure the redneck idiots will have a few words but I have no issues with telling them where they can stick it.  So that’s that I have officially busted my budget and obtained everything I need except basic riding clothing tops and bottoms but for now a pair of runners and my old backpacking shirts will do. My contract ends in two weeks and that’s when the adventure will begin, I can hardly wait to see where my journey goes.

As for me, I will follow the path of the pink bunnies.” 

You can get your own pink Sperry’s by clicking right here 🙂

― Magenta Periwinkle

My new kicks 


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I’m walking home from the food store, a 12 pack in one hand and my paper bag of goodies in the other.  There is a band in the park, hippies twirl and gyrate the rhythm pulses through me.  A deer runs across the road lit with golden rays of evening.  With each passing car I try and lift my thumb but there will be no rides today.  I say a hello to a cute girl in passing, stop and turn for a second look and we are eye to eye.

She starts picking blackberrys while I drop my bag in a delicious spot of sun on the side of the road.  We share a beer and she pulls out a spliff, we share that and a meal and good conversation about the island, we share everything.  I wake up in the most comefortable bed I’ve ever slept in, silky white sheets, big pillows and it’s warm.  Breakfast is fruit and coffee.

It’s raining today and foiling my finish coat on the bow Sprite so we laze around listening to music, sitting close and giggling and this or that.  Her long hair falls across my shoulder and I don’t want to leave.  The universe is fucking with me.  She drops me off at Sookie and we say good by, no exchange of numbers, she knows where to find me.  She drives ten feet and stops the car, gets out and runs back to give me one last kiss and a giant hug. She starts talking.  ” last night was so much fun, when can we do it again?”  I reply “how about right now”, she smiles and tells me about her work.  We make plans to make plans but we make none, still no exchange and she drives off.  I have a bit of time to set up for when the sun returns.

I tuck my new and still unworn shoes away and do some organizing of food that needs to be eaten.  I’m lazy and don’t want to work on anything, I pull on a thick pair of wool socks and hope for a calm day, the wind had me running crazy all day yesterday but now it’s calm, I can smell her on me, like flowers her scent lingers and I wonder if this is a tipping point, maybe I won’t be going anywhere or doing anything.  I tuck my new pink socks into my Brompty bag, there is a story here but for now I have to go off to work…

“So many went on a quest to tame her, 

The only man to win her heart was the one 

Who was also free.” 

― Nikki Rowe



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I bought Chloe a brand new Subaru for her first birthday, before the end of the first week she had ripped  out the steering colum to the tune of serveral thousand dollars but that was only the tip of the iceberg compared to what I paid in bribes to keep her in my divorce settlement.  I didn’t care about the house, the money or any of the personal belongings that took me a lifetime to obtain, I just wanted that fluffy little monster that made my world so frustratingly perfect.

A Brittany came running down the dock right up to me and after a good ear scratch she layed down on my foot the way Chloe used to do, I almost had a breakdown, I miss that little fucker so much words can not describe.  They say it gets easier with time, it doesn’t.  With every passing day I miss her more and more and think about her more often. For a long time I tried to block it all but I simply can’t, I miss my baby, always :(…

I miss the life I created for her and our back woods adventures together, eating road kill, living in a snow cave and section hiking the pacific crest trail.  She was the best companion a man could have.  It’s been a year since that horrible day when she went to that big fiend in the sky and I’ve been saving a special bottle a friend gave to me, for what I didn’t know but tonight I will toast my best friend with a bottle of red appropriately named Chloe, the girl who changed not only who and what I am but also how I see the world.  I have a book in me but I’m not so sure I’m ready to share our adventures with the world.

She would always eat my cooking, never said no to a few extra miles on the trail and was great for treeing a bear in my campsite if a treed bear in your camp site is what you want.  She was always up to some form of shinanigans and taught me that life is to short to follow the rules.  I’d sneak her into bars and restaurants and we would both get kicked out.  Our winter in a back country cabin snowshoeing through heavy power on a daily basis was one of the best times of my life.  She would always jump on the back of my snow shoes tripping me face first into to deep snow and then jump on my back to play.  Mornings were steam roller time when she would pounce on me and wake me up for coffe and dog chow.  

On one famous backpacking trip where all I brought were a pack of hot dogs and a sleeping bag she crawled into a dead deer carcas just before sunset. I did the best to clean her that I could but it was impossible, then the mosquitos came out in force.  We dove into my sleeping bag wet stinky dog and all and I said to her, at least it’s not raining, then the Hevens opened up, there was no place I would have rather been.  My favorite Mountian biking trail was 40 miles long and she would lap me the whole time.  We climbed every mountain, sailed all over the country and Mexico together and did the worlds best road trip.

My heart is still hurting these days but I always feel like she is close by, keeping an eye on me and reminding me that none of us will get out of this world alive.  Her daily memories remind  me to love unconditionally, play every day and to wake up with an explosion for another day and the gift of life.  I salute you Chloe, cheers my friend and thank you for teaching me that while life might not be fair it’s the greatest gift any of us could ever ask for.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.

—Gilda Radner

Barefoot bandit


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I watched my little sailor girl pull her main and slowly work her way out of the harbor.  She is scared shitless but still following her dream.  I stocked her with beans and onions and a special bottle of wine and already miss her company but she promised to come back and visit before I leave.  She just turned 18, used four years of babysitting and mowing lawns money to buy a boat and is off to see the islands.

I’m a bit worried about her but she made it all the way from Olympia so I’m sure she will just keep on gunk holing her way around till it gets too cold.  Her little Ericsson is the perfect first time boat and seemed huge compared to Sookie.  I love young people because they haven’t yet learned that they are doing the impossible, or at least the thing age and experience beats out of us.  She left in June with $200.00 and a boat full of food, not a far cry from when I pushed Sookie out to find a better life in the islands.

It’s lonely and far too quiet now back on Sookie but I have much to do and every day is like Christmas as packages keep arriving and I try and sort a way to fit it all in.  So far my only option has been to reduce my food stores.  It looks like I can fit a one day emergency supply  plus the days riding food which I hope will be enough.  Should I flip my wig and ride across the southern border I will need to carry more food but less warmies, although I’m still wondering if I will ride a single mile… Either way my new warmies are stupid comfy and I love the camo print, they fit like a glove and will be the only thing between me and the elements on the cold days.  It was them or waterproof pants, I don’t have the budget or space for both, I’m quite pleased with my decision.  They look like they are see through but they are not, it’s just the awesome stealth camo.

I don’t know why the only choices in men’s athletic clothes are black and grey and fit like a sac of potatoes but it seriously pisses me off.  I was hoping to pedal off with all the colors  of the rainbow lighting me up like a billboard so all the cars could easily see me.  Clothes should be fun to wear, note to self, learn to sew so you can make your own shit!

“You all laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” 

― John Davis

Me no like


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By noon I had reached my personal limit of exhaustion, weeks without a day off, Sunday is supposed to be an easy day.  The straits were throwing a tantrum which meant I had a pile of frazzled boaters, some staying some hiding but all of them having massive issues docking.  Blown furlers, boats dragging anchor and breaking waves over the entire end tie had my 15 hour day filled.

I woke up crumpled in a heap of my own pitiful state lying on the dock like a piece of doggie poo.  The day started out promising, I actually obtained a cook pot and wind screen, some string, and low and behold two pairs of socks to go with my new kicks, yep this sailor now has a new pair of shoes in the mail.  I gave up on water proof pants and picked up a pair of running tights with a killer print on them to keep me warm in the cool mornings and having completely given up on a bright pink don’t run me over cover up I got a Terry thermal wrap to cover my junk.  I was feeling pretty satisfied and broke when I met a very hungry girl living in her boat.  She didn’t have enough to cover her groceries so I covered it with a bit to spare for her and now I feel like a huge pile of shit having all this new gear when I’m reminded of how many people struggle just to eat in this world.

Somewhere between her and there I dropped for the count till I was awoken by a girl on the dock with a cold beer and a hand up.  Refreshed and ready to rumble I made it back to Sookie and sanded till the sun went down.  My feet hurt so badly I can barely walk but it’s tent time and my favorite time of the day when I can pile into my little cocoon and sleep like the dead, after a great glass of J.Scott that is 🙂

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” 

― Hélder Câmara

There’s a new sheriff in town


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The VHF radio crackles to life,  the boater asks permission ” is it ok if I…” I respond, this is America, you can do anything you want.  All ears are pleased and as a local walks by he refers to the mantra I’ve been spreading since day one, “there’s a new Sherrif in town.”

Its my job to keep the kids safe, round up the lost puppies and even save a float plane here and there when the weather and currents are especially nasty.  Its appearant by the smile I wear on my face that I love what I do and I’m good at it because I love it but I’m too old for this shit.  I race up and down the dock on my flame encrusted beach cruiser ringing my bell as a warming and calling out hellos as I fly by, all day catching boats and boaters, flirting with the co-eds and hauling heavy  objects up the steep ramp for my elderly guests. I know the name of every guest and thier familys and thier dogs, all good people have dogs…

When I clock out my day isn’t ending, it’s just beginning.  I hitch into town for supplies and a fresh avacodo or banana or what ever buisiness I’m up to and then it’s back to Sookie working in circles around myself.  When the sun goes down its off to the bar for a bit of rock star treatment, free drinks and BS-ing with sailors from all over the world.  

Today among the many awesome things that happened I ran into Jessie who sailed his Falmouth cutter with his wife and four young doughters, now he sails and exquisite cape George 36.  The very first thing he did was rip out the head and teach the girls how to use a shit bucket, I actually met him right at this dock many years ago when he came sailing in with his girls diving off the side like the little sea monkeys they are and livin up the island life, it’s alway fun to run into him and all the other sailors I have met from my sailing journeys around the Salish sea.

I’m going to miss this place but I miss every place I’ve been, it’s all part of the nomadic life.  I never say good bye, I hate goodbyes, I just slip out the back door and poof, I’m gone…

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” 

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Minus one


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A quick glance at my bank account confirms that I have exactly the same amount of money that I had before I started working, a big ZERO!, but it isn’t money im after today.  Sure I’m alive and kicking, I’ve done a bit of good for the world and the yachters daughters have been keeping me in very good company.  I’m  building an arsenal of fun and while on this day I’m too broke to use the freedom it affords me I have a solid three weeks before 9/11

Serveral thousand nights in my shit freezing sleeping bag has prompted me to invest in the best sleeping bag known to man, it is so plush I can’t even use it as the day it arrived so did summer, isn’t that how it always works.   My self inflating camp pad is pretty kewl as is the tent that so far has kept me warm and dry.  On Sunday 9/11 I’ll drink my last bottle of wine, have a a good steak and when I wake up it will be decision time, splash Sookie and seek winter employment or load up Brompty and hit the road in search of winter employment, I won’t think about it till that Monday the 12th but by 9:00 I’ll be on my way.   

Being single has its advantages, not that I’ve ever been the type of person to seek out singledom but on the plus side being minus one means I don’t have some nagging bitch squawking at me to cut my hair, have a shave and get a job.  If I wasn’t single I’m guessing that rather than sitting in the hotel bar getting free drinks from the uber cute girl I met today I would be at Sears picking out a new shirt for Sunday services. But my god isn’t a statue and she doesn’t exist in a church.  

She’s out there everywhere and I always find her, on the water, in the mountians, on the road and every drop she bleeds from the sky leads from her throne on the highest montian top through the valley of Eden and into the sea which sea has created for me.  I hang out with the uber rich everyday, it’s the life I know best, they are not free, they are slaves to everything that makes the brief snapshot of thier life look like a dream but come Monday thier get out of jail free card expires and back to work they go till they are 75 and free to live the rest of thier lives as they choose.

Where ever my future takes me I know there will be times when I am super afraid.  Times when I am cold and times when I am hungry.  Freedom comes with a price and I’m willing to pay for it with a little bit of discomfort here and there.  I spent he afternoon cleaning and decking out Brompty, admiring her lines in the late glow of the setting sun and once again i wonder how I am so fortunate to be blessed with everything I need in this world and nothing I don’t….

“My life changed the day I moved beyond just wishing for things and I started earning them. That is the day I learned that we don’t get what we wish for, we get what we work for.” 

― Steve Maraboli

Burning the candle at both ends


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I’m like the walking dead, I haven’t had a day off in a month.  I’m up at 530 working on Sookie, then it’s off to work seven days a week and back to the boat till dark.  I’ve never been this burned out in my life.  Every inch of my body hurts from being run over by a boat.  My days are like running a marathon, my nights, sanctuary in my little one man tent.

Every morning I wake and I can’t move, my spine feels like it is cracked in half.  Slowly I force myself up, my knees swollen still from yesterday but morning brings coffee and the smell of teak sawdust, the rich aroma of freshly laid varnish, paint and all sorts of sealants.

Every day I swear I’m done with traditional boats, my next boat will be all plastic with metal hand rails and an aluminum toe rail and I will love it for its lack of necessary maintenance.  Each and every morning I swear this but by the pale light of the setting sun with a cool beer in my hand I inspect the days pitiful progress and I smile.  I touch Sookies bow and I proclaim my love to her.

I’m burned out on boats and sailing and living aboard, I want to be as far away from this time in my life that I can but in some deep place I know I will shed a silent tear when I walk away.  I could splash her today and spend another winter aboard  but I won’t.  I need to recharge and find a new zen.  I’ve been in a coma for over a year, my brain isn’t firing and I can’t do anything right.  My burger and fries a day that I’m alloted from the resort galley has me looking like I’m pregnant, I feel stagnant because I am, all my days blur to no purpose and I still don’t even know why.

I glance at my watch, it’s time to clock in, I glance at my calander and wonder how I can survive the next month but also know it’s nearly impossible to finish here in time, to leave before winter catches me.  I’m in a weakened  state both mentally and physically but that date keeps me focused, it’s a very small window of freedom that the road affords.  When my ride ends I’ll be broke a thousand miles from home and it will be winter, this is my freedom, my choice, my life.  I stretch and squirm and let out a morning roar.  I’m not following the path less taken, I’m making my own…

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” 

― Benjamin Franklin

Impossibly perfect


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Perfect bike, perfect ass, what more could you ask for. I was chatting about my current life with some boaters when I was reminded of my youth and how at my age it’s one thing to bonk around but my new friends had responsibilities at thier age.

I asked how old they thought I was and she said 25, I laughed as her jaw dropped, we were the same age. When asked my secret to my youth I simply replied, “good wine and organic ciggis” the truth isn’t that simple but if you want that perfect 2% body fat, muscular physique and ripping strong cardio you had when you were in your teens, find a bike you love and ride it like you stole it.

My vacation from the web has been a nice break while the digital mechanics were sorted out but I missed writing. Not much to talk about but I have a feeling that’s all going to change right about now…

“The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean,” said the little old man.”
― Shel Silverstein

Minimalist touring on a Brompton 


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I screwed myself again, or should I say I’ve been overly optimistic about my athletic abilities.  I’ve been banking on a smaller chain ring to give me the extra oomf to get up the big hills on my fully loaded Brompty.  It wasn’t until I took the chain off that imactually looked at my chain ring and discovered that it was a 44 already and not the 50.  Nowhere on the sales receipt did it say anything about the gearing so I just figured it was standard.

I was in optimal shape in Hawaii and still got my ass kicked, now I’m doomed.  Sure I could size down to a  39 ring buts that’s way too girly for me so I’m going to tough it out in my pink riding skirt.  The big question is do I replace my chain, carry the extra weight for when I will need to replace it, or just return it and get the  kewl tool, that fits in the frame and can fix just about everything on the bike, ok not everything but it’s sweet.

Touring on a brompton
I’m a bit miffed at the size of my new t bag, first of all in thier optimal brilliance Brompton decided to switch the awesome exterior storage pocket that is huge to the right side putting the water bottle holder on the left.  Aren’t um like 99% of humans right handed and the one percent that are left ambidexterous??? Fringing boneheads, it’s virtually deadly to get a sip of water now while on the fly.

Touring on a brompton
My new Ergon GP3 grips are the bomb, the shit foam ones left my wrists as numb as the Brompton seat leaves my manhood on the longer rides.  If it sounds like I’m complaining I’m not, I don’t expect good grips, pedals or saddle on any new bike at any price. Ok I’m totally bitching about the T bag and I’m sure it will be replaced with something that is not dumber than a sack of hammers but damn she rides nice fully loaded.

Touring on a brompton
The Relevate seat bag is kick ass and you don’t know it’s there but there is a big snafu, my fault.  You can’t lower the seat low enough to lock the frame so when transporting from bike to train, ferry or what ever it has to come off.  No big deal but not ideal for me.

That’s it and a bunch of spare parts just in case I decide to ride all the way to Panama, I’m covered. I don’t  have any days off and mornings and nights are devoted to Sookie so my first real ride will be the day I leave, if I leave and I really think I’m going to leave, unless I stay which I won’t, I don’t think, unless i do.

From the log of Sookie, bonking in Hawaii, the only easy day so far on this trip was yesterday.  I wrote these words in my journal everyday until I checked into the west wing.  

Cycling the Pacific Coast


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I’ve been afraid to say the words out loud because in my current condition I won’t even be able to pedal to the mainland but still, it’s all I can think about.  My back is fucked, my budget is shit and my gear is seriously lacking.  They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting diffent results.  My one way ticket to Maui and 500 bucks was a lunatic endeavor, a journey fit for a mad man.

Touring one Brompton

Well I’m much more settled now and it looks like I will be setting off for the ferry with a cool, 750 smackers.  My goal is to make it to the ferry on Lopez island. If I make it that far I will continue one mile at a time, one day at a time for as long as my back hangs in there.  If I survive the first three days I’ll figure out a way to get a sleeping bag and cook set.

I have a pile of bike shit, new gears, new grips, a front bag for Brompty and a bunch of spare parts that I will never need now that I have them.  I’ll still need a new set of tires but the ones I have will get me to Oregon at least.  I can’t be bothered to replace them now because I might not make it that far.  Brompton makes a sweet in frame tool kit and that will find its way in my frame as well.  It’s all about baby steps on this one.

I’ve met a ton of touring cyclists this summer and I’m jacked to get out on the coast and do some exploring by bike.  My seven year anniversary with living car-less is in October so I hope my body holds out long celebrate that one on the road.  My contract ends in 35 days, holly shit that’s not enough time to finish my projects on sookie and get my ride together.

I will literally walk off one of the most physically demanding jobs I have ever had and 12 hours later be on the bike heading south with no rest or transition.  If I don’t beat the cool of fall I will freeze to death long before I run out of money and succumb to starvation. My biggest point of contention is my miserable as hell bike seat.  It’s fine for up to two hours but after that it becomes a torture chamber.

If I actually do this it will be a battle of riding as slow as humanly possible so I can explore the coast to the fullest but also a race against winter and my budget.  It’s all comming together, all I have to do is commit to the insanity and take the path less pedaled.  Maybe at the end I will finally find my bit of land and build my tiny home although in this chilly morning a tent cabin in Hawaii is sounding much more appealing, I really love my simple life…

“Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls” ~ Bob Weir, Grateful Dead

A life of privilege 


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The rain came hard trapping me in the boat, it was warm and humid, the bay a dead calm boiling with heavy drops from the heavens.but this paradise had to be earned.  A long wet windward passage and a very narrow and shallow reef lined pass had to be carefully negotiated.  The big boats had to stay outside in the outer bay but Sookie fit in snug as a bug in a rug in our private little Shangri-La

I get a series of weird questions about Sookie from my family.  I’m busy and not really paying attention, then it hits me.  I respond, what are you knuckle heads up to.  My family wants to ship Sookie south for me, my shinanagans must have finally gotten to them, or maybe they are afraid I pull a respeat and head back to Maui again.  That fucking island almost killed me as did Sherrif  John Brown but in the end I won and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Let’s face it I’m an American and as such I live a privileged life.  The poorest person in America lives like a millionaire compared to much of the rest of the world, this tragedy was witnessed by my very young eyes and at one point I decided I could save the world, these these days I’m still perplexed by it all but there is very little I can do.  Instead I live my own life in search of the metaphorical bread and water that rules my world.

I’m annoyed by this offer, not that I’m not super appreciative, fuck it’s everything I want and need on a silver platter and why shouldn’t they.  Isn’t that what family is all about.  I spoiled Chloe rotten and loved it, she ate the finest food a dog could have, she got all the love and nourishment on the planet, even when I was in the middle of divorce and dumpster diving and eating road kill to survive she was still well taken care of.  I would do anything for my family without question or questioning it.

I flat out refused the offer with a thank you but… Seven years ago penniless, busted flat and losing the girl I loved more than worlds  of words can express I started a new journey with nothing.  That was the perfect storm of life, it’s when my eyes really started to fail, my life in shambles and I was living in a town I never chose to live in, I moved there for my ex, bought her the perfect boat and then it all ended, but I didn’t. I just flipped a switch and started a new journey.  If I let my family help me I’m a fake, a fraud, a phony, im no trustaffarian, my journey is real, it’s mine and I know the path very well.

Still it felt good just to think about, it feels good to know there are people out there who love you and want to help you.  I pay it all foreward whenever I can which is right now as I am working and it feels good to be able to share with the less fortunate.  

So I threw away my get out of jail free card, although I’ve already used it once this year.  It’s been really cold at night and getting colder, my body is broken from being run over by a yacht and my contract ends in 5 weeks, I’m a bit fearful for the immediate future but… I’m a fool for saying no but if your not willing to make the long and wet windward passage you will never make it to Shangri-la.  The biggest privilege any of us can demand in life is the privilege of choice, of action and of self reliance.  

Which would have advanced the most at the end of a month, — the boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this, — or the boy who had attended the lectures on metallurgy at the Institute in the mean while, and had received a Rodgers’ penknife from his father?

  — Walden

I’m not your guru


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I stare at my in box for 10 minutes, there is an email at the top, I don’t want to open it, I don’t want to know what it says.  I delete it, then I hit control alt delete and clean my entire mail, time for s fresh clean platform in my cyber cafe.  Letting go comes easy for me, sort of. Moving on, starting a new direction it’s all part of the creative process.

Tonight I’m having wine with Barbara, she is in from Europe on her parents Catalina 34.  When morning comes she will slip the lines and a whole new cycle will start for all of us.  That’s what summer in a resort is like, people always coming, always going but I’m always here, I can’t take the stagnation.  I have a pile of gear waiting for me at the post office, I’m trading my foulies for light weight rain gear, my Xtratufs for bare feet and my fancy pressed uniform for my purple man kilt.

I’m a drifter, a vagabond, a transient a dirt bag explorer, I have many names but guru or role model isn’t one of them.  I continue to turn down advertising offers mostly because advertising sucks but it’s a double edge sward.  I’m not rich by any means but I’m getting used to having a few bucks in my pocket, the freedom to buy food, and my new shelter.  This is where it all begins, the downward spiral of upper mobility.  I spend my little free time searching for a cabin in the woods or a cabana on the beach, anyplace that I can both stand up in and lay down in.  Hot water and a flush toilet, a window to peer out of.  How far I’ve come from that day surrounded by dozens of rows of executives in thier little cubicles.  Each set of rows was a group, the rows went on as far as the eyes could see.  Staring out the window at a passing summer storm I Made a break for it.  I raised my hands to the heavens and soaked in every drop of beautiful rain.  

Soaking wet I walked back to my cubicle, my home for 12 hours a day and packed my bag and walked out on my life.  Was it really that I bad? A big leather chair, heat and air conditioning, more money than should ever be earned for sitting in that big plush chair.  I had a little headset so I could crunch numbers while I chatted on the phone, my nice car in the parking lot and a beautiful coastal home next to my boat.  Now sitting on the other side of that window, that day, that life I can’t help but wonder.  Has anything changed?  Have I changed?  I could say yes but I will say no, I’m that same old person hypnotized by money and willing to trade my life for it, to chase investments and Capitol and power.

They say once you are a smoker you always are a smoker, all it takes is one drag and you are hooked again.  Money is the same way, it’s a disease, one we all want and we can never get sick enough to get better.  Living on the hard cold ground, I’m at one with my bunnies and the deer, they all know me and that I’m safe but I know myself and I’m not.  I’m not safe, not from myself and not from the world, I’m a potential nuclear explosion of consumerism and waste and greed.  A ticking time bomb willing to have what I want regardless of its cost to the planet I live on.  I buy from communists, create a market for horribly toxic chemicals that I place on my boat in the ocean that I act like I love.  My foot print is huge, I’m willing to settle and sell out.  No I’m not a leader, I’m not a role model and I’m sure as hell not your guru.

 From the log of Sookie, missing Chloe.  If you want to live a better life follow your dog, they need nothing, love everybody and are always happy, cheerful and ready to please.  Chloe was and still is my guru…

Giving up the dream


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Some things just aren’t meant to be.  By the end of the month Sookie will be all wrapped up, when I return she will be the ultimate day sailor and gunk holer, I’ve thrown in the towel on blue water sailing with her.  Life goes on and Sookie will sail on but not beyond the reach of the Salish Sea.

I’ve hit my wall, to many nights on the hard cold ground, too many days of going hungry, to many seasons of not enough progress towards my goal.  Sookie is ripe and ready for this tiny sea and that’s where she will stay.  The seasons are short here as is the crappy low paying seasonal work, living aboard during the winters can be brutal, wet and cold, I’m ready for a square  bed, hot and cold water and push button heat.  It feels good to have a few bucks in my pocket for the first time in three years.

I cashed my check, bought a small pile of food to drop at the food bank and boxed up all the things I will no longer need on Sookie, I strapped them  on the back of Brompty and delivered them over serveral trips to the free store and feel good about my long day.  Working seven days a week all by myself in a position that warrants three people has been fun but also reinforced that I’d simply rather be sailing even if it’s just my own waters.

My last day here in the islands is about 5 weeks away and then I will set off in search of a winter home, reasonable work and  a bit of warm weather.  

“We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain’t allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got a fucking lactose intolerance?!” 
― Chris Rock

Plan B


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$6661.95, that’s the best quote I have so far for shipping Sookie from Annacortez to L.A., the first three numbers spell it all clearly and Ive completly abandoned hope of shipping the boat somewhere warm for the winter. Plan B,  I hit the pay button for bike parts and watch my meager life’s savings dissapear, I might be broke but my bug out bike is coming along slowly but surely.  

I still haven’t figured out what I want to cook with or what I’m going to sleep in but I bit the bullet and purchased a small self inflating therma rest.  My back is jacked beyond recognition from sleeping on the hard cold ground.  I haven’t had any sort of pad until a few days ago when I purchased some thin foam from the local Hardwear store, it isnt helping so I guess I’ll have to live my life hunched over form here on out.

My clothing debate is the biggest, it’s sac religious to wear spandex on a Brompton, or any time or place for that matter so Im still drawing a blank.  If my cotton man kilt wasn’t cotton it would be ideal but it’s cotton.  I have a few old shirts I can use and some rotting synthetic backpacking shit so if I can beat winter I may be ok.  It’s funny how much effort I’m putting into a trip I’m not committed to taking and a platform I at this point have no use for but its the direction my fucked up mind is going in and keeps me occupied before and after my 7 days a week of resort living.

My new gearing is in the mail as is the first waterproof jacket other than my five pound foulies that I’ve had in over five years.  It will be nice to have a shell for at least half my body.  I continue to shop discount air fare but don’t know where from or where too.  The thick fog persists but when it clears I know I will have Sookie ready and waiting and Brompty ready and waiting.  Everything from the bike can slip into my tiny mountian pack so now I have three solid platforms that I don’t have any use for.

Warm weather is all I can think about, it’s August and I spent the morning shivering… Warm, warm, warm, that’s my plan B, warm.

From the log of Sookie, I look at my olive tanned bare feet and they make me smile, this is a sign of success, bare feet.  The iron fist of winter is coming but not for me, my mistress is clear blue water, the golden rays of sunlight warming my back and a balmy wind to carry the plume of coconut that bathes my skin.  A tropical stormy is a brewing…