Trail looped around to a great group campsite. Perfect for gathering of 20-30 people. Got a bit lost but consulted GPS. Found the right path back called Kettle Trail.
Ate dinner at Toby’s in Coupeville. Most of the town was shut for the day. Had the mushroom burger and it was great. Service was good. The waitress radiated a genuine smile I thought I knew her. There was some cool money origami pinned on the wall. My fave was the dollar bill dress shirt. It was short sleeved and had a collar.The pin-wheel dollar bill was cool too. Not impressed by their own brew, but I drank 2 of them anyway. June weather has been so good (one of the sunniest ever) that I’m in no hurry to head south or east. Think I’ll linger around Washington for another month.
There’s an owl hooting thru the forest as I begin drinking my morning coffee.
Owl hoot sounds like a soft bamboo flute with 2 distinct hoo hoos, a slight pause, then a third hoo. Repeated over and over sounds like a pop song.
We’ll be spending the 3rd and 4th of July in Freeland, how appropriate. Independence Day. My mind takes off on the meaning of independence. Not beholden to any other country or person. Free to make ones own decisions. That is a concept close to home. Self reliance is a positive responsible characteristic for an individual and a country but I believe we are all interconnected. Independence as a country is something we can collectively celebrate. The truth is, we are dependent upon each other. A related question is What does personal independence mean? This is the question I’m struggling with. Today I’m taking dogs to Podilla Lake and after a drive thru Whidbey Islands Prairie, which is actually rich farmland sprinkled with barns.
A pack of young girls on bicycles glide by. One bossy girl yells out several times “we have to find a birds nest”. Her tone of voice is whiny, loud, commanding, and irritating I picture her nagging her future husband “you have to empty the garbage”.
I head off with dogs. We spot 3 young eagles at beautiful Podillo Lake. They fly straight over head only about 30 feet up. Too fast for me to get a pic. Inspiring. The filtered light on lake reminds me of Monet. We made it to Fort Ebey Landing and hiked through the heat to the sandy bluff. On the way back we stopped for water at Sarah and Isaac Ebeys original homestead. There is a little museum set up there and a very sweet woman held the dogs while I got to peek inside. A big feeling comes over me whenever I come in touch with real history. I signed the guest book. The blockhouse from handcut timbers is the real deal. Here is a great example regarding the meaning of independence. The Ebeys come west and start farming on this prairie. What imaginations, faith, and bravado this must have taken. I’d like to be less reliant on others, organize my life and do more to take up the reins for my own happiness. Made it to Fort Casey and visited the lighthouse.There was a newborn fawn standing at edge of meadow, quivering as it stands on new legs (oh so cute). Too far for phone picture. Quite amazing site with the remains of gunnery built in thirties. A nice windy open place for flying kites. It occurs how the dogs on leashes are a lot like flying kites. They cross back and forth in random arcs, tugging against the string. Today my artist eye was pulled back into the landscape by the awesome Ebey Prairie. Damn! thought I was ready to move on from landscapes into exploring mindscapes. Can I do both?
Time for bed. Tomorrow I drive south to meetup with the amazing independent free thinking spirit Jana Szabo.
Stopped into Payless at Freeland to get salmon for dinner with Jana. Is it just the holiday or is everyone here friendly? Smiles and chit-chatting in the aisles. People actually acknowledging my presence as I walk to the meat counter. Been four or five years since I visited Jana. The indigo blue bay is in view with twenty or so sailboats like glowing jewels from setting sunlight. Jana stepped out as I am parking the truck and greets me. Cool, collected, and casual. Her dogs greet me at the door. Rosie and Bear. Jana explains Bears troubled past as he pretends not to watch from a safe distance. Later Bear pops in under the table when he decides I’m ok. Along with the creative spirit Jana and I have in common, dogs. Jana asked me about travels and how I’m doing in general. We talked about Pike Place Market, getting older, love interests, living alone, and life on other planets.
Laughter and sadness at the same time. After an amazing dinner and Freeland fireworks show I rambled back to Rhodie State Park to campsite.
GG and JP were happy to see me (even with other dog smells) and they had no accidents.
This morning I make coffee without electricity by boiling water over gas stove and pouring thru Mr. Coffee. So simple, why didn’t I think of that at Deception Pass?
An extreme fire ban is on, so no campfires or even charcoal barbecues.
Had lunch with Jana at Kims' Cafe in Coupeville. I imagine running a restaurant for a second but the thought quickly passes. The place is surprisingly empty when we arrive but all tables full when we depart. I had the garlic prawns and Jana seafood stir-fry. We were both pleased with food and service. I bought a funky cool beach bag to tote my sketchbook, glasses, and phone. Jana approved. I have an iphone 6 and let me say a word here. My phone has become essential to survival. It makes traveling in an RV possible. I would not be confident about traveling with such a big rig without making reservations for campsites ahead and knowing something about where I’m going. The plus is that the phone is fun. I take a hundred pictures a day, whenever something strikes me. Sometimes I take pics for information. There are so many apps! Find gas, food, anything you need!
Back to thoughts on independence. Often people have an illusion of independence until networks one relies upon are revealed upon examination. If you use a cell phone, of course you are using a network of thousands of people, maybe millions, I don't know. If you use tools or utensils, are you independent since others ingenuity is being utilized? I suppose one can be an independent thinker, but even then it's a struggle to know how much of what you think and believe is programming and what is independent thinking. I respect those innovators whose creations allow us more freedom and move humanity forward. Sometimes ugly junk comes with freedom. Another discussion for later.
A keen observer with solid judgement, Jana’s a good one to bounce ideas off. I invite her to my camp at Rhodie State Park. She meets JP and GG and they instantly bond. We take one of many trails through the dense forest. We click on a few creative ideas that tie in with my travel adventure.
Sunday would not be a good day to take Port Townsend Ferry with RV for the first time. Wednesday around noon would be perfect to avoid mass messes. I extend my time here by two days, filling out the form, money into envelope and envelope in the slot.
Had a wonderful day with Jana in music studio. She was kind enough to play a few songs for me. Sang two of her own compositions, bringing tears to my eyes, so heartfelt, original; beautiful. She played a couple Joni Mitchell songs and told me about the time in New York she met Joni. It was shortly after John Lennon was murdered. She remembers being told to refrain from approaching Joni but Jana is brazen and wouldn’t let that stop her at the intimate club, important for finding new music acts. She said Joni was courteous enough. I heard Joni is having health issues now and want to say right here, Joni is tied with my personal top five all-time best musician artists. (John Lennon, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, and Joni) I wish her well and would like to tell everybody how important her voice has been to me, throughout my life. Words cannot express how Blue continues to resonate. Teenage years I sat in front of the record player, thrilled by her delivery of each and every magical phrase. I will always love her music. I wonder what it might be like to spend an afternoon with her though she may be pretty cranky by now (she’s earned it!). Hope she lives to meet her.
I imagine sitting at a table outside on a gray NW cloudy day with Joni Mitchell and Vincent Van Gogh, seeing who could make Vincent laugh. Know any good homo-erotic ear jokes?
Jana generously pointed out a few music and communication apps which could serve me well along my travels. She assured me after I sang Big Yellow Taxi for her that I could carry a tune and had me work on a range below and above my own comfort zone. How many times has someone said: “You can’t carry a tune” or when drawing, “you can’t draw a straight line”. Don't believe them. Believe in yourself, at least until practicality sets in! Understandably ya gotta pay your bills. Shared a nice lunch whipped up by Jana took the dogs for a walk and headed back to camp.
Started up the generator since batteries are under the 2/3 charged mark. I wonder if I should let the batteries drain to close to zero before charging them?
It’s amazing how much gravel I find stuck in the tire treads on my truck. Its become a regular event; picking the gravel out. It can’t be good to let that gravel dig in further, or let it fly out when I get on the freeway. What are you people doing with all the gravel getting stuck in your tires? It reminds me of flossing. I already have enough flossing to do, now gravel removal too?
Solitude develops a rich inner life. Yes, I believe that. Thats part of what I'm doing out here in the forest.