Tag Archives: adventure

Siouxon Creek Trail

In late June, 2020, I emerged from months of sheltering in place, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ventured out into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, in SW Washington State. It was a beautiful, sunny, 80 degree day, with a light breeze. The forest service road to the trail head was mostly paved, but full of giant potholes and rough, slow-going sections. This was a part of this forest I had never been to, but had seen photos and had heard about it’s spectacular beauty.

The trail was gentle and meandering, as it followed a crystal clear river and was punctuated by magnificent waterfalls along the way. Salmon berry were beginning to ripen and I imagined that by the following week they would be prolific throughout the area. Although with the number of people hiking the trail, it was unlikely they would last long. There was a near constant stream of other hikers and backpackers; many families with children making their way towards camp-sights along the river’s edge. We spent much of the hike moving off the trail to give people space to pass, as we feel that it’s important to follow social distancing guidelines, even when in the outdoors. Most people seemed appreciative and many people even wore masks as they hiked. It was a reminder that even in the restorative beauty of this place, the reality of what was happening in the world today could not be ignored.

These are hard times for everyone. My own sense of self and the ways in which I interact with the world have been disrupted and changed. My work, my studies, and community have all been thrown into chaos. And there is also this constant undercurrent of uneasiness and disquiet, even when doing simple things like making dinner or going for a walk. It often feels like nothing makes sense anymore and that I am just going through the motions of life, despite them feeling inconsequential in this moment in time. But, nature is a good anchor. It reminds me that I am of this world and that I can find myself again in these places. Life makes more sense here.

Bike Tour! (Day 10, 11, & 12)

The past few days have been a whirlwind of adventure and lack of phone service…so I’m a bit bit behind in posting. But the following photos are from Doe Bay (Orcas Island), Obstruction Pass State Park (Orcas Island), Lopez Island (Yes, again! We loved it so much we went back!), and Friday Harbor.

Some of the highlights of the past few days include:
-The perfect pebble beach at Obstruction Pass State Park
-The full moon rising over the ocean at Doe Bay
-Taking a water taxi back to Lopez
-Tasting wine at the Lopez Island Winery
-Watching the final game of the World Cup!
-The great Hiker/Biker campsites at Odlin County Park on Lopez
-The farmers market on Lopez
-Seeing my grandparents old sailboat bed and breakfast in Friday Harbor
-The adorable cabins at the Wayfarer’s Rest Hostel in Friday Harbor



























Bike Tour! (Day 1)


Well, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything, mostly due to finishing grad school and moving to a new home (again!). But today, my husband and I are beginning a month long bike tour of Western Washington, the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island and the Canadian Gulf Islands! Over the next month I plan to post photos and stories of our adventure, but it will be a bit different than most of my past posts. I will only have my iPhone with me, so my photo quality won’t be the same as usual and I probably won’t write long, complicated posts due to not bringing a keyboard.

Today was day 1 and included a 19 mile ride on the Western-Chehalis trail from Yelm, WA to the Olympia-Lacy Amtrak station and then a 3 hour train ride to Edmonds where we stayed in a hotel for the night. Tomorrow we will be riding from the ferry dock in Kingston, WA up to Pt. Townsend, WA.

Check back for photos, stories and thoughts on touring by bike over the next month!














Off to Korea! (And My Quest to Find a New Dream)

As the title of my blog suggests, I am bit of a traveler. But, this trip feels different. I’ve been fairly stationary over the past few years as I have been focusing on activism, sustainability and building community. I have been learning to garden, looking for jobs in the non-profit sector and hoping to build a life for myself in Portland that is meaningful and makes a positive impact in the world. Unfortunately, just as the “American Dream” has come to a screeching halt in the last few years, so has my “Personal Dream”. The dream in which I got a Master’s Degree in Sustainability Education, and environmental non-profits lined up to hire me to help build their growing organizations. A dream that once hired, I would take my small, but adequate salary and have enough money to buy a house in which I could organize community garden projects and neighborhood potlucks. On the weekends I would go camping, take up new hobbies and enjoy reading a nice book while curled up next to my romantic counterpart. It didn’t seem like I was asking for much, but I did know I wanted it more than anything.

Now, I’m not sure whether this dream was always a pipe dream and it was only my personal lack of foresight that did me in, or if things really changed while I had my head in a book during 8 long years in higher education. But ultimately my dream did not materialize and as far as I can tell, many people are in the same boat.

But, my breaking point was this spring, while working a job I was qualified for with a high school diploma and didn’t pay enough to meet my meager standard of living. The job was also uninspiring and extremely boring. I was tired of being bored, I was tired of looking for jobs in my field and competing against hundreds and thousands of other applicants, I was tired of being poor and going deeper and deeper into debt with no hope on the horizon for a better future. I was just tired.

So I quit. I quit my job and I quit pining after something that doesn’t seem to exist. I quit feeling inadequate about myself and my abilities. I quit thinking this dream was what I wanted. I decided I never wanted the dream in the first place, it was a misguided dream and really I wanted something else.

So, I dove into being an activist with Occupy Portland and began to spend almost all my time working with our developing alternative media coalition and documenting the movement through photography. And I loved it. I loved the community and the energy of people coming together to try to make change. I loved challenging the system that had promised me a much different life than the one I had. I loved being involved in my community and I loved being a photographer. During this time I realized that photography was my passion and I wanted nothing more than to do it all the time.

But, after a while something still didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like what I was doing was really filling the void in my heart for finding a new dream to replace the one I gave up. Something was still missing.

And what I’m learning is that it’s hard to give up a dream and find a new one. Dreams take time to develop, to nurture and to plan for. So, for the past few months I have been living in a vacuum looking for another dream. Working to discover my passions and creative motivations while also figuring out how to turn those things into a sustainable way of making a living. I’ve also been mentally burdened with my desire to help create a better world and unsure how to follow my artistic dreams while also stopping the rampant destruction of the environment and the exploitation of human beings for profit and power across the globe. How can I become a travel photographer while still ensuring that single use plastics are discontinued? How can I spend my time writing, when people in my own city are without a home or adequate food? How can I sit with friends and drink a glass of wine while our biosphere is in rapid decline?

Which brings me to Korea. I leave in just a few days for a trip of pleasure and adventure. In contrast to the stress of being an activist over the past few months, I am taking a break to re-charge and see if I can again fall in love with a dream. I of course want to find a way to be both an activist and live a passionate, happy, centered, and meaningful existence, but until then I may need to take breaks from each world to spend time in the other. My passion for activism is eternal, but creates a stress in my life that is all consuming (and doesn’t provide me with a source of income), while my passion for artistic creativity (that does provide me with income) is at the core of my being, but leaves me feeling like I’m not doing enough to help the world.

Even this trip I am about to undertake makes me feel uncomfortable. Traveling for me is both at the core of an adventurous life and represents so much of what I see wrong in the world. I will be taking an airplane across the globe, which emits huge amounts of greenhouse gasses, I will be eating food in which I don’t know how it was grown and raised, I will be impacting local communities through the influx of foreign dollars and western cultural imperialism, and I will be contributing to the idea that it is OK to move goods, services and people across the globe rapidly and with little effort.

But, on the flip-side, I will be growing as a person and engaging in cross-cultural understanding. My world view that I use to better understand and find solutions to big problems will expand. And I will be feeding my soul and overall creative well being. I will be following one of the dreams that is at the center of my being, which is to see and experience as much of this world as possible and share those experience with others I meet.

So, in a grand effort to try to re-engage myself in the world and find balance between me as an activist and me as an artist and traveler, I will spend the month of April in a new place, away from all that I know and love and hopefully come out of it with at least the beginning inclinations of a new life’s dream. Ideally a dream that will seamlessly bring together my many passions and be both personally fulfilling and help to create a more beautiful, just and livable world for all.

Please check back over the next month to see photos from Korea and learn about what I am experiencing while there.