Lewis and Clark

Through wet muddy roads, hail, and snow we arrived in Seattle! The sloughs of the Washington coast had a strange history that mysteriously doesn’t date back more than a few hundred years; at least according to the roadside signs.

Apparently nothing existed before Lewis and Clark…?

Ignoring any social commentary, our final destination concluded a wonderful journey up the western coast. With the new year approaching it is a perfect transition to the next journey.

Freedom of the Journey

We made it to the northern coast of Oregon and are staying in Astoria — home of the Goonies!

Cold icy rain swept through in all directions, adding a harshness to the simple beauty of the northern Oregon coast.

There is no destination in mind, just a general direction. The goal is less about any specific outcome but about the process and the discovery. Life teaches to maintain an awareness of the present and to be flexible in where to go next.

One night in a small roadside motel, the next with a riverfront view from the in-room jacuzzi. The quality of life is not in the amenities but in the flexibility and freedom of the journey.


North through Coos Bay we settled for the night in Winchester Bay, Oregon. The Pacific Northwest fog and rain greeted us in the small coastal town.

Raining on the coast but apparently snowing on the I-5, says Patrick, the owner and friendly face behind Fishpatrick's Crabby Cafe.

Strange who you meet in the brief encounters while traveling. Patrick ran a warm, friendly restaurant with welcome hospitality to everyone. He made two weary travelers feel at home, and I noticed it was the same courtesy he extended to the Winchester Bay locals. In this moment he represented an ideal gentleman; a comforting demeanor that left a lasting impression…

Changing your Reality

As soon as it started to look familiar everything changed. At first far off storm clouds began to threaten the serene blue sky. Water sprinkled lightly on the road during the later hours of daylight.

The sun set as we drove through the coastal redwoods of northern California. Rain poured seemingly intermittent from the canopy of the giant evergreens.

I watched as the temperature dropped and remarked: "a couple more degrees and this type of rain would turn to snow."

Within seconds the familiar sound of rain drops ceased. Large clumps of white on the road. Snow.  Snow along the windy road by the oceans cliff. Perilous death seems just a foot away as the narrow road curves sharply in any direction. The trees lit up with white and the car sloshed through the ice and cold. A spectacular view teased my eyes like a Sirens call that I imagine might lead me to crash onto the rocky shoreline. It was amazing!

I suspect we shape our lives and world to fit our beliefs and our perceptions of reality.  Apparently a snowy windy road by the ocean surrounded by redwoods is my reality. :)

Strangers in a Familiar Land

I feel like Jell-o. After a couple of days of driving through small
coastal towns we finally hit San Francisco. The sprawling hipster
metropolis seemed almost out of place juxtaposed with the quiet and
sparsly populated western coast.

The world seems abuzz amidst my tranquility. A blur of activity that
is as fascinating as any other naturally occuring phenomena. The same
ocean where elephant seals were milling lazily is now teeming with
people and lights.

We're staying in Sausalito and may wake early for sunset and the
photographic magic hour…

Off the Path

Traveling through Pismo Beach we wandered into a Monarch butterfly
grove. There were tens of thousands of butterflies clustered in the
trees. A beautiful display that is difficult to capture on film :)

Nothing is as one would expect, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
I took (and continue to take) plenty of pictures and will post in
about a week.

Got up to Monterey last night, and we're heading to Sausalito today!

Far less Ordinary

I have decided to skip the normal holiday festivities and drive up the coast with a friend. We will drive from San Diego to Seattle hitting every coastal town in between.

We haven't really gotten far, in fact I’m still at my house. There's a relaxing tranquility in the air — my Mother told me it is because of the winter solstice that just passed; a time for peaceful contemplation. I couldn’t agree more!

This morning I took my coffee down to the beach, and I realized I’ve already left for this trip up the coast. The world seems vibrant and far less ordinary. Perhaps I shouldn’t ever come back. If I am the sum total of my experiences then perhaps this is who I am, what we should all be, far less ordinary.

Exploiting the Limits of your Mind

Reality is an amazing thing. It bends and shapes to your perspective. Simply put, it is what you believe it is.

Where in one minute you’re feeling isolated and stressed, you may simply shift the context of your thinking and feel connected and relaxed. We put our conscious attention towards something and it will become the center of our reality. As our attention is consciously controlled, so then, I argue, is our reality.

If this is the case, then the limits of our perception and our cognition could be exploited to our own ends. We invent a facade for reality that matches what our five senses tell us. My optic nerve reacts to the suns radiation as my ears react to vibrations in air. My brain takes the limited sensory data and assembles a larger picture of reality. We assume that this reality is accurate yet we forget that it is based entirely on limited sensory data with a lot of imagination.

As our brain tricks us into thinking that our perception of reality is universal (and not at all imaginary), we can very easily alter our perceptions by where we choose to direct our awareness – thus easily controlling our own reality.

The limits of ones imagination then would be the only reasonable limit to ones reality. Can you shape your waking reality with an active imagination? To what extent can we change our perceptions such that it changes our lives?

Constant of Change

There are very few certanties in this life. The sum total of my
experiences has led me this far. I do not know what is coming next; I
only know that it will be different than it is today.

We often make decisions based on a future that resembles the present.
It seems static at first glance, but if you watch, there is a
continuous and subtle change occuring. Every moment is unique.


Openness is a virtue although can feel like a curse. Open to new
ideas, and open to connect with people. Empathizing with the world and
the people we connect with.

Our empathy can reflect what is around us, sometimes good, and
sometimes bad. It is for this reason that we ought to search carefully
for beauty and wonder, else we lose our openness and instead learn to
be gaurded; we close ourselves from the bad. While this can save us
from reflecting and feeling stress it can also cause us to miss out on
all of the wonder.

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