Posted in Airstream, Next, The Pacific Northwest

A ramble a little too late

After you’ve spent a year tripping through all corners of the country, you can’t drive around the Northwest without taking new notice of your surroundings, almost seeing it with an outsider’s eyes. I have a fresh appreciation for a serrated ridge spattered with mist, a bleached stretch of desert, a snuff-colored basalt skyscraper. It’s been almost […]

Posted in Next, The Pacific Northwest

Eighteen years

Eighteen years sounds like a long while, until you’ve raised a child or two, and you see how fast that time slides by. In 18 years they learn to read, to swim, to like broccoli, to like the opposite sex. They go from reading about cute talking animals to Jack London to Kafka. They grow […]

The faces in the floor

Recognizing faces is in our genes. Two eyes, a mouth, a nose between. Knotholes and nail holes are faces I see. Really just planks from an old pine tree. Once I started finding faces in the floor, I just couldn’t help but find some more.     Some look mean and some look nice. Some look […]

Flagging our identity

It’s funny how out-of-towners notice what you take for granted. Driving around Seattle with my California sister recently, I saw the city with fresh eyes when she finally asked, what’s with the big “12” flags all over the place? I explained the significance of the “12th Man” in the success of our home team Seattle […]

Posted in Next

Thinking on purpose

Every year, along with wet skies and yellow leaves, fall brings the end of frivolous sunny days and the onslaught of back to school—that sense that it’s time to get serious again. It’s a deeply ingrained impulse that I’ve just recognized as one source of my restlessness. I’m feeling an unfamiliar lack of a sense […]

Five little movies to trip the U.S. with us!

It’s been a month now since we returned to Birch Bay, on July 30th, after 14 months on the road, and I’ve just finished five little movies with highlights from our Tin Can Tour. Each covers a broad region of the country that we explored: eight or ten states in just 15-25 minutes! If you want to […]

Along the way: The Southwest and the rest of the West

I’m sitting down to start this last “Along the way” blog on our last night along the way—our last before we arrive back in Birch Bay, WA, tomorrow (on July 30). We’re both feeling slightly stunned that it’s over. It still feels a bit like we’re just getting started; that is, until we look back […]

Posted in Exploring, Oddities

Give me a sign: Finding our way across America

Until you drive around the country for a year, you don’t appreciate the diversity of signs that get us from here to there. And now they’re also helping us mark our progress along the way. Watching this 8-minute video, you can follow along with us as we navigate our way around rural roads and city thoroughfares; […]

Posted in Along the way, Exploring, Oddities

What you can learn from billboards

In 1965, Lady Bird Johnson wanted the highways clear of billboards and junkyards, and filled with green landscaping and wildflowers. But the powerful billboard industry wasn’t having it. The battle to pass a law to control the proliferating highway ads was fierce. President Lyndon Johnson told his cabinet “You know I love that woman and […]

The anecdote and the data

Spending a year traveling the country is one way to observe some striking similarities and differences across regions. Of course it’s the differences that make me curious. There are Target stores and McDonalds absolutely everywhere. You’ll find Waffle House in the South and Bob Evans in the Midwest. There are ranch-style ramblers and manufactured homes all over. […]