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 […]

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 […]

A friendship in spite of a history

I like small town historical museums, where in just a few hours you can glean nuggets of insight about a time and place. These museums usually present the stories that a passionate group of town elders want to preserve for future generations. Sure, they highlight the positive and sometimes gloss over or ignore some of […]

Drive-by geology

It’s hard to go exploring in the West and not get a little interested in geology. In a few days’ drive you get crags of rock sticking up from a normal-looking dirt hill, cliffs of hexagonal rock columns, flat desert as far as you can see, high valleys ringed by even higher peaks, cinder cones […]

Rooting for sea stars

I’m not a northwest native – just a transplant. But I love Washington’s beaches, most especially the beach along Birch Bay in the top left corner of the country, just a few miles from the Canadian border. When my family discovered this faded beach town about 15 years ago on an accidental vacation, we immediately […]

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Posted in Exploring, The Pacific Northwest

Walking with butterflies

On a rainy Seattle day, when spring break has grandmas and aunts hunting for adventure indoors, I highly recommend the Butterfly House at the Pacific Science Center. Even jaded, media-saturated kids and parents can regain a sense of wonder when butterflies land on their heads.