You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.

Life’s never grand always, but its better on the road, most days. Living along highways, and new towns every other day, requires the acceptance of transition. Circumstances never remain the same. Today it’s cloudy, yesterday it was sunny. Yesterday my head ached terribly, today it seems to be recovering. Tomorrow will most definitely be different. I have only one hang up with completely letting go while time and the road pass me by as I stand peacefully still amidst the currents of transition. It’s all the damn rules of man, aggressively dictating the decisions being made in my mind. Almost the very reason behind decisions themselves, the rules man’s made. Without them we may no longer have to decide. I’d sit right here all day… shit, eat, sleep. But it’s not my property, the tea I purchased bought me momentary space. In time, my time here will be up. I’ll be forced to cut my stay, no matter how long I really wanted to stay. Would it be possible for humans to pass in peace? Feeling no need to think of the other, just a smell and a sight, no thought, no reason, just being. I write to achieve nothingness. Which is a mistake of mine I guess. I always seem to get here. Which is where I’m not sure I’m relaying anything, or even doing something, besides putting letters and then words one after the other. I’m driving across the country for My sakes, and have nothing better to type. Let me think of a story. Ah… yesterday I met Bob Ketchum. He makes maple syrup, milk, and red meat. Also likes to say something like “eeeeaar” intermittently as he shares. He was much older than me, yet seemed younger in spirit. Grew up on his dads farm in Vermont. It’s now his. I first met him in his maple stand mid morning. Mid morning for me, I’m sure it was late morning for him. Bobs really skinny, not tall. Has wild eyes behind thick plates of glass. Wears a farmers cap of course. You know the ones that the obnoxious guy who married Demi Moore constantly wears. Bobs voice is high, he talks like a guy dealing in maple syrup. His best friend is a ferocious, cow heel biting, dog. I bought some syrup, filled up my water bottles, then drove across the river to relax for the day. Later that day I had the inclination that somebody would be stopping by to visit. I had been sitting alone next to the White River all day. Guy in a wheelchair sitting alone by a river all day is bound to gain company. To my surprise it was not some depressing george aimed to relate his miserable life to my assumed also miserable life, it was Bob! He’d been working the farm for the past nine hours and was getting ready to go another nine. Since I told Bob that the bottle of maple syrup I purchased was for my uncle he decided to bring over one for me, “on the farm”. He really made my day. We sat and he shared his story, all having happened in the river valley that surrounded us. He caught giant brown trout after school as a boy, saw a small dirt road turn into a highway listed as Most Scenic Drive by a book, went to war, and came back to take over his fathers farm. I wish I had a more romantic story to tell you from Bob, but he was just a farmer and that’s why I liked him most. Sure he saw I was in a wheelchair, asked what had happened, and then shared his own near death experience. Seems to be common human nature, when stumbling across someone in a wheelchair, to share a personal health hazardous occasion. It may not have been nearly as bad a hazard, but atleast their minds will be a little more at ease while dealing with the sight of other human in wheelchair. So no romantic farm boy stories, and Bob hit a sore spot with me by sharing his own sad story. You may say, there’s no great substance here Jordan. But there was, it was Bob, he was a farmer. The man cared for nothing more than working his farm. He had done this for 80 hours a week since returning from the war. I don’t know which one. Bob had found what he loved in life, and thought of nothing more. Human relations where nothing but stories to him. He brought me the syrup to hear a bit of mine, I don’t think he felt one of his own. His story existed in the land sitting across the river from us, and no words could converse it. I liked Bob cause he existed in what he did, and loved what he did, and needed nothing more. Reasons meant little, the farm meant everything. His only concern in life was what would happen to the farm when he was gone, and he would work it until the day came. This is what I can tell you about the day Bob and I sat beside the river. The water moved swift and clear. A farmer told me about the grand job the environmentalist had done cleaning up the river, and how the brown trout were all gone now. Bob’s a lactose intolerant dairy farmer who makes maple syrup on the side. I’m thankful I met him.

I tell this to nora all the time, and now it’s my turn. I’m traveling across the country, any which way I want, the freedom is mine. Lately this has all been wasted on my attempt to record and share via youtube videos. Half an hour ago I made the decision to quit. I’ll keep recording the adventure, but wait till I’m done to edit and upload the story. The relief is slowly setting in, I’m still exhausted. The weather hasn’t been helping, it’s cold and wet. I’m tired of being around large urban populations. All too often this is what’s required to find a big enough connection for uploading videos. No longer, I will now spend my trip finding the most remote and out of the way locations, relaxing. The videos where helping to build up sponsorship money for the sailboat but I’m not going to worry about that, I’m just going to enjoy the ride. Also focus more on writing, which I seem to be bit slow at right now. Till next time.

and iMovie will be ready for my video editing expertise. The line between solitude and commune is thickening. Today I transitioned. Went from being completely alone aside a roaring creek to surrounded by humans and my electronics in a cafe. There’s an even larger roaring creek beyond the patio of the cafe and yet it seems so much smaller than the one I was along this morning. Can you tell I’m a bit agitated? I’ll have to start writing on pen and pad for a few of these entries, or your never going to catch me at peace. The computer is being a bitch, and my time is running out in the cafe, money wasted is agony gained. Dreamingly i consider walking away from it all, no more connections, no more electronics, no more money. But how? The electronics easy… but the currency part is tough. I’d try bartering, but my skills seem to be confined to electronics. I’d have to learn to make something with my hands, sell on the side of the road, then I’d be back to the money. I need to learn more about survival, providing for myself off land. But who am I kidding? I’d be rolling up into my solitude using a wheelchair that I have no idea how to create from scratch. My guess is no one does… sure one guy knows how to make metal, another knows how to shape it, somebody can create rubber, somebody else can create the mold, and then simple old joe handles the assembly. But me all alone up in the woods, i’d have to develop my own transportation. Something I knew how to create and could maintain. Probably a boat. This is part of my longing to be on the sea. Transporting oneself is much different at sea. Nobody walks around on the water except Jesus. The rest of us are reduced, or maybe upgraded, to swimmers. Depends on who you ask. I feel much more capable and equal to able bodied people when in the water. Not that I care about being equal or similar to anyone. I’m saying it makes my physical life seem more able. I can float, I can paddle, I can drift, I can sail. Then I just have to figure out the food part and I should be good.

SunriseSitting in Isabele’s Coffee shop in Bethel, Maine waiting on videos to upload. I gotta use the restroom, then the creative juices will flow. Hopefully I’ll be less vulgar as well, hold on. Well now wait, there’s a girl in there now. She served me my turkey apple rueben sandwich, almost delicious. The apples were sour, I expected sweet. Tried to get over my expectations, couldn’t. However, the turkey was chunky, peeled right of the bone. Like a turkey sandwich the day after thanksgiving, it was nice. I think she’s done, hold on… well now I’m relieved, and a little less inspired than I thought I’d be. Somedays I know exactly what I’m doing, others the world is so big I think nothing can be done. It’s fun being human, and never really knowing what’s next, however nerve racking the experience. I looked at nora the other day and thought she knows what’s happening. I mean everything. The reasons why as well. It was simple and beautiful in her eyes. Then somebody sent me a link to a video that relates God to Dog. Yes, spell either one backwards and you get the other, how very clever. One created the other, both are mans best friend, both wait on man, both love man. This the video relayed. All I could think about was the God creating dog part… did he really create all this for us? Yeah, I’m not getting into this discussion. I don’t like God most days, he seems lost himself. His stories are so egotistical somedays. I created this for you to enjoy, you messed it up, let me send and kill my only son to save you, and the worlds gonna end any day now. I do like finding reason in life, but it doesn’t have to be because I was created. It could just be because I am, and can relate to you and them. The only reason that God seems necessary is the right and wrong we all know and feel. Those everyday concerns of “is this going to benefit or harm”, and we really don’t have a clue. Yet, it seems with each move, each way we choose, somedays end up bad and some good. I think that’s the relativity game, we have created comparison based on our feelings and response. Understanding that somethings are gratyfing and some not. But why must we try to relay that one is bad and one is good? Do you ever feel like your right there on the edge of knowledg’s horizon? about to see through it all. And then I get scared, knowing that ultimate knowledge is probably ultimately boring. However it doesn’t discourage me from trying to look over the edge just out of curiosity. What if you were the only one who didn’t know, the rest were playing the game to keep you wondering?

My body and head ache from exhaustion, absolutey no motivation remains in me.  It’s not bad, i’ve accepted my current state.  But just because it’s not bad doesn’t mean i don’t wish it was different.  It’s my due sacrifice in return for the atlantic sunrise I witnessed this morning.  Sitting atop Cadillac mountian at about five fifteen a.m. I was one of the first people in the U.S. to see the sun today.  Didn’t make the occassion any more brilliant, being awake for the sun is always an exhilarating experience.  The lady sitting next to me asked if it was dorky to cry at sunsets, she was crying.  My response should of been no, however it is extremely dorky to try and record the power of a sunset on a video camera and then post said video to youtube.  At about five thirty this morning I had already accomplished my biggest task of the day and was beginning to feel tired.

It’s noon now and i’m spent, nothing left but, i froze on the but so forget it.

I wonder how in the world I’m going to manage sailing, singlehanded, around the world.  Not quite sure I want to go around, but sure I want to sail across a few oceans.  California to Hawaii would be my first, and if I can’t handle one sleepless night? how could I possibly handle 30 of them across the pacific? I’m still determined.  The situation will be different, my motives will be stronger sitting atop a sailing vessel versus nestled in the corner of a library in Bar Harbor, Maine.

This morning I realized a simple life philosophy behind one of the games I often play in my head.  I was getting out from under the covers into a sitting position, not easy when your legs don’t work.  Before I grabbed the seatbelt handle for the non existent van seats and yanked myself up, I thought in my head “finish this task and you’ll be able to make it driving across this country”.  I do this all the time, cross this curb and you’ll make it the 10 miles down the sidewalk.  It’s the old one step at a time philosophy.  But for me it’s also a simple acknowledging of the relativity of events.  The physical act of getting out of bed is really quite similar to driving across the country.  They both start out as thoughts of the mind, all thats left is the action.

Just found the second tick on Norah thus far.  Thus far, since I left Oregon last august.  I worry about the dog way to much, but’s she’s my only buddy on the road.  She doesn’t care which direction we’re headed, wether we stay in a walmart parking lot or bluff on the atlantic, norah’s my always happy rider.  I’m learning that the northeast has the largest US populations for ticks, and lyme disease is our enemy.  How do I make the transistion from Lyme Disease to the beautiful state of Maine?  There is none.  This state is incredible.  It sits sticking out from a firm plantation in the northeast corner of the United States.  Far enough away from the throbbing sore of New York, and the surrounding metropolitan areas.  The biggest town is Portland, strikingly and ironicly like Portland Oregon.  I’m trying to write like a travel guide, and it’s not working.  It’s sunday morning and I’m tired, thanks to the rain clouds hanging outside.  I’ve been experiencing about 5 days a week of sunshine and 2 of rain since entering Maine.  The sunny days are amazing.  Mixed with the ocean air and beach bum pine trees the atmosphere is exhilarating.  Thus when it rains I find myself feeling a bit exhausted.  So I’ll drink some more earl grey and try to give you more.

I had my first Maine Lobster yesterday.  An old man brought it in to me on a medium sized white trawler, aka a lobster boat.  He didn’t personally hand me the lobster put are paths did cross later that day.  The location was south deer isle.  Norah and I spent the day hanging around the fishing docks.  Across a very small cove sat the Isle a Haut(i think), a small waterfront town.  There are short steep hills covered in pine and leave trees huddled in so close it’s a wonder they don’t bother eachother.  The trees display the brightest and limyest of greens, it’s very early spring still. They work their way down through tiny bright houses to meet the oceans edge.  For the entire visit the ocean was calm as a mountian lake in august.  I’m guessing this is due to the thousands of islands and barrier penisulas that edge out maine’s coastline.  Where the ocean meets this small town sits giant rock formations, some climbing 10 or 20 feet out at high tide, others making there appearance as the water retreats.  These rocks are not jagged but smooth and warn, imagine petrified sand dunes.  That could be what they actually are, who knows.  They’re shaded in soft ambers, browns, and yellows.  Plenty hard for the seagulls to drop and split clams on.  The tide comes in and out quickly during the day, providing a new scene every time I look.  This is what I watched all day long.

About a hundred feet from a our spot is a small lobster dock.  Two guys stand around going through cigarettes, caffiene, and classic rock.  In between standing around they work as hard and as fast as Americans use to know how.  Each boat brings a quick break from the cigarettes and caffeine, and before the catch knows what’s happened it’s out of the salt water and lying on ice.  One of the two guys on the docks brings his black lab named blue to work.  Blues a male, and norahs a female, the rest is history.  Both incapable of mating, they spent the entire day running across the rocky waters edge with the pine trees above.  Blues owner and I talked the most.  He was real friendly.  Not the “real friendly” you hear someone say in a slow southern draw.  I’m mean the guy really approached me as a friend, it was comforting.  We talked mostly about our dogs, he had questions about my road trip and I had questions about his work.  This was good conversation.

I watched as the two guys unloaded the old mans lobsters and then asked for one myself.  Blue’s owner handed me a dark red and black, very cold, slightly subdued, rock hard crustaceans with rubber bands on it’s claws.  From his hand to mine, not sure what I was dealing with I set the lobster on my lap.  I asked Blues owner how much, he said free, my response was a smile filled thanks.   I believe this moment was the first I had ever held a lobster and probably the third or fourth that I had eaten one.  Earlier in the day a youtube video instructed me on how to cut and fry a lobster.  No pots in the van so frying was my only option.

With my knife pointed down between, what would be the equivalent of, the lobsters shoulder blades, I thrust.  In a matter of seconds, very noisy seconds, my lobster was split down the middle.  I sat in front of the cove, my two part lobster lying on a rock, staring out over the water happy to be.  Both halves went into the frying pan and came out tasting as golden meat should, as good as gold.

I like Maine.  People here are as real as they get on the east coast.  I find myself carrying my camera around and not finding a thing to shoot all day.  Not due to the lack of picturesque surroundings, it’s just so overwhelming.

Inside Passage Satellite Tracker

my course

my course

Support My Adventures