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It’s amazing how many decisions must be made before someone can go float around on the ocean.  I’ve come to the point where I’m putting all my energies and thoughts into setting sail this fall.  Feel just about like I did when I decided to set off on my road trip two summers ago.  Back then I had a “classic” old jeep, and a million great ideas of what needed to be done before hitting the road.  Now I have a “classic” old sailboat and even more ideas on what needs to be done before I raise the sails.  Fear for my own safety was never a factor when leaving on my road trip, and I feel the same about leaving on the boat.  Certainly there will be moments at sea when fear and terror will over take me, and I look forward to living those moments out.  The ultimatum of death is not my decision to make, and if it happens at sea I want to be confident I made the right decisions leading up to that point.  Catastrophe at sea is a long ways off and the amount of issues to work out before then are many.  I have some of the necessary gear on board, some old, some new, most serviceable, but could probably use a bit more.  I feel I could spend forever trying to figure out what I need to sail south, but I’ll never really know till I get there.  I’ll spend this summer taking care of everything that pops into my head, for instances right now I’m thinking of the manual bilge pump I have yet to attain.  The list is long, and not everything will make it.  But just like when I left Oregon it’s going to require a lot of faith.  Seeing where I’ve made it to today, I’m glad I didn’t have everything I thought I needed when I hit the road.  Plus I can’t wait to get a little closer to being free from the rules, regulations, and most importantly expectations of civilized folk.

In a few more minutes it will be midnight. In a few more hours, about 9 of them, I’ll be in Klamath Falls Oregon. On the Amtrak Train somewhere above Oakland headed due north. It’s going to be cold in Oregon, last time I saw snow fall was in Charelston SC. It snowed on the palm trees and a local told me it’s not normal. I’m exhausted, but figure this should be a fantastic time to write. I have plenty of time, and I can write about returning to Oregon after being on the road since summer of 2009. When I left Bend Oregon in my thousand dollar Jeep Wagoneer I had no idea I’d be returning via the California border on a choo choo train. Of course this was the basic ambition when I left, to enter into a state of travel with little known and nothing intent. I did have one big desire when I packed my bags two summers ago. That desire now floats in a muddy little slough, surrounded by Otters and man eating Sea Lions, just inside the breaking waves of the central Californian Pacific Ocean. How was that for a description of the piece of water my 1963 Pearson Triton floats upon. She’s old and beat up, but as tough as they come. The perfect boat for me to tear into, learn to work on, and eventually sail. I’m almost certain my first sail will be down the Pacific Coastline, around Baja, and into the Sea of Cortez. Wether this happens next fall, or the next fall, I’m not worried about it at the moment. These past few weeks I’ve become way to caught up in working on the boat, rushing myself through each project, stressing as if I have a deadline to meet. A few factors are to blame…. one being a leaky old boat with the onset of central California’s rainy season, and the other being my new found love of epoxy work. Epoxy is my archenemy when it comes to working on my boat. No doubt I need the stuff to make Selene seaworthy, but the stuff will make you blow smoke out of your mouth when your not holding a cigarette, setup in the pot at about ten dollars a minute, and rob you of your sleep as you sit up late at night in your van praying to the boat gods that your epoxy is hardening. I was telling Sally the other day, people are going to start walking past the boat and saying to eachother…. “is that guy making an offering to the portside of his sailboat?”, as i sit hunched over the gunwale begging for the epoxy to like me. Anyways, I’ve tried to desribe for you just how much the stuff stress me out. So, as I go to my moms place in Oregon for a few weeks I’m going to unwind. Focus on the fact that I left oregon to buy a sailboat in Florida and now have a georgous sloop in California. I’m one step closer to my dream of traveling on the wind and water. Plus, I made partner with Youtube, if you don’t know look it up, it’s a big deal to me…. something I’ve been working towards since I first started sharing videos with you all. Thanks everyone for your wonderfull support and involvment in this journey of mine, I enjoy having you along.

Pretty wild, I’m arriving in Kalamath Falls in a couple hours…. if you watch my first few video travel logs, I got stuck in Kalamath Falls when I first started this trip. I was broke and abosuletly terrified that I would never reach my sailboat. Even wilder is the fact that I ended up driving all the way around the outer edge of the United Sates to find my boat just a days drive from where I started. And even wilder than all that is I got my boat, having started out with 0 dollars, losing the jeep in florida, and now the van in monterey. I did it, I’m alfoat!!

It’s been a while since I last wrote. If that doesn”t sound like a journal entry… either way, it’s been a while. It’s easy to write when I have a new boat, sitting on the old owners ball, and can’t find a place to put the new boat. But that’s all over now. Selene has a home and is in the slow process of being made over. I could try to write about the work I’m doing on the boat, but some of it I’d rather not re-live. The work that goes good, I’d rather not write about that either. I’m to afraid of writing myself into a confident stupor before tackling the next project. I will say the boat has a lot of needs, also leaks. Thankfully the leaks are all above the water line.
So yeah, when life is status quo, and I’m chugging along on boat projects, I can’t find the nerve to write blog entries. Now that I’ve got you real curious about what happened to make me want to write one, I’ll tell yeah. I just bought another boat. One of the inflatable varitey. A classic old bright red inflatable zodiac. It’s about 10 feet long, wood slots for a floor, and rated up to 10hp. Even has an inflatable keel. I figured I needed a way to keep my little 4hp outboard in shape, so why not get a zodiac. After purchasing the soon to be named(?) tender I went and purchased a Carne Asada Burrito, Wet. It was my first since getting back into California, it was authentic, and ohh how I’ve missed them.
So no, I didn’t really come online to write about a personal christmas gift to self, not that self indulgent. I came on to write about my Zodiac purchase experience. Kind of like a review for West Marine. Except I didn’t buy the thing at West Marine, I bought it off craigslist from a Raiders Fan in Oakland. He opened the door looking fit to fill the bill for the pirate logo on his sweatshirt. A geniune Oakland resident, and genuine human being. As he steps out his front door… “oh, your in a wheelchair” few minutes later “what happened?”. Before I got hurt I don’t know if I would of ever have had the guts to be as up front with my thoughts as he was. Often times I run into people and can see it in there eyes. The questions are burning inside, but their mothers told them don’t be rude. Forget it, as far as I’m concerned ASK THE QUESTIONS! If it’s already on your mind, spit it out. I’m not out trying to change the world for people in wheelchairs. But when I roll up to your door in a wheelchair, in Oakland, in the middle of a rain storm, at night, hoping to buy a tender for my sailboat, it’s OK to be curious.
The greatest thing about a person speaking what’s on their mind, we can get down to solid human interaction faster, share a real laugh, tell a good story, or even pick up on some advice. See, I’m already getting all inspiratinal, not my intention. I simply wanted to share with you how cool it is when people are up front from the get go. Now I get to drive home, or back to my van, with a big smile on my face and a good old deflated tender behind me. I probably should be spending the money on more fiberglass epoxy for Selene’s decks, but that stuff stresses me out. This zodiac is just what I need for the next time a boat job goes south, something to take out for a little spin.
As I sat and waited for my burrito from the Mexican joint, I dreamt about pulling my tender up to a beach on the Sea of Cortez and gorging myself on all the wonderful foods of Mexico. My latest thought on cruising destinations, as you can tell, are Baja bound.

There’s people that like to think they’re really good at coming up with a plan and then executing said plan. These people are completely disillusioned. The perfectly executed plan is make believe, satisfaction for the control freak. There will always be some unforeseen angle or circumstance that requires a small adjustment in the plan. “But the paper said it would be sunny today?”

If your like me, before beginning a plan, you’ve already accepted that the plan will be broken. The plan is another way of saying I’m going to start in this general direction, at some point i’ll probably be doing a complete one-eighty, but I will end up somewhere different.

So yeah, my boat is still sitting on a ball in Monterey Bay. There have been numerous plans, and even a few quickly muted attempts at moving the boat. I’m beginning to realize the problem thus far has been letting other people in on the plan. I think as a general rule, I scare people. At least when it comes to things like… “do you want to help me move my sailboat?”. People soon realize that my will to get this boat going is a bit on the dangerous, or even nutty, side. Ever since I was a kid I’ve found myself scaring off would be thrill seekers, usually soon after I’ve shared the plan. Even more scary, I’m now sharing these plans from the seat of a wheelchair.

Ah, who knows, maybe I’m just not suppose to have this boat. Maybe my plan is being altered and I’ve become the control freak. It’s frustrating to say the least. It seems every-time I think the boat is going to be moved, it doesn’t happen.

You know what I really think… I need to stop bitching, go hop on the boat, and move it myself. I don’t know why I’m so hung up on having somebody else with me. I think maybe too much talking with the previous owner has put this idea in my head. I bought this boat to sail solo around the world. Why would I not solo it across monterey bay? Well, I’ve never been on this boat or in this bay. Plus I haven’t equipped her yet. But, I have to start somewhere.

Yeah, somehow I got steered wrong. However, I am starting to think more clear as of late. The clear headed conclusion is…. wait for the weather window, crew or no crew, hop on the boat and get her into a slip.

There’s a storm brewing in the bay right now, as soon as it passes I’m getting my boat.

Nora’s sore is looking fantastic. Thanks for the prayers. It definitely didn’t heal as planned, but the dog is well on her way to squirrel chasing again.

Nick Jaffe of wrote a blog entry last week introducing his followers to my story. The number of people visiting my website has doubled since this kind mention. Much gratitude for the generous support of this way more experienced, fellow sailor.
Thanks Nick!

Saw Selene move for the first time today. She went for a jog through the harbor and sat in her possibly future slip. All thanks to her old owner Dale. Today was a trial to check her fitting in the slip, and she fits, goodness. Her job’s done, now I get to work on sizing up my finances to fit the marina’s fees. The most exciting part about today was being with Selene. She’s much heavier than my old Coronado 25′ which is exactly what I want for crossing oceans. Selene is a beauty and each time I get to be around her I grow to realize why she’s my boat.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not just a glutton for things that wear me down. Living out of a car for a year was not physically energizing. Picking up smoking again is not healthy. Buying a boat in need of tons of money and work is beyond overwhelming to the mind. But, I did start out last year in a car and camp around the entire country. My state count is now somewhere in the low 40’s. Leaving Oregon, well I didn’t even now if I was going to make it out of Oregon.

Now I seem to find myself again at point 0 to some extent. At times I think why did I ever give up the road to buy the boat. I had finally found myself comfortable on the road. Now, I’ve given up this comfort to transfer to the boat. Being a car camper is going to be a huge help in buying time to work on the boat. However, I have to figure out how to live out of a car, work on a boat, and start selling some photography, all together. That’s what’s on my mind the most lately. So much so that it’s hard to get excited about someday getting to sail on the boat. Just like leaving Oregon last year, these first few steps are going to carry the biggest burden. After a while the groove will set. Soon it will all be smooth sailing.

After all I did set out on the road trip to find my boat. Now I set off on the boat work to begin sailing the globe. I always figured the boat work phase would be the hardest part of this adventure. And, being that the road trip was so much more (both fulfilling and trying) than I could of ever imagined. It numbs my mind to think what this next adventure phase will involve.

I purchased a sailboat, almost. Still owe $200 on the ship, and should be able to take care of that tomorrow. The biggest hurdle right now is going to be finding a slip and getting the boat to the slip. It’s a 28.5′ Pearson Triton Sloop, absolutely gorgeous. Problem is she’s only sitting pretty right now, not exactly moving pretty. The engine was pulled and needs to be replaced. Probably with an outboard for now. Most likely the boat will need to be towed into a slip. However, slips are not so easy to come by. Anyone have info on getting into a slip in Monterey Bay?
I’m dead tired, and embarrassed to be writing in such a sad state. Should of tackled this post last night right after I purchased the boat and sat on cloud 9 for a while. The previous owner had me over to his place so I could get a hot shower. We’ve been talking sailing ever since. He had so many great ideas for the boat before his plans changed. It’s been good comparing my future ideas with his past ideas. He’s gone as far as offering to help work on the boat when need be, and I’ll definitely be taking him up on the offer. I’ve never experienced purchasing anything and then becoming friends with the person I’m purchasing a thing from. But this is what’s happening. I really have no flow for writing right now. My coherency has been rearranged by the greener things in life, thanks to a little celebratory puff with the sailboats old owner. The stuff always steals sleep from me!
Right now I’m in maniac mood, covering the internet with post hoping to find a little help tackling the even bigger step of finding my new boat a home. Thanks for the support, pictures should be coming tomorrow!

Looked at the sailboat yesterday.  It’s not for me.  I went down to the marina convinced this was the boat.  Arrived early and took in the location, it seemed perfect.  The marina showers where accessible, very big deal to me.  Nora made friends with a sea otter, it was hands down the coolest wild life experience of my trip.  The dog was out swimming in the harbor and a sea otter pops up 4 feet in front of her, both staring at each other.  Nora swims toward the otter as it dives under her.  She’s curious, sticks her head under water trying to find the otter.  Otter pops up behind her, slaps the water.  Nora flips around and swims right up to it, they bat at each other with paws and flippers.  The sea otter dives under her again, popping up behind her and making more noise, nora flips around it disappears again.  The game continued for a few minutes before the otter went back to eating barnacles from the bottom of a boat.  It was one of the rare moments I didn’t have access to my camera, if i did the animals meeting would have never happened.  The people at the marina were friendly, we talked and i enjoyed them.  It appeared like the right place for me, and I knew the boat would be right for me.  The environment was perfect, this had to be the place.   I saw the boat, it was definitely a project.  A 30′ cheoy lee sloop, a model I’ve liked for a long time.  The owner showed up, he was drunk.  I convinced myself he wasn’t, this was suppose to be my boat.  We climbed aboard, he showed me around.  Everything needed work, nothing was in working order.  The only solid part of the boat was the cabin, which is the one part of the boat I would be tearing apart anyways.  Still I used my mind to make this my boat, it had to be.  I’m tired of driving around, ready to have a steady place.  So what if the owner is drunk, that doesn’t mean he’s selling a bad boat.  I sat there for hours trying hard to convince myself that this was the boat.  The excuses and reasons piled, I left continuing my own mental persuasion.  I should of been the guy selling the boat, not only was I sober, but i did a great job of creating the ideal buyers picture.  Later that day I found a shower, it had been a while as usual.  Amazing how hot water can change your entire outlook on life.  I shut off the water and realized the boat wasn’t for me.  I had fallen in love with an idea advertised on craigslist.  I was ready to finish my adventures in the van and move onto something new.  Thank goodness I gave it a prayer before showing up that day.  I saw another ad on craigslist today.  This time a Pearson Triton 28′ Sloop.  I’ll let you know.

Todays campsite is an actual government sanctified piece of ground designated for citizens wanting to sleep in the woods. It’s official name is Jenny Lake Campground and is located inside the Grand Tetons National Park. Majority of the time I refuse to stay anywhere inside a National Park, often I’ll drive out of my way to avoid staying in them. The main reason being all the government employees running around playing zoo keeper.

I decided to leave the confines of my campste and venture out into Uncle Sams wilderness. My planned trip involved a twenty yard roll to the restrooms and back. I made it all the way to the restrooms event free only to find the handicap and other numerous stalls out of order. No big deal, there’s probably another handicap accessible stall in this 55 site campground. Nope. Now if I was up in the forest all by myself like a real camper I’d pull up to the front of the car and hang my dareeair between the wheelchair and the bumper. However I’m surrounded people so I have to keep my dairyarh? contained.

So I make the decision to roll down the road and relieve myself in the proper man made hole at the visitors center. It was a nice long roll past plenty of stunning vistas painted on the back RVS. The hole at the visitors center worked properly and I was relieved.

I strolled back from the visitors center, amidst the crowds, with Nora trotting politely at my side. A little ways down the path I spotted one of my fellow government check receivers. I get the disability kind of check, he gets the park ranger kind of check. He can fine me, I can’t fine him. I had a good of idea of what was coming. But, I figured maybe since Nora was wearing her bright blue harness and in stride right beside the wheelchair I stood a chance. Nope. “Sir”, when the first words out of a Rangers mouth are “Sir” I know he’s not about to ask what kind of dog is that. “Sir, is this your dog”, no, it’s probably one of the random black labs with blue harnesses that like chasing people in wheelchairs. That should of been my response, however I opted for an old fashioned “Yes”. At this point Nora and I are passing by the green clad dude with Name Badge. My thought process here was keep your cool, express your true thoughts and this trip to the Pisser could go all the way to the Can. I also realized the Name Badge was old with a walking stick, we were on a flat paved surface, and the speed advantage was in my favor. As I began to speed up down the path I overheard “You need to have him on a leash”. Without turning around, or even bothering to reach out and grab Nora(still in stride beside the wheelchair), I said “OhhhhK” and sped on down the path. Nobody chased me. I even passed more park rangers with communication devices on their hips. There must not of been any APBs put out on the dude in a wheelchair with service dog at his side.

We made it all the way back to the van, almost. Coming around the corner to our campsite I view a dozen kids plucked straight of an Eddie Bauer Outdoors Advertisement standing in a row facing my van. They were being talked to by yet another Park Ranger. This one happened to be of the sexier variety. Long strawberry blonde hair, and taking her job very seriously. I roll up and realize she’s talking to the kidos about something in my campsite. Awesome, I’m going to get my first real glimpse of a Grizzly Bear and there’s a pretty little park ranger to complete the scene. Nope. This park ranger is walking around giving youngsters the inside scoop on policing campers, like myself, on bear storage regulations. Not how to store bears, but storing to avoid bears. My campsite looks pretty good, everything’s inside the van, except my solar shower bladder out soaking in the sun. She informs me that they’re discussing wether or not my campsite is within regulations with the shower bladder lying in the dirt. This is when my mouth finally gets going… “Oh, in case a bear gets thirsty” I say. I found it to be a nice light hearted resposne, she apparently didn’t. She explained that it was similiar to having a water bottle in camp and that bears can’t distinguish between water bottles and gatorade bottles. Also, that if a bear assumed it was a gatorade bottle he might take it for a rewarding treat. Now this would all make great sense if I was standing outside a cage at the San Diego Zoo, but being in wild bear country I was confused on the whole idea of bear confusing my shower bladder for a rewarding treat? Anyways, she ended up being very kind and left with the statement that she doesn’t normally give out tickets for shower bladders. She was definitely not joking, I myself was also ready for the two of us to put all kidding aside.

There was a dude Park Ranger taking up the rear of the group. He smiled and commented on how my site was good and bear proof. Adding that all the kidos had agreed unanimously that I was is in the clear. Being that he kept his mouth shut til his partner was out of ear shot, I could till he also was smitten with the strawberry blonde taking her job so seriously.

I’ve yet to meet any law enforcing person that can explain how I’m suppose to push a wheelchair and manage a leash at the same time.

sittin with my shirt off, pants fallin off my waiste, and just plain lovin time up in the black hills. the very top of bear mountain is my parking spot, and nobody can hear my thoughts so i speak them out loud. there’s country music on the radio, you’ll be able to tell by the words I use to relay myself to ya. all the doors are open on the van and the view shoots out for a hundred miles in any way i look. pine beetles and fires have been putting a lot of work in the surounding woods, but it doesn’t bother me. The skies are as blue as the bird i saw sitting on an old fence post when i first pulled up. Some clouds are sittin on my left, and growing bigger every time i look. looking out across the pine fallen hills i can see the soft green grass filling back in. almost like watching history in reverse as the grasslands take back over. who knows maybe if i stay long enough the dessert sand will start to show. ahhh, they’re tryin to run some ads on the radio, off she goes. The breeze sounds better anyways. ontop of the car sits a black bag of water heatin in the sun. Have you ever had a hot shower atop bear mountain in south dakota? i’m checking it off my list here in a few. This day is just what I need, and I’m so thankful to be here. Lately I’ve spent to much time running around towns and bars, trying to be around people. Just aching to get my fill. But there’s no such thing as full when it comes to bars and people. So i’m off in the woods being still for a few days. The fourth of july is just around the corner and I can go wade around in the half empty bucket then.

Just finished taking a KOA Campground shower, no way I’d pay the camping rates, but a five dollar shower is A OK by me. I’ve been staying in the National Forest campgrounds for the past few nights. It’s been great to be around some people. Fellow travelers to sit and chat with for a few minutes. There’s a beautiful young girl cleaning the shower stalls with an equally young boy. I began this trip with the ambition of being out by myself. Planting my car up in the middle of nowhere and doing nothing in the quiet peaceful scenery. I’ve had a lot of that, now my desire has shifted towards human interaction. I constantly find myself wishing to share the experience with someone. I’ll be cooking dinner, sitting beside a creek with nora, or watching a spectacular thunder storm and imagine teleporting someone I know or have met to my location. Just to share in the joy of the surroundings. Words to write are slow to come, usually they come fast. My whole entire process has slowed to a crawl. The excitement of being on the road is all but almost gone. No doubt there’s still exciting moments. When I first started the exciting moments were coming into a new territory, hearing a great story from some local folks, catching a fish on the river, watching the sun set. Now it’s getting stuck in the sand, having a forest ranger run my information, or surviving a near miss on the road. Not really the exciting moments one should want on a road trip, definitely not the ones I want. Sadly, these are the few times when my emotions seem to rise anymore. I went into a bar in Medora South Dakota, hoping for some human interaction. But I was to much of a stranger. Sat for 4 hours, eyes glued to the basketball game on tv, talking only with the bar tender when another drink was due. I’m debating wether or not to go into downtown Deadwood again tonight, but I know for certain it’s a worthless attempt. Bars are for drinking, and the human interaction is always second rate. I could drive down the road to find another campground, but i’d rather not spend money on a campground every night. So I’ll boon dock tonight somewhere around Deadwood. If someone is going to approach me they better be a shell cracker. My mind has become a bit numb, and my creativity in writing is lost to me.

Here’s an excerpt from an email I sent home to Mom a few days back, break up the depression a little…

“so Nora just about ended our trip this morning.
We were checking out the national forest, stopped to take some
pictures of the prairie dogs along the road, nora was in the passenger
seat, she saw one and flew out my window as I was taking pictures,
straight to the hole which she stuck her nose down.  I kid you not, as
soon as the dogs feet hit the ground a Park Ranger came around the
bend.  Me sitting in the car and nora running up to the prairie dogs
hole.  It took alot of explaining and apoligizing, 5 minutes of him on
the radio in his car staring at me, and then finally we were let go
with a verbal warning.  Anyways, all in all we’re still doing good.
Saw some giant Bison within a few feet from the car today as well,
norah wasn’t as sure of her self on that occasion.”

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