A curated life?

Welcome to California smoke

I recently read an article that referred to social media as a way to live ‘a perfectly curated life.’ Hmmm, is that what we’re doing with this blog? Featuring the perfect? Sweeping everything else under the proverbial analog rug?

Not really. We’re genuinely having great fun. Some days are outrageous – we climb mountains, see unbelievable views, swim in crystal clear lakes. We do tend to emphasize these in our posts, though some days are ordinary and we do laundry and go grocery shopping, while other days have hiccups like flat tires and roads suggested by GPS that turn into singletrack. It’s all part of the great adventure.

Except for wildfires.

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What a difference a day makes

Hazy? Morning mist? Nope. Wildfire smoke. Columbia River near Pateros, WA.

We left Glacier intending to head west toward North Cascades National Park. We meandered through western Montana, following the Clark Fork Valley through pretty pine forests, reaching Lake Pend D’Oreille in Idaho. The pine forests gave way to rolling hills and eventually those amber waves of grain (the wheat belt of eastern Washington). Cresting a hill, we got our first view of the Columbia River Valley in the form of Lake Roosevelt, behind the Grand Coulee Dam. Following the river, which retains a certain natural beauty despite having been heavily engineered for power generation and irrigation, we passed through miles of fruit orchards surrounded by green hills and more sagebrush.

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A note on Southern Utah

Southern Utah is beautiful! However, cell coverage and wifi are nearly as sparse here as palm trees in the high desert. It looks like we’ll be updating blog posts in batches, and perhaps adding photos/albums as we find bandwidth!

We were approached by another hiker who asked if it was our first time in Utah. Yes, yet how did he know? First timers tend to take an extraordinary number of photos. He was right! So, please excuse our (temporary?) hyperphotophilia. Our oversized albums are a small fraction of that extraordinary number…

Across Georgia – Atlanta to the Okefenokee Swamp

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We were heading from Alabama through Georgia, on towards Florida. Atlanta beckoned because of the potential for a visit with an old friend. From Atlanta, on a relatively direct path to Melbourne FL was a big splotch of green on the map Рthe Okefenokee Swamp. (Remember Pogo?) Never having visited this or any major swamp, we set our course.

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Scratching the surface of the Deep South II: Alabama

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My cousin Jeanette is 12 years older than me. Although we grew up in the same small NH town, we never got to know each other. (She did, however, know my cousin, Jean.) At 18, Jeanette joined the army and got married a couple years later, not to return to our home town (except for visits after I had moved away). As her husband, Ron, made a career of military policing, they lived in many different and interesting places, including 2 assignments in Germany. They retired in Anniston, AL, site of Ron’s last military assignment. We met at a memorial service about a year ago and made plans to meet up at some time in the near future and get to know each other.

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Scratching the surface of the Deep South I: Mississippi

Howlin' Wolf MuseumWith Memphis in the rear view mirror, we knew we’d have to pick up the pace a bit to visit a few people and get back to VT before the snow flies. Although up to this point neither of us had ever stepped on Mississippi or Alabama soil, we had to resign ourselves to visiting these states as more or less a drive-by, and make plans to visit again in the future.

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