John Steinbeck’s “Western Flyer” to Sail Once Again

John Steinbeck’s “Western Flyer” to Sail Once Again

We peered through the Port Townshend Shipwrights Co-op doorway, the smell of machinery and wood filling the cavernous building along with a chorus of power tools. “Come on in. You can see what’s going on from overhead.” One of the workers pointed to stairs leading to...
The Last Free Place in America

The Last Free Place in America

There were no signs leading to our destination. We only knew that it was located about twenty miles from the Salton Sea, and cell service was spotty at best as we kept an eye on our GPS. We rolled into Slab City well after sunset, and driving unfamiliar dirt roads...
Apocalypse Now: The Demise of California’s Largest Lake

Apocalypse Now: The Demise of California’s Largest Lake

The dying lake faded into an eerie haze as we stood atop a layer of sun-bleached fish carcasses. The lack of wind and numbing silence only added to the surreal feeling of standing at the edge of the world, teetering toward an apocalyptic end of days. The springtime...
California Dreaming: Keeping the Coast Oil-Free

California Dreaming: Keeping the Coast Oil-Free

It’s easy to daydream about California beaches in the middle of winter, especially when eight feet of snow is piled outside one’s window. I enjoy life at the 6200-foot level, but this is the time of year I’d also enjoy some warm sand under my feet. And additional...
Zen and the Art of Snow Shoveling

Zen and the Art of Snow Shoveling

I first mastered the finer points of living in snow country after moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to a small community college in the Sierra foothills. Sharing a cabin near Sonora pass with a ski patrol and fellow classmate, “Snow Shoveling 101” was added to...
Navigating the Sagebrush Ocean: Part 2

Navigating the Sagebrush Ocean: Part 2

The road markers drift past in rhythmic sequence, keeping the highway beat as asphalt stretches to the horizon and meets the sky. This time of year is a race with the sun, a battle to take advantage of every minute of daylight. Short winter days often result in more...
Navigating the Sagebrush Ocean: Part 1

Navigating the Sagebrush Ocean: Part 1

I wasn’t able to post in Changing Tides last week due to time spent traveling the first of two road trips. Driving across Nevada’s high mountain desert provided the opportunity to clear my head of day-to-day obligations and allowed for some much needed...
How I Never Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

How I Never Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

My early fascination for nuclear proliferation began after watching Stanley Kubrick’s classic cold war film, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Although the movie appeared in theaters in 1964, I watched it for the first time on our...
Rockin’ in the Freeze World

Rockin’ in the Freeze World

On a small arctic island, a rumble reverberated across the tundra as government-built houses rocked sideways. On Sunday morning, August 24, 2018, the Alaska Earthquake Center recorded a magnitude 6.4 earthquake fifty-two miles southwest of the village of Kaktovik....
Someone to Ride Shotgun

Someone to Ride Shotgun

Long, solo road trips not only offer the opportunity to enjoy new landscapes and people along the way—they also provide ample time to explore uncharted territory within one’s own head. It’s self-reflection “quality time” and a chance to allow thoughts to twist and...
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