Seattle Spring Evenings

Rumors of beach fire bans … Untrue.
A Seattle Spring Evening tradition continues for now.
Budget cuts threaten evening warmers.
as they threaten everything else.
So what do I care about?

THIS:

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555 Soul

5 Days

5 Wineries

5 Breweries

That’s triple five soul!

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Thursday evening we arrive in Kennewick. The wind is blowing, and a fine dust covers the tri-cities as is normal. A nice dinner, some wine, and lots of sleep.
Friday is a day of wine. 3 wineries, Tagaris, Barnard Griffin, and J. Bookwalter, all reside on the same block. That’s easy wine tasting. All were good. Next we wound through a new suburban development community to find Badger Mtn. Vineyards and Powers Winery. Excellent. Best stop of the day by far. The Powers Cabernet Sauvignon was one of the favorites. For all you wine snobs who think good wines only come in bottles with corks, get over it! This is a box wine, and it’s great. $22 got us a box, the equivalent to 4 bottles, and it’s good for 90 days after opening. No bottle can boast that. I learned more at this winery than anywhere else, and they had the largest selection of reds for tasting, many of which (the Badger Mountain wines) were Certified Organic. Highly recommended.
After 4 wineries and multiple dozens of varieties of wines under our belts, we decided to make the drive down to the Columbia Crest Winery, which is one of Washington States larger wineries. A little disapointing once we arrived, for no real reason. Maybe cause Powers / Badgers Mnt. was so good.
Saturday we stop for lunch at Ice Harbor Brewery. At Ice Harbor, every time a train goes by, they spin a wheel on the wall, and for the next ten minutes, that’s the price of beer. We ordered our beers 2 minutes before the train went by. Such is luck. We drive along the Columbia river and found a small plot of land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers that has nice maintained free campsites on the river bank. A view of Mt. Hood of note, and the relaxing overwhelming sounds of the passing Burlington Northern freight trains.




On sunday, we began driving along the Columbia again, but on the Oregon side, and all of a sudden I started screaming “get off, get off, here, exit” I saw the Full Sail brewery in Hood OR. The first tour of the day started 10 minutes after we arrived. Just enough time to down a pint then go look at some really big steel barrels. Sweet.
The scenic Highway waterfall route was great, a couple of really tall waterfalls. Several more hours of driving and we find our selves hungry and tired in Astoria OR. Just our luck. Our first stop was Fort George Brewery. We order beers and get handed mason jars. I like this place already. The Vortex IPA is my new favorite IPA. It has such a fresh hops taste, it almost tastes like it was brewed with marijuana. Nice and bitter, and just DAMN good. They sell growlers to go at Fort George. They cost $10.50 and for that you get a half gallon mason jar filled with your favorite beer. Mmmmhhmm. We also stopped at another brewery, but it was overshadowed by the lingering pleasure of the Vortex IPA. We crossed the lovely 101 bridge into WA to camp at Cape Disapointment State Park.

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On the way home, since it just happened to be on the way, we stopped in Olympia for lunch at the Fish Tail Brewery. Good Beer, Good Food. Good enough.

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Direct Route Home

Eshowe
drive
Durban
plane
taxi
Cape Town
taxi
plane
plane
drive
Pensylvania
drive
New York
train
train
plane
taxi
bus
taxi
Montreal
train
bus
taxi
plane
plane
drive
home
Seattle

That was the direct route I took home from Eshowe. 3 weeks later I landed. I’m home, for now.

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Bikes move, Cars lose

In Seattle, I got yelled at by and into an argument with a private security gaurd, working in a private building (one of the toasters) about me locking my bike on a public sidewalk to a public parking meter.

In Montreal the parking meters have bike racks built in.

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Oh really???

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Sometimes guys get mad when you sit down in the middle of the street and start taking photos.

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Bikes flow through the bike lane, hardly stopping.

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Cars aren’t so fortunate.

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Landed

I’ve landed back on U.S. soil.
It’s not much different.
I’m used to rules and regulations,
but not used to having to follow them.
at least customs didn’t think I was a drug dealer
because I was a bike messenger.
This time the duties officer thought I would break my neck
cause i was carrying a box on my head.
At least Larry got a laugh over my resembelance to a zulu woman.
I’m home
as home as I’ve ever been
I’ll be home soon

Movement

Leaving is a joyous occasion worth celebration. It’s not a sad party, but a happy one. One full of encouragement, good wishes, reflections, and excitement.

If you don’t leave, how can you get anywhere?

Leaving means new, different, change, excitement, intrigue, difficulty, movement, travel, growth.

A flowing river provides clean water.

A stagnant pond festers and becomes undrinkable.

People are the same way.

My projects over now. I’ve still got more to finish and all, but I’ve done what I can and am going to do in South Africa this trip. All in all it was a successful trip. I didn’t change the world. I didn’t fix the worst problems the world faces. I helped a handful of schools get connected to the internet. I helped re-vamp computer labs that just needed a little knowledgeable attention. I brought new motivation for utilizing the resources at hand that are being neglected. I’ve put a piece in the puzzle which is the education of thousands of children. I gave an opportunity that wasn’t previously available.

I met Zulu’s, Indians, Afrikaners, British, German, Dutch, Scandinavians, Australians, Nepalese, Americans, and more. I’ve learned in depth the traditions and lifestyle of the Zulu’s. I reaffirmed my distaste for colonialism. I grew as a photographer, and a person. I took some amazing photos. I travelled and worked in areas many South Africans have never been. I had one hell of a vacation.

Did I actually make a difference in the world? Probably not. Did I make a difference to a few peoples lives? I believe so. Did I waste a bunch of time and money doing something that sounds important, but just makes me feel better about myself? Maybe.

Does it matter? Not really.

I left Eshowe to return or not. I’m leaving Durban now. To return or not. I’m leaving Cape Town in a week. To return or not. Does it matter? Not really. But it’s exciting. I’m ready.

Ready to move on.

To change direction

To keep moving forward

To go back

To come home

So I can leave again.