Ralph’s 2017 year in review OR how to write a quick year in review? First, start out by looking at pictures you took in 2017. The landscape ones are just too hard for others to really see the adventure. Pick one or two with people, animals or mechanical things; then just walk down memory lane. Like for example: “While waiting for friends to catch up from my vantage point, (rarely used Canadian forest service road) I spot an worn down wooden sign; it probably sat for years on a long ago rotted out post that years of winter snow felled it long ago, leaving the sign to also rot away and compost itself back into the landscape.” The “No Through Road” sign tickled my humerous funny bone. I recall smiling then laughing out loud when I thought of making this sign my new road mascot. The thin hot air in this elevation is incredibly hot and 2017 we skirted numerous Canadian forest fires trying to get away from the smoke. I am now covered in road dust, dirty, smelly, thirsty and even hungry. The grade down at one point is 25 degrees to the river below. Soft sand, banking turns and no guard rail to catch the unwary. Before long I find myself duct taping this hand-made wooden sign to the port side of my BMW adventure bikes luggage rack. I initially just wanted a picture of the sign and now the sign is part of the bike. The sign is a hit with the other riders and if I discard it one of them will take it. Several days later as we continue rounding the entire British Columbia and board a Prince Rupert ferry – the sign is now zip tied to the bike. Today, sitting on the floor behind my desk, I look down and smile at the sign. A momento of that two week motorcycle road trip that started in Bellingham, WA and rounded British Columbia. In 2017 I find myself finally free from years of obsession with anything boat and boating related. Did I finally get my fill you might ask? What happened? Possibly experiencing the full extent of purchasing a trawler in Portland, Oregon, driving 1,000 miles each way to get it sea worthy over a two-year period; sailing it down the Columbia river (150 miles) out the graveyard of the Pacific; down the coastline, subsequently settling down on the Sea of Cortez side. Then two years later baja bashing my way back up may have something to do with it. The “Western Flyer” in 2017 found a new home. Perfect timing. We moved from seaside to inland. The money is long spent, I add a new 4Runner and several new mechanical toys to the mix. I trade the final water vessel, my Seadoo (affectionately known as Ol Blue) that took me through a few adventures to this 59 Willys Jeep.
This sailing addiction that hit me hard at around the age of 14 years old is finally gone at just past the 60 year mark. My own silent years of boatless suffering. Over the years I began to find out that my only cure was to endure years of intensive sailing, boating and Jet Skiing. Miles and miles of water moved under me. Never really stopping long enough before it was time for the next adventure. 2017 turned out to be the year that I finally beat this boating addiction and even though they say that complete cures are very very, highly unlikely! I beat it! In 2017 yours truly finds himself at a VW car show and ends up with a much neglected and not wanted 1945 MB Jeep. And if you know me I just can’t leave well enough alone. So, the new to me vintage jeep has got to be just so and so. If it sits in the garage too long; to me, it’s well sort of like an itch. An itch that must be scratched. By scratching I mean it must be made just so. For one, it must be useable. Not of museum type quality but, one that needs to go out on a new adventure to fit it. Route 66 just happens to be the adventure that one of these jeeps will go on – from LA to Chicago! I find a new friend with a similar affliction and we both begin the planning stages of this future adventure.
In 2017 we took a little road trip down baja way just to see the annual whale migration up close and personal. These friendly creatures turned out to be like puppy dogs. I think I’m hooked on wanting to visit them in 2018. They are as curious as the rest of us and enjoy the touch. And days later we even swam with several whale sharks. A cheap trip if you discount the fuel. Around $100 for the panga ride, no reservations, spur of the moment camping, we just showed up, the adventure unfolded itself.
Making new friends played the biggest part of 2017. Family and grand kids played a huge role as well. We built a garden shed and grew our first vegetable crops. We planted and then transplanted lots of trees. In 2017, outside of going overseas and baja I have never experienced such hot weather in my entire life. My “hot” threshhold is now much higher.
We became good friends with friends who like to drink a little wine. The little wine led us to do a little traveling where we drank a little more wine and even brought a few bottles back. And the rest is just history. Happy 2018 to everyone in our lives! At this point in my life all I can offer is a little of my time. Trawlercat (Trawler for boat and cat for catamaran – a boat I set out originally to purchase from which to sail the 7 seas) Life is too short. Live a little.)