Getting ready to go home

I’m actually really ready to be home. Tinkering with my 4runner, playing with my family, maybe even taking a nap on my couch. It all sounds really, really good right now.

This vacation is going to be fairly busy, but not too bad. I have a little bit of work to do on the 4runner, but that’s just going to be getting it set up for winter mostly. I want to build some kind if storage cabinet for the cargo area to stow tools and recovery gear, and I want to make something up to hold a shovel and a hi-lift Jack outside the car.

The trip we have planned for this vacation is a train ride through the Sierras. We’ve been talking about it for a while now and since riding the train over the mountains is best done in the winter, we are going to check it out. Most likely it will be a trip up on Saturday and down on Sunday type of thing, but I’m not totally sure of what to do in the middle. I’d guess it’s time to think about that now. Maybe a night at Circus Circus with the kids? Maybe. I would like to take some photos or Reno at night, so I think I’ll have to work that into the mix.

A new chapter is coming

Life sure is funny. We go through the motions every day living and changing a little bit, but we rarely see the changes until one day it dawns on us. I’ve often thought that this is why turning 30, 40,
50, and so on has been so hard on so many people. Typically, on these dates we look at ourselves and usually it’s the first time in many years. Some folks look at what they are doing and say “I’m doing ok” and some folks say “what the heck went wrong?!” I try very hard not to do this, after my 30 catastrophe, so now I try and look at the big picture much more often.

Now when I look at myself I see something that I’m ok with. No one is perfect, and I am far from it, but I still feel like I am moving forward in life and that feels really good. I’ve been trying to live by a simple code, and it mostly has been working, so I’ll share it with you. Do something good every day. I’m not talking about silly things like in a chick flick, I’m talking about real things. Teach someone something, learn something from someone, make some art, make someone smile, allow someone to make you smile, build something, change something little for the better. I try and do this every day, and it works for me, maybe it’ll work for you too.

What brings me to this subject is older people. It seems like some people start to forget this when they get to be older. Maybe it’s because their body doesn’t work as well, or their mind isn’t as sharp, I don’t know, but it seems like a common thing for folks nearing retirement age to lose track of happiness. Oddly enough, I always thought older aged people would be the ones who embraced this philosophy. After all, they are the ones who have things to teach, or maybe the time to learn, and the ability to help other younger folks succeed.

I guess that a summary I my thoughts here are this; don’t lose your inner-child, ever. Stay positive and keep moving forward, always. I hope that someone will remind me of this when I’m a little older.

Boats versus trucks

For all of my adult life I’ve been fixated on the need to “get out” on as many occasions as possible. When I was younger I would get in my car and drive away, and even put a backpack on and walk for a while, until I “got way out”. After a while of this I realized that there’s not many places near my house that I could really go to get away from it all. I found that I could drive 30 miles on dirt roads, then walk 10 miles down a trail, and when I got there, the inevitable would happen. People.

My attempt to fix this was to build a bigger and badder 4×4, that could take me on trails others couldn’t go on, which seemed like it would help me in my quest. But as I went out with my built up truck I found that there was always people on those trails too. I decided that wasn’t working for me. So I sold the truck.

Next I figured what I needed was a 4×4 that was capable of long road trips, but also capable off road. Being able to drive 500 miles to a dirt road that lead me away made sense. If I couldn’t find solitude nearby, maybe, I could find it elsewhere. So I fixed up my new truck with the intent of going to Utah, Nevada, or Colorado and finding my place there. I have to say that it worked and for a time I was happy, but after a few years I became a little complacent with it and this led me to start dreams of other places, other countries, and even other continents. Those dreams will definitely be realized at some point here, but there’s something else I’ve noticed along the way.

Being from the mountains I never noticed that there was another way to “get way out”, and it’s been around for centuries. Sail boats. People that sail boats here in Baja remind me so much of myself and other four wheel drive enthusiasts, it makes sense to want to check it out. The things they do are very similar, and though I get a laugh when I talk about them camping out, in essence, that’s what they are doing. They sail off to a distant cove or bay and anchor up for the night or several days, and it’s just like camping out. Then when it’s time for provisions they stop at a little town along the way and top off. That sounds familiar.

While I won’t be giving up my 4×4 hobby/addiction any time soon, the sailing world is calling my name. Hopefully I’ll be able to try my hand at it someday soon.

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Cruising Baja

It’s good to be back underway in Baja. We spent a night on the hook at Ensnada Grande last night, just off of Isla Partida. It was nice to wake up to the “usual” Baja sunrise. It never disappoints.

I’ve been trying to make some time in my schedule for getting a Designated Duty Engineers license and I think I’ve got it figured out, finally. I have three more classes to take and also a test, so it’ll be a little bit of work to get there. I believe it’ll be very worthwhile to do this. Cost has been one factor, but hopefully that will come back in the end. Maybe I should have a fundraiser? Wouldn’t that be funny, or totally cool. Total cost is going to be a little over $10k, so I’ll have to get creative.

With Christmas coming up I’ve been thinking about what to do about it. I will be at see for it, of course, but the answer that works is to have a party afterwards, in the middle of January or so. That’s life at sea, right?

San Pedro to La Paz

Trips up and down the coast are always my favorite, and the best are when we are lucky enough to have great weather and calm seas. This trip has, so far, been a very nice ride. Just a little bit of pitching, but nothing to complain about. We have been treated to some awesome sun rises and even had a very nice group of common dolphins come over to play for a little while. As we head further south I hope more of their friends come over to play.

Work is going ok as well. Mostly I’m working on tuning up air conditioners at this point. We have to be ready for the Baja heat here pretty soon.

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San Pedro, CA

This years shipyard went very well, one of the best I’ve been around for. Now that we are headed back down to La Paz to start the Baja season I have had a little bit of time to go over the pictures that I took from Terminal Island. Some turned out ok, and I have to say that I really enjoy the old machinery around the island. There was also a very cool old shop on the premises if the shipyard that was fun to take some photos of and explore. When I get a little more time here in the next few days I’ll fill in the captions for the photos with explanations to make them a bit more clear. For now, enjoy!