Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 6, 2011 Mass Email - Bremerton, WA

Dear friends and family,

When we last wrote we had just returned to the U.S. for the summer. You may not find these domestic travels as interesting as our foreign ones, but at least you’ll know we’re still alive.

We had bought return-trip tickets for a four-month sojourn in the U.S. It seems like a long time, but we have a lot of ground to cover. After picking up our Isuzu pickup truck with a canopy over the back we spent a few days with fellow small-boat enthusiasts at Cedar Key, Florida, then with Larry and Karen at their home in Stone Mountain, Georgia. That’s where we had modified Thurston in preparation for the voyage. We next drove to St. Louis, where we stayed with Lena, Jesse and Ginny’s adopted niece Violet for a few days.

We drove west through Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska, dropping our canoe into a lake here, a stream there. (We had left it at Larry’s and were returning it home.) In Livingston County, Missouri, we went for a walk in the woods and came back with our legs covered in ticks. At a mental institution in St. Joseph we toured the Museum of Psychiatry! Near Denver we visited Ginny’s friends Stephen & Stephanie and their very snuggly pitbulls. Then we drove through range after range of forgotten mountains in Wyoming and Montana. At dusk we would follow a dusty road off the highway into the sage brush or pines until we found a nice place to camp. Sometimes we made fires. We followed the route of Lewis and Clark through the Bitterroots and across Lolo Pass. Near Orofino, Idaho, we visited fellow-sailor Steve P., whom we had met in Honduras. In Spokane Steve’s Uncle Dean put us up for a night. Then we were home!

What is home, however? Steve’s house in Pacific is occupied by renters. We have performed a lot of deferred maintenance there and stowed or retrieved various possessions. But we have been sleeping either in our truck or in spare rooms with various friends and relatives, mainly Mom and Dad Ladd in Bremerton, in the house Steve grew up in. George’s heart isn’t very good anymore but he enjoys life as much as ever. You should hear some of his WWII war stories! We are getting little things done, like renewing our drivers licenses and going to the dentist, and gathering equipment we will need back at the boat. But we also are hanging out a lot with our loved ones.

We are now half-way through our mid-voyage interlude. In August we will drive back to Georgia. In September we will fly back to our boat. We now plan to proceed east along the coasts of Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Trinidad, then north through the Antilles and Bahamas to Georgia. We will probably return home in 2013, having completed a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of the Caribbean Sea. Maybe then we will be ready to settle down!

That’s it for now!

There are new photos in the album at

Steve and Ginny