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Bonus Feature

The Salmon Run. Sol Duc River. Olympic National Park (animated PDF)









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...and the Fourth Year Begins

October 29, 2012

Places & Platypie: Three Years on the RoadStanding over the Pacific Ocean on the northwestern most tip of the United States, I pulled out our still shiny old flask filled with a fresh pouring of Duck Hunter’s Special (a warming 50/50 blend of carcinogenic cream sherry and bottom shelf, burning bourbon) and we toasted the moment! 

Double goal achieved!

After we had Incanted the traditional words we have spoken at similar celebrations since the 70s, “I’ll drink to that,” we hiked back to the camper through the evergreen forest with its snow patches and chilling rain.

Places & Platypie: Three Years on the Road

Many years ago we began our journey in Lubec, Maine, the eastern-most town in the contiguous United States

Toast Worthy Achievement #1: 
We have driven the entire coast of the United States, from Lubec, Maine to Cape Flattery, Washington. It did not happen in one blazing road trip, but instead over many years. Most of it since we started traveling full time on November 2, 2009.

Toast Worthy Achievement #2:
In a few days we will begin our FOURTH YEAR ON THE ROAD. Hard to believe, even for us...

People still ask us where would we live if and when we decide to stop traveling. But right now it feels like we will not finish our travels until sometime in 2032. Of course, at that point it may only be our spirits still driving the byways of this fascinating country. Sort of like Charlie on the MTA1... Our descendants can watch for us as we pass through Tulsa, Oklahoma. or Lexington, Kentucky each year.

Our wheeled peregrinator has eleven windows. Daytimes they are all open so that we may see everything... we live on mountainsides overlooking green valleys, on beaches with crashing waves, mewing seagulls and rapacious ravens, in small towns where the best thing is good neighbors and in the heart of big cities where we are always at home.  Of course, sometimes we stay in a Walmart parking lot or a truck stop.

Places & Platypie: Three Years on the RoadWherever we are, when nighttime comes we pull down the shades and “cocoon up,” making our living space the same as it has been for the past forty years. A kitchen, living and eating area that are all one room and our studio, workspace and computer area that overflows into it. We are always home, living in one room, just as we always have been.

There have been themes to our travels: NFL tailgating, modern architecture, outsider art, Frank Lloyd Wright, birds, FOOD, special art and artists; but mostly we still just slowly move along, sometimes staying for a day, sometimes for a month.

Recently, in the Seattle/Olympic Peninsula area, we visited two places we loved. Neither Fish nor Libraries have been one of our themes, but they may be now.

The Salmon Run up the falls and rapids of the Sol Duc River in the heart of Olympic National ParkJust a few days ago we witnessed one of the most thrilling events I have ever been part of. The Salmon Run up the falls and rapids of the Sol Duc River in the heart of Olympic National Park. I watched Coho Salmon circle below the raging falls - take runs at the cascading water and finally leap from the churning lower rapids in an attempt to clear the top. Brutal. They miss, they crash into cliffs... they fly, they keep coming and coming. Landing in pothole pools in the rocks, they struggle across open stone surfaces to get back into the river’s stormy flow. One or two make it and disappear, only to travel to the next waterfall and the next... I jumped, paced and walked in circles with them for most of an afternoon. I yelped, they did not.

View a short, automated full screen PDF slideshow of our best salmon photos

Seattle Public LibrarySince the mid-eighties we have enjoyed visiting public libraries, but none so much as the innovative Rem Koolhaas designed Seattle Public Library. A future leaning structure on the outside, inside, the Dewey Book Spiral, a continuous ramp slanting down and circling the interior of the building holds the traditional book stacks. Work, study and gathering spaces are along the outside walls. There are  beautiful views of Puget Sound and the surrounding area seen through a steel and sloping glass skin. The escalators are chartreuse and one of the hallways, from floor to ceiling is a color somewhere between cerise and blood. On an interior wall, as a homage to the past, the front of a bisected card catalog painted white is mounted ten feet up, sort of a Louis Nevelson white sculpture...

Definitely not a Carnegie Library, but a library for this Century.   

Walking, we circumnavigated the nine block long “books spiral” around the building... meandering in and out of large computer areas, cozy living rooms, art exhibits and staff offices - all the while breathing deeply the wonderful aroma of the old books we were passing.

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Places & Platypie: Three Years on the RoadWatch Out Potholes!

People do ask us if anything bad ever happens. Well, yes. The worst thing that happened to us this past year is: we both broke our ankles. Fortunately, one size air cast fits all. Early April, I broke mine in a pothole in front of the St. Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then Bernie broke his a few months later, in a parking lot at Muir Beach, California. We both hobbled about for weeks and at times were rather unpleasant company.

Places & Platypie: Three Years on the RoadSully has come in for his share of tough times. He needed boy surgery when we were in Oakley, California and that slowed him down a bit. Worse though, when he gets wet, we block him from getting on “his” couch. This upsets him greatly and he tries desperately to nose the stool away, all the while grumbling and whining at us. Pitiful.

Happily, we have now begun year number four...

1 CHARLIE? http://www.mit.edu/~jdreed/t/charlie.html;

 It is wonderful to be free!


Hi you two, I think of you often, and of course, I was not drunk when I said, you can camp in my yard if you come through Nashville again!


OMG, watching the slideshow of the salmon run allowed me to share your adventure and was so inspiring. I would love to witness this one day. The photos as usual were breathtaking! Thanks!

Sheila & Dave

Peg and Bernie --- we LOVED being your neighbor in WA this fall.  What an amazing adventure for all of us.  LOVE the blog...and we'll share Clara's just as soon as we get a chance to get a started.  Love and hugs to SUlly. You're so lucky we didn't dognap him!


Mary, Dan, and Bridget in the awesome state of WA

Bravo and happy anniversary you two! And at the risk of asking a dumb question: how did the potholes cause the broken ankles? Were you walking or driving when it happened. Hard to picture.

Anyway, cheers!

Joe K.

Hi kids.  I think you are living a wonderful life. Could you talk to Carol for me :>).

Keep on keepin' on.



Wahhhhhhh! ahhhhhh!


What happened to the 50 Shades / Seattle piece?? I've been waiting for my Christian and Ana fix.

:) Abby

Happy anniversary! Miss you all.


Congratulations on your travelling anniversary!!! If you feed on envy, you must be well satisfied with the crowd following you, as I am sure we are all envious. Those salmon shots are just spectacular. Now every football game I think of you two, hoping you’re warm and well and full of tailgate cheer...


Love you two!!! Thanks for the continuing tales and moving still images! You are inspiring.

Bob & Jimmy

And may year #4 be totally fabulous! Hearty congrats and thanks for sharing so much of your journey via Places and Platypie.

:-) Cindy

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