Posts Tagged ‘water’


A few years ago, This American Life did an episode about superpowers, which included a story by John Hodgman on the power to be invisible vs. the ability to fly.  He asked people which superpower they would rather have, and then made an argument that a person’s choice revealed something about that person’s nature: the people who chose invisibility were inevitably sneaky, trying to get away with things and probably antisocial, whereas the flight people just wanted to be heroes or something.

I don’t know about all of that, but the episode made me realize that with no hesitation, I would choose flight over invisibility.   Why did I know with such certainty?  It’s because flight is such a familiar sensation for me.  Not because I’ve ridden around in Bo’s plane.  Not because I’ve taken so many commercial air trips in my life.  No.  I’ve been having dreams that I am flying for most of my life.

The sensation of flight– swooping, soaring, sailing– is so familiar that it seems like I must have felt it in real life, not just in my dreams.  All I can think is that I’m confusing the way I feel when I’m swimming (diving, swooping, gliding) with the way flying must feel.

As for invisibility?  Pah!  As a short female, I get overlooked all the time, and it’s not an advantage at all!  Or maybe I should listen to John Hodgman’s show again– there could be some good points to that after all…


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Up the creek

Don’t worry, this entry has a happy ending.  The body of water in question is named Clear Creek, and it empties melted snow from the foothills, channeling it through Golden and several western suburbs before dumping it into the Platte River in downtown Denver.  As we discovered today, it also hosts quite a bit of activity, past and present, in its canyons.

Clear Creek flumeJoda and I are standing in a flume, left from historic mining.  At first, I worried about walking on old planks that might have rotted through in spots, but the numerous bicycle tracks in the dirt, as well as the appearance of a small herd of volunteer trash pickers, reassured me that we were indeed on a maintained trail.  Along the route, we passed a group of rock climbers on belay, ascending and descending the steep granite walls of the canyon.  Across the way, on the sunny side of the creek, which is accessed from Highway 6 before it dives into a tunnel beneath the foothills, were other outdoor folks fishing and swimming.  Twice along our route, we stopped and looked at old decaying automobile carcasses; this made me wonder if our walkway was actually an old roadbed, rather than a mining flume.

What goes up must come down.  So, after walking two or three miles upstream, we turned back and came down along the east face of the hill, descending back to the level of Clear Creek, where the hottest member of our party had a nice swim.Then it was home for lunch and drinking water, and naps for all of us!

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sunset at beach

Topsail Hill State Park, Destin, FL

As I get to the end of the long, wander-y part of this road trip, I am thinking back on all of the beautiful sights we saw: landscapes, seascapes, birds, people we love, vast expanses of [fill in the blank– sand, trees, water, mountain, or whatever].

I’m sitting in a motel in Radford, Virginia, happy to be back amongst mountains, trepidatiously excited about the snow on the ground, and consumed by a homeward-bound drive that is pushing me to get all the way to Syracuse by the end of the day.

Since I didn’t keep up the blog as a travelogue, I will probably now make you suffer through a series of thematic posts.  Today’s theme is sunsets.  Everywhere we traveled, we saw impressive, pretty, weird, and lovely sunsets.  I used to think that Klamath Falls had the most consistently beautiful sunsets of anyplace I had ever been, but now that I see the smattering of them from all over the country, I realize that they are everywhere!  So, here are some examples for your enjoyment:

sunset, harbor
Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA

So much for the water shots for a moment.  Here’s one over dry land.

pink sky
Caprock Canyons State Park, TX (actually a sunrise!)
road sunset

somewhere between Memphis and the Alabama border

beach sunset

pier and pelicans at Naples, FL

Last night’s sunset was spectacular, as far as I could tell by repeatedly checking my rear-view mirror while driving I-85 through South Carolina.  I thought I should have stopped to enjoy it.  All the more reason to get off this computer, jump in the car, and drive the rest of the way to Syracuse so I can stay in one place for a few days!

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Lincoln City Beach

sunset on the Oregon coast

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The North Fork of Little Butte Creek is dammed as it comes out of Fish Lake, but the spill valve was letting out a huge surge of water on the day we hiked the trail along the creek.  Apparently, the creek’s flow is controlled all the way down to Medford, where its water is used to irrigate the orchards.  I bought some Medford peaches last weekend and eagerly tasted them.  Maybe it’s too early in the season, or maybe it’s a bad year for peaches– but hiking the trail was a far more pleasant experience.

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I’m treating today as a lazy Sunday: sleeping late, drinking coffee (made by Bo) and eating pancakes and bacon (also made by Bo) before heading out to the hammock to read a book and stare out over the water, where some people who are less lazy than I am are taking advantage of a perfect summer day on upper Klamath Lake.

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Paddling Around

The weather has been uncharacteristically sunny and calm in Anacortes this week.  Nestled at the rocky northwestern corner of the US, the San Juan Islands are beautiful but forbiddingly windy and rain-spattered most of the time.  I’ve heard the comment that living in this part of the world is like being married to a beautiful woman….. who is always sick.Since we are visiting Bo’s family in Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island, we have easy access to some beautiful natural spots, like Deception Pass State Park.  This afternoon we took some kayaks out to paddle along the coastal peninsulas and haystack rocks.  Because I was worried about getting it wet, I didn’t bring the camera, so the pictures in this post are from previous walkabouts.

Jamie & Bo look out over the headlands

The calm weather meant we could glide along over the kelp beds and peek into the shallow caves along the headlands.  We even went around the corner to look at Deception Pass bridge.  Since it spans a fairly narrow channel separating Fidalgo from Whidbey Island, the current can be strong and dangerous here.

Deception Pass bridge on a stormier day last year

The best part of the paddle was seeing the porpoises come in close.  At one point there were three of them arcing up out of the water only ten feet away; we could hear them breathing!

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