CO TO CA-16Eleven months, and we have only completed half of America’s Great Loop. If you asked me if it was what I expected, I don’t think I could answer. I don’t think I had any expectations at all. I’d say the both of us were pretty clueless as to what we were getting ourselves into.  What I did think was that at some time over the course of a year, I would have an epiphany and discover what it is I am supposed to do with my life. That never happened, and I am still trying to figure that one out. But what I do know, is that the list of things I learned about myself and the world of cruising is extensive.  Towards the end, I admit, I was itching to get off of Louise. Yearning to get back into a “normal life.” One including a real bed, running water, flushing toilets, ice, and various other items most would require to stay alive. Until I found myself there… in a warm home tucked away in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. As far from the ocean as I could be. The funny thing is that I didn’t find myself anywhere but aimlessly wandering. Unsettled. Slightly confused. Spending every moment thinking about getting back aboard, and all the work required before we can do so. Constant conversations in my head about boat life, or things that occurred over the last year. There was no one in the mountains I could have these conversations with. No Katie. No Reggie. No Louise. I love the mountains, and I love the woods. But what was once my version of a “normal life,” changed.

My normal life is it wake up and pee 12 inches from Katie’s head. Have Reggie jump in the v-berth and wag his tail as it smacks you in the face. Boil hot water, and make strong coffee in my french press while rocking back and fourth. Hang up all the wet stuff to dry  that had gotten wet from the rain the night before. Check the bilge. Sit in the cockpit for endless morning hours, focusing on nothing but the caffeine and what I had dream’t the night before. Writing down thoughts, and observations. Watching weird creatures swim around Louise. Jumping in the salty water to bathe. Occasionally picking up my guitar, playing the same things over and over again. Sparring with Katie over engine issues, and where we were going to go the next day. We managed to stay busy. We just did everything really slow, at the pace of a 90 year old. We had all the time in the world to do so. This is my normal.

Since being back I have disturbed myself with how I’ve spent time. I discover my fat ass on a couch, with a large, bright, stimulating television in front of my face. I scroll facebook as if it’s important as the NY times. I haven’t picked up my guitar, let alone the journal I typically write in every single morning. Most importantly, my camera has sat in it’s case barely touched. Sprawling mountains and land to run, surrounded by a new kind of beautiful that I only am enjoying from behind the window pane.  I am more scared of a moose than a shark. Plus, the couch is really comfortable… All of the above indicators of being uninspired and unmotivated. My brain hasn’t quit going wild with plans and ideas, but my body doesn’t want to keep up. This being said, I’m trying to find where it is I am supposed to be. Seems I should be seeking a body of water. I need to surround myself with like-wise beings, people who understand my kind of “normal.”

These next couple months are vital to the following leg of the journey. Obviously we ran out of money again, and we don’t care to be cruising the ocean while mother nature needs her season to hurricane. We think of Louise every single day. Already stressed about what needs to be done, but thrilled to get back and start the process. If you have kept up with the stories, you are aware that Louise has been through hell and back. Therefore the list of things to fix when we return to Fort Lauderdale:

-haul out

-sand / re-paint the bottom

-fix prop shaft (we think it is just a matter of replacing the “locking nut” or whatever it’s called)

-cracked rudder (re-fiberglass)

-cracked tiller (re-laminate?)

-new batteries

-re-place stanchion that ripped off

-re-place all engine fluids/filters

-paint transmission (forgot to do this before new one was installed)

-lets not forget to mention cleaning out the mold that will be covering every square inch, amongst many other odd growths and peculiar scents.

SO, we have some things to do. Meanwhile, I am going to soak up life’s current amenities. I am not going to count the seconds in-between lightning. I am not going to hang up my clothes to dry, I will put them through a machine that makes them warm and fluffy. I will not use the restroom in a bucket. In fact, I may flush the toilet twice for each use to make up for all those times I never could. I will not struggle to stand while making my breakfast in the morning. I will move freely about the stable ground without holding on to something for balance. I will bathe myself in water not containing salt. I will chop all of my hair off for it has become rather nappy over this past summer. I will not sweat myself to sleep. I will put ice in my drink. I will drive my truck, faster than 5 knots. I will wear shoes!!! I can do all of these exciting things, while working to save towards not having all of these things. Isn’t that great?

Here are some photos of my whereabouts and activities since I have been a land-lubber.

Redneck pontooning in the Rockies… (Kremmling/Grand Lake Colorado)CO TO CA-13 CO TO CA-14 CO TO CA-12 CO TO CA-11 CO TO CA-10 CO TO CA-8 CO TO CA-9 CO TO CA-7 CO TO CA-5 CO TO CA-6 CO TO CA-4 CO TO CA-3 CO TO CA-2

CO TO CA-15

CO TO CA-18

Oops I drove to California because I felt like hanging out with Katie and Reggie. (June Lake, CA)CO TO CA-20

CO TO CA-21

CO TO CA-19

CO TO CA-33 CO TO CA-34 CO TO CA-32 CO TO CA-31 CO TO CA-30 CO TO CA-28 CO TO CA-29 CO TO CA-27 CO TO CA-26 CO TO CA-24 CO TO CA-25 CO TO CA-23 CO TO CA-22

Los Angeles County Fair with my family… HAHAH wowww what an experience. CO TO CA-67 CO TO CA-68 CO TO CA-66 CO TO CA-65 CO TO CA-63  CO TO CA-62

CO TO CA-64

CO TO CA-60 CO TO CA-61 CO TO CA-59 CO TO CA-57 CO TO CA-58 CO TO CA-56 CO TO CA-54 CO TO CA-55 CO TO CA-53 CO TO CA-52

Taking care of 16 Arabian horses with my sister in Alta Dena, CA.CO TO CA-51 CO TO CA-49 CO TO CA-50 CO TO CA-48 CO TO CA-46 CO TO CA-47 CO TO CA-45 CO TO CA-43 CO TO CA-44 CO TO CA-42 CO TO CA-41 CO TO CA-39 CO TO CA-40 CO TO CA-38 CO TO CA-36 CO TO CA-37 CO TO CA-35

13 thoughts on “INTERMISSION

  1. Hi Jessie,
    I understand the feeling of “aimless wandering” after such an adventure. My husband, one other friend, and I hiked 500 miles through the Rockies a couple years ago. It took us 30 days…30 days with very few showers and even less cares in the world besides getting off the next peak before a thunderstorm rolls in. I had never felt so free and relaxed, and it truly became my normal. We lived and breathed the mountains, and I absolutely loved it! It took months for me to get adjusted to “normal” life back in the real world, and that was only after 30 days! So, I expect it would take you a long time to readjust…it might happen right about the time you are ready to get back out on the water! In the meantime, enjoy those long hot showers, clean clothes, and the magnificent Rocky Mountains! They’re my favorite place to roam 🙂 We’re heading to Ft Myers in January to see Martha, so maybe we’ll cross paths again. I really, really enjoy following your adventures. You’re truly an inspiration and a brilliant artist. Thanks for always sharing!!
    Your fellow Rocky Mountaineer,
    Stephanie
    p.s. love the short hair!

  2. Will you guys be in Ft. Lauderdale October 30 – November 4th? Thats the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show and I will be there and it would be great to meet you and discuss your amazing adventure and the future Chicago Yacht Club presentation, etc…

  3. Jessie, this is a beautiful picture, both internal and external, of where you are and where you may be next. Thanks for posting G’ma Louise .would be astounded

  4. Amazing! That 3rd paragraph says it all! Uninspired and Unmotivated and checking Facebook like it’s the New York Times. That’s 99% of us! I guess it’s time for me to realize that and get moving. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you in the mean time.;-) –John ( The guy who fed you and Katie at Cuba Landing Marina in Tennessee)

  5. Been wondering what you guys have been up to and now I find you 20 miles from my son! He and his family live over in Routt County in Oak Creek. Have a good winter. Elk season is here!

  6. Welcome to CO! I wonder if you would like tiny house living? That’s what I have planned (you can even build floating ones!). Here’s an example: http://littleyellowdoor.wordpress.com/. I’ve been drawn towards an unconventional lifestyle and I’m starting to figure out that it might be best NOT to choose one thing that you want to do for the rest of your life. Let things choose you. Or in your case, just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Oh, and turn off that TV!

  7. Jessie, don’t fret about this “lack of direction”. Everyone goes through their own version of what you’re feeling right now. Someone once told me that the only real pressure we ever feel is what we apply. Thanks for letting all of us enjoy your journey with you. You’ve inspired more people than you know. Keep it up!

  8. Similar surroundings at our home in Montana. We will be returning to our Florida Cal the end of January. Our Montana Cal 27 is put to bed for the winter.
    Have you found a good place/yard in the Ft Lauderdale area for storage and to do your own work on your boat projects? Our southern Cal is a little north of you in Green Cove Springs marina. Good yard, inexpensive, and they allow you to do your own work if you wish.
    We are also enjoying the fall views, seeing winter arrive, and dreaming of our next time on “Submit”.
    If you haven’t accessed/joined the CAL email group, you should. Excellent resource. Cal_Boats@yahoogroups.com
    It would be great to meet you in Florida or the Bahamas!
    Reggie (not the dog) and Barbara
    http://sv-submit.blogspot.com

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