Thank you for visiting!

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The rest of the Bucket List-

Let's see. I covered the Disney thing, and the U.S. Routes. Western State exploration and touched on the National Parks. Ah, some specific locations.

Mackinac Island. Conveniently, Mackinac Island is at the end of the U.S. Route 2 journey. I don't think my wife, Linda, would enjoy a protracted road trip like Route 2. However, I am pretty sure she would like to see Mackinac Island. I think the only thing to do here would be to have her fly out and meet me near the island and we could visit it together. I think that would be cool.

Not as cool as having her along for these adventures, but not everyone is cut out for extended road journeys. For that matter, I can't even say for sure I am cut out for extended road journeys. It may yet prove to be a dream that is better as a dream than a reality.

Nah. I live for the road!

Savannah. Yep, I really want to share that one with her. She really wants to see Savannah, and it is definitely an adventure I would want to share with her. A destination travel adventure, but a pretty interesting one. I think that this one should be a high priority shared destination travel adventure.

I'd love to share the Boston and New York City adventures with her, as well. Oh, and Disney World, of course. As seemingly logical as incorporating these adventures into the Route 1 journey might seem, they really do stand up better as separate destination adventures. Route 1 will be huge in itself. Yes. Separate adventures, for sure.

Then there is the Smithsonian. Like Disney World, this is no small project. I have already visited the Smithsonian, but only a small sample on two separate visits to Washington, D.C. Even a week seems too little time for such a visit, excluding any other D.C. sightseeing. I suppose that this one would fit better into the Route 1 adventure. Stop in the D.C. area and visit the Smithsonian until weariness drives me onward.

There are a lot of things not listed in my Bucket List which draw me. Some may yet become sufficiently interesting to demand a place on my Bucket List. Others will probably remain vague interests.

For example, I have a desire to learn to play the mandolin. It is not a strong enough desire to demand a place on my list, but there is a vague urge there to learn to play at least one tune well. In line with this would be learning to read music well enough to play what I read. This desire, however, is not accompanied by a driving hunger, a motivating passion. It is just an interest slightly greater than a whim.

I can, after all, quite easily find recorded music to listen to and enjoy. The need to make music is not sufficient to drive this interest. This need may grow, or with the passage of time and the fulfillment of some of my list items I might just need something to add to the list.

Some things I did not place on my list because they ultimately are not my dreams but the dreams of others. I wish very much to participate in the achievements of my children and grand-children, but I don't want to limit their dreams with my desires. So, I do not make attending graduations, weddings and the like on my list.

There are other smallish activities and achievements I have not seen suited to a bucket list. For example, I recently learned loom knitting as a pastime to do while waiting for the house to sell. I have produced some nice items which are also useful to me. I have learned the basic skills, and continue to learn skills related to loom knitting. I may expand my fiber art horizons over time, and there are even some prospects for a family business related to fiber arts, but these things just don't seem to be bucket list material.

Other craft areas remain general interests, but are not likely to rise to passions. I view videos on the Internet regarding various crafts that relate to this or that transient interest, but again they are not passions and they do not rate a place on a bucket list. As opportunity presents itself and as I proceed through exploration of various life pathways I am sure I will acquire some of these skills and play a bit with arts and crafts.

In writing this series of blogs regarding my Bucket List I have come to one important conclusion. The Bucket List ought to be written in pencil, a document easily edited and adjusted over time. Digital documents, of course, are the best "pencil" documents, as they are very easy to edit. The Bucket List should be a sound guide for a life adventure, but should it become a burden it stops being a source of joy.

After all, the Bucket List should serve as a tool to wring every drop of joy from life that can be wrung. Joy in life is a worthy pursuit, and a Bucket List can help provide focus and direction in the pursuing. The future is a direction, not a destination, and in life it is the journey that matters most.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Exploring States and National Parks: a Bucket List entry-

In my Bucket List I noted a number of the Western States of the United States of America. Technically, I have already visited thirty of the fifty states. However, most of those visits were limited in scope. I was compelled for one reason or another to remain largely in just a few places within those states. I have seen a lot of the country, but not as much of it up close as I would like.

Our protracted move to Medford, Oregon, will define a lot of my early exploration. Southern Oregon and Northern California will be within reach for shorter adventures. Shorter adventures are less costly, and therefore can be conducted more frequently. However, local exploration is not the whole of my desire as expressed in my Bucket List.

Other states will be touched on by my U.S. Route adventures. Washington state shall benefit from the Route 395 adventure as well as the Route 2 adventure. Indeed, only a few more explorations will be necessary to pretty much complete that exploration, at least for the purpose of my Bucket List.

Route 395 will also fulfill a big part of California and Oregon exploration. It will just touch on Nevada. That state will require some additional planned explorations. Again, much can be reached on forays from Oregon. A dozen two week adventures could cover quite a bit of that state, with careful planning.

Arizona will require more advanced planning. It is an interesting state, and worth some protracted adventuring. Probably explorations of New Mexico would be made at the same time, since visiting Arizona will bring me closer to New Mexico than I would be under any normal circumstances.

These two states also stand along the return path from Route 61. A carefully plotted return journey could allow for some pretty nice exploration along the way. However, the Route 2/Route 61 adventure will take a lot of time and resources, so the Arizona/New Mexico exploration would be defined to a large degree by available time and money.

Forays to visit some National Parks would serve as platforms for exploring a number of states on my list. These forays are far in the future, most of them. I should be able to apply a lot of travel experience to reducing the cost of these journeys, and I should also learn just how much time I can afford to spend on any one adventure.

In the Western States I shall incorporate the National Parks into exploration. The National Parks, however, exist in places other than the Western States. Those outside of the Western States shall await completion (to my satisfaction) of Western State exploration before becoming the targets of future adventures. Some might fit into my distant route 1 journey. Others will have to be targets in themselves.

I am anxious to begin these adventures. Even my little journeys in the beginning are exciting prospects. If I am quite fortunate I shall be able to find seasonal employment or develop some flexible business venture to help fund my adventures. I don't expect to be traveling a lot in the colder months, and dedicating them to building travel funds seems a good use of the time.

For now, I wait on the buyer of our house finding us. We are doing all we can to find them. It is just a matter of time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Traveling US routes: a Bucket List entry-

My bucket list includes the following US Routes:

Route 1- This is the East Coast north/south route that takes you through lots of states to see lots of stuff.

Route 2- Starting west to east in Everett, Washington and running to the Great Lakes. There is a bit on the east side of the lakes which is not as important to me, but I would probably incorporate that part in the Route 1 run.

Route 61- This is the route along the Mississippi River. I would probably take this route going north to south following a west to east run on the western part of Route 2.

Route 395- From the middle of the desert in California (about parallel with Anaheim, indicating a probable side trip) north to Canada, this route includes much of the eastern side of California, a bit of Nevada, and Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington.

In all probability, I will do the 395 first among these routes. Since Disneyland is so near to the starting point in the south, I would begin by going there for a few days. Then, off to the desert and a journey north. It just looks like a fun journey with a lot of interesting places to visit along the way. Plenty of vistas and small towns. I really like vistas and small towns.

Relative to my bucket list, the 395 run would comprise a goodly bit of exploring California, Oregon and Washington. It also covers a bit of Nevada. That is a nice dent in my bucket (list.)

Since Route 2 (western portion) will bring me near to the starting point (in the north) of Route 61, I would probably plan to combine the two into one epic journey. Crossing several major mountain ranges and bringing me to the Great Lakes, and then down the length of the Mighty Mississippi. Epic, indeed.

Again, this provides a bit of exploration of Washington state. Another dent in the bucket (list.)

This journey also passes close to several National Parks along the way. Since National Parks are listed generally in my bucket list, I would naturally have to stop in for a visit. Dent. Hey, once I have reached the Gulf of Mexico on this journey, I would have to get home. I think the return route could cover some exploration in several states, and possibly another stop at the Disneyland Resort.


A less defined journey will be a run from Canada to Mexico along the West Coast of the United States. This journey will be comprised largely of Interstate 101 and California Highway 1, plus such incidental roads as are necessary to complete the journey.

Oh, and a stop by Disneyland Resort on the way back. It is right on the way, so it simply must be done!

Route 1 would be very interesting, but logistically the most difficult. Camping on the East Coast is a bit more challenging, and so I would have to anticipate a larger expense in completing the journey. Additionally, I would have to cross the width of the United States just to begin.

The up-side is the number of items on my bucket list which would be accessible via Route 1. Disney World in Florida. The Smithsonian in D.C. and Boston and New York City are along the way. Savannah, as well, but I suspect that at least that one would be a separate adventure to share with my wife, Linda.

Anyway, the Route 1 thing is farthest in the future. Much could change between now and then.

At this point, it is all a dream. Once the house is sold, and we are moved and settled, I can begin planning the Route 395 journey. Even the planning phase will be fun.

Perhaps I shall have opportunity to to travel all of these routes, and more. There are far more roads than I have days to travel them. However, my travel philosophy embraces the journey more than the destination. Every individual journey enriches my life, and the end of my days shall see a life that has been rich and full.

Until then, I shall dream, look at maps and web sites, and generally enjoy the anticipation.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Wheel of Time: a Bucket List entry-

I have included the reading of The Wheel of Time as part of my bucket list because it is important to me to complete the reading of that epic fantasy series. The death of the author, Robert Jordan, complicated the reading, but a successor author was appointed and is drawing the series to a conclusion.

Earlier portions of the work I have read several times. It is a huge tale, and a daunting task for anyone not a voracious reader and a lover of the fantasy genre. I find it quite worthwhile.

There remain two more volumes to complete the series. I await the next with great anticipation. That said, it shall be the first of the works I shall purchase in electronic format. Eventually I shall purchase the earlier volumes and have the whole thing available for future readings on my Nook. My last recap took about three months. I am current enough that I don't have to recap to continue with the next volume.

I have read other epic fantasy series in their entirety, some several times. Lackey, King, Goodkind and  others. Some I shall eventually collect into my electronic library. Reading them again is pleasant, like visiting a place you know and love but haven't been to in quite some time. Lord of the Rings is like that for me and for many people. Some of the others are equally worthwhile.

I shall, perhaps, soon return my hand to my own work. I have written the first book, and have begun the sequel. I have not yet finished the final polish on the first, but it won't require much. Shall I publish? Perhaps, one day. The first book was actually just an exercise for therapy, a tool in fighting to overcome depression. It was a valuable tool, though I am still not sure it is worthy of publication.

We shall see.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Disneyland Annual visit: A Bucket List entry-

At the top of my bucket list I have placed Annual Disneyland visit. The family loves Disneyland. I love Disneyland. At various times we have held annual passes and visited the Disneyland Resort multiple times for multiple days. We have not yet reached the point where we just could not stand another trip to Disneyland.

I love going with the family. I love going just with my wife, Linda. I have not yet gone to Disneyland by myself, but I suspect I shall love that just as much. With the MMC in campable shape, I can cut the cost of a visit a bit, at least a solo run. The nearest RV park to Disneyland is just a few minutes away by regular shuttle. The cost of a space there is around fifty bucks, which is much cheaper than most other accommodations.

Linda does not care much for camping, nor would she necessarily like my slow journey to and from the resort. So, a solo visit will probably only occur sometime during one of my other journeys passing near enough to Anaheim to make the visit practical. Who knows?

An annual visit can be planned for, including accommodations and flight. My parents don't understand the spending of so much money on visits to Disneyland, and I think a lot of other family and friends consider this obsession to be obsessive. I consider it a worthwhile investment in happiness and mental well-being. Those are good things, I do believe.

So, Annual Disneyland Resort visits are top of the list. If I must abandon all else, I plan to keep this one.

Why Disneyland? Why so often? I think that I enjoy the engineered environment that is truly geared to create a sense of adventure in safety, an environment intended to aid people in achieving a state of happiness. It feels good to be there. It is fun, reaching down and capturing the childlike sense of fun and giving it physical form.

This, of course, works best if you are a willing participant. I go there with that will to participate in the magic, and cooperate with the engineering. I want to have the Disney experience.

With the grandkids the right age, and having recently reread Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, I am anxious for a day on Tom Sawyer's Island. It has changed over the years, but I think for the better. It is a great place to play and imagine. A few hours of running around having island adventures could be fun.

There are also some new features which have been completed and which will be new experiences. We have been in the parks frequently enough in recent years to have watched the progress on several new features, and I enjoy watching that development.

Watching development goes a long way back, for me. I remember as a child going to Disneyland with my parents. While up in the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House (Now Tarzan's Tree House) I recall seeing some construction. That construction later became The Pirates of the Caribbean.

I saw other progress in features presented on "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color." Recently I have watched the development of a feature in California Adventure by that same name. I look forward to the experience.

Disneyland is a place to have fun. It is as simple as that. It is fun to be there, and I value that experience of fun in an environment engineered just for fun. That is why I want to keep going back to Disneyland Resort, year after year.