The rain increased as I stumbled along the path, tripping over tree roots. Confused, I realized I’d made a wrong turn somewhere along the way and turned to correct the path when I saw a group of men approaching in the ever-darkening Guatemalan evening. I continued forward while trying to project confidence with Aspen glued to my side. I uttered a greeting as we passed the group and received long stares in response before their gaze turned to the large black dog at my side. I hurried her along the path and arrived safely at the villa shortly after, my nerves totally shot. The saying goes “Who saved Who?” in the world of dog adoptions but in that instance, I was absolutely certain it was she who saved me.
The light rising over the bay bathed us in light, but it was the waves that had woken me. Not crashing onto the beach but like a whisper. Similar to belly breathing in Yoga with a long deep inhale culminating in a soft exhale. Thus began another day in paradise. This is life on the Baja.
Our itchy feet are soon to be rewarded as our compass once again heads southward. The last seven months is the longest we’ve stayed in any one spot for the last four years and we are feeling it! Luckily, having negotiated a 59-day leave of absence each winter allows us to stay in touch with the wanderlust that is core to our true selves.
Four years and 17 days ago we drove away from Jim’s parent’s house in Salem, Oregon heading south. The plan was to spend a couple of years driving the PanAmerican Highway, working on my writing, and explore in-depth a new-to-us continent. As the sun sets on one decade it is clear that having such a plan rarely works out exactly as we expect. Today I write this from a campground in Coos Bay, Oregon somewhere we never thought we’d end up having not yet made it to South America. As the saying goes…the best-laid plans.
Camp life continues to roll along and we are shocked to realize it is already nearly mid-September. Along with hundreds of guests, we have been fortunate enough to have plenty of our own visitors in the form of family and dear friends. It’s no secret that in large part our decision to return to Oregon to work was the opportunity to be able to spend more time with our tribe and believe me, our hearts are full!
Life has taken on a comfortable routine. How long we’ll be happy with small-town beach life remains to be seen as we have notoriously itchy feet. But after nearly five years of almost non-stop motion, it’s fantastic to establish a routine. My favorite part~ how unexpected it all is. If you had told me 6-months ago that I’d be embracing life in a small coastal town back in Oregon I would have scoffed at the idea.
One of my favorite quotes from “Sweet Home Alabama” is when Reese Witherspoon’s character is told “You can have roots and wings”. This is a difficult concept for me. Those who follow our social media are well aware we followed the road back to Oregon and the questions have been many. In truth, we never planned on leaving Clio’s and the stunning Sierra Nevada’s early. We loved the managers and our co-workers and the chance to explore a new region. However, the truth is also that for two years we have been searching for a paying camp job in Oregon or SW Washington, something that is far harder than you might imagine.
Upon arrival here in Clio (pronounced Klio if you’re wondering) we were awestruck by the extraordinary beauty of this area, known as the Lost Sierra’s. Within 20 miles of the camp is a bevy of sights to be explored including mountain vistas and endless lakes. As the weather has once again turned to summer temperatures these last few weeks have found us taking full advantage.
Our friends, Bryan and Jen along with their wonder dog, Karma, AKA The Dangerz, have a philosophy. Each day they wake up and ask themselves “Are we perfectly happy where we are with what we’re doing?” If they don’t like the answer they make changes…immediately. As we have followed their eventful journey these last few years we have been forever inspired by their willingness to completely change up their circumstances in search of happiness. This general outlook on life has served us well.