Reaching Escape Velocity – San Juan Islands, WA

The morning I left San Juan - Edna and Freddie all packed up.

The morning I left San Juan – Edna and Freddie all packed up.

Although I haven’t read his book, my newfound friend Steven Roberts wrote a book called Reaching Escape Velocity: Launching gonzo engineering projects with sponsors, media, volunteers, and other potent forces. The title (and idea of the book) have stuck with me and hence the name of this blog entry.

Organizing all my "junk."

Organizing all my “junk.”

Once you’re grounded, it’s easy to stay that way. You become rooted in routine, strings of relationships become bound to you, and you feel comfortable in the “normal.”

In physics, there is a concept called escape velocity, which is when the velocity of an object overcomes its gravitational potential energy… Or in my terms, when you put the pedal down hard enough to break free of all the strings that tie you to a place.

I spent the weeks prior to leaving working on last minute projects, and a whole week after our going away party organizing my bus, horse trailer (mobile shop/storage unit), and all the spaces I’d been occupying on my mom’s land and elsewhere. It was so crazy to me that a nomad such as myself has accumulated so much junk. But I realize that it is not junk in a bad sense, but rather junk in that it seems cumbersome sometimes.

Edna full of wood, headed to Jesse's shop.

Edna full of wood, headed to Jesse’s shop.

I like my junk, actually. My junk is all sorts of salvage building materials, tools, tea supplies, electrical, plumbing, hardware, etc. Unfortunately, I could not have built Edna out of mostly salvaged/green material without collecting it, and the tools to do it, first. And now that I have them, it has been a blessing for finishing Edna, doing upkeep, helping others with their projects, and finding work for myself. All of this stuff is now bound for my buddy’s new shop in Portland.

I spent 7 months on the Islands – longer than I have been anywhere in years. It felt good, but the Islands are bliss. They help you forget the rest of the world. Especially when you’re eating good meat and vegetables from a farm a mile down the road, wallowing in a tight-knit community that you grew up in, and don’t have a worry in the world. I just can’t stand this for too long… I’ve got to experience the real rawness of other parts of the world.

Tea time at Island Hoppin' Brewery.

Tea time at Island Hoppin’ Brewery.

It had been my dream for a while to spend a little time on each island upon leaving San Juan while on a visit. It is free to bring a vehicle eastbound on the ferry, so I decided to do it this time. Orcas Island for one day, nope, wait… make that two days. A night at Doe Bay for open mic brought so much love and good faces, that I had to stay the next day to serve at the FEAST fundraiser and at Island Hoppin’ Brewery for some live music. How could I just plan one day in a place that I spent so much time? It was amazing to see both the brewery and the Golden Tree Hostel coming to full fruition. Both were started by old friends, and both seem like they’re on a roll. It was also good to have Andrew Moore, who built my Navigator wood stove, and his family aboard to finally see my install.

Kyra's Magical Tea bus

Kyra’s Magical Tea bus

Next stop, Lopez Island. My dear friend, fellow bus dweller, and tea woman, Kyra was in crank out mode to finish her bus, and move out of the one she had been living in, so it was perfect timing for me to come over and give her a hand. I had a blast with her tinkering on her bus with things like a closet, door latch, water barrel stand, etc. She helped me serve some tea at Woodman Hall for Eli West and Cahalen Morrison, and the Brittany Haas Trio. It was an interesting crowd, and a little different from the crowds that Elephant Revival usually draws here at the same venue, but nevertheless it was good…

I have an awful trend in my life of working super hard to get myself on the road for a trip or event, and then getting sick as soon as I take off. This happened at Oregon Country Fair last year, and Rootstalk the year before that. And again, I got sick a day after I got to Lopez. I pretty much stayed in bed for two days, and was well taken care of. It really was an ideal time/place to get sick (if there is such a thing).

Sick on Lopez, luckily with many donated WishGarden Herbs tinctures!

Sick on Lopez, luckily with many donated WishGarden Herbs tinctures!

Today I leave the San Juans for the ‘mainland.’ Each day, and each week seems like a new step, bringing Edna and I a little farther down the road. The road is the destination in and of itself, so it feels like we’ve “made it” every day to wherever we’ve been trying to get. Although, I have a feeling that we’ll feel like we’ve gone a long ways once we’re farther into our trip.

Tonight we will be serving tea during the Anacortes Art walk in front of the Center for Happiness. This sounds like it will be fun! Come on by and join us!

Thank you San Juan Islands. Thank you for the love, and thank you for letting us snip those strings that were tying us to your lovely community. We’ll be back one day.

Silly kids!

Silly kids on Lopez!

The to-do list.

The to-do list.

Spending time with family before leaving.

Spending time with family before leaving.

Levi helps break the bead on all of Freddie's old tires.

Levi helps break the bead on all of Freddie’s old tires.

Leaving Friday Harbor.

Leaving Friday Harbor.

A nice sunny, but foggy day in the water.

A nice sunny, but foggy day in the water.

Edna on the ferry.

Edna on the ferry.

Freddie getting new tires.

Freddie getting new tires.

Hoola hooping tea sipper at Doe Bay.

Hoola hooping tea sipper at Doe Bay.

Always lots of kids on the bus on the island - Doe Bay.

Always lots of kids on the bus on the island – Doe Bay.

Silly kids!

Silly kids on Lopez!

The rotating handle I made for Kyra's bus.

The rotating handle I made for Kyra’s bus.

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One Response to Reaching Escape Velocity – San Juan Islands, WA

  1. Ally says:

    With all you’re “junk”, I think it’s fair to say you’re considered a true “junkie”! But to see all your salvaged creations, my friend, it’s one of the healthiest addictions I’ve ever seen.

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