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Caspar 5 August 2019

1936 : 0

: Living in a tourist destination

As always, the month before we travel is a time of particular attention to our surroundings – widely agreed to be nicest place in the world. While the world around us appears to be spiraling downward, here nothing much has changed since we arrived 50 years ago!


The reason we are here, have been here for this amazingly change-full half century, is the unspoiled, unadulterated nature. This is America's Tower of London, and our State Parks – and that includes you, Iowans! – are our national crown jewels.

After Bastille Day brunch at the Ledford House, we walked back up into Fern Canyon, beside the merrily chuckling, crystal clear creek.

Columbine flower

What compels us to travel, and particularly on our "Circuit of Ecotopia" is that these jewels are arrayed all up and down the Pacific Coast, from Big Sur right up along the Inland Passage to the top of Alaska. I never tire of their majesty and authenticity.

<p>Fern Canyon, Van Damme State Park</p>

Fern Canyon, Van Damme State Park

1937 : 0
<p>Rochelle’s beautiful 75th Birthday card</p>

Rochelle’s beautiful 75th Birthday card

The month before our annual adventure also happens to include my 75th birthday, an anniversary I am not thrilled to be celebrating. Readying ourselves for a 2,500 mile circumambulation of the northwest, I wonder: How many more years will we be able to drive 400+ miles in a day ...and what happens when we can't? 

1942 : 0

So I try to plan for easy days, 200 mile driving days, and those separated by a day or two somewhere interesting, lovely, or, preferably, both. With good food! Nevertheless, this trip will take us 2,400+ miles (not counting incidentals) in 23 days. 


But before we go, a little more about where we live, and why it's the best place for us.


1938 : 0
<p>Locals and tourists</p>

Locals and tourists

1939 : 0
<p>Jug Handle Beach – Caspar Beach</p>

Jug Handle Beach – Caspar Beach

1940 : 0

On this birthday, living in a small, friendly village on a headland between two beautiful beaches, Jug Handle and Caspar, underpinned by stout rock tortured by the onslaught of the Pacific plate, insulated by a mountain range and twisty roads to feel the stately seasonal pace of riotous nature...


Fir and Oregon Grape

1941 : 0
<p>Rochelle on the trail home from Jug Handle Beach</p>

Rochelle on the trail home from Jug Handle Beach

...I don't feel three-quarters of a century old. "Out there," east of the Coast Range, where people's lives seem to be spiraling downward out of control toward meanness and tribalism, I imagine I would feel older, much less ready to cope with the stoplights, indignities, racial slurs, selfishness. The cleansing heartbeat of waves on the shore reminds me to thrive where I'm rooted, in the company of the joyous, resilient, supportive family and friends I happen – no! I have *chosen* – to live among ...and I am thankful.
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