Mar 9, 2020 - May 28, 2020

Katie and I traveled south to Cascabel, AZ via Arcata, CA in early March. In Cascabel we continued to get to know the area and people better. The circumstances of the time meant that we focused ourselves more locally than we had intended, but it gave us the chance to acclimate to the weather as we planned to stay for the summer. Wildlife was much as it was the previous spring, though with fewer snake encounters. The migration of birds through the San Pedro Valley was its usual treat and I had the pleasure of observing some nesting and fledging. 

Summer arrives awfully early here. Hot spells of temperatures hitting 100+ degrees Fahrenheit in April took some getting used to. The lack of humidity helps a lot. We built more shade around our trailer and learned techniques for shedding heat when you don’t have air conditioning.

Because our spring location lacks the ability to cool down during the day, it was not going to work for summer. It was a struggle to work when our laptop fans were running at full speed reading our email. We are currently house sitting in the valley for a couple that spend their summers in Alaska and it is working out quite well.

Weathering the Storm

In late February we prepped our “little boat" to leave NW Washington and set out heading south in early March. As the storm of 2020 began to build in Washington State, we rode the surge through Oregon and into northern California. The winds of closures pushed us faster and faster to our ultimate destination of Cascabel much earlier than we had planned.

The plan to be in SE Arizona during this time was hatched a year ago with no direct premonition of the current storm. Yet, looking back over the past four years, it feels like the murmurs of its brewing helped drive us into the lifestyle we currently pursue. 

To say that "we are all in different boats, but weathering the same storm” is too simplistic. Storms have different intensities depending on what part of it you experience. Our “little boat” has served us well as we skirt the edges of the storm, which has been much less intense than what many others have experienced. We have been fortunate to have access to safe ports during this time and have not experienced the full intensity of the 2020 tempest. All in all, we have only had to deal with minor inconveniences such as shortages of supplies available locally and a bit of isolation. We have not had to deal with the upheaval that so many have endured.

The storm is still ever present, though, and we feel the persistent change in barometric pressure around us. There is a sense that the prevailing winds are changing and that the full brunt of the storm is on the horizon, whether it be in the form of disease, unrest, economic downturn, fire, or all of the above is unclear. What is also unclear is whether we are experiencing a storm or a change in climate. If it is only a storm, is it the first of many and what permanent changes will it bring? How will it change the world and how we live in it? Who will be able to adapt and who won't? How do we focus help where needed while not getting caught up in reacting out of anger, frustration, or desperation? How do we come together to deal with what must change? How do we deal with what must change within ourselves? 

What we do know is that change is inevitable.

We are in a privileged position. We are generally unencumbered and have modest resources to apply where needed. Our focus has been on promoting wildness and self-awareness, mostly in ourselves. The current racial unrest seems distant, but the issue is pervasive everywhere. Recent events have laid bare our complicity and we are making the effort to understand our role in it all. It isn’t easy, because it requires accepting that we benefit from a system designed from the beginning, and perpetuated over time, to take advantage of non-white people. (Note: The preceding link is not a casual read and is only recommended for those interested in exploring the issue further. I found it very sobering.)

And yet, over the almost four years since we left Seattle in our “little boat”, we have found ourselves to be where we needed to be. We continue to learn and we continue to believe that we are where we are supposed to be even if it isn’t always clear for what purpose. We participate in the community activities that still are available and keep our lives open to being available as need arises.

The current “plan” is to stay in the area through next spring and focus on the needs here, as long as it continues to make sense.

Be good to one another.
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