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30: strategy

Updated: Feb 27



Dear Friend,


How are you doing? I hope that the heat is not too challenging where you are. If it is, I’m very sorry that you are uncomfortable! It is already the 22nd of July, two more months of summer to go – what has your strategy been for keeping cool? Do you open all of your windows in the morning (maybe through the night) and close them before the temps begins to rise? We used to do that, it seems to work. Do you have a whole-house fan or an awning or do you climb the fence and dive into your neighbor’s pool at 2 am? What about cooking? Have you changed your menu because of summer heat? What is your ‘go-to’ meal for blistering evenings?


It’s Saturday morning, the sun is already way loud in the quiet blue sky. I’m writing this now because early tomorrow morning, we are planning to leave our campsite near Twisp, Washington. There is a HUGE Blues Festival just outside of town. 100s of RVs and Campers, people in tents, trucks, vans, cars… hot and tired drivers will be leaving the event tomorrow afternoon and there are only two ways out, both on narrow two-lane roads. Our plan is to be well on our way even before the sun knows what we’re up to.


But today, we’re working in our peaceful, Okanogan Forest, campsite #2, only about 20 yards from the shallow but rapidly whooshing Methow River. We have both tree shade and open canopy and luckily, we’re able to take this time to capture the sun’s energy and charge our solar batteries. Thank you, Sunshine. It’s probably only going to get to about 94•F today, not bad, I know, compared to what you and a LOT of our other friends are dealing with.


Our preparation for leaving any campsite includes planning. Though it probably seems like we never know where we’re going, there are still tasks and organizing that we must do and questions that we are accustomed to answering on the go… Just like the planning that you have to do before leaving your house to go for an overnight somewhere.


Most travel days we know that we’ll need to spend time in cell service to catch up with people before we head, once again, into remote places with zero signal. (Sometimes it’s possible to find place / time to do that and sometimes it’s not and we don’t know ahead of time unless we’re backtracking).


We try to be aware – good cell signal doesn’t always equate to safe surroundings. We also have to budget our Hot Spot Data and use it wisely. Some camp sites are by reservation only. Do we need to reserve a campsite online? Some campsites are First Come First Served. Some are walk-ups and cannot be reserved online within 24 hours of arrival, but if you arrive same day and there is an open space, you can stay, but for only one night. Camping Apps (and between Frank and I, we probably have them all) are hit-and-miss, and again, a person has to have cell signal to use an App. We also have to be sure that we have the correct cash, enough water, ice, storable protein, what about disposing of trash, (Pack it in / Pack it out)? Do we need to get gas? Propane? Do we need to do laundry? Are we clean enough? Have YOU flossed your teeth today?


And then there is always map-time. Frank is really big on having analogue maps. I have respect for the maps but am also aware that they are possibly antiquated. When we have cell signal, we can get fairly decent directions BUT when the place is more remote, we often rely on the internal compass of Frank Bevans. (I am still finding my way out of that old paper-bag).


Twice now, just this week, places that we have set out to find are on the App-maps, the paper map, and seemingly, happen to be Siri’s favorite place to go, as she eagerly gives turn by turn directions and announces triumphantly, “Arrived!” … but WHERE?

This not the place! And invariably, there’s no cell signal. The map is wrong. The Apps are worthless.


But onward we go and Frank has, so far, magically, found our destination simply by driving to it. How does he do this? I don’t know. But I sincerely appreciate his super-power, what a gift.


Strategy is not magic and we all know that Frank has been traveling back roads since his teen years, and that has given him plenty of time to have developed a game-plan. We’ve ended up in some amazingly beautiful places and we’ve been able to stay because we’ve planned ahead.





 

Speaking of strategy, when is the last time you played a game of Chess? I want to introduce you to one of the Thinkers on this planet that I am honored to call my friend. His name is Tim. He has other interests and talents, but has recently shared that he is also a chess player. I asked him if I could extend his invitation to receive his nearly daily blog on the hows and whys of his strategy regarding daily Chess play. His generous, transparent explanations are easy to follow. Here’s a message from Tim:

• The idea here is to try to solve (Chess.com puzzles) yourself and then you can look at my blog and see what I thought. If I get a move wrong I will say so.

• I do get feedback from people serving as an exhange of ideas. I also give free coaching via questions and answers because I enjoy teaching..." ~ Tim


If you are interested and would like to receive Tim’s blog, please let me know, just contact me and I'll introduce you via email.


Meanwhile, take a look at some of these beautiful and unusual chess sets that Frank and I saw while visiting Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington this week.

 









 

The Museum was built for Queen Marie of Romania by Samuel Hill. The story goes that when Samuel Hill sent for the Queen so that she could see her namesake museum, she was shocked that she’d come all the way around the world to see an empty concrete building out in the middle of nowhere. “What in the Sam Hill?”


The museum offers a much more fine-and-finished feeling today MARYHILLMUSEUM 

 

 

There is a variety of art featured at the museum.



Theatre De La Mode demonstrates finished clothing, in miniature.






 

Part of the Museum, just down the road, is a Stonehenge WWI Memorial...



 

...with a view of the Columbian River Gorge.

 



A natural wind tunnel, windsurfers have been coming to the Gorge from all over the world since 1970. People enjoy kiteboarding and paddle boarding here, too.

 


It would take some practice but it sure looks like a lot of fun! There are experts and beginners out on the water. Frank photographed some of the more experienced riders.









Earlier in the week, we went through Tillamook, Oregon and stopped off at this Air Museum TILLAMOOK AIR MUSEUM 



The size of the building is what captured our attention. A former blimp hangar, it is one of the largest clear-span wooden structures in the world. A plaque at the entrance tells the story behind the government acquisition, eminent domain, of the land and explains how farmers (and their families) had to sell or just give up everything for the War Effort. How would that play out in 2023? The building is on 2000 acres of acquired land.

Frank shares these photos of our visit inside the museum.

 






 

We’ve turned inland and are traveling away from the coast. See you later ocean…

 


If you are interested in any of Frank’s images on Tracks by the Post, or Frank’s Instagram or Website, simply Contact Frank. And don't hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, it's fun to hear from you!


Thank you for reading Tracks by the Post! We appreciate the extra time it takes to check in on us, we’re always grateful for your thoughts and care.


Sending you our best wishes for a good week, staying cool!


Gently Be,

Leslie (and Frank)

 

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