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31: Simplify

Updated: Feb 27

Dear Friend,

How are you doing? Is there anything that you’ve acquired from the past week that you are purposefully bringing with you into this next one? Something that you’ve learned, or maybe a helpful new mantra?

For me, the last seven days have zipped by, full of interesting obstacles and shifts, and I’ve found it even more necessary to simplify.



Quiet focus.

We know that nature is not going to hold our hands and lead us into gentle places, it’s up to us to make good choices. And for all of the opportunities that nature does provide, (sights, sounds, smells, the feeling of wide-open spaces, densely green and shadowy forests, wild waters, solitude, serenity…), we have respect for the creatures who require their own space in, on and above the amazing landscape.

This magnificent bird has no doubt lived through some challenges. The weather, competition for food and territory – it hunts the river, a rough life in a beautiful place.


What an incredible bird; a mighty hunter, doting parent. The nest is not far from our campsite but it’s out of range for a Frank Quality photo. It is a huge nest of sticks, balanced a top a telephone pole. At certain times, I can see silhouettes of heads poking up - only silhouettes so I’m not sure of ages.


Would a Bald Eagle enjoy a foot massage? Just look at those feet! And those eyes, the focus. It stands to reason that each eagle has its own personality, the look on this one’s face may appear serious to us but how do we know that this eagle doesn’t have a great sense of humor? It could be a real prankster. It landed in the tree above our campsite and called out. It gave Frank plenty of time to get his camera and a few shots in the foliage. Then it flew and circled, no hurry, no obvious concern. 

We’ve camped along the Columbia River in Washington for most of the week and as we’ve made our way into Canada, we’re still on the same river, headed North.

Here’s a tip: We bought a couple of little citronella mosquito repellant wristbands called Bugables. They really do work for mosquitos and some of the biting flies.

The heat is on up here, too. Our afternoons get very warm, 95•F and such (we swim when we can) and we’re really fortunate to have the evening breezes off of the river! Thank you, river!

The border guard was a nice man. He looked a bit like Tim Conway but there wasn’t anything funny about our conversation. “No, we don’t have any firearms.” “Still don’t.” “Not now, either.”

So… we didn’t get a photo of the guy. In fact, here are the only Canadians that Frank has photographed so far.

I have a lot of thoughts about what is, and might be, next. I’d like to chat about all of these wonders but I’ll leave it for next time when I hope to have a more solid understanding about what will happen this week. Though no one can see EVERYTHING, hindsight is 20/20.

And this is where I’ll leave you for now. Looking Northward at the lights of a little town called Montrose, BC, CA, along the Columbia River.

Our sincere THANKS for your caring thoughts! And we appreciate you for being here, checking in!

I’m not sure what cell signal will be like as we travel north…but Contact me to let me know how things are going with you and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

Gently Be,

Leslie (and Frank)

(Thank you, Frank, for sharing these lovely photos, it's been a busy week)!

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