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    For many folks, the past few weeks have been an unusually extreme series of highs and lows. A time to figure out what's next, to ponder the future, and perhaps to wonder if the other shoe is going to drop. Some have seen a total eclipse, the Northern Lights, and other magnificent sights offered by Mother Nature and the universe in general. Others have been devastated by hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, forest fires, and more. Hardly anyone I know has not been effected either directly or indirectly.  

    As I've listened and observed and spent what time I can helping out where and when I can, several related bits and pieces of wisdom related to "home" echo in my brain. Paraphrased examples of that wisdom include "...home is where you hang your hat." "...there's no place like home."  "...home is where the heart is." 

    Despite the many trials and tribulations, the extreme ebbs and flows of things - both good and not so good - that family, friends, and strangers have and are experiencing; I'm once again reminded that this is all we have. This roundish ball made of water, rock, and gas. We are all together in the same ocean liner traveling in the infinite sea of space. And there are no lifeboats. We'll either all make the voyage together or we won't. It's a paradoxical conundrum of the highest order: We have everything in the world in whatever way, shape, and form it takes; and everything in the world is all we have.

    That paradox to me is actually quite inspiring, in fact, it's awe-inspiring. And it's always helped me to overcome obstacles and challenges. And it's humbling. And be it ever so humble, there's no place like Earth, our home. 



    July 9, 2017 - Moon rise over Columbia River at Sacajawea State Park near confluence of Snake and Columbia Rivers. During the summer of 1976 I started in St. Louis, MO and followed the Lewis and Clark route from there to Camp Station at the mouth of the Columbia River where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. My goal was to travel the entire route with no motorized power and for the most part I was able to accomplish that via a combination of walking, paddling the rivers on canoes and rafts, horseback, and bicycling. Due to the logistics of private ground ownership and other issues, I did have a few small stretches where I hitchhiked and caught short rides now and then, including from various law enforcement officials and vehicles :-) This summer I have been retracing parts of that journey and spent part of this week alone camping and paddling the rivers from the confluences of the Snake, Yakima, and Columbia Rivers and on down the Columbia for a way. Just as I found in 1976, the majority of folks encountered along the way (including various local, state, and federal law enforcement officials and game wardens) continue to be kind and helpful. As Homer said: "The journey's the thing." Wishing fellow humans around the world a joyful, fulfilling, and exciting journey on the paths you are choosing to explore.

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Daniel Knight