The United States has some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world. In the midst of madness lose yourself for a few minutes in the peace and serenity of the mountains and woods that surround us. Breathe in some of Marilynn’s photos. Welcome to Mt. Rainier National Park, where morning sun glows on the highest mountain in the state of Washington.

After ten days of camping and hiking without cell or internet the reality that we did not miss anything greets us. We emerge from the mountain woods to a west coast on fire. The pandemic still rages and politics remain divided as ever. We sense that our camping days are over due to the fires. We are not quite ready to leave the woods. Instead we find our way to free dispersed camping in a remote area of the Quinault Rain Forest on the Olympic Penninsula.

In the middle of the second night, where it is so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face, Marilynn smells smoke. A flashlight shows thick smoke and fog surrounding us.

Nobody knows that we are out here. If a fire would blaze overtop the mountain, we have many miles on a rough road before finding the pavement of Route 101. So what do we do? We fall back asleep. Either there is something wrong with us, perhaps Covid brain damage of some sort, or the beauty of nature lulls us back into her arms like a loving mother. Okay, we will go with the corny mother thing. But we did get the heck out of there come morning. At this point, we can pull up camp within five minutes, like Mongolian nomads.

I write this from a motel room in Astoria, Oregon, one of the coastal cities not ablaze. Where we will go next is a bit of a puzzle, as many routes are closed due to the fluid circumstances of smoke and fire. One thing for sure – we will continue to navigate life’s delights and breathe in the beauty as long a we are able.

Thank you, Abundant Universe.

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