02/20/2013, Fishtail, Montana, USA
We are proud to announce our new blog. In the coming months we hope to have other contributors who know this land more intimately than we yet do, thereby building for you a richer understanding of this place we now call home. A brand new website full of information and photographs for "The Torgrimson Place" will be going live very soon. Until then welcome to The Torg Blog.
|Back in the US of A||
The difficulty with most oft quoted adages is that invariably they are incorrect, often diametrically. No fences make better neighbors than good ones. Enemies are far better a long way off and friends close. As to the happiest two days of a boat owners life. Well that's nuts. When we bought Mandy we were full of foreboding and worry that we had spent too much, that we knew too little, and that we were chasing dreams we had no right to. Now that we sell her we have knots in our stomachs and a cavernous feeling of loss - "saudade" I believe is the word in Gallego. Of course its crazy to feel this way about a bunch of plastic, wood and canvas held together with varnish but she was our ticket to adventure. Perhaps you have to be a sailor to get it.
But everything between those bookends of angst has been almost all joy. The skills we have learned, the mentors we have followed, the fear we have overcome, the wonders we have beheld and the goodness of the people we encountered, none of this would have been possible without our little boat.
At Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas we met two young twenty year olds. Each had a boat of their own in which they probably had about $7,000 apiece invested. They came aboard Mandy in their blow up kayaks which served as their dinghies. On route to Cuba, these two young lads were bright, vital and totally engaged. How does it get any better? Here managing the Inn we have met countless folks who seem to be in a complex-life induced haze, to whom the promise of a weekend in the mountains comes laden with expectations, but in the event their senses are not alive enough in the moment to really see the place they visit. There has to be so much more. So, for those entertaining the dream, if we can give you anything, it is a nudge, a push, a shove, whatever it takes to make your leap, get your boat and cast off.
We are shortly to embark on a new adventure to the rigors of south central Montana, living in some of the most spectacular country we have ever witnessed. We now entrust Mandy to Bob and Erin Young, no doubt now full of the same excited apprehension that we had when we took over from Karen and Steve. They will be the fourth couple she has owned and in keeping with all their predecessors they plan to live aboard. For us this is wonderful since it ensures that this very special little ship can continue to be vibrant, cared for and off over the horizon on new adventures. We wish them the very very best and if they have half the fun we did they will never regret one minute.
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03/15/2011, Swallow Falls State Park, Garrett County, MD
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See you later alligator!
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01/07/2011, Deep Creek, MD
Montana was breathtaking - need to come back
Two months after we left Deltaville in early November we pulled into Deep Creek, MD to begin our new assignment as innkeepers at Carmel Cove Inn.
The Inn's a little nippy right now
For the numerically inclined we drove 11,500 miles in portions of 25 states (VA, WV, KY, TN, AL, MS, LA, GA, MD, AR, TX, NM, AZ, CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, NE, IA, IL, IN, OH, and PA).
Kitsch and underwhelming in situ these old rock heads are photogenic
Our ancient (200,000 miles when we started) pick up behaved flawlessly, drinking only fuel and the winter weather, which has been brutal in parts, never got us in its grips. We had balmy days in New Orleans, torrential rainfall in Los Angeles and cold but good conditions for the cross country trek.
The purpose of the trip, to visit our three sprogs, was fulfilled in spades.
01/01/2011, Tacoma, WA
In 400 B.C. Xenophon accompanied Cyrus the Younger's army of Greek mercenaries on their mission to seize the throne of Persia. Through the inevitable disasters of war "the Ten Thousand" were left lost and stranded in enemy territory without food or supplies, a mission or a leader. Their re-organization, and discovery of a way back to the sea, which they know is home, is the core of Xenophon's "Anabasis".
We have over the last two years met and grown to know some wonderful people. It is no surprise that most are, shall we say, in their mature years, and in order to be out larking around in a boat have, by and large, for want of a better term, got their shit together. Also on our drive across the country we have had the privilege of staying with many old friends and for a brief time being a part of their lives. With the proviso that for all of us misfortune or disaster can be merely an accident or illness away, these people have for the most part carved out a dream and lived at least a small part of it. We all develop an internal life narrative and the ability to get the most out of our lives can depend on how we fulfill that narrative, or adjust it as circumstances change. It may be illusion, but a degree of stability and security is tangible in these lives.
Twenty-somethings, our children and their friends, for the most part have not attained this stability and would probably be horrified if they had. Nevertheless it is surely the trajectory they are on for we are all not so dissimilar from the beasts in our basic needs of fire, bed and bone. But for them, post college, is a time without much stability and with room to experiment where relationships, jobs, careers and location are all in flux. For us this is disquieting even unnerving, but surely it is a process as necessary as Xenephon's journey. He could not find his way before, for it could not been revealed until he had been lost. It can be excruciating to watch, but there is little we can do than wait to hear the yell "The Sea, The Sea".
COUCH SURFING - Participating in creating a better world, one couch at a time. Connecting travelers with members of local communities, who offer free accommodation and/or advice.
It is the newest thing in the world traveler's vocabulary. Hostels are passé and B & Bs are positively out of the question for many in today's economy, but couch surfing opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It is a win/win situation for the couch surfer and the couch host, not to mention the benefits of sharing knowledge of the world and connecting to other cultures in a most organic way.
We have joked as we have traversed the country staying with our family and close friends that we have joined the ranks of couch surfers united, for we have been making the most of free places to stay and participating in some unusual activities, such as knife making, fox hunting, polo support team, Fringe theatre audience, competitive cycling and racehorse training (again). In exchange we try to give back by cooking meals, gardening, dog walking, home repair work and telling some choice yarns from our past two years at sea.
We have slept on some couches as well as beds of every description. We were actually prepared for sleeping on the floor where ever necessary and packed sleeping pads and sleeping bags in the truck. We are not accustomed to a high degree of comfort; our double berth on MANDY is on the narrow side, but is firm and cosy. In a rolling sea we have the pilot berth where the lee cloth holds one person cradled in safety while asleep. It is with some pride that we can both sleep anywhere we lay our heads but, it is especially sound sleep when it all comes free.
The population of today's Couch Surfing Culture appears to be solidly in the under thirties age range, so including ourselves may be pushing the envelope somewhat. Before long (9 days) we will be in Maryland and we will be able to choose a bed for the next couple of years in the Inn Keepers apartment. I also plan to get a comfortable sleeper sofa for our family or friends who come to visit. When we eventually reach Galicia, Spain to renovate our farmhouse there, I am seriously thinking of signing up to be a couch surfing host. Until then we will be practicing our hosting skills for the future in the old fashioned B & B industry.