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The Downtime

OK, I gave you fair warning: this would be a quiet week for the blog. The reason is that once in a while I have an overload of work and can't maintain the even schedule I strive for. I just posted an essay on Gather about "work/life balance" which you can read by clicking the "Gather" link (to the left), but as it turns out, that essay is really an idealized account of what my life is like.

In reality work doesn't go on an even keel when you are mobile. We've been constantly busy and moving around for two weeks, which meant that a major project due on Nov 20 was looming and nothing was getting done about it. This week it came to a head: I had to set everything aside and get the project done. I hate deadlines for big projects but I've never missed one yet and I wasn't about to miss this one either.

So instead of exploring the central Oregon coast -- Haceta Lighthouse, Seal Caves, Oregon Sand Dunes SRA, Florence's old downtown and river port -- I have been hunkered down in front of my laptop, working, working, working.

This is the dark side of traveling and working. Each morning at about 8 a.m., I ride my bike from campsite #140 through the tall pine trees and damp morning air of coastal Oregon. It's about 3/4 mile down to the "Activity Center" where I can get a desk and free wifi to the Internet. I stay there all day, trying to concentrate on my work, while retirees come and go, playing the occasional game of pool, and working the jigsaw puzzles. Only full-timers roam Oregon this time of year, and we're the only ones who aren't retired.

Around lunchtime, Eleanor and Emma show up bearing lunch, and then I'm back at it. In the evening, we hang out in the Activity Center for a while before returning to the trailer for dinner and a movie (last night: Sahara -- a bit too violent for small children but fun for adults). It's a dull life compared to the last month, but a good chance to catch up on everything: phone calls to friends and family; trip planning; laundry.

Eleanor and Emma have had a chance to explore a bit, and they've taken some photos that I might get uploaded before we leave Florence. I have learned bits and pieces through them. For example, "sneaker" waves are a phenomenon of the Oregon and Northern California coastline, big surges that come between smaller waves. Here they warn you never to turn your back on the ocean, lest a sneaker wave knock you down. No swimming at most beaches.

The project will be done this afternooon and I'll be able to resume a more normal schedule which mixes fun and work. Starting on Saturday, we plan to roam down the Oregon coast into Northern California, stopping at Redwoods National Park and Eureka, at least. Should be some awesome photo opportunities along the way: sea lions, rugged coastline, Victorian houses, redwoods, giant sand dunes, etc. Stay tuned.

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