Feb 26, 2007

ALASKAN MARINE HIGHWAY: Once I was married. Seven years, in fact, just like the itchy jokes.

I fell in love on the Rome-Bologna train. We'd dashed to the station, determined to hop the next service, wherever it might lead, for the long weekend. His knapsack contained only a tattered volume of Xenophon, two oranges and a toothbrush.

And so we lived: ricocheting through England, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey. We rode our relationship hard and put it away wet. The glue factory was inevitable.

My ex has a mortgage now, two kids, a job he dreads. And I? I remarried adventure.

But I've always run straight at trouble like some woad-smudged berserker. “You have just two speeds,” my friend Edward complains. “Inert and full throttle. If you don't figure out the middle gears, kid, you won't see 40.”

But I fear the alternative, so ably expressed by Kent Nerburn in Road Angels: “I've watched the light go out of too many of my friends' eyes as their lives turned from a crazy garden of weeds and wildflowers to a well-manicured lawn. I'm not ready for that yet. I need 'bears behind trees' – surprises in life that are bigger than a plugged sewer line or an unexpected finance charge on my credit card ... If I don't have them, my life becomes just a long-term maintenance project.”

Curious? Read the book,Single State of the Union, edited by Diane Mapes, who also traces her muddy roots to Skagit Valley, Washington.

I contributed the essay "Tangled Up in Wild Blue" about the life of a divorced travel writer. Oh, it's riveting stuff all right, stretching from Alaska to Zimbabwe.

There and back again.

My story.



  1. Cheer up, homeslice. (Haha, I love that term, "homeslice").

    He'll find you if you don't find him first, if that is, indeed, what you seek. Trust me. I'm never wrong. Ever.

  2. Anonymous6:42 PM

    Im married to adventure too . Checkout www.couchsurfing.com where everyone is married to travel and adventure. ;)

  3. 'nother 'nonymous8:20 PM

    You are missing being married, not missing your former husband.

    The rhythm of your life misses an anchor.

  4. Did I sound like I missed him?