APRIL 16, 2018, IS MY FINAL DAY of going to work every morning, breaking a 40-year-habit. The last stint has been 22 years at The Seattle Times, editing and writing about travel and outdoor adventure. I’m not really thinking of this as retirement, because I’m going to keep writing, and hope to make a little money at it. I’m just thinking of it as a new period of sleeping in later.
Barbara and I have lived on our 32-foot-sailboat, Sogni d’Oro, for the better part of 25 years. Next stop, Center Island, in the San Juan Islands of Northwest Washington state, where we’ve had a small cabin for 15 years. No ferries, no stores, no cars… no trash removal. Plenty of challenges. Even though we know the place, we’ve never lived there full-time. I expect it will be a lot like moving to a strange new land — in the best sense, I hope, rather than the mugged-and-left-in-a-ditch-with-no-passport-or-credit-cards sense!
The cabin is pictured below. Our new old boat is pictured above: a restored classic 20-foot runabout built by Skagit Boat in La Conner, Wash., in 1957 (and here’s a nifty detail photo of the chrome nameplate). It reminds me a lot of the ’57 Chevy station wagon my folks drove when I was a tot. It should stoke some good adventures to get things started. When not doing chores or trying to grow a garden, we plan to thoroughly explore our archipelago, our state, and our corner of the continent, and will still jump on a plane now and then.
You’re welcome to come along for the ride.
— Brian J. Cantwell
“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.” — Bill Bryson