Huckleberry Finn said, “The June rise used to be always luck for me; because as soon as that rise begins, here comes cord wood and pieces of log rafts-sometimes a dozen logs together so all you have to do is catch them.” As luck would have it one June day, Huck fetched himself a right fine canoe. Later on he got himself a raft and a travel buddy – the river was a swollen freedom trail and a boy’s ultimate summer camp experience. Merrily, merrily, merrily, life was a dream in the stream.
Having buddies with boats is pretty much a survival skill for anyone who has a boat. Most sailors consider themselves pretty darn independent and self sufficient, but few have the hankering for solitude like Henry David Thoreau. He wanted to be all by his big boy self and live alone on Walden Pond to learn from nature. Huck and Henry had at least one thing in common – they learned that if you move confidently in the direction of your dreams, and work to live the life you’ve imagined – you will live those dreams. Huck felt the bonds of friendship afforded rich stories that were swapped among crew mates and enhanced life afloat.
Our friends Don and Mary Ellen Morrison have been best buds for over 50 years. They took God’s advice to Noah, and climbed aboard as two people who make one couple. They love messing about in boats so much that they sold their home, cancelled the land lines and woke up to the dream of living aboard their 37’ Endeavor sailboat, Ragtime. Next weekend they will toss the dock lines of their slip in Sioux Harbor and sail away – for good. They are embarking on a grand adventure up to the Northern Channel of Lake Michigan and then, kind of like Forrest Gump running all the way from one ocean to another only to turn around and go back – they are going to sail south. They have no estimated time of arrival, deadlines, or commitments – they are just going to sail away together.
People are generally skeptical about dreamers, critical of vagabonds, and hesitant to be known as river rats. The world is so much more interesting because of people who can imagine things that aren’t yet. Not all of us have a strong desire to travel or the resources to fuel wanderlust. We don’t really know why some of us have a passion for experiencing the unknown, confronting fresh challenges head on, and getting to know other ways of life. Some folks are arm chair adventurers who extract thrills by reading about other people’s travels. That’s pretty much how I’ll experience Ragtime’s voyages – by reading posts on their new blog. It won’t be the same as greeting every day afloat and bidding the sun adieu from a cockpit, and feeling totally satisfied with the knowledge that to wander is not to be lost.
Fair thee well Don and Mary Ellen. Enjoy the ebbing June rise – it will bring you luck.