Welcome to where the seeds of dreams are planted--where one can sip from the charmed chalice of life & meet interesting folk through (hopefully) intelligent conversation.

One never knows nor can expect who will sail into the fray--what we do know is that no soul here is perfect no matter how we try. So let us celebrate & raise our mugs to the idiosyncratic nature of life--to the Kramer's & Norm's of the world, the Roseanne's & Allan Poe's. Some old, some lost, some tortured, some blessed, all souls sharing a drink at the same time in the same place. The ensuing tales are authentic with names trending towards monikers. The flag waving on our doorstep means we're open, so come perk your curiosity in Le Harbor Bungalow Cafe.

Bonjour! Mesherfin! Hasta la vista! Your barista.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Surrounded by pillows the barista lay.  The oscillating fan next to his bed kept the sweat from beading around his temples, for now.  Non-reliance on air conditioning makes him feel strong.  Amazingly, the un-watered Christmas tree clippings that garnish his room have retained their green needles.  If they can deal with the heat, so can I.

Today is Independence Day here in the United States.  The barista prepared le cafe for the pre-fireworks festivities at the Point called Fells.  Amongst the patrons nobody except for Mohammed could answer the barista’s holiday trivia question, “Who was the first country to recognize the United States as an independent nation?”

“France?”  photo Jim guesses.


After all, one can say they are independent all they want, but until one’s neighbors’ acknowledge it, freedom is a myth.  Do you know the first country to recognize our independence?

This morning as he laid in bed, the barista wondered what he liked most about America.  Where was his freedom most apparent?  The National Parks.  The great outdoors.  In nature. He remembered that his travel journal was stashed near his pillow.  He began to read about his recent trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park.  What is more American than a summer RV camping trip?

The Shenandoah Mountains kindly greet the cinnamon girl & me as we awake at our campsite.  The Dolphin motored us to this near-empty camp ground a day prior, but we chose to pitch a tent anyway.  Sleep under the stars.  As we unpacked the yellow & gray backpacker’s tent a three-foot diamondback greeted us from out of the brush. Not coiled, but wrapped over itself, the rattler was neither threatening nor threatened.  Cinnamon was not stirred.  I said, “Hello”.

After munching on some pepperoni calzones baked in the camper we started along a Mattew’s Arm circuit trail: Overall Run.  On about mile three we winded up along a forested ridge where a moose-of-a-bear stumbled along. Initially I thought it was two or three bears.  But as the black furry shadow approached from about 40 yards away between trees and boulders, I realized this was the biggest bear I have encountered outside of a zoo--easily 600 pounds, maybe 700.  The beast must have sensed us watching him as he turned his head in our direction.  We retreated back down the trail out of sight.  I readied the pepper spray as a last resort, nearly prepping the camera as well.  As we hoped, the intimidating, pointed-eared creature disappeared upon our return to the ridge about five minutes later.

About half way along the 9.5 mile circuit, we discovered a timely swimming hole.  I had been on the lookout for a place to cool off from the 90-degree (F) heat.  The pool was about six feet deep; beneath one bubbling cascade and above another.  Enough room for about four people to kick it without being up on each other.  Sixty degrees and refreshing!  Cinnamon wet her feet while I dove right on under, bandana and all.  Memories of Shasta & the Righteous Hole surfaced.  A few other hikers found the swim before & after us, but we had a good 20 minutes of privacy.  The view above & below the rocky cascades was calendar worthy. 

After regrouping, we began towards Overall Run Falls—a 93-foot waterfall hidden amongst the trees of the Blue Ridge.  We rested at an overlook where the sun would soon drop across the valley.  On tired legs we trekked up & up & up, back to the campsite where the Dolphin meditated.  Too tired to fix anything fancy to eat, we snacked on hummus & salsa.  I made time for a star-glaze then met my cute travel companion for some mountain dreaming.  It was a wonderful 35th birthday.

Happy birthday, America.

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