I’ll see you all this coming fall…

As we prepare to embark on our second boat tour, I’m reminded of a concept that I first learned about from the Coen brothers but have since discovered for myself.  They made a film around the turn of the century loosely based on The Odyssey about a trio of misfit fugitives on a quest to find easy money.  For each of them it means a different thing.  For one, it’s buying back the family farm, for one it’s the security and self-importance that comes with operating a fine restaurant, and for the Odysseus character, it’s about (of course) winning back his wife from a nefarious suitor but also about finding an occupation and a life path from which he can derive pleasure and satisfaction.  The film opens with an original 1928 recording of Harry McClintock performing The Big Rock Candy Mountains, a song about a hobo’s paradise where the jails are made of tin, where they hung the jerk that invented work, where lakes are made of stew and where you never change your socks while you sit beside a whiskey stream, trickling down the rocks. 

This, then, is the stage we’re at in our time here  We had two weeks of more adventure and learning than one could hope to ask for.  You can read in other posts about our gallavanting with minke whales, breaching orcas, water so calm and clear that you can see whales underwater as they pass and being pushed around the ocean by the wind’s free energy.  Was it real?  Did, as I remember, we really spend every day looking and listening to whales, and then using math to understand our findings?  (Remember, in my past life I was a math teacher, so applications of trigonometry warm my heart a bit).  As we spent the last few days on land catching up with the real world and then working hard with faces in computer screens and headphones on, analyzing our data and putting it in a usable form, the memories have faded a bit.  Can this Big-Rock-Candy-Mountain of the sea really exist?  Or did we make it up?  Wallace Stegner, in a novel he appropriately titled The Big Rock Candy Mountain, has the protagonist “never quite grant that all the good places were filled up.  There was somewhere, if you knew where to find it, some place where money could be made like drawing water from a well, some Big Rock Candy Mountain where life was effortless and rich and unrestricted and full of adventure and action, where something could be had for nothing.”  That’s what he was searching for.  For us these next two weeks, all I can ask for is that same feeling that was described so well on these other posts.  That’s my Big Rock Candy Mountain.  And I’m so excited to get back on that boat to go searching for it again!

If technology is on my side, I’ll leave you with a video we shot that first week.  Just a fleet of porpoises jumping around the boat.  That’s all.  No big deal, really.  Just another day in the Big Rock Candy Mountains.  🙂

Porpoises Porpoising

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