Sometimes you just have to suck it up and drive. And then drive some more. It's 680 miles from Bozeman to Seattle. I decided to take on the challenge. I stopped halfway on the road between Coeur d'Alene and Spokane. The Spokane Centennial Trail connects both cities. On a sunny Sunday in May the trail is busy. It's a pleasant ride along the Spokane River with glimpses into the foothills.  

After the ride I began the long, but scenic trip across Washington State, from the Eastern foothills to the flat dry semi-arid Cascade rain shadow, through the Wenatchee hills, into Snoqualmie Pass and then finally into Seattle. 

My spirits were similarly buoyed while listening to the final innings of a game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets light hitting shortstop hit a game winning single, ending a five-game losing streak. After so many years of being a Met fan, and so many years of mediocrity, moments like that yield a special kind of happiness. The Mets radio announcers, Howie Rose and Josh Lewin engage in very entertaining dialogues. They are witty, informative, and refreshing. They understand that announcing baseball is about way more than statistics and play by play. Rose and Lewin are excellent storytellers, and they know that the narrative of the New York Mets is central to many peoples lives For me, it's a story about place, and my own origins on Long Island, and before that Brooklyn and before that (the grandparents) Russia.

Rose and Lewin have somewhat similar backgrounds and they embody much more than baseball when they excitedly announce Tejada's game winning hit. How wonderful to be listening to a Mets broadcast on an Ipad while rambling through eastern Washington. 

All thoughts of baseball and the Mets drifted away as I drive through the Cascades and entered the magical realm of the majestic Pacific Northwest. 

Over the next few days we'll be busy with moving logistics and other tasks. Watch this space for a forthcoming final "musing" about the landscape of my journey. 

Oh yes. Two final photos. The first is from the bike path in the Spokane Valley. the second is from the apartment where I'm currently staying in Seattle. 



Mitch Thomashow

Thomashow devotes his life and work to promoting ecological awareness, sustainable living, creative learning, improvisational thinking, social networking, and organizational excellence. Currently he is engaged in teaching, writing, and executive consulting, cultivating opportunities and exchanges that transform how people engage with sustainability and ecological learning. In August, 2011 Thomashow became Director of the Second Nature Presidential Fellows Program. This new program is designed to assist the executive leadership of colleges and universities in promoting a comprehensive sustainability agenda on their campuses. Fellows provide executive consulting on climate action planning, long-range financial planning, organizational leadership, curricular implementation, and community investment. From 2006-2011, Thomashow was the president of Unity College in Maine. With his management team, he integrated concepts of ecology, sustainability, natural history, wellness, participatory governance, and community service into all aspects of college and community life. This included construction of The Unity House, the first LEED Platinum President’s Residence in North America, and the TeraHaus, a passive house student residence, as well as comprehensive campus energy planning, an integrated approach to growing food on campus, and a new academic master plan. Previously from 1976-2006, Thomashow was the Chair of the Environmental Studies program at Antioch University New England. He founded an interdisciplinary environmental studies doctoral program and worked collaboratively to grow and nourish a suite of engaging Masters programs, geared to working adults. Thomashow is the founder of Whole Terrain, an environmental literary publication, originating at Antioch University New England, and “Hawk and Handsaw,” a journal of creative sustainability, published at Unity College. He serves on the boards of Orion Magazine and The Coalition on Environmental and Jewish Life (COEJL). Thomashow is a founding organizer of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD), a national organization that supports interdisciplinary environmental studies in higher education. He provides ongoing consultation to the Sustainable Endowments Institute and their new Billion Dollar Green Challenge program. His two books have significantly influenced environmental studies education. Ecological Identity: Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist (The MIT Press, 1995) offers an approach to teaching environmental education based on reflective practice—a guide to teachers, educators and concerned citizens that incorporates issues of citizenship, ecological identity, and civic responsibility within the framework of environmental studies. Bringing the Biosphere Home, (The MIT Press, 2001) is a guide for learning how to perceive global environmental change. It shows readers that through a blend of local natural history observations, global change science, the use of imagination and memory, and philosophical contemplation, you can learn how to broaden your spatial and temporal view so that it encompasses the entire biosphere. His essay (2010), “The Gaian Generation: A New Approach to Environmental Learning” provides provocative new concepts for teaching about global environmental change. Another essay (2012) “Where You At 2.0” reasserts the relevance of bioregionalism for digital age learners. A recent essay (2013),“Sustainability as Turnaround” is a case study of his work as president at Unity College. with mandolin.png His new book, The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus (The MIT Press) provides a framework for advancing sustainable living and teaching in a variety of campus environments. It will be available in January, 2014. Thomashow is currently working on two writing, networking, and teaching projects. Improvisational Excellence suggests that improvisation emulates the patterns and processes of the biosphere. It’s a series of essays linking play, music, and observing nature to the paths of everyday living. It is the philosophical basis for Thomashow’s workshops on global environmental change, music and nature, and ecological perception. Wilson’s Library is a series of prose poems depicting extraordinary moments during the history of life on earth. Thomashow lives in the hill country of southwest New Hampshire in the shadow of Mount Monadnock. He loves to explore the fields, forests, wetlands, hills, and lakes of Northern New England where you can often find him on his bicycle. His recreational interests include basketball, baseball, board games, jazz piano, electronic keyboards, musical composition and recording, guitars, hiking, and lake swimming.