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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

I interrupt writing about my Australian Saga to bring you the following announcement:

My ebook, Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three will be available FREE through Amazon on Sunday October 14, 2012.

I met Cliff in 1981 and we married a year later.  We took several motorcycle trips together — to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Door County, and Colorado.  Our adventures during those journeys are the basis for this book. At 20,000 words it is a quick read.  

I hope you will consider taking a “look inside” to read the first several pages at the link to the book’s Amazon page (book title above). Please  take advantage of this one-day free promotion to download the book for your Kindle or other electronic device.

It’s not necessary to have a Kindle to read it. With a free app from Amazon it is available for reading on computers, iPads, iPhones and other devices. Here is a link  to get that app.

If you choose to read the book, I sincerely thank you for your interest in my story. An honest review would be welcome and appreciated.

I will return to telling the story of our Australian journey. Here is a cute picture we took of a Mama Kangaroo and Joey at the Cairns Zoo to tide you over.

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“Where the rain forest meets the reef” was a phrase we heard often when we were on the north-eastern coast of Australia. We devoted one day to each – the rain forest and the reef.

A snorkeler’s perspective : underwater with the ocean’s surface above and the coral below.

The day after we arrived in Port Douglas we boarded the Silversonic, bound for the Outer Barrier Reef.  Cliff and I were among the snorkeling group (there were divers too) setting out to explore the coral formed just before the ocean shelf drops off into the deep. It was spectacular – with clean water, endless fish and sea creatures, and so many huge coral outcrops and boulders that we felt dwarfed in our surroundings.  It was The Great Barrier Reef  indeed. The experience was incomparable.

The next day (one year ago today) we joined a day tour heading to Daintree National Park, another World Heritage site,

A breathtaking view of Cape Tribulation.

with a full day of sightseeing ahead.  We were picked up in a small bus packed full of people with scarce room to move, on a day that was getting hotter as we headed north into the rainforest. The excursion had been booked for us in Sydney. As we hadn’t seen a brochure we weren’t sure what to expect, so Cliff and I had a day of delightful surprises.

We stopped at Mossman Gorge for a hike and later walked to a stunning view overlooking Cape Tribulation. We stopped at a nice privately owned property where our driver/guide proved he could also cook: he grilled steaks and served it along with fresh salad at a picnic area. In the afternoon we took a boat ride in crocodile country (a wild river, not a zoo – keep your arms inside the boat!) then hiked in another area of the rainforest, unsuccessfully trying to spot the huge, flightless, endangered Cassowary birds. There were other stops too. It was a very full, extraordinary, magical day.

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The phrase “Australian Saga” reminds me of Colleen McCullough’s 1977 book and the subsequent 1983 mini-series The Thorn Birds which spoke to the young romantic in me. (Anybody else with me here?) Perhaps more than anything else I can point to, this dramatic fictional story brought the Australian Outback to my attention and contributed to my dream to visit the country someday. Last year, along with my husband Cliff, I realized that dream.

Uluru at sunrise – a mesmerizing sight.

The saga I am recounting here, about our travels, includes a visit to the Red Centre of Australia. However my husband and I had a completely different experience in the Outback than what I read about in The Thorn Birds.  We never drove a jeep on long, dusty red roads or visited a sheep ranch. Instead we chose to visit a national park that is endowed in amazing natural beauty and cultural significance.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is home to both the 2.2 mile long monolith Uluru, previously known as Ayers Rock, and a cluster of huge rock domes known as Kata Tjuta, 22 miles away. It is a World Heritage site – home to the Anangu people, the traditional and current owners of the area. The national park is co-managed by Anangu and the Australian Government. Visitors are welcome within

Living in the moment and experiencing the beautiful intensity of the desert at Kata Tjuta.

certain parameters – some areas of the park are restricted for religious and cultural purposes – but I never felt limited.

In the few days Cliff and I were in the Red Centre, we lived the kind of travel experiences I could only dream of. We took part in the Sounds of Silence dinner – a pricey but very cool experience where we were seated at candlelit tables under the desert skies with people from around the world, eating the food and hearing the didgeridoo music of the outback, under the night sky of the southern hemisphere.

We visited Uluru at sunrise, midday and sunset. The rock is fascinating on so many levels.  Its color changed from rosy sandstone to a ruddy brown to a deep burgundy depending on daylight and perspective. Up close you can see the texture and crevices on the surface that looks smooth from a distance.

We hiked though the rocks at Kata Tjuta on a hot day. We were fortunate to be there during a fertile spring bloom that followed earlier rainfalls.  The contrast of vivid red dirt and lush green foliage with flowering plants in the desert painted an enduring image in my memory. 

 This part of our Australian journey was an intense experience that will live forever in my heart.

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“A 1980s love story on two wheels, with adventures and great scenery.”
 
That is how I describe my first e-book, a memoir titled Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three. I am thrilled to announce it is now published and available in the Amazon Kindle store.

I met Cliff in 1981 and we married a year later.  We took several motorcycle trips together — to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Door County, and Colorado.  Our adventures during those journeys are the basis for this book. At 20,000 words it is a quick read.  

I hope you will consider taking a “look inside” at the link (book title) above.  Let me know what you think!

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Here is the guy I fell for! This photo shows Cliff on his bike, with our travel trailer, taken in the early 1980s.

I am living in the 1980s, as I remember my past in order to realize my dreams for the future.  I am writing my first travel memoir.

Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Make Three is about the journeys I took with my husband which generated stories of love and adventure.  During the past few years I have been composing my account of these stories during writing classes. Now I am putting the chapters together to become my first e-book.

I am well on my way to completing this memoir. My plans are to publish this as a Kindle e-book before I publish the book I have been working on: Realize Your Dreams: An Action Plan for Life Transformation.

Last week I had the great privilege to participate in a writing workshop called Pilgrimages: Mindful Travel Writing & Memoir at Madeline Island School of the Arts, where I worked on this memoir.  It was taught by Catherine Watson, an accomplished travel writer and inspiring instructor and mentor.  I was part of a small group of students who poured our hearts out, writing in a supportive environment. My thanks to all involved. Did a mention that it was a fantastic experience?

The reason I was able to participate in this workshop is because I was the recipient of an Individual Artists Grant, which I would like to acknowledge with gratitude: “This activity is made possible by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council with funds generously provided by the McKnight Foundation.”

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The new name “Realize Your Dreams” refers to all of us and our best aspirations—who we are and what we want to accomplish with our lives.  Consider this to be an extension of the previous title, “Midlife Transformation”. 

I want to use this site to explore how we each define ourselves.  Do we know what our purpose is, and are we fulfilling it?  If not, what is stopping us, and how can we do it better?

Beyond that, I want to discuss our individual “Life Experience Lists” (some may call them “Bucket Lists”).  These are the actions and events that allow us to enjoy life to the fullest.  What is on your list – the things you have done and the things you want to do?  Are you taking actions to realize your dreams?

I changed the photograph at the head of this blog to one of my personal favorites.  Yes, that is me, standing on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands in Australia.  It has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I asked my husband to take my picture because “This is what happiness looks like!”  I hope you and I both have future adventures and experiences that can bring the look of happiness to our faces.

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