Our Fifth Blogiversary

At the intersection of the Dempster Highway and Latitude 65 N
At the intersection of the Dempster Highway and Latitude 65 N

Latitude65 is the age of a kindergartener, equally headstrong and having just as much fun.

Who has a blog with no links to social media? No marketing. No moneymaking schemes. No SEO, until this year. Every Sunday ’round 6:00 am we high-five each other—another travel story in the digital scrapbook, for the rocking chair, when we can’t remember the name of the art gallery enroute to Porto, the old farm we hiked straight up to in Norway, the huge succulent tree in southern Oman. Wait: we had to look up those names this week!

Our heartfelt thanks to you our readers for Savouring the Journey with us, commenting on our blog publicly or personally, indulging our whimsy by not saying a thing.

Sometimes I think writing this blog is like inviting you to dinner. You don’t always know what’s on the menu. Could be Norwegian, maybe Spanish. Hiking interests some of you; for those who don’t eat fish a story about a desert trail is like tuna ceviche. You could say the quotes I frequently include are like the depth of flavour you get from adding a bit of chocolate to the pot of chili. Dessert? That’s Magellan’s videos. We hope you sample most of what we offer and look forward to returning.

Like everyone on vacation, we have our cranky days (well, I do) aggravated by rainy campsites, middle seats on Air Canada, cello-wrapped sandwiches and mis-guessing road signs, like in Japan where we drove further and further away from our destination—inside an endless tunnel. Unless there’s a good story hidden in these incidents, we don’t tell you about the blimps. Instead, we try to

once again
in dead earnest
offer to the betrayed world
a rose

Every story has kaleidoscopic possibilities. New perspectives come into play with our post-travel research,  ah-hah ideas in the middle of the night. And from revising and reworking and rewriting, until the colours and shapes magically arrange themselves into a pleasing image.

Are we having fun? Like kids at a summer birthday party.

To celebrate our blogiversary, we looked to the traditional symbol for a fifth anniversary: wood. Five of our favourite images of wood, in one form or another, selected photos from the last five years of our travels.

Big Tree Trail, Meares Island, a 10-minute water-taxi ride from Tofino, has some of the largest old-growth (>1,000 years) forest in BC
The blackened pinewood floors of Chiiori, a 300-year farmhouse from the Genroku Period (1699–1720) near the village of Iya on the island of Shikoku, Japan
A gnarled and twisted Utah Juniper tree, a member of the Cypress family, on the Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, Utah
Natural cedar “stump art” on Cape Fife Trail, Haida Gwaii, Do you see a maple leaf? A raven? A butterfly? A Rorschach test?
Spruce trees at West Fork Campground, site #22, Milepost 49, Taylor Highway, near Tok, Alaska, on the Dennison Fork of the Fortymile Wild Scenic River

If these images were in a slideshow, we’d accompany them with Dave Brubek’s “Take Five.” Which is what we’re going to do to celebrate our blogiversary, take five that is and think about how damn lucky we are. Join us please. And see you next week. (Italian is on the road-trip menu.)


The poetry quoted above is the last four lines of Czeslaw Milosz’s translation of Zbigniew Herbert’s “Five Men.”

30 Responses

  1. Thanks for being my church, every Sunday the “Engineer” enlightens us from his travel pulpit alongside his silver haired organist that keeps him from straying to his camera above us all.
    I await each week, sitting on this sack of seeds, on Mother Nature’s porch in the Saskatchewan wilds, never better, and endless stories and pic’s to please the eyes of family and friends.
    Carry on with a smile and remember, “Happy Trails To All”

    1. You’re the best: what reverential images of the two of us heathens. TY. Your response deserves something lofty so I’ve taken a poem that Shawna LeMay quoted in her blog Transactions with Beauty this week:

      “Try To Praise the Mutilated World”
      Adam Zagajewski

      Try to praise the mutilated world.
      Remember June’s long days,
      and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
      The nettles that methodically overgrow
      the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
      You must praise the mutilated world.
      You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
      one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
      while salty oblivion awaited others.
      You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
      you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
      You should praise the mutilated world.
      Remember the moments when we were together
      in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
      Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
      You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
      and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
      Praise the mutilated world
      and the gray feather a thrush lost,
      and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
      and returns.

  2. Congratulations on 5 years! That takes a tremendous amount of dedication and commitment. I know I have witnessed the ‘high fives’, a great tradition. Thanks so much to both of you for sharing your many talents along with your journeys in life. Cheers to many more years of travel, trails and tales!

  3. Great writing; great photography and video; lots of interest and adventure; great blog. Congratulations!!

  4. I always enjoy travelling the world with you each weekend! Congratulations and looking forward to many more adventures.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. When we return, Spice often does as much research on what we saw or learned as we may have done in the initial planning to share a different perspective with you on a destination.

  5. Congratulations for 5 years of great blogs! I always look forward to the stories, photos and videos!

    1. Thanks for your comments. We were so lucky to have 7 years of adventure travel after retirement before Covid-19 forced everyone home. Hopefully a vaccine will be developed soon and we’ll all be able to travel again.

  6. Congratulations on 5 years of dedicated writing and photography. I’m looking forward to the next 5 years.

  7. Yes happy birthday to Uncle Ken..many a shared celebration on an August long weekend,or close to it! Camping, at Norms, hell anywhere with this crazy thing called family. I love todays blog..simple yet powerful..Thanks for sharing your love of life, travel adventure with us all. Congrats on the five years, enjoy the wine? Love Heather

  8. Happy 5th year of reading your blogs. Your awesome adventures have taken us to places we will probably not get to.

    1. 258 posts are intimidating, but fortunately not 1 post at a time. Just think if we’d invited you for dinner to be followed by a 4600 image slide-show! With 42 videos thrown in! Spice has a knack with words that keeps your attention.

      Comments from you and others, totalling 2,233, make it all worthwhile. Thanks.

  9. Thanks Spice and Magellan…enjoy the Sunday morning read….something I check every Sunday. One of Kamlyn’s favorite stories is The Baobab Tree so will share the photo with her. Take five..you’ve earned it!

    1. Baobab, a word I didn’t know until five years ago and yet at the age of six, it’s in Kamlyn’s vocabulary—another good reason to have faith in the future—kids like her.

  10. Thank you for the gift of this blog. It is a highlight of my weekend and I love how it lets me have a visit with you, characterized by fun and learning as always.

  11. Your menu of descriptive writing, beautiful photography, exciting adventures and joie de vie are most delicious! Yes, we are pretty damm lucky to enjoy our world through your eyes and commitment to sharing it all with us.

  12. I was guessing how long it was since you started – I thought it was over 4 years and it appears I was correct…..5 years = 250+ blogs – an amazing achievement to be sure. Covid has certainly put the brakes on immediate travel, but I have hopes that we all will be safe to venture forth again sometime in 2021…….Thanks for doing this for all of us. Pat & Dallas

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