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Michael Shawsenna
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Michael Shawsenna

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If I had more time and money, I would be writing this bio from the road. Instead I am back home, dreaming about our next vacation trip.
I haven't officially traveled to Mexico yet. I seem to remember hopping over the river near Presidio, Texas many years ago to touch the shore on the Mexico side. I could walk up the hills nearby and see the Chinati Mountains just a few hundred yards away.
We want to cruise from Alaska back down to Vancouver soon.
There is a plan in the works to visit family near San Francisco next year. That will likely be a road trip with a tour through Yosemite.
This fall between working on my house remodeling and teaching beginning drawing and painting at Vernon College, we plan to drive to Galveston and surrounding towns to visit my family. A trip to Abilene, Texas for Thanksgiving or Christmas is penciled in too.
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Michael Shawsenna

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Between the first day in Bellevue, Washington ( near Seattle ) and the cabin a few miles east, Mary and I took a train to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for an overnight.
We walked every where except for a couple of quick sky train rides and and a short cruise on the sea bus.
There was so much to see nearby. We did walk about twelve total miles while we were visiting.
We saw the famous Canada Place and Gas town with its steam powered clock. Of course we watched boats and sea planes at the harbor. People watching is so much fun there.
We took the glass elevator 551 feet to the observation deck of the Harbor Centre Lookout. The view was spectacular !
We shopped a little on the famous Robson Street. We dined the evening of that first day at the Cactus Grill Cafe, downtown. It is an elegant atmosphere, but casual enough for a relaxing meal by candle light.
While waiting at Pacific Central Station for our ride home we noticed people in Theatrical costume walking through. Turns out it was the cast and crew from "Man in the High Castle." filming. Security told Mary that she could photograph all around the building. But she was not allowed to take pictures of the actors or anything to do with the set. It was cool to watch as they walked through the station to the bathroom or to the staff tent set up in front of the station.
First time I ever used the restroom with actors around ( ha ).
It was ideal for a first trip to Canada. I do expect to return.
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Michael Shawsenna

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One of the best nearby destinations, worthy of many return trips is just over the state line close to Cache, Oklahoma. It's the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
We have many photos of the rugged landscape. In many years of camping and hiking my wife and I have taken video of wild turkeys, a newborn fawn that we discovered during a short hike one early spring and much more. There are herds of bison, deer and elk. The residents of prairie dog towns are as excited to see visitors as we are to see them.
We awoke one morning, and looked out the window of our van to see a huge buffalo grazing a few feet away.
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Michael Shawsenna

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I got my "wanderlust" from being moved around over thirty times before graduation from high school. My stepdad couldn't sit still. That was a blessing more than a curse.
The curse was in never putting down any "roots." There were few lasting friendships from childhood. I never learned the rules for the most common games of life, so I had to figure out how to survive.
That was another thing at which my stepdad excelled. He could improvise and scrounge like no one else. So I picked up some of those talents as well.
In 1992 I picked up from Houston and moved my family to Northern Virginia. If I had done that sooner, we might still be in touch today. But that's another tale for later.
Shenandoah National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. It's the envelope where many of my favorite memories are kept.
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Michael Shawsenna

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Check out the videos from the July road trip here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk7ZLaJV9wX_3BU7wJ36Mh-DwMpo0Phiu
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Michael Shawsenna

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Just a few snapshots from the family vacation in the cabin. I can add more later.
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Michael Shawsenna

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Here I am on the train to Vancouver BC from Seattle. I love to travel. If I had more time and money, I would be writing this bio from the road. Instead I am back home, dreaming about our next vacation trip.

I haven't officially traveled to Mexico yet. I seem to remember hopping over the river near Presidio, Texas many years ago to touch the shore on the Mexico side. I could walk up the hills nearby and see the Chinati Mountains just a few hundred yards away.

We want to cruise from Alaska back down to Vancouver soon. There is a plan in the works to visit family near San Francisco next year. That will likely be a road trip with a tour through Yosemite.

This fall between working on my house remodeling and teaching beginning drawing and painting at Vernon College, we plan to drive to Galveston and surrounding towns to visit my family. A trip to Abilene, Texas for Thanksgiving or Christmas is penciled in too.
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Michael Shawsenna

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What is Road Trip Journal without a road trip.
We forfeited the price of our return air fare to ride home with our family. It was well worth the cost. We drove through Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico on our return home to Texas.
Of course we spent a day ( not nearly enough time ) in Yellowstone National Park. We also spent a night in a Castle in Colorado Springs.
We came down to Raton Pass into New Mexico in a hair raising hail storm, with heavy traffic on a steep grade.
The storm lasted for a full fifteen, maybe twenty minutes, leaving a thick layer of ice on the highway. After that, the rest of the drive was a Sunday picnic.
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Michael Shawsenna

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In June 2016 I returned to the state of Washington. I had touched down for a day and an overnight stay with family in 1986, on my way to Beijing. I landed at the airport in Portland, Oregon, and my niece's stepmom picked me up for a brief visit before my departure for China the next day.
It was the fist time I met my niece, and Charmaine was already twelve.
They lived just over the state line outside of Vancouver, Washington. You could see Mt. Hood from their front yard.
The family was gracious and hospitable. They took me to beautiful Multnomah Falls and a tour of Portland to view the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.
This time my wife and I flew to Seattle to see our youngest son. From Seattle we met up with more family to enjoy the greater part of a week in a nice cabin tucked away ( a stolen real estate phrase ) between a beautiful, cool pond and the lovely Yakima River.
We had permission to fish, but never had time. We were swimming in the cold pond, rafting and enjoying camp fires.
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