Howdy Traipsers,

I'm holding down the fort while Chelsea is out of town. Just me and Oliver (Il Gatto) in The Jungle House.

Other than petting Oliver, my duties revolve around a large quantity of plant starts that my traveling horticulturist is cultivating. We both feel occasional pangs of AH, WE'RE TRAPPING OURSELVES with the deep-dive into our new hobbies. However, it's tremendously satisfying, so we're going with it, commitment fear be damned.

(It's possible to hire plant-sitters, right?)

This week’s newsletter:

Free money for Sprinter owners, analog photos, positive obsession, inquisitive wildlife, and bikepacking.




P.S. I recently heard the song Coffee Cold (Spotify) and can't stop listening to it. Instant good mood! I recommend listening to it while reading this newsletter.

Our new grow operation! Laundry rooms are much better used for plant starts, right? A mix of veggies and flowers.

Free money for (some) Sprinter van owners!


Hey Sprinter peeps, Mercedes "wants" to write you a check for $3,500. The company got busted cheating and the money is part of a class-action settlement for certain vehicles. (2010-2016 Sprinters.)

Apparently, Mercedes installed a “defeat device” that lied to emissions testing equipment. (Same thing VW did – c’mon, German car makers!) Mercedes didn’t admit any wrongdoing, but is paying over $1 billion in fines. I’m no attorney, but that's a fair sum if you're innocent...


The settlement just hit last week. Read through the easy-to-navigate settlement website and dig into the lawsuit to learn more.

Take note: to get the cash, you need to get the work done by October 2022 and then file the claim.
Get in front of the upcoming queue that is bound to form at your local dealer! I talked to the dealership in Eugene and they're already two weeks out.

Stunning Analog Photos

These analog winners from the 2020 International Photography awards are beautiful. I also appreciated the write-ups that accompany them, including this one (photo #3) of two French brothers jumping into the ocean:

We were at that age when we felt the closest; after growing up fighting and teasing one another, we bonded after leaving school, genuinely enjoying each other's company. Yet I remember this time to be fleeting, as becoming an adult inevitably means embarking on your own individual journeys, drifting apart once more."

Enjoying a spring gravel ride with my buddy Brandon. Oooh, riding season approacheth.

You have to be obsessed

I won’t deny it: I’m mildly obsessed with piano right now. (HEY, I still shower! Most days...)

Whatever. Be it the timing with COVID, my desire for a deeper connection to music, or the 7th Archangel's lilting smile from Saturn, I’m into it. But you know what? It feels like a positive obsession, something that’s contributing to my life.

All to say I’m extremely biased in favor of Austin Kleon’s excellent recent blog post, “You have to be obsessed.” In it, he quotes the scifi writer Octavia Butler:

“Obsession is simply about not being able to stop. Obsession can be a useful tool if it’s positive obsession.

She took archery in high school, and saw positive obsession “as a way of aiming yourself, your life, at your chosen target. Decide what you want. Aim high. Go for it.”

 Another quote from the piece that I resonated:

Forget talent. If you have it, fine. Use it. If you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter. As habit is more dependable than inspiration, continued learning is more dependable than talent.

How many times have you heard someone lament, "Oh, I'm not musical. I can't learn a language. I can't draw. I can't..." So much depends on getting fired up on something and committing to it, right? First step: trying. Flexing the muscle once makes it easier for the next skill.

It's a small world, always

You, fair readers of Traipsing About, are a cool crew and I always love hearing what you're up to. For instance, when I linked to a drone fly-through of a bowling alley last week, a reader named Mo Perry sent me the following:


"Fun fact: the bowling alley/restaurant/theater where that drone video was shot was the venue for my first self-produced one-woman-show. Since then, I've done at least a dozen different shows in that space. Nothing like making art to the dulcet tones of spares and strikes."

Mo is also an insightful, thoughtful, and funny writer. I always enjoy her monthly(ish) newsletter.

Traipsing About Archives: Bikepacking the Oregon Timber Trail

In 2018, I bikepacked across the state of Oregon on the newly-developed Oregon Timber Trail. If you haven't read the story of broken bikes and derring-do, check it out.

I'm thinking about the Timber Trail because I just lined up a summer trip to bikepack the Three Sisters, Three Rivers route from Bend toward the Oregon Coast. Yessss. Anyone out there ridden it?

Me headed downhill on the last day of the Timber Trail. Photo credit: the  talented Brady Lawrence.

Thanks for stopping by Traipsing About! Line up that check from Mercedes, get positively obsessed, and I'll catch you next week.

P.S. Circling back to Austin Kleon, my friend Jono just posted an excellent Youtube video of his favorite creativity ideas from Austin.

P.P.S. I cracked up multiple times at this series of photos of wildlife photographers being interrupted by animals. The guys running from the grizzlies...HA. Their faces!

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