I have composed a pictorial essay that is posted at:
I also need to mention the latest information on man's affects on global climate . . .
THIS ELETTER IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
2009 update - ONLY THE BEGINNING, ONLY JUST A HINT
It seems that the extensive report I summarized in the last eLetter
was way too conservative. The projections and scenarios derived from data gathered from thousands of scientists all over the planet fell short of reality.
Because of the nature of our effects on climate change, serious "tipping points" can occur without warning, and scientists are only sure about them AFTER they happen. This is very bad for our ecosystem. Once one of these events occurs, the resulting conditions have a cascading consequence - the 'domino' effect causes runaway outcomes to pile up upon each other with NO CHANCE OF ADJUSTMENT OR CORRECTION.
This is serious stuff!
WE HAVE PAST SEVERAL OF THESE TIPPING POINTS ALREADY;
AND MORE ARE COMING SOON [Next few Months . . . Next few Years].
How could this have changed from the last eLetter? Well, as I said, it took me a year-and-a-half to just read the report; it took the scientists years to gather data and write the thing. So at least four years have gone by since the definitive details of the report were relevant.
Because the scientists realized he grave danger in present conditions and events, in March of this year 2,500 of them assembled at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen to provide an up-to-date report.
Exact quotes from the speakers at this conference do not bade well for continues existence of the status quo on our planet:
Unless we take drastic measure IMMEDIATELY, "the impacts of climate change would happen faster and be worse than previously thought". We are past the point of repairing much of the damage.
Actually conditions across the globe TODAY are the "worst-case scenario of the IPCC 2007 report projections". We are in dire need of ACTION right now.
Immediately after the big conference in Copenhagen, geoengineering specialists flew over to Edinburgh, UK to discuss the drastic measures required to "fix" our decimation of the Earth. These scientists actually have developed ways to physically FORCE the atmosphere, land, ice, and oceans to remain at normal, stable temperatures. (one of these 'crazy' plans include spreading a layer of poisonous particles high up in the atmosphere to reflect energy from the sun - what happens to the poisons over time is unknown!)
One scientist summed-up the meeting:
"None of the attendees advocated artificially cooling the planet instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the lowest possible level, preferring to see it as a last-resort safety net. 'Geoengineering is not a pleasant thought.'"
In December, politicians armed with the report from the March conference will gather again at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen to formulate plans of action.
I dread to hear the outcome of "governments", "plan of action" and "dire need"; timely response has not been in the vocabulary of the world's politicians.
And now, the reason for my concern of the future environment:
2009 USA TOUR with Summer & Joshua
a story of cross-country adventures
This story begins with Papa leaving Windigo in the Caribbean and meeting Karin in Las Vegas. Driving Nana Ardes' car, we arrived in California just in time to visit the beach with Josh & Summer. We spent the day playing in the water, and learning about beach safety from Summer the lifeguard.
The next day we went up to Glen Canyon Falls with Daddy
while he and his friend Ron serenaded us along the way.
We played in the waterfall
and had a really great time,
although we were really pooped at the end.
Now it was time for Summer to begin her trip to Tennessee, but first we had to find a hair brush that could be gentle to her scalp. Now she loves to have her hair styled.
Our first stop in Arizona was Lake Havasu City where the
London Bridge was reconstructed over the Colorado River in 1973.
On to New Mexico
where nighttime rest stops
and fuel stops were a blast.
We encountered a fellow from Scotland that was cycling across America before we reached Texas.
We crossed the narrow part called the "panhandle", but had time for several dot-to-dot puzzles.
In Oklahoma we stopped in a large park to swing, climb and play with a gaggle of geese.
In Arkansas we saw many fields of domestic animals,
including these horses. We made up a song in Arkansas, and will sing it for you now . . .
Finally we reached Tennessee where Judy, Shannon, Dan, Augie, Kaeley, and Lilly live on this road.
After practicing all of our funny faces,
we got ready to meet the cousins.
Summer spent the first night in Tennessee with Lilly and had a great time with Augie & Kaeley.
The next day, after playing with the donkey next door,
we all piled into the car for a family outing. We drove even further into the mountains
and went hiking along a stream
at the top of a waterfall.
It was a very pretty place.
It was ALMOST Summer's birthday,
so that night we made a birthday cake, and got ready for a birthday party
and a huge birthday slumber party.
After a cake & ice cream
celebration, we danced and played and had a wild night.
The next day, after a big waffle breakfast, the girls opened Judy's Nail Salon
and everybody got manicures and gave manicures.
Even Papa got a tattoo in the salon.
We said goodbye to all the hillbilly cousins, and started heading west. We stopped at the lifelong home of a blues legend
before blowing into Arkansas for a lunch stop.
Arkansas also had fun places to burn off excess energy and enjoy beautiful landscaping.
We dashed through Texas, and zoomed into New Mexico
where we saw fancy restaurants along the famous Route 66.
It is an amazing part of America with incredible vistas.
Once back in Arizona,
we headed to the Petrified Forest and collected samples for everybody.
The journey was really fun with lots of stuff to do in the car,
lots of interesting things to see along the highway, and great parks and playgrounds all along the road.
We stopped many times, and most stops had neat toys to play on, but some had real trains.
The really best park had a giant dam to hold water for making electricity and create Lake Mead. They are building a highway across the canyon below the dam.
Right after we drove into Nevada, we got to Las Vegas.
There are lots of make-believe things there, including this dinosaur.
We stayed with Nana Ardes in Las Vegas,
ate big meals,
and slept in a big bed. It was almost as much fun as sleeping in the car!
Then we went downtown to see the Las Vegas Strip,
full of fancy buildings and a really cool Pirate Show.
The actors had a make-believe sea battle on real pirate ships and during the show, one of the ships actually sunk!
We saw the inside of a casino, but it was only to use the bathroom.
Summer found a coloring book with pretty girls in it. [Josh was not as fortunate to see these.]
After saying goodbye to Nana Ardes, it was time to go home to swap grandbabies.
After leaving Summer with her mom, we started out for Colorado with Joshua.
It was a quick trip across the end of California and we found ourselves in Nevada, blowing through Las Vegas.
We nipped the tip of Arizona as the mountains became more dramatic.
The scenery became breathtaking in Utah,
- even the dirt was pretty at our breakfast stop.
Further into Utah, we stopped at an old Mormon fort.
The family that lived here was friendly with the Indians, and even traded with them, but built a fort to live in nonetheless.
There was lots of things to see and do at the old stagecoach stop.
We played with bugs at the waysides, and even had fun in WalMart.
A policeman in a really cool police car gave Joshua the fifty-cent tour, and even put him where the crooks sit!
A little face-making preparation before arriving at Sandy & Cathy's house.
Sandy is an important doctor, recognized the world over for his advancements in bone densitometry studies;but this weekend,
he was helping Cathy sell pretty dollies at a sale in Denver.
Once the girls were set up at the sale for the day, Sandy returned to the house
and the boys went out into the woods in the mountains.
We brought Winston and Simone along for their humorous value.
We were not disappointed.
There were lots of things to see on the trails; Joshua was especially thrilled with the multitude of bones creatures left behind when they were done using them.
Sandy's house is on a 9,000-foot mountain,
so his yard is a regular stop for elk and deer.
Yearning for even more adventure, we decided to drive up the highest paved road in the world to the top of Mt. Evans.
Along the way we found lots of wildlife at Echo Lake.
The weather was great for a hike around the lake. Continuing up the mountain, we saw dozens of cyclists taking advantage of the first weekend with the road clear of ice.
Stopping at Summit Lake, we encountered a drastic change in weather; the remains of a very late season snowstorm were also in evidence.
At the top of Mt. Evans, there was lots of snow and it was COLD!
Wildlife accustomed to the altitude was all around, although we were disappointed to not have seen any mountain goats (or mountain lions!).
Encountered a tiny snow storm during the descent, saw others going down in style!
Being very hungry after a big day in the mountains,
we went to the restaurant that invented "Colorado Style" pizza. It was GREAT!
The following couple of days continued to amaze us with the abundance of large wildlife strolling through the towns, across the roads, and in Sandy's yard.
We sought out "Tiny Town" but realized it was a bit too tiny for us (probably the right size for Summer),
so avoiding a few more elk,
we made our way back to Las Vegas to visit Nana Ardes.
Then we made our way to the Strip for the Pirate Show.
We were really excited to see the Pirate Show, as Josh had heard about it from Summer. We arrived on the Strip for the early show and were not disappointed.
The ship's crews made their appearance, danced and performed the big battle.
The cannons and explosions held Joshua's interest longer than most anything else,
and the entertaining show made us laugh.
The actors could swim real well, but the captain stayed aboard until the last minute!
The finale of the show was the girl captain making the last pirate walk the plank - 40 feet in the air!
Las Vegas certainly is FABULOUS!
We celebrated the end of our Las Vegas tour by eating a whole carton of ice cream on the curb at Nana Ardes'.
After a good night's sleep, we head back to California to be reunited with Summer and the rest of the family. Upon returning to California, Josh was very happy to see his sister, as she was also elated to see him.
They were very thankful to Papa for the cross-country adventures.
With all the energy Joshua and Summer had pent up inside (enough to "bounce off the walls"!),
it was time for yet another hike. This time we went over to the railroad tracks to shoot fireworks into the air.
The next day was the last day with Karin & Papa, so we went to a great park and played together on the toys. We had lots of fun and also practiced our tree-climbing skills.
This is the end of our 2009 USA TOUR story.
Stay tuned for "The Return of Karin" and more Caribbean sailing adventure aboard Windigo.
See where Windigo has been since Puerto Rico:
(and zoom in when it starts tracking)
[to see Windigo's anchorages from St. Pete to Puerto Rico, Enter the callsign: W3igo]
Where we are right now:
Our permanent and EXACT address:
Capts.KL & KJ Hughes
S/V WindigoIII • PMB 365
88005 Overseas Hwy. #9
Islamorada, FL 36033-3087
Text-only emailio addresses aboard Windigo, checked daily:
Karin's emailio address:
emailio addresses checked when at a land-based computer
(infrequently, but good for attachments):
And of course, the Windigo Travelogue Catalogue: