Hood River, Oregon

Following on from yesterday’s blog…

It’s too bad that I didn’t feel the same way about Steve as he felt about me. We got on so well on every other level that if we’d formed a full-on partnership it would have been a match made in heaven. But for me the spark just wasn’t there.

The situation was brought to a head last week when we arrived in the Columbia Gorge. We were due to meet a potential sponsor, Eric Sanford, who had written to me via my website after a good friend of his had told him about me.

The last time I was in the Gorge I had started making some enquiries about buying some land (bear with me, this IS relevant) – I recently received a small windfall that I want to put out of temptation’s way so that I don’t fritter it away on frivolous things like rowing across oceans.

So I was sitting in a cafe in Multnomah Falls, idly flicking through a property magazine, when the waiter came over and asked me if I was thinking of buying. ‘If you are, I must put you in touch with Trish, my real estate agent. She’s great. If you promise to phone her, breakfast is on the house.’

Anything for a free meal…

So I rang Trish and met her to look over one or two plots of land. We got talking about her sports and my sports, we discovered we had a mutual friend, I got to meet Trish’s husband, and I soon felt right at home with them. Trish and Moe later told Eric about me – among other things Eric has a business producing innovative outdoor and marine products and he decided I would be a perfect fit with their marketing strategy.

And so one thing led to another and Eric wrote to me. I wrote back suggesting we meet the next time I was in the Gorge. By pure coincidence, I was put in touch via an entirely different chain of acquaintances with a PR professional who I met up with in San Francisco about 10 days ago – and she turned out to be a former long-time girlfriend of Eric’s. She gave me a bit more background on him, but nothing that prepared me for what was to come.

Our meeting took place last week at his house near Hood River. Steve and I drove to the house and knocked on the door. It was opened by a fit-looking man with a big grin and lively-bright eyes, exuding energy and charisma. The connection was immediate. It was a feeling of ‘Hello there again’ – as if we’d always known each other. Nothing quite like this had ever happened to me before and I was bowled over. I felt I’d found a true soulmate.

Now, this is far from ideal when you’re about to spend 2 months driving 7000 miles with another man, who also has hopes of a deep and meaningful relationship.

It has made for a difficult week, while Steve and I decided what was best to do in the changed circumstances. After much discussion we arrived at a mutual decision to abandon the road trip, but we are still very much in touch and planning to collaborate in exciting technological projects on the Pacific. I am in awe of Steve’s powers of forgiveness, and very grateful that he is still looking forward to working with me.

My mother commented somewhat wryly, ‘Rosalind, you never cease to astonish me.’ But she has also said that if I am happy, then she is happy for me. I hope that others will follow her example.

John Lennon said, ‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.’ But rest assured, this does not impact my other plans – to row the Pacific. That is still scheduled to start from San Francisco in July 2007.

If anyone would understand my urge to go row an ocean, it would be Eric – he is no stranger to adventure himself, as a climber, windsurfer, wakeboarder, kiteboarder, sailor, skier, snowboarder, motorcyclist, writer and photographer – and his Rule Number One is to ‘make your dreams come true.’

[Photo: self-portrait of Eric and me on a hike in the pouring rain, Cannon Beach, Oregon]

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