Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Roz Savage Rocks!

I have been horribly neglecting this "Trash or Treasure" blog because of my work with Harvest Power. It is a neat company that blends my favorite flavor of trash (organics) with a hot topic (clean energy). I am excited about shaping this new equation for organic diversion. I am inspired by my colleagues. I am having fun. But all of this excitement leaves little time for blogging, so if you want to see my world these days, tune into the high solids anaerobic digestion channel at blog.harvestpower.com.

HOWEVER, I did manage to carve out a couple hours last week to meet up with my hero, Roz Savage. She rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, solo. She is about to embark on her third leg of rowing across the Pacific Ocean. I have always been interested in trans-Atlantic Ocean rowers because my Great Great Uncle (or one of those connections) was Frank Samuelsen, who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1896 with his buddy, George Harbo. They were burly (or stupid, depending on how you slice it) setting out in their open rowboat to paddle, stroke by stroke, across the sea.

Anyways, my friend, Ken, tipped me off about Roz a couple months ago. I started following her tweets. Then, I suggested her book, Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean, for my book club. (Everyone loved the book.) In this crazy world of social networking, a couple weeks ago, I noticed one of Roz's tweets mentioned Portland. I sent her a note. A few days later, we were drinking coffee on Hawthorne together. Amazing.

Roz, in person, is exactly the way she comes across in her book: an incredibly endearing blend of gutsy, determined, down to earth, kind, caring, and somehow glamorous as she described how she uses her iphone to coach her on doing pushups. (She is addicted to her iphone, but in a really great way -- I gave her my business card, and she said, "I don't have room in my life for little bits of paper." So she took a photo of the card, then gave it back to me. The waste reduction geek in me swooned.)

So we enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and talked about our life paths. We have some fun overlaps (rowing, adventures, environmentalism, public speaking) and I hope our trails cross again in the future. I looked back into my files and found this holiday card from my family in 1987 (or thereabouts). Here I am rowing in one of our little boats in the salt marsh estuary near our home in New Jersey, not 20 miles from where Frank and George set out from Battery Park on the outgoing tide in 1896.

Roz, wherever and whenever you read this, good tidings on the last leg of your Pacific Journey. Have fun giving your TED talk in the Galapagos (that is SO cool). Finally, do drop a line the next time you come through Portland. Till then,