Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Belated post from the western U.S.

This was a sweet campsite in the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. I awoke the next morning to a cow licking my car window. 
Lots of good Route 66 motels in Albuquerque.
I picked up my good friend Eric and his fiance Kayla in ABQ and, after a night in Gallup, headed toward the newly re-opened Grand Canyon.
My two friends at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We were the first people to camp in our campground after the government shutdown. I had much fun travelling with these two for a few days.
Las Vegas. Stayed at the El Cortez and a nice suite at the Tropicana (thanks Eric).Some craps and a Cirque de Soleil Michael Jackson show. Yeah boy.
Then a few days with another good friend, Jason. Here we awake at a BLM area in Nevada that we found after dark. Turned out to be a great spot with great flora and coyotes circling us all night long.
Yosemite is over-the-top beautiful. Had great accommodations with Jason and Kris (and dogs) in El Portal.
Large tree.
Didn't spend nearly enough time in Utah on my return trip.
Will definitely make up for that soon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I quit my job blowing leaves

I have no idea how to edit this properly so I will just talk now. The last couple weeks have been amazing. Yellowstone is ridiculous. Very crowded but a short hike off the road and you feel like you have the place to yourself. I was very impressed with Grand Teton NP. It rained/hailed all 5 days that I stayed in those parks but it will still beautiful. Lots of people from all around the world. I sat around a fire with a couple guys from New York and New Jersey  and they were completely blown away by everything they had seen. Dinosaur National Monument was next and it was also amazing. Touched 150 million year old dinosaur bones and saw petroglyphs. My last night there, I was overcome by loneliness and decided to book a cheap room somewhere (shower needed too).
 Got way more than I bargained for in Delta, CO. Some locals "adopted" me and took me to the town's first ever drag show. What an insane night. Met some great people. I was very impressed with the area and the town in particular. Black Canyon of the Gunnison was my next stop and I was once again blown away. Last night I camped at about 11,000 feet near the town of Silverton, CO and woke up to lots of wet, heavy snow.
I feel more relaxed than I can ever remember being and I need to figure out how to make this my regular state of being.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

On the Road

One week in and it has been great. My lack of tech savvyness will not allow me to add pictures but I will try to edit it soon. As I was leaving home, I had a feeling not unlike the feeling before my last big trip, basically the knowledge that my life would be completely different the next time I came home. I am hoping that this time it won't be nearly the mess that it was last time.
First stop Brookings, SD, the place of my birth. Hadn't been back since day 2 of my existence. My friend Andrew met me there on his cycle and we had much fun as always. People were very friendly.
From there, I went to Badlands NP. Very hot but starkly beautiful. I took a side trip down to the site of the Wounded Knee massacre. Intense.
A night in the Black Hills after seeing the Crazy Horse monument and then two quiet nights in the Big Horn Mtns. All free campsites and all amazing. I'm getting to the level of relaxation for which I have been striving. More soon.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

2 years gone

I returned from my bike trip two years ago. Still, the only time I hear about Mexico in the news is in reference to the violence surrounding the drug cartels. People I talk to perceive it as a country where you would be lucky to come away alive. This was so different from what I saw. There was poverty everywhere but the people were universally friendly. I often thought of how much the people there really did have "family values" as opposed to the stuff that we are sold here. I often saw three generations of family together in public and even the teens seemed to be enjoying the company of the other family members. Another thing that has occurred to me often is what the experience of a Mexican cyclist with little English skills would have on a tour of the U.S.. I think his experience would have been quite different.
2012 was a shit year for me. My mother died in the winter and my cat died late in the summer. I dealt with the worst depression of my life. As I exit from that period, I am looking ahead and wondering what is next. A trip similar to the one in this blog would be a great way to contemplate the possibilities. I have learned a lot about myself and going through difficult times is a good way to see who really cares about you. I am excited again about the future.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back in the USA

I crossed the US/Mexico border on Saturday and hung around Brownsville until Monday morning. A new rear tire and oil change and headed north. Texas is big. A night in Victoria and Palestine before finally crossing into Oklahoma and spending the night in Poteau. The picture above was right on the TX/OK border. Nevada and Independence, MO before the weather forced me to hole up. Mike and Sandy came up on Friday evening and treated me to delicious Kansas City barbecued ribs. On Saturday, my father and sister arrived with a pickup and by Sunday, I was home. I will write some observations when I've had time to digest a bit. 

Ponderosa Pine?

Convenience store lunch. Mmmm.

I got to shovel my driveway for the 1st time this winter.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Costa Esmeralda

I spent two days at this aging resort in the Costa Esmeralds, north of Veracruz. There may have been one other room occupied so it had a bit of a "Shining" feel to it. I am now in Texas having spent several days cruising northward, including stops in Tampico, Ciudad Victoria, crossing the border, Brownsviille, Harlingen, a new rear tire and oil change and now in Victoria, TX. The wind has been a consistent issue in the past few travel days and I'm feeling the pull of home.