Tuesday, October 27, 2009

sometimes i remember old words...

"Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly this line neat the corner of your mouth indication that something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share." ~Mark Z. Danielewski

Friday, October 2, 2009

I want blank pages and pens, space enough to just let it all go -- to
transcribe some history of these days, I fear, as usual, that words
won't suffice and that a lack of expression will result in blankness.
There is potential for waste, breaking and color. Yet a clouded
existence prevents action.

I'd take it all back if I could, rewrite spoken history transferred on
wires on far away roads, pacific waters drenching my thoughts, my
seams. There's a waxing moon in Brooklyn, fall is here - rooftop views
are clear and full of stars. I'll take it.

I like when I wake up with a cold nose.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009


so tonight i was once again caught by bad news from notre dame. you would think that for the size of community we were that we've suffered enough but again we were fooled. first it was joe, then jane, then bubby, (somewhere in there was mckelvey) im sure there have been folks in between that i missed, it does not mean you are forgotten, this is an adlib late night entry... but now its billy and lindsey's mom... cant we catch a break.. i mean really? who is up there? who is watching over us? i'm at a loss...im not quite sure what to do anymore. a little help would be useful down here.
sitting favorite in my rooftop chair because the ceiling over my bed feels too low;
     looking at lights piercing clouds    
     instead of studying stones and 
     collections of old night-sky lights.

i'm curious as to when new york lost these degrees and we began unpacking blankets.

     i dont so much mind the crisp air 
     creeping into the night, it usually 
     brings with it a clear sky;
     music is constant yet somehow   
     different but beautiful all the same.

it seems fair to say that time and distance made things easier, yet here i am, in a borough of five avoiding city subway cars.

     i'm navigating right angles and 
     bridges knowing that the sky is 
     darkening earlier, this is no 
     extraordinary secret, all you have to    
     do is look up.  

being back here makes me think about making a run for it but i'm no more certain about a final destination than before. 

     i know i could cover my tracks as i 
     always have but maybe this time    
     i'm looking to be found; it 
     compounds sleeplessness.

it's overcast in the city tonight and i'm thinking about holes in my safety net, okay with the fall.  


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

NYC Re-entry

where to begin...

I got into Brooklyn on Monday night at 10ish - I couldn't unpack, which is very unlike me. instead i tried* to say hey to Stuart but then I decided that I just wanted to hang on my roof...so i did.

It was such a head-trip to come back to my apartment, since coming to NYC this was the longest I was outside of NYC. Let's be real, 17 days is by no means an extreme amount of time, I guess it is more of what occurred during those days that made it seem to go on forever and at the same time fly by.

I promise that in the next few days I will:

1. post some wrap up thoughts of my trip
2. post a link to where you can find all the pictures I uploaded
3. announce the winner of the best road trip mix
4. give everyone who made a mix a "Best of Road Trip '09 Mix" that I will create using the songs on the cds that folks gave me
5. get everyone together for drinks and story time with the road tripper

Until then, I'm navigating things like avoiding the subway and trying to acclimate to coming back to one of the busiest weeks at work...nothing like the 9/11 anniversary when you boss is the lead sponsor of a bill that would provide healthcare to the responders, residents, and office workers or equally time consuming the myriad of other issues that are all coming to a head...

I havent unpacked my camping bag, somehow I find comfort in selecting my clothes (read underwear, socks, etc) from there as opposed to my drawers. Now if I could find a way to put my work clothes in there without getting wrinkled I'd be set.

Alright, so the bottom line is...I owe you.

*he came near me and then backed away :(

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dear Brooklyn:

This time tomorrow I'll be back, are you ready?

I hear there is a primary in 9, soon to be 8 days. How did I hear this
you ask? Oh right, because I got interupted in Arkansas.

Bring it.

Sincerely yours,

Erin Marie Drinkwater

Ps - NYC if you could not rain on tuesday so I have a pleasant bike
ride to work, I'll owe you one.

Pps - if somehow my drycleaning could magically get to my apt so I
have a suit for Tuesday that would be cool too.

Good luck and good night.

Unexpectedly in NC

Final day: woke up outside of Nashville, TN and headed to Nashville to
check it out...then it was off to Dollywood and the Great Smoky
Mountains for a final night in nature...or so I thought.

Dollywood + labor day weekend + $58 admission fee = maybe next time

Believe me, it pained me but I was much more interested in trees,
don't get me wrong, I love Dolly (ps: who said they are coming with me
to see 9-5?). The Smokies were amazing, the familiarity of that
eastern deciduous forest, the fog settled in from the rain that just
past, the smell of the end of summer and the crisp fall air, it was
lovely to get out of the truck and just wander.

So...I am here, in Asheville, NC at Colette and Mike's getting ready
to sleep. Somehwere between Nashville and the Smokies Colette reached
out and mentioned her proximity to where I was headed. Having not seen
her in years and being so close I figured why not.

We had a great time catching up, a nice homecooked meal and great
conversation. I'm glad I came south to NC. I don't think I've seen
Colette since high school, maybe one summer with the twins but who

Tomorrow I have about 418 miles to cover to get to my parents to
return the truck, pack up my things and drive to dc to catch a 530
bus. After the bus ride, ill treat myself to a cab to Brooklyn to be
home by 11ish, hopefully :-)

I've been quiet most of the day in terms of posting and status
updates, texts and emails...it seems a bit of a retreat is necessary.
The reentry tomorrow should prove interesting, a lot has happened
these last 16 days, many miles covered, many details engrained in my

I love the sounds outside my window right now, the crickets...("I've
got a cricket for a conscience that always looks the other way")

I'm sitting here outside of Nashville cooking my breakfast and
organzing. Today I will hang in Nashville and then continue the
journey northeast to my parents house. I am roughly 10 hours from
their house. 10 hours left on the road, me behind the wheel.

Yesterday I got up early and left Austin. Ended up spending a good
deal of time catching up at the bar with Ms. D, so I ended up crashing
at her place. More on our visit later...

Anyway, I drove from Austin to Little Rock to go to the Clinton
Presidential Library - nothing like a final roadtrip stretch dork out.
After that I made my way to Memphis to check out the National Civil
Rights Museum and Graceland. Unfortunately, both closed at 5, right as
I was pulling into town, saddness.

Started my drive to Nashville and spent the night in nature, now I'm
ready to start the final full day on the road. Between Nashville and
my parents' house there are no planned stops, except the stop to sleep
tonight, I might however make a stop at MBC to revisit some of those
freshman year college memories. I wonder if the gym is open, could go
shoot some hoops :-)

More soon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sleeping with Angels of Silence

Tonight I'm in Austin, TX, earlier than expected but alas I'm here.
It's strange to me that this journey is almost over, or maybe it's
just begining.

Tomorrow I will spend the day checking out Austin, I have some plans
but won't post until complete, well, the secret ones anyway :-)

I do intend while I'm here to meet up with Ms. D, for those of you who
don't know, she was my American Lit teacher in high school back at
Notre Dame in Middleburg, VA. She was one of those teachers who you
just don't forget. That said, I lost touch with her not long after
high school, last I knew she married the men's basketball coach that
we had set her up with and she was living in NJ.

Well, low and behold a couple months back I got a call at work. An
intern told me Juliana was on the phone, not knowing a Juliana (or so
I thought) I asked the intern for more info. (I just don't take
anyone's call :-)) well, as the stars would have it, it was Ms. D. Go
figure that she was curious to know what I was up to, so she googled
me, I guess with a name like Drinkwater and working where I do, it
wasn't too hard to track me down. (now if Mr. Ross Garrett could do
the same, I'd be set :-))

So, tomorrow we are supposed to meet up, have a drink or whatever you
do when you haven't seen someone in 15 years and the last time you saw
them you were, well, 16.

I remember that year of school well, I remember being obsessed with
what I called, pulling a Henry David. Yes, as in Throreau. I was
obsessed as only a 16 year old could be with the idea of the social
experiement of Walden. Even then I had the strong urge to live
deliberately. The idea of leaving society in order to come to a fuller
understanding of it was captivating to me. (it actually just dawned on
me that in Walden, Throreau carefully outlines what he will need
during his time at Walden similarly to my ridiculously detailed
packing list for this trip which included mileage calculations and
estimated gas expenditures...ha) Anyway, I guess you could say that
the closest I've come to pulling a Henry David thus far has been this
little trip, that or the two times I was in Haiti and the DR for five
weeks, but somehow this roadtrip is more aligned - just me, a truck,
some roads and some music.

As I realign myself with EST and the distance between me and my life
in Brooklyn narrows I am a ball of emotions.

To date I've journeyed close to 7000 miles since leaving NYC two weeks
ago. I've been through 21 states. Stayed with 2 friends and a friend
of a friend. Spent 11 nights in nature. Cooked all but 4 meals. Sent a
bunch of postcards. Seen the most amazing parts of this country and
was spiritually moved, heart broken and awe inspired.

Monday I began the journey east. Tomorrow I start the journey north
(and east). By Monday, I will be back in Brooklyn getting ready to
return to a full inbox at work (I thus far have been completely (well
save one email) free from all work related responsibilities).

Between me and Brooklyn remains 4 more nights, including tonight. 4
more states (new ones). More cooking and more camping. Plenty of
adventure and learning.

The title of this blog is a Counting Crows song, but more
appropriately it is what i have exerienced every night on this trip.
Every night I have fallen asleep with a quiet mind.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chasin storms in Texas

I promise not to go to GW's house...

I'll tell ya, it'll be hard as i've got a couple bones to pick with

Caves are full of phalic things...

Not this little gem, ha.

Carlsbad Cavern

This is the entrance to Carlsbad Cavern, so glad that I decided to
reroute myself. I mean really, what an incredible way to spend a

All of my photos from inside the cave are on my camera, once I get
back to Brooklyn I promise to upload my photos to my flickr site.

The cavern was incredible, a chilly 54 degrees, you journey down 830
ft., in a series of switchbacks over a little more than a mile. It's
quite dark and you truly have no idea if there are other people in the
cave, it's so quiet, just the sound of our footsteps and dripping water.


Everything happens for a reason...

Last night about 50 miles south of Santa Fe I decided that a reroute
was necessary in order to see Carlsbad Cavern.

So...I turned around and got back on 40 heading east, my plan was to
stop somewhere between Santa Rosa and Roswell. Well as I was driving I
was following the most incredible lightning storm I have ever

I was traveling on Rt. 285, south towards Roswell, there were
virtually no cars on the road, just me and this epic storm.

The sky was lit by the moon, 2 days until it's full and behind the
clouds the lightning would light them up, then soon to follow would be
this incredible bolt of lightning that would illuminate the entire
night sky.

I really can't even begin to describe what this storm was like, I
tried to take pictures but I'm not that skilled plus somewhere in my
mind it made sense to keep moving.

Had I not made the decision to reroute I would have completely missed
this storm...

Good looking out.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mother Nature and her hijinks


I thought my WTF moments were going to end with the Grand Canyon but
here I am amazed in the Petrified Forest...crazy.

This tree is called Old Faithful.

From forests to...

Here are the lyrics:

(hope this works, a bit hard from the iPhone)


(you might have to cut an paste since it's not a hyperlink)

And yes, since I listened to Omaha in Omaha I figured why not listen
to Take It Easy in Winslow...seemed the thing to do :-)

Out of order: camping at the Grand Canyon

Meteor Crator

This was created by a meteor the size of a school bus.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The best the iPhone can do...

Still breathtaking.

A sunset hike

(again, better photos on real camera :-))

So when I got to the Grand Canyon there was an incredible
thunderstorm, absolutely amazing.

Followed by an incredible sunset. I'll try to post a good picture :-)


I mean, really?!?

Just another WTF moment...

Makes sense...

Given the weather I've had thus far, that there are terrible downpours
20 miles from the Grand Canyon...

Maybe this means it will be clear by the time I get there? If not,
good thing I packed raingear.

What what...

Feet in the desert

San Andreas fault

Down there in that valley is a magical power...shifting us ever so


Here is where I camped last night, a veiw from atop these phenomenal

A room with a view

This is from inside my tent, now imagine a night sky littered with
stars. Ahh.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hello Moon

Tonight I have the pleasure of camping in Joshua Tree. It is such a
great night, clear sky, stars, jupiter and a big old waxing moon.

So perfect. I'm sleeping without the rain cover which means I have a
full view of the night sky from the inside of my tent. Perfection.

I'll post a pic of my campsite next, it's too good to be true.

A desert sunset

I got to Joshua Tree at the perfect time, just enough time to set up
camp and make dinner before watching the beautiful sunset and moon rise.

First off, Joshua Tree itself is amazing but then to spill that
yellow, orange and red across those rocks??? Simply breathtaking.

Venice Beach

Today I spent the morning and early afternoon walking on the boardwalk
of Venice Beach. A-ma-zing.

Best song: jingle bells jingle bell help me get drunk.

What a place. It was nice to walk on the beach and see all the folks
who hang there, wow were there some characters. I got to see the White
Men Cant Jump basketball courts and muscle beach, fun.

I did not meet Clea Duval during my time in LA, sorry Jennifer.

Lunch with lauren

For lunch Lauren and I went to this amazing vegan and macrobiotic
place called Seed. Mmmmm!!! BBQ kale and tempeh with brown rice,


Not the best picture but this is the smoke from the wildfires...so

As I drove to Joshua Tree earlier today I saw the flames and it was
super sad.


I got into LA yesterday and met up with a friend who used to live in
Brooklyn. I met her and some friends at this cute wine bar. We stayed
there for awhile and I got some amazing French onion soup - even
though it was a bazillion degrees out soup was necessary because it's
not too often you come across a vegetarian French onion soup...

After hanging there for awhile we went a cute Brazilian wine bar with
the intent to get dinner. Dinner ended up being a phenomenal bottle of
Argentinian white wine. Then it was off to karoke at the Drawing Room.
An old friend from camp, Kevin, met me there. It was nice to briefly
catch up.

I stayed with Lauren and her gf and her five cats. It was nice to see
all those felines but it made me miss Stuart.

More soon.

Quotes that scream

Out of the crooked timbers of humanity, nothing entirely straight can
be built. - Immanuel Kant

To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally
convenient solutions; both dispense with the need of thought. -Henri

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A little swim

In Santa Barbara en route to LA...

I hope it's not illegal to strip down to your skivvies on the side of
the road in order to change into one's swimsuit. I mean, I already got
one ticket, at least the story behind this one would be better :-)

I love swimming in the ocean and then getting your clothes back on and
feeling the dried salt in your skin.

En route to LA, Beach Boys seemed fitting...excited to pick up more
mixes as I pass through for the night.


Limes and avacados

Now I feel like I'm in the D.R. With Pinochet, climbing trees to make

The little farm boy...

Is at Fairview Farms, another great suggestion...

I'm a little north of Santa Barbara and loving it.

Hearst Castle

While I'm sure Hearst Castle is incredible up close and personal, I'm
not interested in spending $24 to find out...this will have to be an
experience for another trip.

Sunday brunch

So back in NYC I'm guessing many of you are at Sunday brunch, out here
it's oatmeal and coffee by the river. Perfect.

Last night I camped under the stars in Big Sur. Got to the campground
late because of the amazing drive south on 1. When I got there the
place was full, but Pam, a sweet lady who ran the place assured me
we'd figure something out. I didn't care all that much where I slept,
it was more a matter of where I'd park the truck. Without much trouble
we found a perfect spot, just upland from this little river. I had the
delightful experience of falling asleep under the clear night sky next
to this talking body of water. Perfect.

Last night very well may be the last night that I sleep in a beanie
and fleece, tonight I stay with a friend in la and then tomorrow I
turn the corner to start heading back east through the hot

Today is day 8 of my trip, seems like longer, seems like it flew by -
regardless I know that it has been incredible and I have enjoyed every

A pacific sunset...

Driving down CA 1, on my way to Big Sur, I was lucky enough to catch a

Driving along those cliffs with the setting sun was simply
spectacular. But to make the view even more breathtaking was the moon
rising simulanteously. The light off the ocean in one direction was a
brilliant orange and with just a turn of my glance the waves were
colored silver by the moon. Too many times on this trip I have been
completely floored by the incredible things I've had the chance to see
- this was one of those times.

Years and years ago a quote was shared with me, I don't have the exact
quote with me nor do I remember it verbatim, however, the take away is
that the things most powerful cannot be capture by words or music but
are the things felt deepest in our sleves.

I promise to post the quote as soon as I get back to Brookyn, it's
sitting in one of the many yellowing notebooks in my room.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

a Redwood's lullaby

this video is pretty much amazing...

Sigur Ros Glosoli

you'll have to go to the link as "they" have disabled the ability to embed the video.

Golden Gate Bridge

Not nearly as foggy as the first time around...

Magic's big day...

The Magic Truck has never driven through a tree before (perhaps the
closest she came was when I backed into Carolyn's Mitsubishi). I was
going to give her a bath for her big day, but I'm growing sentimental
to the dust and mud and bugs all over the truck.

Anyway, so today we drove through this lovely tree...

This bathroom...

Is for ladies and our miniature bears. Or perhaps as Renee might say,
it's demonstrative of our womanimals...

Either way, this bathroom cost me $.50 to take a 5min. shower. I don't
even take that long back home when I don't have to insert coins into a
slot...I do however feel very clean...

Out of order: welcome to Spokane

It was bound to happen...I got caught in a speed trap. I was going 70
in a 60 this after hundreds of miles where the speed limit was 75, but
most traveled at 90. Oh well, such is life.

The story behind the ticket isn't that great, just a cop on a
motorcycle pulling people over with the point of a finger. If you want
an interesting story with the main characters being cops and Erin,
well, get me to tell you the blinky light story - it's worth your

The big tree

Here is "the big" tree, you can't fully tell just how big it is,
unfortunately, all the pics I've posted thus far have been from my
iPhone...worry not, I have tons of additional pictures.

I slept among these old giants last night, as if I didn't feel small
enough on this trip of incredible beauty these guys really just
stunned me.

This tree in particular is at least 1500 years old...

I'm about to get a shower then hit the road to Big Sur.

Toes in, well sort of...

The pacific

Here I am...right on the edge of the Redwoods, amazing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eddie Vedder - Society

Watch out...this could break your heart...

Crisis Averted

Because what would I do without hot sauce...good thing they sell some in Yellowstone :)

Kayaking in Lake Washington and Mexican

Based on a wonderfully perfect suggestion, I spent a few hours kayaking around Lake Washington to see the Needle and other things on the water...it was perfect. Then to finish it off I had some Mexican food, it was a nice break from the camp stove pasta, rice and beans and oatmeal - although, I've been loving that too.

I think I am getting pretty good at the self-photo. It's one of the things to learn I suppose when traveling solo :)

Yellowstone and Old Faithful

Someone knows I'm on a time line...I only had to wait a few minutes to watch Old Faithful do her thing. Pretty incredible I tell ya. Yellowstone in general was incredible, so much to look at and neat little spots. I was so glad I took the time to wander around and hang out. Everyone keeps telling me that I am missing so much, but to be honest I feel like I am seeing so much and I am having such a wonderful time. The mixes that people made are great, and it seems that I pick the right one at the right time, you know to make that stretch of road even more perfect.

These posts are going to be short as I am in a cafe in Portland and really want to get back on the road, I want to get back to the woods. Oh goodness, what is going to happen when I get to LA?!?!

The Magic Truck

This is the hot little truck taking me from point A to point B and all of the incredible places in between. I miss having her in my life...but I guess it's not necessary in the city...probably better not to have it anyway, who knows how often I'd just up and leave.

Hot Springs in Grand Tetons

I have never seen as much beauty in one place as I did in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone (well except when I was driving from the Badlands through SD up to Mt. Rushmore and then through the Black Hills and then Big Horn National Forest). The hot springs were pretty incredible. I took a hike out to this set. had to cross a little creek and there was not a single soul in sight, just me and nature and it was incredible.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Go take a hike...

It is a phenomenally beautiful day in WY and the Grand Tetons.