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

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 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.

Crazy Horse

My camera battery is dead, sooo I have better photos. Anyway, when
complete the sculpture will stand 563 ft tall, that's 8 ft taller than
the Washington Monument. Also, Mt. Rushmore in it's entirety will fit
in Crazy Horse's head alone. What is not carved yet is his horse and
his out stretched hand pointing to where his people rest. On my other
camera I have a shot of a full scale model, will post once I'm in
Seattle (I hope)...

Grand Teton


As I was leaving my truck to mail a postcard in Moose, WY my only
bottle of hot sauce took a spill for the worst...


Breakfast at Grand Tetons

It was 40 degrees last night, brrr. Lovely here, more pics soon.

Dead Presidents

Mt. Rushmore, how cool. Did you know that Washington's nose is 21ft
long and his eye 11ft? But that's nothing compared to the Crazy Horse

A love affair...

Yes, totally in love with South Dakota. I was enamored this morning by
the Badlands and to think I was going to pass it by. So glad I didn't.
I was literally speechless and completely captivated this morning.
This picture was taken on the way to Mt. Rushmore.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Badlands

In 1935 Frank Lloyd Wright wrote, "I've been about the world a lot and
pretty much over our own country but I was totally unprepared for that
revolution called the Dakota Bad Lands...What I saw gave me an
indescribable sense of mysterious elsewhere - a distant architecture,
ethereal..., an endless supernatural world more spiritual than earth
but created out of it."

Not really sure what else to say...

Morning #3

I'm making my breakfast/lunch before I get back on the road. Oatmeal
and coffee and pasta for lunch.

For those of you who don't know, given the cost of this trip in gas I
decided to pack food and cook along the way. Mostly because it's fun
but the savings doesn't hurt either. So far so good, I've cooked all
my meals and have a good system down for cooking ahead to save some

I camped last night about 1.5hrs from the Badlands. Today I will head
to the Badlands followed by the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore,
then I will make my way to Grand Tetons at some point.

I hope my camera battery lasts, the next time I am not camping is when
I get to Seattle, which will likely be the morning of the 26th. I
always have my iPhone but not nearly the quality photo of my camera.

I've listened to a few of the mixes. Excellent!

I started off with the Dreadnots latest album, not a mix but given
past travelling trends, it made sense. You see, every Haiti trip since
2004 Jeremy gives me the latest album he's been working on. They
always blow my mind and this one was no different. I can't wait to
listen to it again.

Next I went with the Ruggles mix which was phenomenal. Let me take a
minute to explain my listening rules...

First, I could not start listening to mixes until after I passed
Cleveland. I have driven to Cleveland before so I wanted the new music
to start with the new road. Second, I must listen to the disc all the
way through, no skipping or repeating songs. (if you know me at all,
you may know that this could pose a challnge). During the first
listen, if i dont know a song and a play list was not included I
shazam it :-) Third, I then listen to the disc again, in order except
this time I can repeat, but not skip songs. Finally, the third listen
is a free for all.

Ok, so Ruggles's cd was excellent and got me through the last stretch
of an 800+ mile day. Loved that she included one of my favorite
Mountain Goats songs. Then I listened to Erica's mix. She notably went
from Lykke Li to Run DMC to UB40, I thought it impressive. Also
included was a fav. Great Lake Swimmers song. Finally, I'll note I was
surprised that it took her 15 tracks to get to Tori. I then listened
to Andi's cd which in true Andi form was a great sing along disc. It
got me into Omaha and lucky I chose that cd bc it allowed me the geeky
opportunity to listen to Counting Crows, Omaha on my way into town.
Finally, I listen to Colette's cd. So far from this mix of people who
gave me CDs, I've known Colette the longest - we played basketball
together since 6th grade. Anyway, Colette sent me her mix all the way
from Ashville, NC and I'm so glad she did. Last night on the dark,
straight road in South Dakota, listening to her cd, I got all misty
eyed. I'll tell ya there are just times that Eddie Veder will do that
to you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Headed north, that's Iowa out the wind...

Somewhere in middle America

Spent most of the day in Omaha checking out Old Market. Wandered in
and out of stores finding all stores of treasures. The weather is
absolutely beautiful - not a ounce of humidity or any of the heat that
was NYC when I left. Omaha is interesting, downtown is dead except for
Old Market, which is crawling with folks checking out the various
stores. I spent sometime sitting outside just listening to some folks
play some music. No sign of Mr. Oberst as expected :-) but at least I
can now say I've been to Omaha, an origin of so much good music and so
much else.

Things that make Iowa great

1. Jen Clyde
2. Gas for $2.49 a gallon, well below my budget average
3. I could get married here if I want to

More soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Funny what shows up when I visit Notre Dame

This one's for Judy...

Hi Notre Dame

I can no longer say, "I've never been to Indiana."

The picnic lunch

Thanks for coming by!!!

In Pittsburgh I not only got the latest Dreadnots cd...

I got a shirt too :-)


6th annual - whatever, I'm sure this will pale in comparison to some
of the things I will stumble upon.

look what I found :-)

Stop #1: Pittsburgh Carnegie Library

Yup, that's right, a library. If you know me at all, you know I dig
libraries. I especially love big and old libraries - this is just that
PLUS it's got a dinosaur room.

Ok, so before leaving NYC I forgot to pick up my books on tape, boo.
That's okay because I know people, so thanks to né I've got tons of

-Downtown Owl - Chuck Klosterman
-Paradise: From the Divine Comedy - Dante
-Hot, Flat and Crowded - Thomas Friedman
-The Best of American Non-required Reading, 2002

Also, used the wireless to download:
-Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
-The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope -
Jonathan Alter

So yeah, there's some books :-)

Ok, so here's what I've decided about the mixes that people made...

Since the furthest west I've ever driven is Cleveland I've decided
that I can only start listening to the mixes once I've past Cleveland
and it is all new.

Below is the dinosaur room and with that I'm off to lunch with plans to leave by 1.

Roadtrip Lesson #1

There are two things that are essential to keep track of: liscence and
keys. Would you believe I learned this the hard way?

I went to bed last night having packed the truck and ready to leave
first thing in the morning. This morning I woke up to a homemade omlet
courtesy of Eileen (aka mom) and a sneaking suspicion that I misplaced
the keys to the truck. Indeed I did, after an hour of looking I
called off the search remembering that the magic truck has a nifty
little credit card emergency key in the owner's manual. So besides
lunch in pittsburgh, I plan to check out the key cutting industry. I
think I'll get a couple extra keys, just in case.

The lisence scare occured before I left NYC, but that worked out in
the end as well. Found the lisence on the ground outside a friend's apt.

I'm sure those who made mixes are curious to know what mix started
this journey. Well, I went with comfort, a mix I made earlier this
summer. The mix opens with Insistor by Tapes N Tapes, I really dig the
drums. It was necessary at 6am. Plus I know the second song is by
Buck65 called All There Is You Need to Know About Love and well, talk
about love, it's an all time favorite.

More soon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tilt your head and see my route...

t minus two hours and twenty-two minutes...not enough time to figure out how to rotate the map...enjoy - I'll be uploading pictures and thoughts along the way...