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.