Friday, March 20, 2009

Well i suppose we've been here in oregon for about a month, and that i have not posted anything for a good long while now, so i suppose it is time. i debated going all the way back to where i left off and the last days of our trip, but to be honest they weren't all that interesting so i think i'll jut gloss over them. we spent a night in las vegas, got a great hotel room on the top (34th) floor of a hotel and had an amazing view of the city. walked around, gambled some money, ended up breaking even, and were totally overwhelmed by the lights, the sea of people, and the carny like promoters trying to talk us into nightclubs, stripclubs, and all sorts of other places las vegas is notorius for. all in all, it is a city that is hard to understand, and just did not suit us, especially after the majestic expanses of wilderness we had enjoyed for the previous week.
we awoke early the next morning, rolled out of town quick as you please, and hit the road runnin, destination oregon. of course geography being what it is we did not reach oregon that day, but did drive through a beautiful stretch of central and northern california, with lemon, orange, and almond trees stretching as far as the eye could see, with occassional vineyards interspersed and the sun-made raison factory. we stayed the night after quite a full day o driving in northern california, enjoying obamas speach to congress, and turning in for a good nights rest before another days drive that would finally take us to our new home. which we reached in the mid-afternoon of the next day. we stopped by the realty office to pick up our keys and got our first peek in person of our new (short term) home. it's quite a cozy place, and i've really come to enjoy it, and the town, although current events seem to point to us leaving in the near future (like, the end of the month) for greener and more agriculturally minded pasures. or farms in this case. to be specific anna got a job on an organic farm, and i am currently in the process of obtaining gainful employment on a vineyard.
the stars seem to be pointing to us moving to applegate oregon, 10 miles north of the california border, a small town that resembles arendtsville, which is only mildly ironic. but it is a beatiful area with the rougue river snaking through the valley, and vineyards inhabiting the hillsides. all in all a good place to find work as a farmer. we will be moving into a cozy one room cabin with a loft, (with electricity) which nieghbors massive state forest land and is within a short drive of a number of fine wineries. the future looks interesting, to say the least, and i have just finished pulling my reume together, and preparing to put myself at the mercy of the local economy, with nothing but a liftetime of farming experience and a degree in horticulture to fall back on. all in all i'm brimming with confidence and high hopes, as well as nervousness what this season will hold.
and on that note i will sign off for now, hopefully to hear back from my early job prospects and more frequent blog updates.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Home again, home again, du dee du dee duh.

Sorry, i couldn't remember how the rhyme actually goes. Here i sit in sunny corvallis, in a corner window seat in a cozy spacious coffee shop, enjoying the good life and well roasted beans. of course this is the first sunny day i've seen since we arrived 5 days ago (barring a brief bout of sunshine one morning lasting all of 90 minutes) and it has only rained half the time we've been here, overall i think we're making out quite well. we've furnished our lovely abode with cheap second hand furniture and ikea specials, and are now finally able to move on to more important things like getting the internet, and getting jobs. great fun. but i never did finish our tale of travels, and as the memories are slipping away into the past even as i sit here and write, my brain and body transitioning into the sedentary lifestyle and catagorizing my traveling experiences as a different lifetime, even though it's only seperated by less than a week in real time.

so as to try to get all my remaining memories down on paper (so to speak) before they fade away entirely, i'll just have to jump right back in where i left off. which i believe was on the way to the grand canyon. now as it turns out (for those of you who have not yet been) the grand canyon is quite large, and quite well situated in the middle and a quite large national/state park, so the only logical place to stay is in flagstaff which i have already waxed eloquent about once before, so will skip the details this time around. we stayed in a quite wonderful hostel, which was the first one that felt like a 'real' hostel on our entire trip, complete with loads of people, a smattering of countries, accents, and languages, and a desk worker from pittsburgh, who feld the overcast and rainy streets of the 'burgh for the booming blue skies of arizona. where it nary a cloud is to be seen, except on the day we went to the grand canyon. but such is life, and it did not take away from the majesty of the view, nor did the bus loads of other tourists clomboring over each other for a view of a natural edifice that stretches for hundreds of miles. okay, the other tourists did take away a bit of the beauty at first, till we figured out how to avoid them (ironically walking a short way, i mean really short, like 60 seconds short) and could enjoy the (very slightly different) view in relative quiet.

if you've never been there, then find an old national geographic special on the grand canyon and stare at the pictures. it's pretty much what it actually looks like, except a lot b i g g e r . but it really does sort of look like a movie backdrop and first. it's so massive that your brain has a hard time comprehending the scale of this thing in front of you. you are standing on top of what should be a mountain, looking down into a rift in the earth. it's literally like looking into the innards of the earth (kind of like that cow they used to have in the penn state dairy barns...). it's mother natures gift for all to see, and appreciate, and marvel and wonder at her size and scope. if staring into the night sky doesn't make you feel insignificant (like me) then there is a very good chance staring into the grand canyone will, because i can't fathom the cosmos, but i can, just barely, fathom the size and scope, the antiquity and ancientness; the unknowable number of life forms and species that have lived and died, thrived and gone extinct in the time it has taken the grand canyon to form. it is enough to make one think deep on one's own existence, and how we are all but tiny cogs in the grand scheme of nature. at least it made my mind wander into those waters. i imagine everyone thinks something different as they stare into the grand canyon. if you happen to be one of the lucky few who have stared into the abyss i would love to hear you thoughts at that time.

anyway, we drove about a half hour down the road, to where the pine forests that populate the center of the south rim become the brush and scrub of the desert once again, to one of the most magnificient views (in my humble and admittedly quite limited opinion) in the grand canyon, whose name eludes me at the moment, that was quite literally the dividing line between the forest and the desert. to our left were pines, going all the way to the canyon floor, but to our right was the desert, the sand, scrabbly trees, and resilient bushes, and directly in front (and far below us) rushing white water rapids. anna started a revolution by climbing over the railing onto a large flat outcropping of rocks, where you could sit and marvel without having to look at concrete or pavement. most of the others at the followed after her (about 10 all together, myself included) over the next fifteen minutes. after savoring the view and watching grey clouds roll in under the white fluffy ones that had been hovering over us all day, and debating whether it would rain or not. turned out it drizzled, but never really rained per se. we drove back to the center, parked again and started walking along the rim trail, enjoying the view and relative solitude. (i suppose i should note that though i am none too proud of it, i did pee into the grand canyon, actually i am kind of proud of that)

after quite a long day of walking, driving and site seeing, with only a pb and j to tide us over, we decided not to push on that evening, but rather spend another night in flagstaff, treating ourselves to the nice historic hotel downtown (which by the turns of fate turned out to be rather cheap, us getting the cheapest room in the hotel, owing to the proximity to an upstairs bar, which just happened to be closed that particular night. it was right next to a third floor wrap around balcony, which could be seen in the historic photos downstairs from around the turn of the century. it was like a room transported forward a hundred years in time, except with electricity instead of candles and lanterns. we had the best nights sleep of the trip in that room. but before that, we went out to a fantastic italian bistro with amazing food obviously made with fresh ingredients, and a quite delightful wine list, both of which we enjoyed to the utmost, having decided already to treat ourselves to a good meal while leaving the grand canyon. anyway, it was a wonderful break from the reckless speed at which we had been traveling for what felt like weeks up to that point. feeling well rested in the morning, we headed out once again, this time for las vegas, sin city, traveling via the hoover dam. which in itself was a minor adventure, having our cargo carrier inspected by federal agents to ensure we weren't chock full of c4 explosives. welcome to life in america in the ought oughts. nothing like violating your personal liberties to innefectually protect our collective safety. we were stopped one more time on the border of california, the next day, this time being stripped of our oranges, owing as to the obvious threat they posed to the california fruit industry, having been bought in the grocery store. anyway, it is one thing to get interrogated coming across the border from canada (ask jason about that one some time), and another to be subjegated to every manner of indignity when boarding and airplane, and quite another to have to suffer the same kind of violation of personal space and liberty just driving across the country. as ben franklin said 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' if we were every truly at war at any point in the past 8 years then perhaps we should have considered what type of collateral damage we were willing to endure to protect our ideals and way of life, rather than sacrificing both in favor of an ineffective pyschological band-aid, to make the government feel important and like they accomplished something (although in my opinion it's rather like claiming credit for mount saint helens not having exploded since 1980).

sorry about the detour, but it really bothered me at the time, being a red blooded american who believes in the potential of american ideals, if we could just ever live up to our original words. anyway, the hoover dam was quite large, a lot of concrete and water, in vastly differing ratios depending on which side of the dam you look over. it is a huge man made structure, all the more impressive, because it was finished in the 1930's. however, after leaving the grand canyon, any man made structure could not compare in size or scope, however impressive it may be. but it was interesting to think about how all of the energy potential of this massive edife is entirely consumed by sin city, in debauchery, and neon, rather than being put to any practical use.

i am however at this moment suffering from blog fatigue, so i'll just have to finish up with sin city and the last leg of our trip some other time. take care you faceless readers, and please do drop a line some time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

d-day minus 1

tonight finds us in northern california 400 miles from home. it. feels. awesome. just knowing that we are going to arrive at a place we can call home in the early afternoon feels so great after a full two weeks on the road. but again moving backwards in time (which i've heard from my most faithful follower, ccr, is what the people want to hear) to southwest new mexico. (on a side note my keyboard finally dried out and my h key is working again, wHicH makes it infinately easier to write).

so we left the cities of new mexico behind in the dust and headed into the wild: the gila national forest and wilderness area. and let me tell you, the name did not lie. we headed due south from albuquerque to truth or consequences, which we at first thought was where we would jump off from into the wild. but we were wrong. while it may look like t or c is on the border of gila on a big map, it turns out in real life it's not even close. so we ended up driving through, slowly though so as to make sure we didn't want to actually stop there, and headed west to silver city, which upon closer reading of the lonely planet guidebook (aka our travel bible) turned out to be our best bet for seeing the forest. getting there however was more difficult than we bargained for, a line on a map may have a slight wiggle, but the road itself was actually 20 miles of switchbacks up and down the mountains, through canyons, and under the unbelievable night sky (with zero light pollution) i saw more stars than i ever though existed around our lonely planet. i thought the roads were amazing fun to drive, but apperently anna noticed that they all seemed to go along the edge of cliffs, and had a much more nervous and white knuckled time of it. it did provide us the oppertunity to pull over at one point to observe the stars of the universe (from the side of the road).

we stayed the night in a fine motel in silver city and ate at a local bad news hosses (which agreed with niether of us, at this point in the trip road food really started to wear on us) and turned in for an early night (and a bit of blogging believe it or not). we rolled out of bed early in the morning and headed up to the gila cliff dwellings, stopping at the ranger station on the way and getting some great advice in addition to an amazing map, which i believe will be the centerpiece of our home decoration as of tomorrow. the roads of the gila are out of this world, and great fun to drive if you're into that sort of thing. but they do take an extremely long time to get anywhere. but it's always beautiful. so after another two hours in (and out) of the car we reached the cliff dwellings (which as it turned out later is a definate misnomer, being more accurately the gila cliff religious and convention center of ancient peoples). we had an amazing hike, talking with a bunch of historical interpreters who were just chock full of random information and anwers to all of our inane and insightful questions. just standing in these caves that have been in use by differing peoples and cultures for thousands of years, with layers of caked on soot from countless fires and cave paintings from who knows when, makes you feel connected to the human race across the ages, except we have the internet, and they didn't. i don't feel up to the task of describing the beauty of the area, so look at the fantastic pictures anna took on her blog. also the accoustics in the third cave were unbelievable. just stepping heavily in that room could be heard on the canyon floor. it sounded amazing. made me really want to hear someone play some music in there.

we left the cliff dwellings proper and wandered around the surrounding countryide, taking in a mostly dry river, more ancient pictographs, and mountain roads galore. by the time we reached silver city we realized it would be near impossible to move on any further that day, so we camped out again in a motel in silver city, making our own dinner for once, and preparing for more outdoor exploration in the morning.

we awoke with the break of day (a first for our trip i am entirely emberrassed to say) and headed out to the mythical hot springs of new mexico. the particular hot springs we were looking for looked quite easy to get to on a map (i just want to say here for any who plan on traveling in the near future in new mexico, don't trust the maps; the distances are perfectly accurate but they do nothing to reflect the difficulty of getting from point a to point b), but turned out to require a hike down to the center of a canyon from the rim. it was another wonderful hike, ending in a river canyon with completely different flora that any of the surrounding area, a man with two quite large dogs, and one river hot spring complete with rock circle and virtual seclusion (although we did run into quite a few people heading down to the hot springs on our way out, good thing we got going early). the hot spring itself was amazing, located on the far side of the river from the trail, and although the water was all of two feet deep, quite amazing to soak in (though i will note that the experience did leave us both covered in river dirt which took literally days to get totally rid of). i realized while we were in new mexico that the term 'river' has nothing to do with any arbitrary size or water flow, but rather to the importance of the waterstream to the local area. what i was calling rivers in new mexico would barely make the grade of creek in pennsylvania. but in a land of no water it looked quite impressive indeed.

we hiked back out of the hotsprings and headed off for our last stop in the gila, the catwalk (as seen in the new york times just weeks before our departure on this trip, thanks nyt) which was a great sight seeing controlled hike through another carved out river canyon that travelled through three distinct climates in the span of a mile. it was once again, breath taking. you know, i'm just going to stop describing the natural wonder and beauty of the gila and simply say everyone i know should go and visit at some point before you die because there is no where else in the world that looks like this. and i'd be willing to go there with any of you.

after our second day in gila it was once again time to move on, this time to arizona, through the petrified forest, and to the great (small) city of flagstaff, and then to see the grand canyon. which will be an adventure for another day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

flagstaff for life

i have to say that one of the most unexpected surprises of the southwest has been flagstaff arizona. it is probably the most comfortable i have ever been in a town, there's a great mix of people and ages, a ton of outdoorsy types all around, a plethora of out of doors activities just a hop skip and a jump away, and it is NOT overrun by hippies. which has been the breaking point for most other towns in america i would have otherwise liked. when the hippie quotient get's too high in an area, it really taints an otherwise great area, making everyhing smell faintly of patchouly and taste of bleary eyed smug. this is not to say that there are no hippies in flagstaff, or that i want a world without any hippies, in fact i believe in moderation hippies can really add a distinct flavor to an area, but that flagstaff has the right amount, tempered and balanced by rough looking mountain men, a vibrant punk contingent, regular old college students, and an intriguing mix of national and international travelers on the way to or from the grand canyon, or in more rare cases such as two fine scotsmen i met on the street two nights ago for a bit of golfing. all in all a fine place to wind down and get ready for the last leg of the journy, a run west to las vegas nevada (not to be confused with las vegas new mexico, which is a story for later), a burn across death valley and into sacramento, and straight north to oregon. three days if all goes right. but as i have not had the oppertunity to update all our faithful friends on the happenings of the past few days i'll move on to the past.

if my memory serves i left off our intrepid tale around the border of new mexico, due to reasons of abject exhaustion and a very faulty internet connection. i will say right up front that i know for months before we actually left all i kept saying was that i wanted to see the southwest, and while it was nothing like i expected, the southwest has been by far the most welcoming and enjoyable leg of our journy (ignoring a few bumps and potholes in the road). our first night in new mexico was spent in a absolutely wonderful dive motel in the small town of santa rosa, just off i-40, famous for this peculiar natural wonder known as the blue hole, made aware to us by the insane texan mentioned in my last blog. now we had no real idea what to expect of either santa rosa or the blue hole, and in the glare of the morning light we found neither to be what we expected in the least. the town of santa rosa, even though it is advertised on billboards as far away as amirillo texas is tiny, and apperently shuts down in teh winter. it was near impossible to find a place to get breakfast, or a living soul to ask advice of. after a few minutes driving and increasing nerves wedid however find a sign for the blue hole, which we faithfully followed, and discovered this rather small looking swimming hole, which at first glance seemed none too exciting, until you stared deep into te (sorry i spilled a wee bit of coffee on my keyboard and my ' ' key is broken for te time being) sparkling blue waters of te blue ole and realized tat it is 81 freaking feet deep, and tat is in fact really deep. and pretty. refer to annas blog for pictures. so we left santa rosa still ungry, but opefull for te future. (i'm really annoyed by tis key situation rigt now). so back on te road we got, driving west ten nort to te small town of las vegas new mexico (w'ic' we did not in fact confuse wit' las vegas nevada at any point in time, as some of t'e maunz's believed). las vegas was a fantastic small town wit' c'arecter, beauty, and most importantly open restaurants. one of w'ic' was Estella's Cafe (notice it was soooo good i actually capitalized t'e name). so far on t'is trip we 'ave 'ad only t'ree great meals, t'e first was in memp'is, t'e second was at estella's (anna 'ad 'euvos ranc'eros and i 'ad t'e sampler of all t'ier dis'es, all of w'ic' were amazing) and t'e t'ird we 'ave not come to yet in t'e telling of t'is tale, but i will give you a 'int, it was in flagstaff. we walked around las vegas for a couple 'ours, enjoying t'e peaceful ambiance, friendly natives, and quirky s'ops. and a lot of coffee. we've been drinking a lot of coffee over t'e past week. i did spend a good lengt' of time trying on cowboy boots in las vegas, but i finally 'ad to admit to myself t'at i'm just not t'e kind of guy t'at can pull off cowboy boots. so eventually we moved on from wonderful las vegas to santa fe. w'ic' 'as been built up by a lot of people, and w'ic' was not a bad place necessarily, but in w'ic' neit'er anna or i 'ad a very good time.

to start wit' we stayed in a 'ostel in santa fe, w'ic' in itself is not'ing out of t'e ordinary, we've stayed in 'ostels almost 'alf t'e time on t'e road, but t'is 'ostel was t'e worst. t'e rooms weren't bad, but it was definately t'e closest to a commune t'at we've come too. we were c'ecked in by a very softspoken long 'aired kind of unsettling dude in 'is late 50's, and after paying (cas' being t'e only accepted form of payment {wic' was a first on t'is trip, especially annoying for a lodging}) were promptly informed t'at not only did we ave to put down 20$ more t'an t'e advertised price (as it later turned at as a security deposit {also a first, and so far last, excluding a 5$ key deposit at anot'er 'ostel} w'ic' we did later get back) but t'at part of te price of t'e stay was morning c'ores. w'ic' niet'er of us would ave minded if it 'ad been mentioned up front, before t'ey 'ad our at t'is point 60$ (w'ic' i may add is t'e same it would 'ave been to stay in a fine middle of t'e road motel wit' or own bat'room t'at didn't mandate communal labor, and didn't exude flower c'ild vibes, complete wit' surplus flower c'ildren w'o apperently still 'ave not gotten t'e message t'at t'e 60's are over, and appear to be waiting arond until someone starts organizing 'istorical re-enactments of woodstock). anyway, t'e people were wierd, t'ey got under my skin, and it may be t'e sole reason i ended up disliking santa fe. we ate t'at nig't in t'e food court of a w'ole foods, a sure sign t'at travel fatigue 'ad definately set in.

we awoke in t'e morning, did our c'ore for t'e commune (emptying all t'e tras'cans in te 'allways, luckily after a slow nigt't) and got t'e 'ell out of t'ere before someone offered us some kool-aid. we 'eaded into dowtown santa fe, w'ic' was beautiful, and grabbed a cup of coffee at t'e first place we saw. w'ic' turned out to be run by a native/mexican american w'o we proceeded to talk to for t'e next 'our (everyone s'ould get onto youtube and look for t'e raven rap) and was by all acconts t'e 'ig'lig't of sata fe. we also walked arond dowtown for a long time, enjoying t'e sig'ts and sounds and taking in a museum of modern native american art (not w'at you would expect at all) and moved on to albuquerque, w'ere we 'ad lunc'. a fine lunc' in 'istoric downtown. a lot of adobe and cobblestone streets, and i boug't myself a new 'at (w'ic' you can see in anna's pictures at some point i 'ave no doubt. from t'ere we 'eaded sout', on w'ic' note i leave you all, for now i must'ead west to las vegas.

tune in next time for trut' or cosequences, silver city, t'e gila national forest, and t'e grand canyone. da da dummmmmmmmm...............................

Thursday, February 19, 2009

uhm......still on the road

believe it or not anna and i are still on the road. and over the past six days we havn't really had any internet connection. i know, hard to believe in this day and age in america, but you know, when you're not hanging out in starbucks and traveling hundreds of miles a day and staying in hostels and dives, it can be very hard to get on the internet to get any work done. anyway, a whole helluva lot has happened in the past days and nights. tonight we are in southwestern new mexico, in silver city, on the edges of gila national forest, which is massive, beautiful, and endowed with 30 miles of amazing non stop winding roads. woo-ee. took two hours to go about 50 miles.

anyway starting from the beginning, which for our purposes is nashville tennessee. anna and i reached the outskirts of nashville some time in the afternoon, and right before we got there we ran across this little odd gem of american history called the hermitage, the home of andrew jackson. it was actually really interesting, giving great insight into both the life and times of our seventh president (if i was paying good attention) and slavery in the south. if you're ever in the area and trying to kill time before you go out and drink in nashville you should check it out (assuming you're of the slightly nerdy persuasion). anyway we met up with the pettacia boys (dave and mark) went out to dinner and did nash vegas. for those that have never been nash vegas is about a 5 block strip of honky tonk clubs and cowboy boot shops, which is a blast at night on the weekends if you enjoy bars packed with an odd assortment of southerners living out thier nashville dreams later that night at the kareoke bar down the street, men in big hats, women with big hair, and overtalented bar bands playing tired covers of johnny, merle, and hank. so we did nash vegas for a bit, saw a few bands, and headed back to mark's to crash for the evening. in the morning we headed back into town to walk and explore a bit, didn't see too much worth noting, except maybe the campus of vanderbilt, which was quite lovely with many old dignified magnolia trees.

moving on after nashville we headed to the corner of the state to memphis, which is a different beast entirely. while nashville may be the home of country music in america, memphis is the home of the blues, and in some ways rock and roll. it's where elvis, johnny cash, carl perkins, jerry lee lewis, isaac hayes, booker t and the mg's, and countless others broke into the bussiness. it's the home of graceland and beale street, where you can find authentic blues music any night of the week. we stayed in cabin across the street from graceland, (owned by the presley family) although never actually made it to graceland proper (it was too damn expensive and even from the outside too kitschy). we did at least make it to beale street our first night in town, and caught a great blues band, except when the singer/harps player couldn't get the sound right or was haranging the audience for tips. after a cold night behind the broken heart hotel we toured the daylight side of memphis, visiting the rock and soul museum and the civil rights museum housed in the lorraine motel where mlk was shot. it was a extremely thought provoking day, which i will discuss at length with anyone at a later date, but i'm far too tired to get into that mental depth. somewhere along the way we also walked the banks of the mississippi river, which is in fact big, fast moving (in parts) and muddy.

we left memphis in the late afternoon and headed into arkansas. gotta say it was interesting to see the country flatten out at first into marshland, and finally into the prairie, (by the time we reached oklahoma) but at the same time it is really , really , boring to drive through. luckily we did it at night, which takes the monatony right out of any landscape. we made it through all of arkansas and onto fort smith, which is only notable for being over the border into oklahoma. in the morning we rolled out of bed and kept rolling west. all i found out by travelling through ok was that ok is not a place worth visiting twice. and it's really hard to find a place to eat that's not a chain restaurant. it's kind of like everything unique and individualized in america died first in the reat plains and was replaced by fast food and malls that are visible from space. regardless it seems to work for them, so power to 'em, but fuck that state. excuse my vitirole, but of everywere i've been in the states and beyond i have a hard time thinking of anywhere i disliked being, except for oklahoma. where the wind does in fact come rushing down the plains. and across the highway. makes for some tense white knuckle driving when you got a sail of a cargo carrier attached to the top of your car.

shockingly i thoroughly enjoyed texas. the people there were really friendly, and the landscape was like nothing i've ever seen before. at least in the eastern panhandle. while we were pulling away from a gas station we were flagged down by a crazy texan honking crazily who told us (through open car windows) about half his family history where to go in texas and new mexico, how he was married in new york state, and honey mooned in bethlehem and gettysburg pa. and probably more than that, but it's hard to remember at this point. he also flagged us down again on the high way to tell us about bruce springsteen and cadillacs planted in the ground (again through open windows, this time traveling at 70 miles an hour. anyway we drove down route 66 trying to find a nice dive to eat at in amirillo tx, but the route 66 strip ain't what it used to be, and there wasn't anywere that was both open and free of bikers. so we ended up back on the intersection of i-40 eating at a great texas roadhouse complete with peanut shells on the floor. overall texas was full of friendly people who were fun to talk to. but that was our last hours in texas, cause we made the border of new mexico just a few hours after dinner.

new mexico is just going to have to happen in another post, because too much has happened, and i'm beat. so satiate yourselves on what you've got, and let me go to sleep. hopefully it won't be another 6 days before i get back to it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

On the road

so after the first few days of traveling i decided to start a blog specifically for the purposes of keeping tabs on my trip, expounding on the values of long road trips, and giving myself something to do at night besides stare at my belly button, although that is extremely fascinating.

the trip started on some rocky ground. it took 3 days just to leave pennsylvania. there is a really long story that i could tell about everything that happened in those three days, but the cliff notes version is that i finished moving out of my house on saturday afternoon, completely filled the car with all the stuff i was going to bring. this is before we picked anna's worldly possessions from b-hem. so we ran dumped a lot of stuff in my parents basement and raced to bethlehem. sunday morning we woke up and went out looking for a roof rack cargo carrier, found one, bought it, and brought it home to put on top of the car. however, when we tried to put it on i found out that my car was lacking crosbars, and was a roof rack only in name. so back to the stores we went looking for crossbars. turns out finding ones that fit a pontiac vibe is extremely difficult. we finally found some at rei, which happened to be an hour away. so flush with roof racks we went to put the cargo carrier on and found out it was too big for my car, and once attached it was impossible to open the trunk more than halfway. which was kind of a major problem. so back to the store i went, brimming with rage. a friendly southern gentleman calmed me down and got me fixed up with a cargo carrier that actually fit. which takes us to tuesday morning, in which we got the carrier attached, and after days of trying finally got the car loaded. we hit the road that afternoon, to pick up some odds and ends from my parents basement and sped down to dc to visit the fine folks of bloomingdale one last time. (sorry, i was never good at giving cliff notes)

we spent the night in dc with caitlin, dan, ray, and neville, had a great meal, enjoyed the company, and left (after a obligitory trip to the big bear cafe) around noon after repacking the car one last time. from dc we headed south to carborro north caroline, which is where all the cool people from unc end up after they graduate. we spent a lovely day and a half with anna's friend margaret touring chapel hill, watching unc beat duke, and socializing with the fine people there. it was a grand time and tempting to stay longer, but alas the road beckoned and it was indeed time to actually begin moving westward. so, in the morning we said our goodbye's to the fine people of carborro and headed to asheville nc.

asheville is quite a fine town, and anyone inclined to be a hippy or hipster in an area filled with like minded people should come here with all post haste. anna and i took the walking tour of the city, saw much more art than a town of this size has any right to produce, and enjoyed a fantastic vegetarian meal complete with local beer. we're staying in a cosy hostel about two blocks from down town, in which i am writing the blog you are hopefully still enjoying. because it's always nice to end on a good note.