Joined April 2018 Message
  • Day23

    Things went bad, really quick :-(

    May 8, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    I am sick, really sick (really). After 3 days of staying on location, i am still not even close to feeling better. At night i am bathing in sweat, while shivering of the cold until all my muscles start cramping up. To add to the situation, my water ran out, so i was losing more water than i was taking in from the 1 or 2 apples that i tried to eat. I needed water quickly.... So took all the energy that i had left, and got out of the camper, in the blazing heat, trying to stop somebody from the campground, and asking him if he could maybe get me some cold water from the store, because i did not know anymore how to move myself normally without getting dizzy.
    Then it happened... while i was talking to the campground guy, i suddenly felt extremely dizzy, started talking irrational, and could not stand on my feet anymore... i tripped, got back up, and about 10 seconds later i completely lost control and fell backwards on the sandy rocky ground.
    That was it... my left leg hurt enormously, and my body decided it did not want to get up anymore. So here starts the latest, unanticipated adventure, when 911 was called, and about 10 minutes later a full emergency crew was around me, hooking me up on an IV, stabilizing my leg, and then transported me to the nearest emergency room in the neighborhood. After being hooked up to i don’t know how many equipment, it turned out that i was severely dehydrated, underfed ( had not been eating for about 3 days), and the x-rays showed a broken upper leg, and a starting lung infection.
    After getting me stabilized, i was directly moved to a bigger hospital, to have surgery performed on my leg, in which they fixated the bone with big screws and stuff. I finally ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days, before i was moved to a hotel, awaiting my arranged return flight home to Brussels. This was luckily arranged really well: Ambulance to Las Vegas, first class flight to NYC and Business class flight to Brussels.
    My parents picked me up from the airport, and now i am staying at my parents place, until my leg is sort of functional again...

    Trip summary to follow later :-)

    Warm regards,
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  • Day20

    Hello Mr. Flu

    May 5, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    No, Mr. Flu is not one of the Chinese people at Grand Canyon, but a nice little virus that decided to occupy my body, while on a campground in the middle of the desert. It actually felt like a bad cold in the beginning, and i needed to recover from this, before i could safely continue my trip.
    Luckily i am well stocked with food and water, and the paracetamol is working well against the slight fever..... should be ok when i take a couple of days rest.... i thought....
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  • Day18

    Cold, cold and noisy chinese people!

    May 3, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    After a good night sleep ( literally needed three sweaters, two pair of pants, three pair of socks, and two sleeping bags), I decided I wanted to see the best that Grand Canyon had to offer, so about 09:00 I was back to one of the more quiet viewing points... they said....
    Don’t get me wrong, the view is spectacular! And really makes you feel small and humble... Unfortunately I was not the only small person around.
    You cannot believe how a perfect moment can be completely ruined by a busload of Chinese people!! It was unbelievable how loud they were, not even speaking of the fact that It seemed that they don’t even look at the beautiful view, but only care about the perfect ####ing selfie, and run back bus... I just don’t understand, I really don’t. luckily there were a few short moments that the buses stop coming, and I could enjoy the moment in pure silence, only disrupted by the occasional bird passing by, and let’s just try and remember this moment, and forget about the completely annoying Chinese invasion..... It was beautiful....
    After watching the Grand Canyon for about an hour i drove more up north, along side the canyon, which was also too beautiful to describe. The only thing is that I am starting to notice that i am hitting the tourist highway... and I don’t like it!

    See you later!

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  • Day17

    On my way to grand Canyon!

    May 2, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ❄️ 1 °C

    After sleeping on a campground next to the freeway close to Santa Fe, I know, not really exciting, but I was just exhausted after the death defying trip to los Alamos, I headed towards Flagstaff, my final destination before heading north towards Grand Canyon and unfortunately already heading to my final destination in Denver... Keep in mind that I started this part of the trip in 25 degrees temperature, and a clear sunny sky was smiling at me, My favorite song on the radio ( in case I have not told you yet, it’s “go your own way” from Fleetwood Mac, and they just screamed to sing along with... life was good! Apparently the weather did not react well to my singing qualities, because after about 20 minutes of driving, I saw a sign saying that I should be aware of the snow.... snow?? Yes.. they were not kidding, after this sign, a snowstorm started, which left quite an impression on me as well as on the road conditions :-). After arriving in Flagstaff, I was not sure if I should head out in the mountains, so I spent my day getting Groceries, and have my first phone meeting with a colleague to make sure everything was ok over there ( which luckily it was!). After the snow stopped I made the decision to try and get to Grand Canyon! This was a beautiful drive through the Forrest, with everything being covered in snow.
    Arrived at the information center and campground... no booking?? Ofcourse not, its me, Eric! So it was almost 18:30, and no place to legally sleep tonight.. for a minute I checked out the panoramic view, but I had other things on my mind. So luckily I found a campground about 20 miles from here, no power, no nothing, and freezing temperatures tonight... this will be exciting :-)

    Stay tuned to see what’s next!!

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  • Day17

    New Mexico is beautiful!

    May 2, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    As mentioned before, i decided to stick around in New Mexico a bit longer, and this was completely worth it. Driving through all the different Indian reservations is beautiful. Again the pictures do not even come close to what you see with your own eyes. In a small town, i decided to get something to eat, and in a small restaurant i got into a little chat with a local lady over there, and the talk was so nice, that she invited me to stay for the night at her sons farm nearby. These people were incredibly nice, and after a nice evening in their backyard btw I have never seen so many hummingbirds in my life!, he even took me on a little drive in their Jeep through the desert! The next day they even invited me for breakfast, and then they had to go back to work on their land, and i continued my journey. As I heard of Los Alamos, which was the secret military facility where they developed the atomic bomb, i decided to drive over there and see what was left of this facility. On the map i found a nice route through the nature park around it. Sounds good... At first the road was perfectly paved, but after about 17 miles, the normal road stopped, only to leave me with a dirt road, which would take me to los Alamos.... decision time... i didn’t do it. So i had to drive back 17 miles to the main road, when suddenly the park ranger stops in front of me. I asked him what was up with that unpaved road ahead.. It would be fine, he said.... he has seen bigger RVs pass that road, he said!
    So i decided to gamble, and drive 17 miles back to the dirt road and just go for it! This turned out to become the most scary drive i ever did in my life!
    In the beginning it was going somewhat ok... then the stable dirt changed into some sort of red dried out muddy road with a pretty deep cliff on my right side, which barely fits my RV. But I made it! And the prize for this scary ride was amazing! See picture 4 below. Then i continued to Los Alamos, which was kind of a disappointment. Arriving in the town, i found out that this was still a big research facility, told by the military guys who stopped me and completely searched the inside and outside of my RV before i got into the town. I think i spent 30 minutes there, and then i headed back towards albequerque, to make the final turn to the west towards Flagstaff... Yes i am definitely not going south anymore. Ahead of me is now a long drive to flagstaff via the good old Route 66 again....

    See you later!

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  • Day12

    Almost the perfect day.......

    April 27, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    Before i start writing... right now i am sitting outside in the dark, in one of the most spectacular places in the world, with a Belgium brewed beer, a cigaret, clear dark sky with almost nothing on my mind than thinking that this was almost the perfect day........ and lighting another cigaret...
    When you start off thinking of an adventure like this, you have a lot of things that go through your mind. The romantic idea of just taking a car and hit the U.S road, not knowing where it will take you. Kind of like the lone cowboys who roamed the countryside, not knowing what he would eat, or where he would sleep...And not even talking about what he was going to do the next day, week or in his life.... Somehow i am getting it right now!
    Deciding to make a little detour north of Albuquerque turned out to be the best decision i ever made. The scenery that you get driving through the mountains here is completely mind dazzling. After every corner that i took i wanted to stop and watch it just forever, which of Course would be completely dangerous, so i didn’t... but this New Mexico might be turning into my favorite place of all times,
    I really tried to take some good pictures, but they just do not do justice to what i have seen with my own eyes. Btw this is not the camera it’s fault Carolien, but the crappy photographer behind it!
    Again, by just randomly picking a campsite i found the perfect place to spend the night with a spectacular view of the mountains, and the lake that is right next to it. The campsite host was really nice, we talked a bit, she showed me her huge RV, it was great...
    So now i decided to stay 2 nights here, just to breath the atmosphere out here, and be able to do some serious stargazing, and maybe even some real philosophical thinking about what i want to do with my life.... kind of seems like i found the cowboy inside me.. for a bit at least.

    Only on a moment like this, you realize that when you travel alone, that it can be fine to do it by yourself, and you don’t always need other people around you to have an amazing experience, as long as your true friends and family are waiting for you to come home....

    This was almost the perfect day!


    PS: You might wonder why i always say it was ALMOST the perfect day. In short: very tight parking space... did not see the roof of a building properly.... long live full insurance! ... I just don’t care right now!
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  • Day11

    New Mexico!

    April 26, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    After Amarillo, like the coin decided for me, i wanted to head a bit more south. That’s what i was going to do... i guess. So ofcourse i started to doubt if this would be the right choice, i decided to just get on the road and take my little tank just a little bit towards Albuquerque and see if my mind is actually making up its mind. While on the road, I noticed that there was a really strong wind pushing me to the south, and even big trucks did not seem to keep their position on the road very well, so i had to get off the main road for a while, next to the freeway. While i was driving a more comfortable 45 mph, i saw a sign on the road telling me that i was on the good old Route 66 once more!. After driving for a while i saw a person standing next to the road, with a huge backpack on, and a cardboard saying Albuquerque... In a split decision i decided to take this guy in, and also decided in that instance, that i could probably also drive to Albuquerque and then head south as the coin decided for me.
    This really nice guy turned out to be hitchhiking across the USA for about a year after graduation, and it was fun having some good company during the drive! The drive to Albuquerque was really showed that the climate was changing, and the view changed more into a desert area, with big mountains in the background. When we reached a town about 60 miles from my final destination, we both went our own way.. probably after letting him listen to some classic happy hardcore songs from Europe did the trick haha.
    After arriving on a city campground, which ofcourse had plenty of RVs around, but no people, who could have guessed!, i decided to stick around in New Mexico for a couple of days, as there are many great places to visit in this State.

    Next morning, i found out that my refrigerator died on me last night, so before i can head out, i will have to visit a repair shop to get this thing sorted out, but this gives me some time to write this blog, so all is fine!

    See you later!

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  • Day11

    What the hell is wrong with these people

    April 26, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    So I headed for Amarillo! After a relatively good night sleep, and got my mind back together, i drove about 200 miles to Amarillo, which was actually a pretty cool drive, because this was the first time i started to see some pretty cool mountains in the back, desert like environment, and actually saw the first cactuses! This is a great change of view compared to the Forrest’s and swamps I’ve been seeing all week long. Then i arrived at a local campsite, in Amarillo, where i saw a bunch of campers parked together! Great, i though... i finally get some social interaction that i was looking for in a long time!
    WRONG.... In the beginning i said that the u.s. people were really friendly! And then are in the beginning. As soon as i parked the RV somebody walked up to me telling me that he actually saw me drive in front of him on my way to Amarillo... and my driving didn’t suck! So after discussing for about 10 minutes where to head next, which i will discuss later... he headed back to his RV. Whenever he came out again, i tried to make contact again by complementing him on his big RV, but all he said was Thank you very much, and he went back inside again. Another camper was just sitting i think 10 meters away from me, but no way was a little friendly chat an option.... what is wrong with these people...
    I am almost starting to miss the racists from Mississippi, at least they were very social, as long as tour not a black guy im guessing.

    Let’s stay positive, and move along, because this is starting to get a little bit on my nerves!

    But to continue my Journey, the not so social guy here now told me that the Route 66 part towards Albuquerque would not be a great drive at all, and that i should have stayed south and head towards El Paso, and after that would be a great mountain area i MUST see....

    So i have 2 choices... drive back towards El Paso or continue through New Mexico....
    As i cannot decide, i will do my first coin flip decision...

    Heads... El Paso
    Tails... Route 66 to New Mexico

    The picture will tell you the outcome!

    See you guys later!

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  • Day9

    Thunderstorms and a bit of lonelyness...

    April 24, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    The sound of cooling truck generators were apparently not as easy to block away as i thought. I think it would have been easier getting a good nights sleep when i would have slept inside a 747 engine at take off power, but who could have guessed! So just about when i was falling asleep from complete exhaustion, all the truckers decided to get up and start their engines! Damn you truckers... So Eric was up around 06.00 AM, and after 2 or three coffees i was ready to hit the road again. Like i said, I decided to go up north a bit again, due to the fact that there would be not al lot to see in the 2 day drive through the south of Texas. So let’s try Route 66 then! Again some good planning ahead Erics style! After a 3,5 hour drive, which was more boring than watching the grass grow, I arrived at a campsite in Witchita. Ofcourse it was completely empty again, so the social contact that i was hoping to make was limited to a couple of rabbits and an occasional mosquito buzzing in my ear. Something is starting to tell me that its not quite the right season for doing this type of thing, because nobody else is doing it. This was actually the first time i might have felt a little bit lonely, as i really expected to meet more people during my trip. It’s not that i am not enjoying myself, and the drives are still awesome, but if I had somebody around me to talk to once in a while would have been a bonus. Let’s hope when i get more to the touristic routes i will meet some more people....
    Btw, i am not complaining, i know this type of journey by yourself can have its bad moments, but lets see the next day when i had some good sleep...

    Time lapse.... its now around 10.00 PM and i noticed it started to get very windy and a bit of rain is falling down. Five minutes later the thunder started.... no problem... then the RV starts to shake a bit from the wind, and a shitload of rain is falling down... The flash and thunder is less than a second apart! I am starting to get nervous, because i am quite in an open field with only a couple of trees around me.
    Then i check the US weather reports, apparently i am the lucky winner! In the whole state of texas, with about 50 counties, Only the county of witchita got a Special alert.... 50mph gusts, extreme thunderstorm, hailstones of half an inch. Luckily no Tornado alert though.... This lasted about an hour, and then i finally fell asleep! Great experience, but before the weather report, i actually felt like being in a storm chasers episode on the discovery channel!

    Next morning i ofcourse completely overslept, and woke up at 10.30 AM , and quickly cleaned up, and headed towards my next destination, that would be Amarillo, taking me back on the Route 66!

    Talk to you soon!
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  • Day8

    Pushing through to the West

    April 23, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Short story this time, while have stopped at a truckers resting place, which means, food close by, and free overnight stay :-)
    The only thing is that I can barely hear myself think due to the fact that two cooled trucks have parked next to me, and they need to run their generators.
    but as they seem to be able to sleep, so will l !
    but to get to the point... One of the campsite owners told me that crossing the southern states to the west would not really be a fascinating trip, I decided to put the pedal to the metal, and move towards California as fast as I can. I believe there’s way more stuff to see over there than in the south.
    the First impression is already proving me right.. so I am putting on some good music, and will be cruising the interstate for 1 to 2 days, so I will have way more time in the Grand Canyon region. MAYBE, but only when I see that I have enough time, I could cruise the california coast once more, then go to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and further to Denver... but I need to check the amount of miles that I have left and the time ofcourse....
    like I said , today I felt like a true truck driver, which definitely has its Charmes :-) Do I fit in ????

    That’s all folks!
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