Joined October 2017 Message
  • Day35

    El fin

    November 28, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    I'm in Santa Cruz!!! This morning I saw the ocean for the first time in half a year. Feels good. The weather is nice. I took a break from driving near San Luis Obispo where I sat on a bluff overlooking the Pacific and finished my book. Oh man it's good to be back in Cali. Though it is literally $1 more per gallon.

    I did it. It was a wild ride. All told it was over 7,000 miles driving, 21 states, 30 NPS sites, 130 miles hiking, 49 out of state license plates (damn you New Hampshire!!!), 7 major cities, and 1 baby black bear. It was a great experience and I'm so glad and thankful that I was able to do it. Many thanks to Dolores who held up nicely for the whole trip. Also thank you to Fiz and Peg & Ray and Bob for putting up with me. And of course to my parents for their support. And thank you, dear reader, for following me on my journey. Now I'm back in Santa Cruz and moving in with the boy!

    The adventure has only begun...
    Read more

  • Day34

    La La Land

    November 27, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    This morning I drove about 4 hours to LA. I hiked a little up to the Griffith Observatory where I discovered it was closed on Mondays. That was a real bummer. I wanted do see if I could magically fly so I could dance on the ceiling and reenact parts of La La Land. I'll get back there eventually. So instead I hiked to the top of Mt Hollywood and then down to the Bird Sanctuary in Griffith Park where I saw some yellow rumped warblers and some western scrub jays. Then I ate so many tamales I almost exploded. And finally I went to the Nerdmelt Showroom open mic which is a tiny theater in the back of a comic book store. There were a bunch of aspiring comics there. And then there was me. It was the classic open mic experience where it was a little uncomfortable and most people bombed and it was a little painful. There were like 2 guys that were pretty good though. Yeah that was LA. I'll be home tomorrow or possibly the day after.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day33

    Tuzigoot/Arcosanti

    November 26, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    I woke up with the sun this morning and went on a nice sunrise hike. It was about 6 miles and pretty uneventful though I did listen to a podcast about cricket farming and now I want to try it. Eating crickets is the way of the future. Anyway then I went to Tuzigoot NM which was yet another ruin. This one was cool because it was a Pueblo on a hill and not a cliff dwelling. It's really well preserved and they fixed up the top part so that you can go in it and stand at the look out area. It's huge. 110 rooms in all. Again it's the same story. We don't really know who these people were, they built it roughly 700 years ago and then kind of disappeared. Then I drove to Arcosanti which I found in the Atlas Obscura. Super interesting. This arcitect guy Paolo Soleri thought the way we designed cities were all wrong. He thought that suburbs were a waste of space and resources that cars were terrible and roads and parking lots took up unnecessary space and rescourses and that nothing worked with nature at all. So he decided to make his own city. He started in the 70s with an experimental permit so nothing is up to code but then eventually they lost the permit and then had to make everything up to code which was super expensive and slowed construction way down. He also refused money from anyone​ because he wanted to do his own thing. So now it's basically this huge (though only 3% completed ) communal living space where like 60 people live and work trying to eventually complete this crazy project. They don't have money so they make artsy bells out of bronze or ceramics and sell them to sustain the project. It's a really interesting place. The vision is that this complex will eventually be its own city housing 5000 people in like 15 acres in the middle of the desert. The arcitecture is really cool. He tried to make the sun work with the building best he could so he used a lot of the same principles as the Native American ruins did. There's a lot of circular shapes and half dome things. So yeah. Interesting day.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day32

    Tonto/Montezuma Castle

    November 25, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    This morning I went to Tonto national monument. The tour for the upper ruins tour was booked unfortunately. This is why people plan ahead. The lower area was still really cool though. They let you actually walk into the ruins! There was a really friendly volunteer lady that I chit chatted with a bit. It was cool. You could see fingerprints from the original builders. Like casa grande, the place was several stories and built 700 ish years ago and then the people just disappeared. Then I went to yet another ruin at Montezuma Castle NM. There were roughly a million people there. It also had the exact same story. All brilliantly constructed in coves faced so the sun hits the perfectly in the mornings. Then I drove to Dead Horse Ranch state park and did some hiking. Now I'm sitting in front of a campfire. It's been great. Going to another cave dwelling tomorrow.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day31

    Casa Grande/ Lost Dutchman

    November 24, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    This morning I made the short drive to Casa Grande National Monument. The movie and vc were really well done. The tour was not. Curse you Rebekah! I can't enjoy tours anymore. It was just an old volunteer guy sputtering facts. No purpose, no engagement and there were a bunch of kids bored out of their minds. As was I. I was brainstorming themes for him as he was blathering on. Anyhoo the great house itself was pretty cool. It's 4 stories tall and 700 years old. And great horned owls nest at the top! The people's who built it were really interesting. No one knows what they called themselves or why they built this giant building. But they farmed in the middle of the desert by making this giant irrigation system. There was no hiking there so I drove you Lost Dutchman State Park and did a short but steep hike. Itbwas really pretty there. I'm a big fan of the cacti/ mountain landscape. I'm not a fan of the crazy heat. 85 today. Too hot. So I got nice and sweaty and then drove into Tonto National Forest to find a place to camp and possibly another shortish hike when it cooled off a little. Turns out there's an awesome lake. So I took a dip. It felt so good. It's been a long time since I've swum (swam?). There was that one time Sam and I floated in circles in the Salmon but I don't think that counts. Anyway I went out to the bouys which conjured up all sorts of memories of camping at lake Mendocino every year in my youth. I floated around and enjoyed the refreshing water for a good while. Then I sat on the shore and bird watched until my butt went numb. So many coots. A really fun spontaneous day!

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day30

    Saguaro

    November 23, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    I was really confused when people said that to me today. I keep forgetting. In my mind Thanksgiving​ happened like 3 weeks ago. There's a decent amount of people here. More than I expected for a holiday. It's their on season though because it's way too hot to come during the summer. It was 90 today! That's too hot. No clouds and little shade. I got up early and beat the sun. Hiked 8 miles before it got too too warm. Then I did a few smaller hikes before heading back to camp. It's a really beautiful place. Mountains and cacti. They're​ so much bigger than I thought. They can grow up to 40'. I heard some really interesting birds. No idea what they are. Gotta bone up on my bird calls. But yeah now I'm back at my tent celebrating the holiday by heating up an Indian food packet. Pretty great day.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day30

    Chiricahua/Tucson

    November 23, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Chiricahua national monument is really cool. I don't remember googling it and wasn't expecting much but it was truly spectacular. So many gorgeous vistas and hoodoos for days. I really dig it. I could have spent days there. Their visitor center was terrible but their nature trail picked up the slack. That place is sprinkles. Then I headed to Tucson where I got an oil change and met up with my great uncle Bob. He's a Franciscan Friar who lives at the Mission San Xavior de Bak in southern Tucson on a reservation. He gave me the VIP tour of the really pretty and really old building. The friars fed me dinner and then let me stay in a little apartment in the mission for free. They were super nice and friendly. Bob took me on a drive around the city and we went to the top of a nice mountain. In the morning I watched one of the friars feed hundreds of doves and then we went to an art gallery dedicated to Ted DeGrazia. The artist is a big deal in Tucson. He's known for capturing the SW in his oil paintings. Many thanks to Bob for being a gracious host.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day26

    Carlsbad caverns/ Guadalupe Mountains

    November 19, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    Yesterday I went to Carlsbad Caverns NP. Probably my favorite cave to date. It's so big and open. I went on an audio tour which I greatly enjoyed. It was so well done. The stops were relevant and interesting. Good interpretation. The first tour I've enjoyed since interp training. But the cave itself is really cool. It had all sorts of decorations like cave popcorn and bacon and stuff. But the lighting was also really cool. They wanted to light the path but for it to still feel cavernous and not be too light as to encourage animals to come in. So they hired a Broadway lighting expert person. It's a cool cave.
    Then I camped in blm land and in the morning made the 1/2hr drive to Guadalupe mountains. I summited Guadalupe peak which was a rough 9 mile hike but I made it. It was really gorgeous up there. It's literally a desert so there were so many cool cacti and things. And thankfully it wasn't too hot. Then I went back to the blm land where coyotes were howling all night. Pretty cool couple of days.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day24

    Hot Springs/ Dallas

    November 17, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    Yesterday I drove into hot springs national park in Arkansas. I did not enjoy it. It was basically just a row of really old bath houses that were naturally heated. There were no bathable hot springs. They were way too hot. But you could pay a lot of money to take a soak at one of the other bath houses. Basically it's just where old rich white people in like the 20s went to socialize and cleanse. So I didn't stay there long. I went to my campsite and fell asleep really early. This morning I drove into Dallas. I waited in line for an hour for the best rated bbq. Worth it. That brisket was so good. Then I drove a lot more until I got too tired and am now about to nap at a rest stop. I've been driving for some 11 hours today, nearly the entirety of Texas east to west. By far the least interesting day this far but also so delicious.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

  • Day23

    Memphis

    November 16, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    I went to the Grand Ole Opry in the morning. It's a cool building but they weren't giving tours. Then I went to Graceland to Graceland to Memphis Tennessee! Well I didn't actually go to Graceland but I did explore Memphis a lot and that song was stuck in my head the whole time. I got a really really good pork sandwich from Central BBQ and then walked around town all day. I tried to go to Mud Island as per Peggy's suggestion but it was closed for the season. So I walked about and walked up and down Beale St. I got a local beer at BB Kings bar place and then went to a grizzlies game. So much cheaper than the dubs! Unfortunately Mike Conley wasn't playing due to injury. It was a pretty boring game, they were losing by 11 all game until the 4th quarter when it got exciting. Marc Gasol had an open 3 at the buzzer to push it to overtime but he missed. It was fun though. More live music at all the bars downtown. Nice place. Good day.

    More adventures tomorrow!
    Read more

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android