The Biggest Leg yet…

In an effort to get north fast, I’m going to stay with a family in Bellingham, WH. They do a lot of sailing, live right on the water, and sound pretty nice over the phone. Check, check and check. My rationale for all this driving is wanting to explore Canada some, but not wanting to do so late in the year. I’m not (more importantly, my car isn’t) ready to be that far north around November and December. Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 3.50.27 PMI need to be heading south again towards the end of the year, and seeing as it’s already almost half way through June (of ’13, seriously when did that happen?) I pushed through by far the longest single drive I’ve done so far. From Ellicott, CO, where I was, through Salt Lake City, UT, onto Seattle then into Bellingham, WH, my final destination. This was 1,553 miles, about 24 hours of actual driving time, and completed in three legs over the course of a few days, each being in between the letters to the left. This was five new states I’ve yet to visit and connected with some old friends.

All my drives are done at night. Both longer legs were started in the evening and completed the following afternoon. Nothing super exciting happened over the drives (except me not getting in a wreck and dying, which I think is pretty sweet) but driving by myself for 8-hour legs is getting easier all the time.

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I generally think saying things like, “The road is a funny place” is a really gross thing to put on paper, so I won’t. But in those long long legs in the middle of the night, when of course the only stations coming in the FM are country, and when of course your CD player is on strike for whatever reason, something is talking to you. Not really in words you and I speak, but more of a weird vibe pumped through some spiritual IV.

When you have nothing to listen to and only a very boring task (not hurling your car off the cliff six feet to the left) to complete, you just start going through everything in your mind. Your to-do lists are revised until you convince yourself none of it even needs to get done anyway. You run through all these different fantasies because you have the time to. When else, besides on the phone with your parents, do you have tons of time to zone out and contemplate just about everything.

It washes you out, sort of shakes the spiders out from the spaces besides your brain.


“Uncle Ed” as he’s so called in certain circles of the Kennedy family, was nice enough to put me up at his quite-fabulous Salt Lake City estate. I’ve met him once, at a family reunion, but I don’t remember. He’s closest to the Steevers and we spent our evening driving to some of the choice skiing hotspots of Salt Lake, though it wasn’t quite the right time of year. 101_0415He drove like a race car driver with something to prove and confirmed my suspicions the Utah drivers are of a tougher cut than, at least I. Literally, in that state, every one was passing me all time. Maybe when you learn to drive in a state with a disproportionately high number of elderly, you just drive like one anyway. Hard to unlearn methinks.

Also, earlier in the day I drove out to the Great Salt Lake, which I highly recommend you not do if you’re in the area. It has a smell that puts the Bay of Tampa to shame. It’s the second saltiest body of water in the world, which peaks it at about 7 times saltier than the ocean. I was sticky for days, don’t go.

The Great Salt Lake. I went so you don't have to.

The Great Salt Lake. I went so you don’t have to.

Also, the library in Salt Lake city is one that puts all others I’ve seen (I’m talking to you Washington DC) to utter shame. I took a bunch of pictures of it, but you could imagine. I stayed with Ed just long enough on Wednesday to complete my TSLCI work before hitting my longest leg, Salt Lake to Seattle, about 13 hours.

It went really well as a whole. It’s pretty amazing how actually getting a good nights sleep helps out so much. Only then end was rough. Through some weird cosmic event, I rolled right into Seattle in rush-hour traffic and my (lovely, always has my back) GPS took me right through downtown, even though I later figure out we could have just stayed on the highway and gotten off later. It’s funny now, but for about 30 minutes I was flipping out in the car. It was the end of maybe 17 hours of driving and some sleeping too. 1427033-3759829-633-HBut I finally got a to Cameron’s house! This guy I haven’t seen since the Plant High days, and we haven’t hung out since our glory days of underclassman. This was my first really good friend in life, and though our time chilling was brief, we had some good times. I can’t believe I was biking around South Tampa with this cat maybe 12 years ago. Essh I’m getting old.

The rest of the Seattle trip was pretty standard. Spent waaaaaay too much money on drinks, I dragged Cameron up to the Space Needle and went to the famous marketplace. 101_0425

So I just got to my current gig this afternoon. Bellingham, WH, with John and Katrina, who live right off Samish Lake and promise tons of sailing while I’m here, which looks like it will be about two weeks or so. This is my fourth set of strangers to stay with and I think it’s going to work out real well. More to come!

Thanks again to Jim, Darlene and Hal for putting up some weird stranger in their house. Great people.

Thanks again to Jim, Darlene and Hal for putting up some weird stranger in their house. Great people.

I’ve escaped!

So after all that talk I made it out on the road. You know when you talk about something for a while, make all those preparations and yard sales and whatever, when you finally make that push for change, it feels good to follow through. Not that I think I’m the type of person to not follow through w/ideas, but not everything gets put into action. I had a new life plan, which changed everything, and heck mang I did it.

So if you’re just joining us, which all of you are, because I just started this blog, then I need to update you that the NM farm didn’t exactly work out. Arvo yelled a lot and I wasn’t really digging it. After more drama than I’m going to divulge here I left in the middle of the night, stayed with a great stranger I met in Chama, NM, named Che, who put a lost soul up for a few days while I decided on what to do next. Never forget that guy, great hospitality. Took me off roading, fed me and was just a nice nice guy. With me from Arvo’s was Rachel and Clemmy, who left on better and different terms than I. We all parted ways within a few days. Cute girls:)

Move two turned out to be Gillian in Ordway, CO. She was pretty nice and the accommodations were, well, interesting. She was an older Kiwi who had a great accent and would say things like, “Huntah, go get the shovel, it’s in the gay-rah-ge”. Nice lady. She had a few motor homes around her house we could stay in and most of the work consisted of livestock jazz and carpentry. Cute animals were everywhere!

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This is actually mostly pictures of Joy’s, who was a great neighbor who let some of us come over and ride horses.

Anyway! While at Gillian’s, there was this cute German girl name Ina. I pretty much liked everything about her. She was very down-to-earth, funny and had never been to the US before, which means she learned her english in England, and had what I thought as a funny way to say things. This is her w/some dog who was terrified of everything, including her…101_0270

Both her and Gillian spoke British English, as opposed to American English. Ina because she learned english in England and Gillian because the British have all kinds of influence (or did) in New Zealand and she’s a Kiwi.

They said things like, flat instead of apartment, petrol instead of gasoline. But the BEST difference was that they pronounced aluminum phonetically. As in, al-oo-min-ee-um. Good stuff.

As was mentioned before, Gillian had a nice neighbor named Joy who let Ina and I come over and ride some horses. This is actually why Ina was here in CO to begin with. She was on a month-long vacation (which she told me is the norm in Europe) and was spending some time here to ride horses. 101_0280Gillian generally lends her helpers out to neighbors so they can get a few afternoons of work as well. So Ina and I would head over there some afternoons and do some work, then get to ride in the afternoon. What’s great is that letting us ride was really good for Joy. Her horses are “broken” to ride, and need all the riding they can get to stay in the groove. In other words, we were doing her as much as a favor as she was doing for us.

This is Ina, Gillian and myself is a great, awkward, just truly me kind of picture:)


So this gig lasted in the two weeks range. I mentioned that Gillian likes to lend out her Help Ex to neighbors, so from here in Ordway I headed to Ellicott to stay with Jim and Darlene at the Springs East Airport. With me was great friend who came biking through Gillian’s name Jin. Great guy, I wish him the best!



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