Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday October 11th
We woke up and went to Huntington dog beach with Annie, Sarge and Sprout. We didn't know until we arrived that there was an event happening. There were all kinds of tents set up with different types of doggie activities and accessories. But the coolest thing we saw were surfing dogs-whoa. After some time at the beach playing with the dozens and dozens of dogs we went down main street to check out the scene and visit Ian at work. He took lunch and we all went to El Pollo Loco for lunch-ah the crazy chicken. Then we went back to the house, hopped on bikes and rode to the local goodwill. When we got back we got ready to go over to Ian's parents' house to make homemade pizza for dinner. Ian's parents were very nice and they had such a lovely home. From there we rode bikes all around and went down to the Newport beach pier.

Monday October 12th
I decided I wanted to cook a big meal for everyone. First thing in the morning I looked all through Annie's kitchen and formulated a plan. We all went to the grocery store and I picked up a few things. Annie went to work, Joey went out on a bike exploration, Ian stayed home to study and I started cooking. I ended up marinating tofu that I put with sauteed vegetables and making a crazy three bean, pepper, mango, sweet and white potato casserole with pumpkin butter, cilantro and lots of other stuff, o yeah and guacamole and no bake oatmeal chocolate peanut butter cookies. So when everyone got home we ate. Then we went to see Inglorious Basterds, good movie. MMM sleep.
Tuesday October 13th
We had a slow morning and when Ian got home from school we went back to Huntington dog beach to surf. The conditions were awful, it was 2-3 foot but the water quality was bad from the rain and it was super choppy from some pretty harsh winds. Needless to say the surfing didn't go so well. Annie met us at the beach with Sarge when she was done with work. We headed back to the house and showered up to get back on the road south. From Costa Mesa it was a short drive down Highway 1 to Dana Point where I used to work. We stopped in at Stella's and said hello. There were still quite a few people from my day working there. Back in the car we drove to San Clemente. We stopped by what would be our temporary home base, the Headrick residence, for dinner. Laurie made good food as always (lentils, kale, onions, and rice). Joey and I then made the rounds. We went to my old house, 150 Miramar, and saw Brandy and Harlan, then to the Pier and to Greg and Kristen's. Faith was asleep so we didn't get to meet her. Back to Gary and Laurie's to sleep.

Wednesday October 14th
We woke up to another spoiled morning. Just like Annie, Laurie had gone out and bought a bunch of vegan groceries for Joey and I-so sweet. Like I said-so spoiled. We had quinoa for breakfast and coffee with soy creamer-yes! My good friend Shannon was on her way down from San Bernardino. It was looking like a cloudy day so we decided to save San Onofre for the next day and to run around town instead. First we drove up to Laguna Beach and ate at Taco Loco. They have awesome vegan Mexican and American cuisine, they also cater to the non vegan/vegetarian crowd. Even though Taco Loco is the best spot in Laguna we decided to explore. We went into the downtown area and walked around. Went into an old candy shop and stocked up. On our way back south we stopped in Dana Point at one of my all time favorite spots, The Lavender Lounge. They have a huge selection of teas, however, this is not what makes it great. The coconut meat that they put in the tea, like little chewy bites of sweetness, is what sets this tea apart. With our tea we ventured into Revo, a bicycle shop/espresso bar and into a neat little thrift store. We went back to S.C. and I got to see Isabella (Nate's niece, Gary and Laurie's granddaughter). She has gotten so big and is an absolutely beautiful and joyful child. Back from our adventures we showered and headed to Greg and Kristen's to meet little Faith and make dinner.
Ryan came over for a bit, we all cooked and drank together. And again I got to play with an adorable little one. (Don't worry I don't want one of my own, I just like playing with them and making them laugh-it kinda warms my heart). A few of my old work friends organized a little party at a condo in Laguna so Joey, Shannon and I went there next. I got to see Michele, Michaela, Kiko and Gill and that was nice. We didn't stay there very long, just long enough for some good stories to come out and to catch up. The three of us retreated to Greg and Kristen's for the night.

Thursday October 15th
We woke up and headed back to the Headrick house to grab boards and head to San O!!! The conditions were great, 3-5 foot and glassy, the beach wasn't very crowded either. Joey took out his kayak for a while and then attempted his first real day of surfing while Shannon and I caught up on the beach.
Then she and I went out and had a great session. It was so fun and what little I do know about surfing came right back. Yay San Onofre! After beach time we went back to the Headrick's for family dinner. Laurie made chilli and Mardie, Rob, Naomi, Isabella, Gary, Joey, Shannon, Laurie and I all sat around the table and ate together. Sadly I didn't get to see Eric or Jeff, they were both feeling a little under the weather. We all had a good time together just talking and keeping one another company around the fire.

Friday October 16th
Since the surf was so good the day before and it was just getting better we decided to postpone leaving S.C. until the afternoon and get in one more day at the beach. It was great, super sunny, perfect conditions and I got to see Ryan and Olivia. From the beach we went back, showered up, packed up and said goodbye. Just before we left Gary picked up Mateo. He was on a job in San Clemente so I got to see him too. Thanks so much to Laurie and Gary for giving us a great place to stay and taking such good care of us. Thanks to Greg and Kristen for being such great friends to me. And thanks to Shannon for being awesome, plain and simple, awesome. We got a late start on the road and hit some traffic. Around the San Bernardino area Jolene decided she needed a little bit of love. Joey and I stopped and called Andy for some pointers. We tried a few things and decided we needed a mechanic. Shannon found us a place to stay with her friends mom Sue. YAY SUE! We stopped there for the night and took refuge in the home of a kind and gracious stranger. The type of person who helps one to remember that good does exist in every nook and cranny of this crazy world, you just have to find it.

Saturday October 17th
We had a sort of hellish morning trying to find a mechanic open on a Saturday who would work on a carburetor. Finally, we found Eddie's-great shop, great guy. They figured out what we needed, fixed it cheap and quick and sent us on our way. With Jolene purring like a kitten we headed North past Las Vegas to Zion National Park. A close friend of mine Barry was on his way back to San Clemente from Vegas so we stopped on the 15N in a little blip on the map, Baker, to eat together. We ate at the Mad Greek, and to our surprise it was awesome. Barry enjoyed telling Joey all of my embarrassing stories before we got back on the road to southern Utah. We enjoyed the pretty drive through the land of the Joshua Tree. It was nice to be back in the car just the two of us. I consider myself blessed to have a partner who is a such a wonderful friend, someone I can talk to, someone to confide in, someone who understands me. We all need someone like that. If you have someone like that make sure they know you love and appreciate them. That night we slept at a pull off just outside Zion.

Sunday October 18th
Wake up, coffee mission. Since the majority of the next week would be spent in National Parks Joey broke down and bought the Golden Eagle Pass, good for all the National Parks for an entire year. At $25.00/day per park it's totally worth it. We got in to Zion and rode the shuttle up to Weeping Rock. We got off there and hiked Hidden Canyon and Observation Point. The names are pretty self explanatory. Both hikes were super physical and after about 10 miles of hiking I was pretty tired. We rode down and made dinner in the park. Baked beans with vegan links and instant mashed potatoes=best dinner ever. Leaving town we stopped at the local rental/outfitter shop and they gave us directions to a free campsite. The campsite was very secluded. The sky was so clear, we could clearly see the milky way and the Big Dipper (or it could've been part of Pegasus) We sat underneath the endless sky and watched for shooting stars. (I know it sounds cheesy but we really did see several shooting stars.) Our brains unfolded further and further and allowed the release of our thoughts as we drank more and more warm Evan Williams and Coke (yuck).

Monday October 19th
We woke up at our awesome campsite and headed into town for our habitual morning mission-coffee. From there we headed back into Zion and hopped on the shuttle. We rode the shuttle all the way to the Temple of Sinawava (then due to false advertising back down to get water and then back up again) where we got off and headed to the Virgin Narrows. This super classic hike was totally rad. The first mile is paved and runs alongside the river, then it just stops. From there the hike just gets better and better. You walk upstream (up river) through the cold water (~50degrees) in the river bed. The canyon is beautiful and extreme. Another scene impossible to capture on film. We walked upstream for a few hours in awe all the while. After getting down we hopped back on the shuttle to dry out and head back to the truck. We made dinner in the park again. This time leftover vegan links with pasta and marinara was the evening cuisine. After dinner we went to yet another outfitter store in search of some fitting shoes-none to be had, then to a cafe, then back to our awesome campsite.
Tuesday October 20th

TODAY! This morning we woke up, made grits and cowboy coffee, and hit the road.
We arrived in Bryce National Park before noon and went for a hike. We did a couple of short loop hikes and saw some amazing sites. Bryce is equally as impressive as Zion but in a way all its own.
The jagged Hoodoo (towers) are quite unique. Amazing color contrasts of white, yellow, orange, red, tan and brown surround you there. The view is spectacular, on a clear day you can see over 100miles into the distance. Near the middle of our hike we heard thunder and it started to sleet. That's right I almost got a sunburn yesterday and it is sleeting today-go Utah. We went back to Jolene and headed for the visitor center. We enjoyed the neat little museum they had there and hopped in the car to press onward toward Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument. Now we're sitting in a little cafe/outfitter store having the Polygamy Porter-yum.

Oh and here is a picture of Jolene that I have been meaning to add.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I forgot to give props to the mad skater we saw long boarding down from Artist point. He was on the main road going about 40mph. Way rad, super sketchy.

Thursday October 1st Continued
Upon arrival in Portland Joey dropped me off at my brothers. I barged in super stinky and went straight for a shower. After I was all clean I got an awesome massage. Then we went out to dinner to VITA CAFE, where else?! Yum. Then we went to the Green Dragon, an awesome bar with tons of beers on tap all sold by the pitcher. Some of Ross' friends were in town and we all played apples to apples. Ross dropped me off at Jesse and Lauren's for a night of sleep in the truck.
*something worth mentioning: The bathrooms in both Vita Cafe and The Green Dragon we not gender oriented. Vita Cafe had single stall bathrooms labeled only with a vacant/occupied sign and The Green Dragon had two bathrooms cleverly labeled “sitting” and “standing” as to leave it up to you weather you need/want to sit/stand to use the facilities. Thanks Portland for saving us from gender discrimination and gender variant repression one bathroom at a time!

Friday October 2nd
We pretty much woke us from Jesse and Lauren's and got on the road south. We drove to Eugene where we stopped for the afternoon. We enjoyed bagels and coffee, an awesome local thrift store (complete with the best shirt sweater I've ever seen featuring a pastel multimedia lighthouse scene), neat bike shop and REI. From Eugene we drove West on 126 to 101. We followed the beautiful coastal highway to Coos Bay where we broke off of 101 and went to Sunset Bay. We had an amazing stove cooked dinner there consisting of baked beans and ramen noodles. We ate dinner and watched an amazing sunset. After dinner we ventured down the road and stumbled upon Simpson Reef. It was getting pretty dark at that point so we couldn't see much but we could hear an orchestra of sea lions. Impressed we wanted to stay for the night so we could see it in the morning.
Saturday October 3rdToday we woke up to the sea lions. It was an incredible site. The reef was swarming with sea lions and seals! We packed up and headed south to link back up with the 101. Stopped in town for coffee and now we're headed for Redwood National Park!!!! Sadly both of our digital cameras are out of batteries and our charger/adapter is MIA so there will momentarily be no photos. (Except for our film pictures with the rad old school rolliecord-thanks again Dad.)

Saturday October 3rd Continued(Today is the 14th so I have lots to write about.......let's see how well I can remember)
Out first stop in the Redwoods was Fern Canyon. A couple we met the night before told us we should check it out. We drove down a very rough dirt road for 6miles when we realized we were dangerously low on gas. We were only 2 miles from the canyon so we asked some folks for a ride the rest of the way. We rode in with them and walked the short distance from the road to the
canyon. It was awesome. A deep canyon with shallow water in the bottom, the steep canyon walls covered in massive wild ferns. (We took film pictures). We walked out of the canyon and back to Jolene at which time we drove to Lady Bird Johnson Trail. On the way we saw a field full of elk. We also drove through the incredibly small and strange town of Orik. We did the short loop trail and took a few pictures on the trail. Giant tall trees=incredible. We left the Redwood National Park and headed down to Arcata to see my good buddy Brad Jones. We met up with Brad and went into the town square. We had some food and beers and just spent some time catching up. I loved seeing Brad and getting a beer with him, also loved that sleeping in the truck on the side of the road was kosher. But not quite sure what the Arcata hype is all about.
Sunday October 4thStumbled out of the truck in pursuit of coffee and the lil' girls room. We met Brad for coffee. He told us about a music festival that was going on in Golden Gate Park and since our next destination was Oakland we looked it up. The lineup was awesome so we hopped in the truck and rushed to get down to San Francisco. The drive was beautiful, northern California mountains and grapes everywhere. We made it into San Francisco but it took us almost an hour to park-yuck. The park was huge and beautiful. We made our way to the festival and found that the crowd was a bummer but the music was awesome! We got to see Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, The Del McCoury Band, Emmylou Harris, and Old Crow Medicine Show all for free! We showed all the west coast folk how to really dance to bluegrass! We also got the rare treat of watching Emmylou Harris receive an honorary doctorate. Then we indulged in fried zucchini and artichoke hearts. John (Joey's lifelong buddy and the third of the J trio -Jesse John and Joey) met us at the festival. He works one day a week at a bike shop in San Francisco and is a Ph.D. student at Berkeley. John led us out of the park back to the truck. There we found Jolene's battery was dead. We tried to put it into neutral, run it down hill and pop the clutch but that didn't work so some friendly San Franciscan gave us a jump. Off to Oakland we met John's lovely girlfriend Mary and good friend Mariam. Mary and Mariam made us an amazing dinner of butternut squash and lentil soup and vegetable spring rolls with peanut sauce. A beautiful day with great music, great friends and great food we went to bead full and happy.
Monday October 5th
(Didn't get very far the other day. Now it's the 17th maybe I'll do better)
Joey and I had a lazy morning. John and Mary had early morning endeavors so we just hung around the house until about lunch time when John came back. We made vegan mac n' cheese with fresh tomatoes. The three of us hopped on bikes and got a mini tour of Oakland. John took us to an all fake meat store-sweet. Then we went to the famous grocery store Berkeley Bowl and got some ingredients for homemade vegan tacos with fake duck meat. They were kinda awesome. After dinner we just relaxed and passed the time with some old bike race footage while we waited for Mary to get home. Then the four of us watched Stranger Than Fiction. Relaxing day :)
Tuesday October 6th
We made big plans for the city and with some suggestions and a mini hand drawn map we rode bikes to the Bart and headed into sunny San Francisco. First we went to china town. I was amazed by how many goods there were there and by how huge the whole area was. Next we rode to the mission. John works in the mission and said it was his favorite area. We went to this awesome shop Paxton Game that had the weirdest stuff. They had tons of plants, unique art and jewelry (including the necklace of a lifetime a silver mold of a racoons vertebrae that comes with the bone it was cast from by Laura Brown-I think that's her name, I'll check and correct myself if I'm wrong) and some very unique taxidermy pieces. We headed to Delores park next and then on to the Castro. We got to see Harvey Milk Plaza, very cool. Then we hunted for vegan food. We were all jazzed up to go to this place called Weird Fish that was supposed to have killer vegan food. We walked around looking for it for literally thirty minutes and when we finally found it it was definatley closed on Tuesday. So we headed back to this Chinese vegetarian place we saw in pursuit of Weird Fish. Guess what-closed. We were kinda getting grouchy since we hadn't eaten all day and we had been biking and walking like fools. So we headed to the Haight and found a sweet little place called Cafe' International where we feasted. We left and began to explore the Haight. We pretty much hated that part of town (ha) with the exception of another eclectic taxidermy shop (best classic lace and silk dress I've ever seen), a cool vintage spot (where I made my first unnecessary purchase of the trip-suspenders) and one of the worlds coolest bike shops. American Cyclery, though hard to find, is rare gem. Established in 1941 it was full of neat old bikes and bike paraphernalia along with lots of super tight new bikes. So at this point in the San Fran adventure I felt like I had seen lots and my feet were absolutely killing me. (I had lost my socks a few days before so instead of wearing my chucks with no socks sometimes like usual I was wearing them with no socks all the time and I had some blisters from them. Since I already had blisters from my chacos I decided to wear the only other pair of shoes I brought with me-black flats. The blisters I developed that day I think were record breaking. The theme of this trip very well may be Inadequate shoes and the ever tiring task of finding shoes that are both affordable and adequate, aka the impossible feat.) We met up with Mary to catch the Bart back to Oakland. (Where I hastily changed shoes.) We waited on John to get home and in the meantime I gathered up our laundry. The four of us rode bikes down to the laundromat and had a couple of drinks while we waited to change the laundry over to the dryer. The bar we were in was a total dive but somehow it is there that I had the best PBR of my life. From there we went to a little pizza joint down the road. We had calzones with a tofu based cheese substitute and a pitcher of beer. Retrieved the laundry, rode home, folded it, slept. Big day.

Wednesday October 7th
Joey dropped of the truck early and we headed to Berkeley with John by bike. John showed us his office and a few neat spots on campus before he had to go to class. Joey headed off to go mountain biking, meanwhile I explored campus. Berkeley campus is absolutely beautiful. I had been there a couple of years back for the Berkeley-UT game but didn't really get the chance to explore campus. Met some neat kids adventuring around. Then I planted myself in a little grassy spot just outside the geography building where I read up on Cameroon and enjoyed the best nap ever. Joey stumbled upon me on his way back from his ride and woke me.We went back through Berkeley to Oakland and stopped yet again at Berkeley Bowl on the way home. We got ingredients to make dinner for John and Mary. I had so much fun making soup. Joey went to pick up the truck and such while I chopped tons of veggies and boiled potatoes for creamy vegan potato vegetable soup. Joey made his awesome biscuits and I made whipped topping to put with some berries for dessert. We all ate together and just sat around sharing funny stories until we mozied off to bed. O and I must not forget Mary gave me socks!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday October 8th
We woke up and packed the truck. John wished us farewell and we headed off for Santa Cruz. Short drive to Santa Cruz. We hopped out and went to the pier. TONS of sea lions. It was super neat they were all playing around in the water. We didn't have the camera so you will just have to imagine this.... three sea lions, one XL, one M, and one XS, all stacked up long ways on top of one another lying on a dock the smallest one (on top) clinging on tightly with its flippers to the medium sized sea lion below him. Cutest thing ever. From the pier we headed down town to check out the scene. As always we hit up a bike shop and a second hand store, both good. We also went into an awesome boutique with new clothes and used boots and a neat art shop. On out way out of Santa Cruz we stopped in Aptos for some nature time. Joey went mountain biking and I walked all around Aptos. I went into some beautiful residential areas with a great ocean view and almost got malled by a big rabid looking dog. So I decided to head back into town where I took refuge in the public library. Next stop, Big Sur. (So this is theoretically when I would've been writing but it was just way to picturesque to take my eyes off the road.) We drove until we arrived in Big Sur at a resort where this awesome lady Sara, a sister of a friend of a friend was generous enough to give us a rad campsite crash at for the night. We made dinner and abruptly retreated to the truck in pursuit of refuge from the cold night.
Friday October 9th
We woke up and went straight to Andrew Malera State Park at the north end of Big Sur. This is the first time we had to pay for any outdoor activity (including camping). Our backwards government (California's backwards government to be precise) decided it was a good idea to take all funding from the state parks and put it to better use.......... what better use may I ask? Isn't the whole point of the state parks to enjoy cheap/free outdoor activities, to provide us with a place to interact with the world around us, to keep us healthy, to get us outside and keep us conscious of and connected to our mother earth? If we are to be taxed at all shouldn't it be for endeavors such as these? End rant here. So we hiked an 8 mile loop that went from the head of the park out to the ocean, up up up to the ridge, along the ridge and then back down. It was stunning. We took Sara's fantastic advice when we left the park and immediately headed south to Jade Fest on the south coast beaches. Jade Fest is a festival held at a local school just south of Big Sur where tons of people gather for the weekend to display natural jade in more shades, shapes and forms that I thought possible. We saw beautiful jade jewelery, belt buckles, sculptures, bowls etc. Big Sur is known for it's natural rare jade and thus it is celebrated there. Joey and I spent some time wandering around with our mouths wide open and hearts screaming with the 'I wants' over all of the beautiful art. Let me just be the first to inform you-jade ain't cheap. From here we reluctantly decided to forgo a second night of camping in Big Sur (because it meant driving 30miles back north and then right back to where we were in the morning). Instead we headed south. We stopped at the coast to make dinner on the beach before heading inland toward Paso Robles. We accidentally walked up on a wedding on the beach when we were attempting to set up a picnic spot. They were nice about it and wanted Joey's picture after the ceremony was over. There we ate and watched the sunset. We drove about one more hour in the dark to Paso Robles and slept on the side of the road in the middle of wine country somewhere. The stars were amazing and in just the few minutes that I stared up at them I managed to see two shooting stars go by. What an awesome day that was. Cold night, good sleep.
Saturday October 10th
We woke up and wandered around until we found this great little coffee shop. We took sink showers and Joey got some applications done while I cleaned out Jolene and read some. We got crackers and hummus from Target in preparation for our wine tasting extravaganza. The first winery we stopped at. Doce Robles, was super cute. They had two big german shepards named after wine grapes. The first tasting was ten dollars each but they very nicely waved both of our tasting fees with the purchase of a bottle of wine. (We got the wine for Annie-Joey's youngest sister). They sent us to look for another and they weren't open. The next one was exclusively Zinfandel so we passed. The next one was fifteen bucks a head with no wave for purchase so again we passed. We were both getting a little frustrated. Joey (being super sweet cause he know how much I wanted to do a day of tastings) decided we would try one more place on the edge of town. We went in to CLAVO and it seemed super mellow so we sat. There was a good selection of wine and snacks on the table but no price listed, without talking about it we decided to stay. We sat and talked with the lady there and a couple that came in for a really long time. She ended up giving us the tasting for free cause she knew we were traveling-YAY. I suggest everyone go here-great wine, great people. The couple that was there also told us about another vineyard that had a free tasting so we made haste to Eberle. The wine there was good and we had a good time on the porch relaxing there while sobering up. From Eberle we headed to Costa Mesa to see Annie. On the way down the coast I made Joey stop, emptied his pockets and dragged him into the ocean clothes and all. We needed it. We changed in the Subway bathroom and got back on the road. Upon arrival in Costa Mesa we were greeted by Annie, Ian (Annie's boyfirend) and another of the worlds cutest dogs Sergeant (Sarge for short) o yes and Annie was dog sitting Sprout the Puggle for the night also. Annie made us all dinner and we just relaxed at their apartment.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September 25th continued
I arrived in Bellingham via Amtrak and was very warmly greeted by two of my favorite people on the planet! Exhausted by the long train ride yet full of energy from my lack of activity and from my excitement to see Brad and Amber I was totally spastic when I saw them. We went out for dinner to a little local place and headed up the mountain to their way cute little cabin in the woods. I was then just as enthusiastically greeted by their totally amazing dog child, Oser (Short for bear in Spanish). The rest of that evening was spent just catching up, sharing pictures and the like.

September 26th
Brad, Amber and I set off that morning with a mission. We went to their friends Laura and Justin's house to borrow a bike (for me). We rode from there into town. We stopped at an awesome little bike co-op with junked bike parts everywhere, then at the local market which was full of amazing produce, prepared food, art, jewelry, music, etc. We got coffee and rode with it down to Locust beach. Locust beach was super fun, we went at high tide and had to monkey around on driftwood to journey down the beach. This spot is most famous for its awesome mud flats at low tide. Amber and Brad then took me to a secret paradise. It the never-never land we all dream of as a child. A fort with wood and trash art, a refuge for friends, I felt like peter pan-wonderful! This place had something spiritual about it. Something so great it brings out childlike wonder in all that venture there. We left and met up with Joey on the main drag in town, then rode back to Laura's and dropped off her bike so we could head back to the super cute cabin (only with Joey this time). Joey was also greeted by an energetic Oser. We got dropped off the bikes, got ready and headed back down to Laura and Justin's. All of Brad and Amber's Bellingham friends got together with us there and we feasted. Joey and I made guacamole:) Laura is an amazing cook and made a few dishes including vegan chocolate covered eclairs and vegan coconut cupcakes. I don't typically like wither but somehow both were amazing. Thanks Laura and Friends!! We left stuffed and tired and retreated to the cabin for sleep.

September 27th
Early wake up call. We headed up to Mount Baker. Two coffee stops along the way. We got there and hiked Heliotrope. It was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life. Breathtaking both figuratively and literally. We hiked up past Heliotrope ridge all the way to the glaciers at which point we were literally using our hands with almost every step. Since I neglected to bring boots I enjoyed the hike in my chacos. Ha. The view was amazing and totally exhilarating. Quite a different view, the one of me slip sliding down was...hilarious. Once we got down Heliotrope Ridge we drove up to Artist Point and saw the sunset over the mountains. Again, gorgeous. Thanks to my dad and his generosity I got to have Joey teach me how to use my grandfather's old camera. Super neat. On the drive home we stopped for Thai Food and again retreated to the cabin in the woods.

September 28th
Slow easy morning, then we drove up to Canada. We were momentarily detained at the border and then proceeded to Vancouver, British Colombia. We went straight to the public market on Granville Island. The market was super neat. Full of amazing amounts of produce, cheese, bread, meat, pastries, desserts, a huge variety of prepared food, art, and local crafts. We wandered through the market for quite some time. The we walked around Granville Island some more. We found ourselves in a hammock store, hat store (way way cute hat), and a toy store.
With an extremely limited budget we decided that we should stop and check out the brewery and then head to our temporary refuge in the woods to make dinner. And so we did, we got a beer sampler and discovered that the cream ale, lager, IPA and English pale ale were all pretty much unremarkable. I crashed on the ride home. I had been suffering from a sore throat and with that on top of the events from the day prior I was wiped out. When we got back I napped more while Joey the wonderful made Chana Masala for Brad, Amber and I. Then sleep.

September 29th
Amber had to work so Brad and Joey went mountain biking in Galbraith . He loved it! While they were gone I packed and cleaned up, we thought we were leaving. But it got super cold and rainy so we decided to stay one more day. Joey and I headed into town and got a sheet for the bed in the truck and a pillow for me. Then we went to a coffee shop to use internet. (Set up the blog but didn't post anything). Went to Trader Joe's to get grOseries for dinner and our days ahead on the road. One more journey back up the mountain to the cabin in the woods. I set up the bed in the truck while Joey made dinner yet again! Stir Fry for dinner and lots of talking and making future plans. Cobb house and community?-sounds like a good idea! Goodnight and goodbye to Oser and Brad King.

September 30th
We dropped Amber off at work in Mount Vernon on our way out of town. We arrived in Port Townsend in between fairy times so we went down to the beach. Hopped on the fairy and saw the pretty view. Then I took a much needed nap in the back of the truck. Joey woke me up and we were in Olympic National Park! WAHOOO! We went in to the ranger station for some info and headed up to Hurricane Ridge (this is what the super cute couple I met on the train to Bellingham suggested). To our dismay we found out that is was fifteen dollars to go up to Hurricane Ridge. Alternatively, we decided to hike up to Mount Angeles Lake. It was about 7miles round trip. I must say it was beginning to seem a little monotonous just before we came to the lake. Then the view proceeded to blow my mind. It was inexplicably peaceful and serene. The lake was so still and calm nestled amongst giant trees and mountainsides that were thick with fog. No picture could capture this scene. On our way down a man stopped us and told us we should go up to hurricane ridge. I responded “yea but it cost fifteen bucks right?” He pleasantly surprised us by saying “yea but no one is there to collect money anymore.” We literally ran down the mountain and hopped in the car to go up to Hurricane Ridge. And yet again, I saw one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Four deer came directly into our path, super cool. Freezing and totally pleased that we got to see both the lake and Hurricane Ridge we headed down to find a place to camp. We started down coasting. Then Joey went to turn the truck on and because it was already engaged that was a bad idea-super loud pop-ouch! Freaked out, we stopped to discover that we literally blew up the muffler. We decided that the best thing would be to stop and camp and work on Jolene (the truck) in the morning. We slept on the side of route 112 somewhere.

October 1st
Today. We headed into Port Angeles first thing and found a coffee shop. We did our business and then Joey went to buy a muffler. With a lot less noisy Jolene we headed out of town. Driving through Washington in the on again off again rain I finally opened up my new harmonica and read over the first parts of my book. To my great surprise I hammered out a few little tunes within an hour. Yay! We just stopped in a super cute little town called Hoodsport and checked out a local second hand store where we were very tempted to buy a Jaguar coffee table stand. But with no extra room and little funds we decided to press onward to Portland for the night.

Miss and love you all. Staying happy and healthy. Hope you are all doing the same. Write or call me!
So my journey has officially begun.
I'm homeless, unemployed, without a car or a bike and will be for at least the next six months.
I have my health, my sanity, lots of good music, great friends, a wonderful partner and a free spirit-at least for now.
I think the word is joy.
Let the games begin.

First stop, Bristol. Joey and I took off Friday September 18th around 1:00 pm. Straight from the job site, excuse me, the former job site.We arrived in Bristol TN/VA just in time for volunteer check-in. Perfect place for Joey and I. Truly the closest thing to us both being in out native states. So close in fact that we could walk down the street holding hands while in ourrespective states-awwww how adorable? What a goat show? It was nuts, we got assigned to ticket sales right by the main stage. Met Justin Townes Earle. Listened to lots of good music, escaped the volunteer booth and started dancin'. First night on the road we slept in Leonardo (my blue Subaru wagon).
(music of the day: Sam Quinn + Japan Ten, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Trampled by Turtles

Day two-mission for coffee and potent booze tea ingredients. Music in the a.m., volunteered 4-
8p.m. simultaneously to getting absolutely tanked. After all, we are on extended vacation. Ran into some friends that day. Lots of drinking and great music, o I need not forget to mention-
dancing.(music of the day: Mayehm Stringband, Justin Townes Earle, Folk Soul Revival, Roane Mountain Hilltoppers, Scythian

Day three, more great music. Drove to see Bennett in Johnson City. Got lost in Elizabethton. Made dinner with Bennett from veggies out of the jardin. Takes me back to the good ole days. Good to see Bennett-he is so happy and totally engaged WOAH! Drove home, snoozed.
(music of the day: Pokey Lafarge, Rum Drum Ramblers*there were so so many more amazing acts not to mention amazing acts that we missed while working/watching others-go check out the Rhythm and Roots Bristol website!
Crazy day of moving and temporary good byes. Chelsea and Joey helped me move back into mom's ALL day. Joey made awesome dinner for Mom Steve and I. Off to Nashville.

Early wake up. Dropped Joey off. Wait, wait, wait, fly, fly again. YAY! HELLO PORTLAND OREGON! Joey picked me up. We rode into town and I got to meet Jesse (one of Joey's closest friends from middle school). We rode bikes to the store and got food to make dinner and beers! Yay bikes in Portland. Lauren (Jesse's wife and also a very close friend of Joey's) came home. Ross (my oldest brother), who also lives in Portland, came over and we all had dinner.

Wednesday September 23rd. Rode with Jesse to the Gorge and hiked Angels' Rest Trail. Beautiful. We also saw Horsetail falls and Multnomah falls. Came back and relaxed, got ready and met up with Ross for Ethiopian food, yum!
Went to a really cool bar, the Pied Cow. Neat old Victorian house with a huge yard to drink in. Big bottled beers, hooka and dessert-weird. Then off to Ross' for sleep. Mmm sleep.

Thursday September 24th. VODOO doughnuts to go and ate them down by the river, that's right vegan doughnuts. Need I say that Portland is vegan heaven? Time to get the house situated. When I say the house I mean the o so beautiful deep red 1990 Toyota pickup who prefers to be called Jolene. Sweet set up- camper shell on top, we use the truck bed for storage and on top of the storage space are wood panels that are hinged and open upwards so that we can access our stuff (or we can access it via the tail gate) and on top of that we have thermorests and a small memory foam mattress topper so that Joey and I are on the same surface, same height. Really neat, I'll include a picture. Anyway, we had to organize things-clothes, food, gear, etc. Then we rode bikes all around the city. We met up with Ross and Clayton-yet another of Joey's nearest and dearest friends from VCU whom also lives in Portland.
We went to Powell's-largest independent bookstore in the world (awesome rare books room with books printed in the early 1700s and some priced over $10,000), then to a cool elephant statue, music shop to get me a new harmonica at Old Towne Music!, and Portland's famous food carts for felafel. Then we rode on the trail called Springwater Corridor Trail, it goes all around the city limits down by the water-gorgeous. By then it was happy hour so we went to Kelly's Olympian and got $5.00 black and blues (Double shot of Jack and tallboy PBR) X2. From there we (Joey, Ross, Lauren and Clayton) rode back to Jesse and Lauren's and got ready to go out to last Thursdays. SO fun, awesome music, art, food, street performers etc.
Then to a house party. Then home where Joey and I decided to spend out first night in the truck!

Friday September 25th. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NIKKI!!! I love you. Woke up rested. Spent the morning seeking coffee and bike parts with Jesse and Joey. Went to four bike shops. All unique. City bikes=way good. Packed up an overnight bag. Ross came to fetch me and take me to what is honestly the best place I have ever been to eat in my entire life. LITERALLY. Vita Cafe on Alberta-check it out. I got a vegan Philly cheese steak comprised of vegan cheese and seitan with awesome red and green peppers on french bread! The choices blew my mind literally every food in the world that I love and all VEGAN. Got dropped off at the train station and I am now on the train. Next stop Bellingham Washington! Brad King and Amber Wilson here I come. (Joey is coming up tomorrow. It's crazy he has few people he truly loves in this world and however crazy, Vince, one of the chosen ones, is on his way into Portland tonight. So, naturally he wanted to hang out one more night with Jesse, Lauren, and Clayton and to await Vince's arrival. I wanted to meet Vince too but my love, my wife Amber was calling!!!!) So here I sit on the train.

Personal note: So far so good. This is great. Very exhilarating. I feel the stress melting away and the mountain of possible is growing before my eyes. Joey and I are very happy. I think I need this sort of wide openness in my life. Days and months with little if any plans in sight. Bring it on.

I'll write again soon. Love to all. Write me and let me know what is going on with you!!