“You have reached your destination…”

Jul 30th 2010: Travel

Famous last words anyone with a Tomtom GPS is familiar with. After spending several days with a friend in DC I am on my way to Boston, my last stop before going for the final destination, New York. As I am driving, with a quick stop in Philadelphia, with the windows wide open because of the broken A/C and with the radio loud because of the open windows, I first start to notice some vibrations. Initially I blame it on the poor roads on the East Coast. They don’t build them like California does. But then, some time later, some odd sounds are becoming more and more prominent every 50 miles or so.
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Jul 23rd 2010: Travel

Sitting in the complete dark at a campground in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, after the fireflies gave their farewell at the end of dusk, surrounded by a ruckus of nocturnal insects and birds, my iphone and its kindle app competing with a pale moon above the canopy as the only illumination in the forest, I continue to read more of Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley.” This book has been my companion throughout this trip. It is actually rather short, a light read in many ways, but with all the excitement going on and the hours spent driving everyday and the related exhaustion I have become a very slow reader. This has served me well. As the days go by for me, as I make my own discoveries, so does Steinbeck and often, when I finally find the patience and the calm to read more, I find that, even though our trips are quite different, we have been going through the many of same motions. I think these are general road trip experiences and worth at least a blog post, especially at this point of the journey. All the quotes below I borrowed from his book.

To start, there is that sense of doom I had when embarking on this trip. After I had bought my car in a rush, determined the route, all of a sudden the massiveness of the undertaking became clear. “And suddenly the United States became huge beyond belief
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Easy Now, Easy!

Jul 19th 2010: Travel

When the hybrid car market began to take off and Toyota really started pushing their Prius, they had this ad campaign: The car that you just can’t stop talking about. They were right on the money: I had driven my first Prius in 2002 through Zip Car and I was impressed and … geekily smitten. And I would tell anyone about how cool that car was until their ears build a gooey wax barricade blocking out my voice frequencies. That didn’t stop me. Anyway, that’s how I feel now about New Orleans, so hold on to your wax.

After a great time in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston (yes, Houston!), New Orleans was my half way highlight. I had spent five of ten weeks on the road. Half the distance to New York had been driven. 7,500 miles. 2,500 photos had been taken on film and
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The American West

Jul 1st 2010: New Work, Travel

Less fabricated. I have now had a chance to do a first upload of some photos of the western section of the trip here: on picasa for (my) convenience. Enjoy.

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About That Novel

Jun 30th 2010: Thoughts, Travel

Need a place to write that novel? Consider Jerome, Arizona!

After receiving suggestions from a couple of blog readers to visit Sedona and its canyons, I arranged my tour to drive from Prescot to Sedona via this historic road, 89A. It was one of the most scenic drives on this trip to date. Following a curvy and treacherous road at at 20mph, wiggling itself along the deep edge of a beautiful, red-glowing canyon, I got to see a different side of Arizona. Always associating it with hot desert, cactus, and tumbleweed, I was surprised to
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I {heart} Wyoming

Jun 22nd 2010: Travel

There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. But it’s true. Finally equipped with more than just an iphone to write and with a little bit of time to kill, I finally have an opportunity to review the last few crazy busy days. If this seems a bit like a random rambling, well it is. I, too, am still wrapping my head around the last week. In the eternal, but rephrased, words of Blaise Pascal: sorry to write you a long blog post, but I didn’t have time to write a short one.


After leaving the National Parks in Canada and being told I was “weird” for having a cooler full of film by the US border guard, travel companion Angela and I proceeded into Montana. The goal was to drive as quickly as possible to West Yellowstone, a small town outside Yellowstone National Park. On the way we stopped in Whitefish, a cute little Montana town,
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Almost 3,000 Miles

Jun 16th 2010: Travel

Hanging out in a borders in Bozeman, hiding from the rain I finally have a minute to reflect. The last few days have been insane and overwhelming. I got to know the car and it’s quirks well and there were a few times I was worried about it breaking down, but it stubbornly held up and I started to really appreciate the Subaru reliability. If it came this far without problems, it’ll go a bit further. To New York I hope.

But even just in a few days, there has been so much to see. Banff and Jasper are just beautiful national parks
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Rain Check

Jun 9th 2010: Travel

Seattle decided to treat me with rain today – didn’t I hear it called the “Rainy City” somewhere? – and so, sitting in one of the gazillion cafes, it’s a good opportunity to do a check-in of how the road trip is going. The short answer: good so far. So there you go. You can return to Facebook now.

But for your reading pleasure, I’ll expand on that. After a quick six hour drive on day zero I spent the first two days with my friend Adam in the Redwood National Park, up North in Humboldt county. On Sunday I then headed to Seattle, stopping in Boring, OR, and bypassing Portland and the massive thunderstorm that was going on there (sorry to all my Oregonite friends) in one massive, continuous coffee-and-diet-coke-fueled 13 hour rage. I’ve been bumming around Seattle ever since, sipping coffee, cursing the hills that remind me an awful lot of San Francisco, and generally bracing myself for the *real* start of the trip on Friday: tomorrow
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Hitting Stage Two

May 27th 2010: New Work, Travel

Germany is not a very big country, but makes up for that by being about as densely populated as a mall on Black Friday. It’s half the size of Texas with four times as many people. You have to put up some serious effort if you want to get lost. Walk 20 minutes in any direction and you are bound to find a path, a road, or a town. Because of the short distances and the limited space, the roads are narrow and the cars small and efficient. As a result, many Europeans living in the US become obsessed with the American road of life. The seemingly endless stretches of highways and landscapes between places. The diversity between the American cultures at both coasts and the country in between. The true bear and wolf wildernesses. And the big cars with their massive engines. I’m one of those Europeans.

Inspired both by my own desires and by the example of photographic heroes like Stephen Shore and Robert Frank, I will be driving across the US to see and experience *everything*. A two and a half months trip covering 12,000+ miles, split into three legs. A journey
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The King is Dead, Long Live the King

May 24th 2010: Thoughts, Travel

A long plane ride will not only transport you from one world to another physically, but also mentally. By the time you arrive at your destination you have shed your old self in anticipation of the new environment, the new you. As you soak up your new experiences the old ones fade very quickly, feeling strangely far away. Once again in my old stomping ground, city by bay, city of light and fog, San Francisco, it is hard to believe I just spent the last three months in Buenos Aires. In Argentina. In South America. How quickly time passes. It both felt long and short. Being in a well known place I am both pleased to, for once, have familiar surroundings, but I also admit to missing the excitement of the foreign. So, looking back, what is the conclusion of this trip?
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