Kansas City. with best friend Gabe and his wife and Chris.
Chris and I set out Friday, May 15th for our road trip. I suggested stopping and sleeping somewhere between Orlando
and Kansas City. He just wante to get the fjalfkjd out of the south. We got to Atlanta round 8 p.m. and stopped at his favorite pizza place. Weird to seek out a pizza place in Atlanta, but we did. Good food and beer. Mistake number 1. I insisted of driving the first leg over night. One, I don't drive and don't like to drive especially at night. He was really tired and I insisted. We pushed off and between 3-4 a.m. I starte to fall asleep at the wheel. I did three times and found myself drifting to another lane. After the third time, I knew I was in deep, if I didn't stop.
Right at that moment it poured and started hailing horribly. He woke up and we decided to pull over. Found shelter in old abandoned gas station and slept until 7 a.m. and Headed off again. Arrived in Kansas City by the afternoon. It was so amazing to see Gabe and his wife after so long. I wanted to be there for the birth of their baby, but timing was off, we stayed with them for three days. Kansas City was rad. Was able to check out the urban ag project there. We drank a lot! Trip starting off strange. The first night, we went to a jazz concert with Esperanza Spalding. Interesting classical jazz. Not empressed by her attitude and way she was talking to and about her band the whole time. Went to an Irish pub for more beer and hit up the jam session after hours.
Jazz jam, Kansas City
The jam session later that night was so much more amazing. It was a classic dive jazz bar that starts around 1 a.m. and goes until 6 a.m. Dingy side of town, dark, there were stairs that went up the side of this building. One of those places you wouldn't know about unless you knew someone. Musicians from all over just come out to jam. There was a trumpet player that was really famous, forgot his name. He was in town and came to the jam session. The best experience ever!
Got the info wrong on Emily's flight coming in and left one day too early. Found a place to camp on way to Denver. Had no idea where we were going. So stopped at a bar, what best way to get local info than local bar. Had a couple of beers and bar tender told us of a place closer to Denver for camping.
Drinking a lot, Kansas City
Had to really go off beaten track to get to the State Park. Rolled in and searching for camping spot really late at night. There was this amazing boulder that was standing straight up. That was the spot. Powerful and beautiful. I wanted to see that when I woke in the morning. We set up camp. It was freaking cold. I woke early and went for a walk. We wanted to do a bit of hiking before heading to denver and had time to kill. We packed up and headed up to the lookout point for forest fires... Devil's something... can't remember. On our way up we saw a guy who's truck was stuck in the mud. We tried everything to get boards and rocks under the tire, but no go. He was stopped in the front by fence post. Like a total girl, I just started working on getting the fence post out instead of wasting time on the tire.
Beer is never far from Chris
Finally got the post out while they were racking their brains on what to do about the back tires. We were finally able to get him free. He offered a little weed, we declined, but he was able to give us information on the Devil's ridge or something for hiking. We hiked up and stayed there forever. We both had a lot on our minds and zoned for a couple of hours watching the shadows disappear in the morning sun.
Headed to Denver and was early to pike Lance up from the airport so found a park in Denver and slept. Kansas City was the beginning of our sleeping in public parks. Developing into an awesome habit. So going to start finding more public parks to sleep in. Feel like bum, and that feelings starting to become very interesting. Time we challenge old paradigms.
Revolution is here. Kansas City
Picked Lance up and headed to hotel. We stayed at the Curtis near where the BALLE conference was going to be. Lance was awesome and paid for all of us to attend the conference and the hotel. He's the most amazing person, totally dedicated to community. We went out for a beer and just crashed early. Emily arrived really late at night. I woke to her talking to some guys in the hall who were drunk and trying to pick her up. Slept badly and woke early to begin conference. The entire conference was amazing - so inspiring. One of the board members of OurLando didn't show up so Chris was able to attend the conference in her place. Emily bought return ticket for wrong date, so she decided to travel with us over to Portland and fly out from there.
We left Denver after the BALLE conference Sunday morning and headed to Boulder.
god needs to clean things up.
Stayed one night at the cheesy Marriot. The next night we headed to Estes Park and passed through some awesome small towns, stopped at a winery and stayed that night at Jellystone National Park. That was the biggest hoot ever! Our cabin was Yogi Bear #6. on Boo Boo Way. Yogi bear everywhere. IT was hysterical. We went to state forest that day and did more hiking. Sooo beautiful in that area. The next morning Lance left. Chris would not say which direction he was taking us to... I feel asleep in the back seat and woke to us arriving in Wyoming. Never thought I would ever see that land. It was a dream since childhood. We headed up to Jackson hole and found camping nearby. More beer, more brewerys. Found great camping spot. Headed to Yellow Stone National park the next day.
first camping spot near Denver, Pikes Peak, morning before hike.
It was the most incredible countryside I've ever seen. It was like I was living in another time....buffalo and so much incredible wildlife. We spent the day driving through and couldn't find camping in the north. Decided to leave the park and find camping in Montana. Found a spot in Gardner. Buffalo roaming inside the campsite. They wanted to go back to a saloon and drink. I wanted to stay alone by the fire. Another camper gave us a load of fire wood. It was freezing beyond belief. I was wrapped up from head to foot and sat by the fire for hours. Me, fire and mountains and silence. It couldn't have been more perfect. Put out the fire and went to bed, they got back really late. Couldn't sleep the whole night. Lots of thinking.... Transformations taking place.
Look out point for forest fires at Pike's Peak
New the meditation course was going to change a lot in me.
Next day we passed back through Yellow stone. Found a place to try and sleep a bit near the river. No one slept the night before. We moved on towards Boise and camped one night in Sun Valley, Idaho. The mountains were spectacular. Stopped at this random restaurant near a random air field --- random gay guy who ran the restaurant. The restaurant was called smiley something. It was hilarious. He was all smiles and random flammer in middle of redneck morman idaho. couldn't have been more classic. We were stinking pretty damn bad and camping spot had no showers, our campsite was next to river with ice melt. I decided it had to be done. The sun was still shining and the stink had to come off.
Welcoming the dawn, Pike's Peak
Told them I was going in. Never did that before. ..... bathed in the river. My body was totally numb, but afterwards I don't think I have every experienced such a sensation of exhilaration. It was like my body connected with the absolute rawness of nature. There is something powerful bathing in nature. We are so removed from earth. there is an energy we can experience with pachamama that we have lost long ago.
The next day we headed to Boise and stayed with Chris' friends in the Boise burbs. We went out for dinner that night. His friend and his wife decide to go back home and we wanted to hang out more. We found a bar and thought of just getting a drink. We ended up being there for a drag show. It was freaking hilarious, the worst dancers I've ever seen.
Boulder, CO. He's looking for a good woman. EMily volunteering only for foto
I have always dreamed of going to a drag show. it just never happened. On this trip, so much of my dreams came true. The show was hysterical. The next night, we happened upon an awesome live band. They were amazing. Another late night. Boise is actually a really cool city. totally unexpected. We toured with Mark, from Boise First. I met him at the conference and told him that we were going to pass through and I would like to see their Local First campaign. He was amazing and the Boise First campaign was amazing. We met for breakfast, toured the market partly on his bike-pedicab and then the Local First office. Their project was so inspiring. We stayed in Boise for two nights. Chris went to an aviation conference there and met this guy he will do his apprenticeship with.
near Jackson Hole, Wyoming
We then headed off to Portland. The first two nights we stayed with Emily's friends, it was awesome. Totally loved Portland. Hung out, shopping, drinking. Went to Mt. Beacon and then to Hood River, stopped over first in Mount Hood lodge, film location of the Shining. Totally creepy place. The third night stayed with my friends, Chris came over the next night and we pushed off Saturday morning for Astoria to visit my Aunt. Astoria is awesome, more hanging out, and more brewerys. We went to the ocean. It was so beautiful. The trip has been such a journey of seeing really amazing towns and beautiful countryside. We were in Astoria for two days and headed for Bellingham Washington to check out their Local First organization. We found a camping spot and hung out at a bar with awesome live music.
Heading to Yellowstone
Met this French guy and talked to him all night. Total cuttie. Odd to meet frenchman there. Later Chris and I went to the most random diner, bar, club, whatever, I have ever been to. The whole experience was so incredibly strange. We heard of the place when walking around Bellingham asking for internet. The one girl said there was only one place, if we wanted to risk it as it is really dodgy. We liked that idea and headed straight over. Because of its dodginess, we decided to return later that night to experience the late night dodginess. We were not disappointed. :)
Next day off to Vancouver. We pasted Vancouver and were running late to hit up Vancouver island. Seeing some projects on Vancouver island was the main point of the trip besides the meditation course.
Heading to Yellowstone
We decided to keeping moving north and camped in Pemberton on the other side of Whistler. We did stop in the famous whistler. I've never seen a ski resort and had always wanted to..... Not really impressed, it was super cheesy., but a much desired opportunity. The next day Chris dropped me at Merritt and Dhamma Surabhi for the vipassana meditation course. It was the most amazing experience ever. I am pushing all my friends to take this course. I knew it was going to be transformative and it was and has been. I want to go to another center and serve at some point in the near future. It was ten days of silent meditation. I returned to Portland on the 21st. The whole attempt to get back to Orlando was trying. The change inside is very deep and normally, I would have been more upset by the continous mounting obstacles trying to get back home.
Chris and Emily, Yellowstone National Park.
I'm back. It has been just over a week since the course was over. A road trip nearly 1 1/2 months. Not sure what's happening, but the journey continues. Moving me where I'm suppose to be. Learning to be here, now, breathing each moment in serenity. Finding peace within. What I've been searching for my whole life. Dreams are constantly being fulfilled. Harder than I thought not to live in the past or the future. It's a struggle to remain present in the moment. But a struggle well worth its weight in gold.