27.7.08

Travel Diary: Corvallis, OR

Corvallis, OR
Riding our bikes in Avery Park, we saw a snake eating another smaller snake. We were stunned by the way the snake gobbled up the smaller creature. As Ruy said, "it is the way snakes are." I have this video here, but I am not sure how good a job it does of showing the event. Ruy says snakes are a rarity in Corvallis. A boy stopped and watched the eating process with us. He wanted to grab the snake and show us the head but Ruy protested that it would disrupt mother nature's process so the boy did not do what boys love to do best, but you can tell by his face in this picture that he was more than willing if we had given him permission.
     Avery Park in Corvallis is populated by a group of raucous men and their scraggly dog. These guys looked like they wanted to kill me when I first saw them but Ruy insisted they were harmless. They were huddled in a circle on the banks of the Marys River.
They kept on telling me that their dog had rabies which really scared me. I do not do well with rabid dogs!
We went to the Corvallis rose garden and we both laughed at the rose called "Sexy Rexy"! We climbed onto an authentic train engine populated by the area's children and Ruy who enjoyed climbing onto the train and acting goody. It was a lot of fun and Ruy appreciated seeing parts of Corvallis that he would not normally venture out to on his own.
We went to visit Shagamland. This is an intentional community in Oregon. An intentional community is what most of us would call a commune but I don't think they use that word anymore.

     Phoenix, pictured here, showed us around and gave us a glass of water. This couple who lived down the road almost called the police on me because they thought I was trespassing but when they saw Ruy they calmed down a bit. Whew. The last thing I need is to get arrested.
I am in the Beanerie here in Corvallis but I better get back to Ruy's place before he starts to worry. Tomorrow we go to the Pacific coast with Kevin and Sarah.

26.7.08

Travelin' from the Rocky Mountains Through Colorado And Bend to Corvallis, OR - Ruy's Place

Corvallis, OR
I finally made it to Ruy’s place in Corvallis. I got here last night after traveling yesterday through the Willamette National Forest.

I do not have much time to say much today but I did finally gather all my pics into one place so you can click here to see a photo gallery of the grande voyage thus far:
Kanpai Restaurant in Bend, Oregon.
This guy is a great chef and he was very nice too.

This was some of the best sushi I have ever eaten. This particular dish is called Mother and Child. Get it? It took me a bit to get it too, but then I finally figured it out with some help from friends.
This is Mount Washington. It looks better in person, obviously.
Ruy reading from Rimbaud. How chic.
It was Saturday at the Farmer's Market in Corvallis when this shot was taken.

This was a great shot I took in the desert of Colorado. One of my favorites of the trip.

This is a motel I stayed in at Maybell, Colorado. The woman in the photo is the proprietor. She is very proud of her sign; she told me explicitly to take her photograph in front of it so I did.
The room I stayed in at Maybell off of highway forty in Colorado. This really was the middle of nowhere. Not even a gas station.
This is a classic shot of the dessert on Highway forty in Colorado.
The deer are friendly in the Rocky Mountains
This is an interesting view of a lone tree in the middle of the valley.
You can see a dandelion anywhere but in the Rocky Mountains, everything looks prettier.

This is the public library in Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado.
This is a picture from the Rocky Mountain National Park near the Old Fall River Road. I think this is the Chasm Falls.


This is an outpost off the Old Fall River Road in the Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park
My ugly feet. Gross, huh?

24.7.08

Travel Diary: Snowville, Utah, Et. Al.

Snowville, Utah
This blog is dedicated to Ian, Scott, Glenn, Tyler, Pam, Bonnie, Morgan and Jonathan, confirmed readers and friends. Thanks for following me on my journey.


I had driven from Eve’s house in Fort Collins, Colorado into the Rocky Mountains on Tuesday of this week.
Old Fall River Road in the Rocky Mountains:

The Rockies are stunning. I took the Old Fall River road and I saw a glacier and at the top of the summit there is a tourist trap filled with trinkets and a hot cup of coffee which I needed after touching that glacial ice. I spoke with a family from Illinois whose son had lost their digital camera in a stream and the father was wading through the rapids like a rainbow trout to retrieve the device. I was shocked that he would go to such great lengths. Are human beings akin to trout?


I gripped my camera a little tighter after witnessing that particular travesty.


Driving in my tiny Toyota Echo, I really got a chance to witness firsthand the mountains in the upper portion of the state. I decided to stay off the interstate and drove down Highway Forty through Grand Lake at the southern end of the Rocky Mountain Park, into Steamboat Springs (which is a quaint resort town), Craig (which is like Slidell), and stopped in this really small town called Maybell for the night. I stayed in the Red Rose Motel. No thrills here. I could not find a place to stay in the bigger town of Craig and I still had five hours to go until I reached Salt Lake. I needed a place to stay so thankfully there were vacancies in Maybell which is about 6,000 feet up and boasts no more than a few buildings, an intersection, a convenience store and the rough tumble of the Colorado highlands.
Highway Forty in Colorado:

When I woke up in Maybell I felt refreshed and at peace. I was able to see where I was in the daylight and I was ready to get back on the road, but I wanted to take a photo of Pamela, the proprietor with her dog in front of her large sign. I said my goodbyes to Maybell, skipped breakfast, but I got hungry once I went west awhile on forty and stopped in Dinosaur, Colorado and ate an omelet in a particularly local dive. The people who had been staying next to me in the motel in Maybell where there too, so I guess we both had the same trajectories.


I wrote some postcards and thought it would be cool to mail them from lovely Dinosaur which boasts a really ugly statue of a triceratops.
There were many finds of dinosaur fossils in this area and you can spend hours in Dinosaur National Monument but I declined but I was disappointed that I did not find the huge dinosaur statues that you may have found at one time on Route 66 which I remember from a Pee Pee Herman movie.


As you can tell from the pictures here, the drive is fun and beautiful. I probably stopped at least fifteen times, got out of my car and looked around and noticed the prairie dogs and foreign flora that you do not find in Louisiana.


I made it to Salt Lake City just time for Pioneer day, July 24th. My friend Jono was not in town, so I staked out the place myself. There were fireworks that I watched from the roof of the Monaco Hotel in downtown Salt Lake. I met a drag queen named Maya but I declined her invitation to be my tour guide. I just did not have the money to pay her for her services!!!!!!! She was nice though and I gave her my Bourbon Street cigarette lighter. She said she was a party girl and she was attempting to get down from a really high high. I nodded and became tentative. It is unlike me to be so shy, but I was!


I had a burger and fries in a downtown private bar. In Utah, apparently, taxes are high for establishments that serve alcohol because of the Mormon influenced government. So, many places are private and you need a membership to get in but I payed the five-dollar temporary membership and enjoyed a light beer with a slice of orange. I met this guy named Nate who sells insurance but is interested in Taoism. He reflected with me about his wife which I obediently listened with feigned attention. He recommended a book about the end of the world called 2012 by a guy whose last name begins with “Pinch.”


Armageddon bored me and I drank a little too much and so ambled my way back to the hotel.


My room is deliciously painted in greens and yellows. I really liked the feel of the place.


This morning I left Salt Lake and am now in a Wendy’s in Tremonton, Utah where the people are friendly and the women wear pioneer veils.


I am hoping to make it to Ruy’s place tonight in Corvallis, Oregon.
More news when I get there.
Ciao.


P.S. I have more pics but I misplaced my camera's USB connector! So, until then ...

21.7.08

Travel Diary: Fort Collins, Colorado

Well, I made it Eve's house, finally. I am hogging her internet so I can post this blog tonight before I go to bed. We had dinner tonight with her lab partner; Seth cooked. Isn't he nice?



I saw the Rocky Mountains from a distance for the first time. I had pulled off the interstate to drive down a gravel road so I could get out and stretch my legs. A deer, or what I thought was a deer, was sauntering along, not paying me much mind. I looked up into the orangcicle sky and could see the shadows of the Rockys in the distance. Wow, that was breathtaking, even from such a great distance the range dominates the sky as if someone had colored the mountains into the blue with a dark grey marker.


I now know why I took this trip. I was looking for something peaceful akin to what I saw today. My life has been so hectic internally and externally I needed an excuse to see beauty.


The elevation up here makes the air thin so it is harder to breathe until you get acclimated.


Tonight we went to the drive-in. It was great. The tickets were only six dollars and the screen is tiny against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.


Here are some pics:

20.7.08

Travel Diary: Ellis, Kansas Monday July 20, 2008

Dear Travel Diary:
I started out on this journey on Saturday. I am just now settling down for a few minutes to write about it so far. Things only got interesting till I got to Cloutierville, La. 
     There, the ancient gas tanks are only programmed to charge you at the least two dollars for gas so you have to double your cost which proves to be an interesting conversation at the check out counter. "Honey, can you believe it when it gonna be ten dollars. The machines ain't gonna handle that." A rather large woman with short-cropped hair laughed at her own joke and showed me how to get from Cloutierville back to the interstate. She said they were going to get new gas machines soon, "but, hahaha," she said, "I don't wanna be around when my boss gotta buy a new machine."
Exit to Cloutierville, Louisiana
     I was happy to get out of Louisiana and didn't even stop in Shreveport at the local sex show but apparently, this woman from Alabama loved it. 
Nor did I go to any of the casinos in Texas that were promising big money and big fun, What is it with the Texans and their notion of "large"? Everything is bigger in Texas, apparently.
       I drove past Dallas and did not even stop. I had already been to the grassy knoll. I drove all the way through Oklahoma and stopped in a little town right before Kansas called Blackwell. Here is a picture:
Gin at the Hotel
      I must have gotten there really late because the Hindi-speaking owner was sleeping and when I woke him up he came to the door with a shotgun, but all in all, he was nice because he gave me some tea and told me that his hotel was the best. Also, his dog kept on sniffing my leg and the man did not like that because he kept on looking at me as if his dog were telling him something he didn't know. But I made him happy by buying a forty dollar jar of gin and I went to bed. I told him I was so happy to be almost in Kansas and he said, "why? are you going to casino in Kansas?" I said, "No, I was going to Oregon." He said, "you must be a smart guy because you only answer in half-truths." Yes, he knows me well, even better than my lover. Oh well.
Really Cool Lake in Kansas
       I slept in a hotel room that faintly smelled of curry; drank some of my gin and woke up at around 10:30 to get back on the road.
About noontime I sped into the direction of a really cool lake in Kansas that I swam in and had lots of fun: here is a picture:

       Being from Louisiana, any sense of elevation is a thrill because down in New Orleans, the only time you get to go up a "hill" is when you take a risk and go over the Huey Long Bridge.
Ellis, Kansas
     Now, I am in Ellis, KS. It is a small little town and they have a train museum that I may go see after I post this blog. I am sitting in a Travel lounge with a Subway and a Play Land Zone attached to it. There is a door built for children. It is funny to watch adults and children try to go through it.
     My camera ran out of juice so I cannot get a picture of it.
I am supposed to be in Fort Collins, Colorado by tonight. I still have to get my Dorothy-ass out of Kansas and get on to Colorado. I am on Interstate 70 going West. Then I pass Denver. Eve, here I come.
          Best,
          Greig