Storm Report: On Leaving New Orleans for Hurricane Gustav

     After two beers and a Tylenol, I took a nap as Gustav was positioned 365 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, inching its way inland.
Hurricane Gustav's trajectory 
according to the National Weather Service.

     Outside on the highways, contra-flow had begun directing people on the interstate highways east, west and north but I preemptively hate long lines, so I decided to get half-way inebriated and wait until evening, my only concern was the curfew. Police and military warned citizens that they would arrest anyone loitering in the streets. I did not want the experience of a Crescent city cop car chasing me out of the city. Nor did I want to go to Angola. Mayor Nagin reported at a news conference that anyone still in the streets after nightfall would be arrested and sent to general population in Angola (i.e., the prison).


Writing From a Laptop in North Beach, San Francisco, CA at Café Trieste

Writing this blog post from Café Trieste in North Beach, San Francisco, CA (But I mainly focus on my trip to Oregon, to see Ruy and friends, and that time I went to the Water Lily Festival).
I am posting this blog from lovely San Francisco, CA but the pics are from various and sundry places I have visited thus far so enjoy the unorganized panoply of prose and pics!
My friend Suzanne and Shawndeya know how to string a harp like the angel's on high. The chords made even the sea nymphs and forest fairies come out and sing.
At the Crystal Falls, Sarah told me in her best French, "laissez les bon temps roulez"! She did not want me to tell you guys that she has been trying to act cajun even though she is from the mid west.
This is common wood sorrel that Kevin and I tasted and concluded that its acidic taste is delectable but soon afterward can cause serious stomach churning.
Ahh, here is Ruy, Sarah, and Kevin relaxing at the Falls. AHHHHH. Isn't life sweet?

In San Francisco, early in the morning, the Golden Gate Bridge is veiled in a layer of fog and smog the color of cappuccino.

I drove through Humboldt County's version of the Redwood Forest. I cannot compare it to the actual Redwood National Park, but I was impressed. Man, those trees are ginormous.
This picture was taken on Mount Shasta in California. As I was ascending the mountain in my Toyota Echo I must have seen thousands of these creatures swarming, hitting against my windshield. I felt bad but there were so many of them it was like a love bug cloud you would find in the south but these guys are much more beautiful. By the way, Mount Shasta is gorgeous; some say it has a numinous quality about it that has led to conjectures about its mystical nature. I saw these hikers on the side of the road. They had hiked to the peak of the mountain which is about 12,000 or 13,000 feet up and they needed a ride to their car so I did my numinous duty and drove them back and they then, in turn, gifted me with twenty bucks.
I needed a break so I took off all my clothes and swam in the river. Do you believe that? Hey?! No one was looking but it sure did give new meaning to the phrase, "colder than a witch's tit"!
This young lady introduced me to the art of writing poetry on the back of a bamboo shedding. We went to the Water Lily Festival in Wilsonville, Oregon. It was da bomb.


Photographs: "Eugene, OR"

Eugene, OR
In this post, I showcase photographs of people I know and not know from Eugene, Oregon.
Phoenix's Kids
Ruy Hiding
Crystal Falls
Water Lily


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.


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 everything looks prettier in the Rocky Mountains.

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?


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.

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


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: