The Last Ride

    How do I begin to tell the end? We have been living in New Mexico for quite sometime now and our journey came to an end nearly 2 years ago. Still I am determined to finish our story here before a new one begins. The last leg of our journey was filled with some of the kindest people and the most discouraging situations. Our route through New Mexico started with inspiring surroundings. The Rio Grande National forest was stunning and wild. Our first night across the border we slept atop a hill in a wildlife area north of Chama. Trees sheltered our camp and we were surrounded by green grass and rolling hills. So far New Mexico seemed like a gem.
   
     In the morning we were picked up by a local Chama resident, a bubbly Native American woman, who was in a hurry to get to the Chama days festival where she was supposed to be volunteering. We considered going to the event ourselves, but decided we should keep on as the day was still young. She dropped us off in town and we kept on moving. We passed over the Rio Chama tempted to stop and bathe, but resisted the urge and continued on with our greasy hair and grubby sunburned skin. A little while out of town, when the landscape turned to green pastures again, a young man pulled over and picked us up in his little economy car. We whirled through the mountains, passing by some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever had the privilege to observe. At one point we saw a black bear running along a slope, seeking the cover of the forest. The young man we were riding with was headed for Taos to climb one of the highest peaks in the area. It found it rather funny that I was thinking to myself "I wish I could go check out some peaks in Taos." Even though we had no appointments or responsibilities we were not necessarily free. We were prisoners of our own determination. We asked to be dropped off right at the 285 junction. He let us out across the street from what appeared to be a gas station in the middle of nowhere.

      We wandered over to this perceived gas station only to discover that it was long abandoned. There just happened to be a few cars parked outside, owners nowhere in eye sight or ear shot. We decided to eat lunch while we evaluated our current predicament. We each had less than a half a bag of water in our packs and we were 30 miles from the nearest town. We did not know where or how far the nearest water source was. Most of our food required water to cook. It was only about noon. After fighting red ants for territory at the junction for quite sometime we decided to walk on and hitch. After  all if we had to walk 30 miles to water, we better get started.

     We walked and walked and walked, every person that drove by either completely ignored us or scorned us. We walked until the sun started to recede over the horizon. Disgruntled, thirsty, and hungry, we put up our tent and went to sleep right next to the highway as strangers whirred by through the night.

     In the morning we packed up and before we even reached the road a car pulled over and a guardian angel told us to hop in. Moments like these make you realize that the universe will always provide. The driver was a young man full of philosophical conversation. He held like minded views on the nature of life and Ty kept constant conversation with him. He decided to drive us a good hour past his turn off. We eventually parted ways in Espanola after he insisted on buying us breakfast at Sonic. We exchanged emails, but have not kept in touch.

    Espanola was a rundown western town. We filled up our packs with the hose outside sonic and attempted to find a gas station, but couldn't find one that wasn't closed down for at least a mile. Finally we gave up and just started out of town. The heat was miserable as the sun kissed our weathered skin. The whole town seemed to be decaying under the heat. We passed a dead squirrel laying on the sidewalk as we came over a hill and saw a Chicano in a restored Chevy with chrome wheels pulling over for us. He told us to hop in the truck bed and drove us down the highway a few miles to a liquor store. We shared a beer and continued on to the next gas station looking for a ride. Several people handed us cash, but ignored our request for a ride. After an hour or so waiting in the glaring endless sun, a teenage boy with his younger brother said he could give us a ride to Santa Fe. He dropped us off near a freeway on ramp in Santa Fe where we were kicked out of a gas station parking lot for "panhandling". Even though we were only asking for a ride, people continued to pull over and give us money. As soon as we headed towards the road a young woman named Katy pulled up with her labradoodle in the car and asked if we needed a ride. We jumped right in, both the dogs full of excitement to have some company.
   
     Katie was going to El Paso to visit her Grandma, so we were hoping to just ride with her all the way there and get picked up by my dad. Katie was young, but had years of travel behind her. She hopped trains for a long time and was actually stopping in Albuquerque to stay the night with an old friend that she used to ride the rails with. She said she was sure he wouldn't mind if we stayed there as well. This blind trust seemed crazy, but also quite refreshing. After arriving in Albuquerque, we drove by Starbucks where her friend worked and he confirmed he didn't mind at all if we stayed. Katie took us over to his apartment and we all made ourselves at home. He had a very small one bedroom apartment in an old concrete building. We decided to put our tent up outside on the enclosed, roach infested, concrete patio area. It wasn't much, but we were more than thankful for the generosity and a safe place to sleep in the city. I called my dad to see if he could arrange a ride for us from El Paso and to our disappointment he could not. We were really dreading the trip from El Paso to Carlsbad, as it is a very long desolate stretch. The 285 was the route we had planned on taking, we were dreading that long desolate stretch as well, but at least we didn't have to hitch out of a cartel terrorized border town. We decided to just have Katy drop us off somewhere we could catch the I-40 in the morning and head over to the 285 again.

     Catching a ride on the I-40 in the middle of the Albuquerque metro complex was easier said than done. We walked through nearly the entire town of Albuquerque, on ramp to on ramp. People continued to give us money, but no ride. This was a strange trend that did not begin until we arrived in the metropolitan area of New Mexico. We had a sign that read "Carlsbad to visit Dad", charming right? People weren't giving in though. We walked all day, and as the sun started to go down we posted up at yet another on ramp determined that we would get a ride. At this point we were on the outskirts of the business district. FINALLY! A pickup pulled over and a man waved us over, we noticed he had his wife and daughter in the vehicle so we offered to ride in the back, but he assured us it was fine to drive in the cab. This man told us that the last time he picked up a hitchhiker they had tried to kill him. He had a strong feeling he should pick us up though and took it as a sign from the lord. This family live in Edgewood and dropped us off near the exit in a grocery store parking lot. It was dark and we planned to camp out under the highway bridge or something, we weren't sure, but it was a small town compared to Albuquerque so we weren't to worried. After we said our goodbyes and gave our thanks we began to walk off when they pulled up next to us again and told us to get back in, we were sleeping at their house. We couldn't even believe it! They lived out on some land and let us put our tent up in their large yard. They fed us dinner, and we all watched movies together while munching on popcorn. This family shared their home with us and opened their hearts. The man shared stories of prison and drug addiction and explained how he has recovered his life and his family through his relationship with god. Receiving this act of kindness was reason enough for our entire journey, it gave our struggles purpose. To experience the love that runs deep in the souls of all mankind.
  
     In the morning my brother called and said his friend was driving up to Albuquerque and they could pick us up later today. We were dropped off at the McDonalds with love in our hearts and a handful of homegrown carrots from their garden. After waiting until nearly nightfall, braiding hemp and twisting wire all day, my brother and his friend finally arrived. This was our last ride.

Colors

August 2010

    When we woke in the morning and opened the door to our tent the sun was blinding. It was probably 8 in the morning and we were right out in the open. We seemed to be invisible to people driving by though and luckily there was no activity in the construction field. We packed up quick and got out to the hwy with our thumbs up. We were amazed how beautiful our surroundings were. We were at the mouth of a draw and the hills in front of us were covered in green grass. The sky was a perfect blue and the sun was casting its golden glow on the entire landscape. We didn't have to wait long before an old hippy pulled over for us. We were both tired after our near sleepless night and were in desperate need of a cup of coffee. It was a struggle to stay awake during the the first part of our drive. The scenery was beautiful though, we drove through canyons and rolling hills, with cattle, passed by endless stretches of red rock desert with enchanting arches and rock formations. We finally got dropped off in Moab, Utah where it was blazing hot.This man too, was a really friendly, trusting guy. So was the trend all through Utah. Ironically we were worried about hitching through Utah, due to the stereotype of  Utah being full of conservative Mormons and because hitchhiking is illegal there.We never waited long for a ride in Utah though and were picked up by groovy  hippies of the baby boomer era.
      From Utah we traveled into southern Colorado where we hopped in the back of various pickups all the way to New Mexico. Colorful Colorado indeed! The landscape was incredible viewed from pickup beds. We traveled through thunderstorms and watched rain fall around us onto green fields. One night a native American man and his son let us sleep in a little trailer on their property, his wife wasn't too happy about his generosity, but let us stay anyways. Little awkward... It poured rain the next morning, but we hitched anyways until a couple with a small baby stopped and offered us a ride in their pickup. They drove us into Durango where we stayed and ate at Denny's until the rain finally stopped. We learned that hitchhiking is always much easier when a state allows people to ride in the back of a pickup. People are generally not as intimidated about letting a stranger drive in their pickup bed as they are about sharing their cab. Thus Colorado was an easy state to pass through and our time there was short, but sweet. We'll definitely have to go back and spend some time exploring Colorado, I think it's our kinda place.
       We finally entered New Mexico, the last leg of our journey.

Utah

 August 2010 
  
          We waited out front of this Flying J for hours and hours soliciting everyone that pulled out of the lot for a ride. We had no luck, it was very disheartening and drained all the enthusiasm we had gained in Lava Hotsprings. I finally decided to walk to the nearest highway on ramp to see if there was a safe place for us to hitch, Ty and Mai Tai waited at the Flying J. There was not a lot of room at the on ramp, but there seemed to be just enough shoulder for someone to pull over. I was excited about trying to hitch here, I had a feeling we would have much better luck than our current spot.
         On my way back to Ty and Mai Tai, a trucker was driving to the truck stop and asked if I needed a ride, I told him yes and explained that I had my boyfriend and my dog waiting at the stop for me, I asked if he would be able to take all of us. He looked kind of doubtful then, but agreed. I ran back to Ty all amped up and told him we had a ride! We quickly scooped up all our stuff and ran over to the truck that was now parked in the stop. The driver came around the corner and I excitedly introduced Ty and Mai Tai. He wasn't very friendly and said he had changed his mind and couldn't take us anymore. The whole situation gave me the creeps, the fact the he was more than willing to give me a ride when he thought I was a young single girl, but changed his mind when I was "protected". Who knows if he had fowl intentions, but it made me glad I wasn't hitching alone.
          We walked over to the free way on ramp then and put up our thumbs. A few cars passed us by before one stopped. It was a car full of ladies that just wanted to make sure we were alright and had water. They were worried about us and said we looked young to be hitchhiking. We assured them that we were fine, but appreciated their concern.
          We decided to toke a little while we waited, figured we might as well ease our frustration. A few minutes later a guy about our age in a beat up little car pulled onto the off ramp heading towards the Flying J. I quickly stuffed little bowl blue into the mesh side pocket of my pack. He stayed stopped at the off ramp for awhile as if he was considering picking us up and then finally pulled up by us and inquired into our situation. He told us he was heading to the Grand Canyon and could at least give us a ride into Utah. His car was full of stuff and he had to get out and rearrange in order to fit us. This guy was way laid back, he had long curly hair and was wearing a baseball cap, he had on no shirt and no shoes. He said he had to stop for gas first so we pulled back into the Flying J and even pitched in 5 bucks for the tank. When he came out he had a six pack of beer in his hand and offered us each one in the car. We were a little nervous about him drinking and driving, but he seemed sober enough and we figured as beggars we can't be chosers. Besides, a beer sounded great after our long frustrating day.
          Our new friend turned out to be from British Columbia, Canada and was on a road trip in the states. We had an awesome time with him. He too, like so many of ours rides, had hitchhiked before and shared his stories. He had a few scary moments, but he agreed that we had a much better situation with the two of us and our dog. Whenever you're alone, even when you're a larger man, you're more vulnerable. He took us a ways past Salt Lake City stopping often along the way, playing tourist. Eventually it was dark and he dropped us off at the junction for Hwy 6.
         So here we were, on the side of the hwy, it was pitch black outside and seemed like a storm was coming. Across the road was an empty field with some construction vehicles parked to one side. We decided to walk over and see if there was anywhere inconspicuous for us to make camp. We found a little ditch in the field that the road crossed over. The road created a bridge over the ditch and was a little higher than the field. This kept us out of sight from the road at least, we just hoped there wouldn't be construction work going on in the field in the morning.
          There's definitely a storm coming. As we put up our tent, the wind starts blowing so ferociously we can barely hold it down. We notice windmills across the road, and realize this probably wasn't the best place to camp in a storm, to late now. We stake the tent in good and climb inside for cover. Before bed we want to smoke a toke again, but I can't find little bowl blue anywhere! Then I remembered that I had set it in the side pocket of my pack, it's definitely not there now. It must have fell out, hopefully on the ground and not in that guys car. I'd hate for him to be driving around with smoking paraphernalia unaware. I'm a little sad over losing little bowl blue. It was just a little piece I had picked up in Venice Beach for ten dollars, but it had lasted me like 3 years. Really it was better not to have it anyways, we weren't in liberal California anymore. At least I didn't have to ditch it willingly, I wouldn't have had the heart.
          All through the night lightning crashed around us. I could literally see it with my eyes closed! I barely got any sleep, while Ty snored away next to me. I felt so vulnerable laying there in the middle of an open field. The sky was changing by time the storm passed, it was almost daylight and I was finally able to sleep.





Time to Catch Up!

Mai Tai waiting in the rain as we try to hitch out of Lava Hotsprings, Idaho


           Back to the blogosphere! We have finished our journey for the moment and are visiting my dad and brother in New Mexico. The last half of our journey was so fast paced we failed to blog any of it. This blog is like our digital journal though, so we must log what we can remember while it's still fresh in our minds. I am already missing the road, but through this blog we can bring the memories back anytime.
          Our last post ended with us sleeping in a beautiful house with a kind hearted man, in Boise, Idaho. Mike was his name, and he treated us to a delicious breakfast of potatoes and eggs (and bacon for my Tys). After breakfast he drove us 4 miles or so to a truck stop at the edge of the city. It was a bustling TA truck stop and it was a very hot, dry day in Boise. The law says it's illegal to hitchhike in Idaho, so we were a little bit nervous about being flamboyant in our techniques. We sat at the truck stop for HOURS, receiving nothing but negative responses to our need for a ride. People seemed miserable in Boise! It's funny because I was raised in Boise, ID and was sort of excited to return to my hometown, ironically we had the worst luck hitching there. Boise has at least tripled in size and is now just a sad metropolis. We didn't have it too bad off though, since we were at a truck stop we had access to food, water, and shade.
           After a while we called my friend Lisa, who we were on our way to visit in Twin Falls, to update her on our lack of success hitchhiking and her boyfriend offered to drive the hour or so to come pick us up. After this we went and laid in the cool grass and waited. Even though it was only an hour from their house they had things to take care of before they came, so we waited about four more hours. It was alright though, it was much better than sleeping there and thankfully the truck stop never complained about us loitering. We were paying customers, I guess that's all they cared about. Lisa and her boyfriend finally arrived and took us to their house where I finally got to meet her two children. We spent two more days relaxing at their house and Lisa and  I had a chance to reminisce about old times and catch up on the new.
           When it was time to leave Lisa's boyfriend Chris dropped us off at another truck stop, this one outside of Twin Falls. It was refreshing to know we were on the road again! Lisa's house was our last stop, so from here we were headed all the way to my family in New Mexico. The truck stop was very busy, and thankfully the people were much friendlier than in Boise. We still waited many hours for a ride, but at least we received smiles and waves instead of scowls. Finally a National Guard soldier offered us a ride to Pocatello where the I84 meets up with the I15. It was a little out of our way, but since we had to get on I15 to to head into Utah anyways, we went with him. Ty and Travis (our ride) immediately hit off and went into deep conversation in the front seat. My Ty is such a philosopher, he manages to hit the touchy subjects of politics and spirituality with nearly everyone he meets. Travis turned out to be a very open minded and enlightened man, we were blessed to be picked up by him.
           We had heard of a place called Lava hot springs that was located outside of Pocatello. Travis confirmed that it was a beautiful place, one of his favorites actually. We really wanted to try to make it there, but it was a half hour or so out of our way along the 30 east. Travis pulled up to a gas station to drop us off and we went inside to get some soda and cigarettes. When we came out Travis was still there and had decided that he wanted to drive us to Lava, despite his early morning obligations. He really wanted to go there himself and figured it was worth the mere half hour drive. Needless to say, we were stoked!
          We pulled into Lava and Travis showed us around the town. As we were looking down at the river we noticed a group of people huddled in a pool created by surrounding rocks. We immediately knew it was a hot spring that locals had dammed up with rocks. We strolled down there at dusk, set up our tent right along side the river under a tree, and went down to the spring to soak. Travis stayed there with us for a few hours and we had a wonderful time contemplating the power and beauty of our eternal beings. The water was really hot coming out of the source, but the cold water mingled with it making it comfortable to sit in for hours. We stayed there soaking until 3:00 in the morning or so, long after Travis had to leave.
           Lava was such a nice little town, and we had so much fun playing in the river and soaking in the pools, that we decided to stay there another night. We talked with the friendly locals, ate at a nice country restaurant in town (3 times, lol, they had good food), went tubing down the river, and hiking in the hills. We actually found a geo- cache on a hike at sunset. We noticed an ammo case under a bush off a foot path and opened it up to discover a bunch of random items and log books going back 3 years. All sorts of people had found this cache, wrote something in the books, left an item and took an item. It was like a time capsule reading all the entries. We left an addition of bracelet, a cigarette and a lighter to the cache, wrote a journal entry and took a lens wipe and a dollar. It was one of the coolest things we've ever found!
          Eventually we had to leave paradise and continue on our journey. The last night we stayed in Lava a crazy thunderstorm came through and kept us awake for hours. The next morning we packed up, ate breakfast and took off on the road. We began hitchhiking from a gas station along the highway  where another storm slowly crept over us. So we sat there in the rain and continued to hitch for a ride, hoping someone would pick us up out of pity at least and eventually someone did. We had to ride in the back of a pick up, but it didn't take long before we were out of the storm. He drove us all the way to I15 and dropped us off at the Flying J, and another chapter began.

   

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Tumelo Falls

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Palina lake

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Canoeing on Spark's lake

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Ty and I at Palina lake

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Into Oregon

July 30, 2010         
   
          Now we were really traveling! Amy drove us on into Oregon , telling us stories of her hitchhiking days. Night came over us as we traveled inland towards interstate 5. Amy pulled in a few campsites in attempt to help us find somewhere to sleep, but they were all full for the weekend, so we settled on a rest area right outside of Grant's Pass. It was about midnight at this time and we were all tired. We said farewell to Amy and she took off to her hotel in Medford while we rolled out our five star sleeping system in the shadows of the rest area lawn and went to sleep under the Oregon stars for the first time. It's strange how just laying under the same familiar sky, I felt that we were in a new territory, like we were breathing foreign air.
     
         We were awake as soon as the birds started singing. Being much to early to hitchhike successfully, we made some coffee, ate breakfast and utilized the electrical outlet in the rest area bathroom to charge our phone. We started hitching around eight, full of enthusiasm. Car after car passed us by, but it didn't bring us down. They all seemed to be a new breed of people, but they were still primarily friendly. Around 10:00 a woman was pulling up in a little car and Ty said "That's our ride, put on your best smile!" And he was right! She pulled right up and told us she was going to Eugene which is exactly where were headed.
     
          On our way up to Eugene I contacted my friend and former roommate Sean who had just moved to a town just north of Eugene a week prior. We made plans for him to pick us up when we arrived in Eugene. Jennifer, the driver, lives in Alaska and was returning from a visit with a friend in Northern California. She was a down to earth woman and good company. Jennifer had done a lot of hitchhiking alone in her younger years, so she could relate to us and was happy to help. She dropped us off in downtown Eugene where we waited for Sean to arrive.
     
          While sitting on a street corner waiting, a pirate of a street kid came rolling up on his skateboard and started recommending some good spots in town. Before he was about take off, he told Ty that he looked really familiar, which I found funny because he hears that at least a few times a week. But, they actually knew each other from the streets of Ocean beach a few years back. What a small world!
     
         Sean arrived after a little while longer and we discovered that his aunt (where he was staying) had a spare bedroom we could stay in and needed some work done that she would be happy to pay us to help her with. We were delighted at the idea of refilling our wallets and agreed to help with anything.
And then began our visit with Sean and Karen. We had a great week visiting with Sean, having late night philosophical conversations, eating real food, sleeping on a bed and working.

          The next Friday Sean took us to highway 126 and we took off hitching towards Bend to visit my cousin Dylan, and his wife Alicia. We took four rides into Bend, none of which we had to wait for long. People were genuinely friendly and helpful in Oregon. We decided to take scenic highway 242 into Bend and received a ride in the back of a pick up truck (which we discovered is legal in Oregon) with a couple of young guys on their way to a bachelor party. It was the most awesome ride we had. The wind blowing through our hair as they raced up the winding road and we watched the trees blur past us. We began to see the true beauty of Oregon. We stopped at the look out point and had an incredible view of several peaks, craters and the lava flow forest.

          The guys dropped us off at a gas station in Bend, where the clerk came out and gifted us with a fat nugget while Ty played his tambourine. The love just keeps rolling in! Alicia came to pick us up full of excitement and took us to their home where we celebrated with a deluxe barbeque, beers, and drums.

          We spent a week at Alicia and Dylan's and it was our best stop so far. Their 19 month old son Deegan was so much fun to be around, he kept me smiling the whole time. They took us to lakes where we got to go on canoes and their motor boat, as well hot springs, waterfalls, more lava flow forest and even the big obsidian flow! They really spoiled us! Thank you for everything Alicia, Dylan and Deegan, I'm so glad we came to visit.

          Today we finally left Bend and started hitchhiking on highway 20 across the eastern desert of Oregon, and we've had great luck so far. Our first ride picked us almost immediately, an old retired logger named Arvin who drove us about forty five minutes. Our second ride we had to wait for a little longer, but it was well worth it. He drove us all the way to Boise, ID and invited us to stay in his guest room since it was so late by time we arrived. So here we are in a beautiful house in Boise with a good bed to sleep in, good food and good beer in our tummies and good company. Tomorrow we plan to make it to Twin Falls to visit a good friend of mine from high school years. Goodnight!

Passing Through Humboldt County

July 2010

          After helping Richard unhitch his trailer at the campsite, he drove us back down the Avenue of the Giants. We had decided to stealth camp again since we didn't need showers or laundry facilities. The only problem with this was that it was about 10:00 and completely dark outside, probably not the best decision. So, Richard dropped us off right along the very dark and creepy Avenue of the Giants. The giant redwoods were looming above us and it was so dark we couldn't see a thing, let alone find a place to camp. I immediately start to regret not having Richard drop us off at a campsite. As we are fumbling through our packs to find flashlights, I am complaining that "it's dark and scary! we made a stupid choice! What are we going to do?", as if in response to my verbal complaints a Park Ranger pulls up and asks if we need help. We said we were looking for a place to camp and she offers us a ride to the nearest campsite. We were extremely grateful and jumped into the back of her truck. We only had five dollars on us, but they let us stay in a campsite anyways.
      
           In the morning we had to walk a good 2 miles to the nearest freeway on ramp. We thought this would be a good spot to hitch, but to our dismay it was located outside the near ghost town of Weott where little to no traffic was going by. After a couple hours of waiting we were once again saved by a park ranger. She also admitted to us that she has never picked up hitch hikers, but we had such sweet and innocent faces and such a handsome dog. Mai Tai and our charm came through again!
      
          She was only going 5 miles or so to another little town, but we figured anything had to be better than where we were. When she dropped us off we started to have our doubts about this theory. This town had a population of only 112 and even less traffic getting on the on-ramp. We decide to walk into the town to get some money out, so we stashed our packs and started walking. We got about 5 feet when a little pick up came around the corner and we both knew that we had a ride. Our intuition was correct! We stuck out our thumb and the man in the pickup immediately pulled over. I told him we needed to go around the corner to grab our stuff and ran off. As we came stumbling out of the bushes with our packs I saw him go by and begin to get on the freeway. We called after him and thankfully he stopped again. I figured he was having second thoughts, but he said he was just looking for us. We almost lost out on a ride!
     
          This man's name was Jon and he was a fellow hippy spirit who lived in Arcata which was where he was headed. Eureka and Arcata are both towns in Humboldt county with reputations for being chill towns. Personally I thought Eureka was an awfully dismal city.  Arcata was nice, but still quite dreary and sad. We stayed there for a bit, indulged in some more Mexican food and met some of the street peeps. We were offered a ride all the way to Oregon by some old sad man, but he needed gas money and had two other dogs with him. We didn't want to deal with 3 dogs and 3 people in a tiny car and we definitely didn't want to spend money on gas (which is why we were hitching), so we politely turned down his offer and walked to the hitching spot right on the edge of town. People we were strange in Arcata... a girl walked up to us and asked us if we wanted a chip, and we had our first hitchhiking competition, a young guy who rolled up on his skateboard and stepped directly in front of us, practically in the middle of the road, and busted out his sign. Astonished by his lack of respect, we didn't bother saying anything, but were beginning to regret refusing a prior ride 4 miles down the road. Luckily he was picked up a few minutes later by someone he obviously knew because they shouted his name. Not even five minutes later, a lady named Amy pulled up and offered us a ride into Medford, Oregon, we knew now we had made the right choice. It's amazing to see the laws of attraction in action!

Travels of Muir Woods on into The Valley Of The Giants



  Muir Woods was a welcome respite after the prior days expedition.  It offers to Hikers/ or Bikers a $2 communal campsite, where we quickly pitched a tent (no pun intended) on top of the least moist area available. 

  The weather at Muir woods was incredible!  Why, for instance, clouds raced just above our tents, leaving behind through the trees it passed fine droplets of moisture which collided and grew as they fell, bouncing off of leaves and dancing downwards while caught within the pull of gravity, at last unleashing a rain like torrent down upon our tent.

  And yet... Literally no more than ten feet away, the ground (away from the trees and their co- conspirators, the clouds), was as dry as could be!  We took Mai Tai on a path (which is rare for most State Parks to offer this feature), to enjoy ourselves even though we were exhausted.  We saw deer, were chased by bee's, and sweated under the hot sun before wee came back and hit the hay.  We woke up at 12 in the afternoon (which is also camp check- out time), enjoyed some coffee, then realized it was past One O'clock, so hustled out.   The Camp Ranger was very cool about it too.

  A gentleman with his two young children, saw us and asked some polite questions, then offered us a ride down to Stinson Beach. 
  We were completely delighted to accept.

  At Stinson a young Hispanic lady picked us up in her van, and took us along about ten miles, where we were picked up next by Kenny, another first time Hitchhiker Picker- Upper (sounds like an energy drink, eh?), who admitted to this when I asked him (he seemed fairly nervous).  He then mentioned that he was drawn to us due to Mai Tai, stating "Anyone with such a cute dog, must be nice enough people for me to pick up", so with Mai Tai combined with our infectious smiles, he felt secure in offering us aid.

  Kenny took us a good forty miles, just south of Bodega Bay, where he had to head inland to school. 

  We were only waiting there for a few minutes, when a car races up.  I look the driver in the eye (he is at a stop sign, which makes this easier), then wave him over to our stuff.  He just pulls right up, his snazzy little 2 door manual sports car, and lets us load all of our stuff inside it. 

  He takes off, introduces himself as Calvin, then barrels down the narrow Highway, on into Bodega Bay.  He lets us out at the Bodega Dunes State Park, where he took off and we explored the details of camping there.  We were sad to find no laundry facilities even though we thought our camp guide mentioned it, and since we did not require a shower, we hiked out along the edge of the park, until we found a suitable place to stealth camp. 

  Shawna was really nervous since it was our first time stealth camping in a State Park, her true concern being spotted by Rangers, but once our tent was situated with its near invisible camouflage, we felt much more secure, so ate dinner and went off to sleep for the night.

  Stealth Camping requires rising early with the the songs of waking birds and tromping through the mist sodden fields to avoid being detected.  Our clothes were very damp by the time we made it back to HWY One. 

  We ended up walking for hours that day, almost all the way through the Sonoma Coastline, on along dangerous turns that forced us against bluffs and into sharp Thistle plants, unable to catch a ride even when a suitable shoulder was available to stand upon, forcing us to hike even further along when our patience ran out.

  We keep walking until we hitch off of a driveway, around 3 P.M., and finally receive our first ride of the day from a young lady named Sarah, a cool Hippie whom has traveled like us herself in the past and was reciprocating karma by offering us a ride in our dire desire.  I hopped in the back with Mai Tai while Shawna and her talk up front.  Sarah takes us a little further out of her way to drop us off in Jenner (a much better location!), a tiny town where we recharged with Monster Energy Drinks (*TM), and met Jose.

  Jose was not very fluent in English, but was able to clearly offer us a ride for 20 miles further north, where he dropped us off in Fort Ross.  We attempted to get get a ride in front of the only store in Fort Ross, a Gas Station, and waited and waited.  We were beginning to become a little discouraged, so I had the idea to purchase us a beer, so that we were "Enjoying the wait", instead of stressing over it. 

  We crossed the road to smoke a bowl and discreetly enjoy our brew, then returned back in front of the store, where I started Playing Harmonica and Shawna was Singing our Gypsy song, and before we knew it, a station wagon pulls up right in front of us.  Stoked, we hustle into the ride.

  Jack had seen us hitchhiking earlier, but was going the opposite direction. He liked our look, and since he was now going our direction, offered us a forty five minute ride, where he showed us a private co- op owned Surf beach to stealth camp at.  While looking around for a good spot for our tent, Shawna spots two odd looking stones in the ground, for they had holes along one side, so picking it up, she is surprised to discover that they were a pair of Abalone shells!

 Jack took off, mentioned town was a few miles away, and said he might see us in the morning at the Coffee House.  We went uphill and found a grove of trees with a spectacular view, and camped for the rest of the night.

  The next morning, we had to walk all three miles into town.  Funny thing was that we were trying to hitch, and we saw a few people who passed us by while in town enjoying our own cups of coffee, who apologized to us for not giving us a lift, for they "Did not know" we "were coming here". 

  An older gentleman walks up to Shawna and hands her half a joint after petting Mai Tai, and mentions a Farmers Market with Hot Showers on the Pier.  We go, and Shawna sells one of her Abalone, I sell some animal balloons, and we both shower and spend a few hours hanging out.  I jumped in with the Live Band that was playing there, busting out a patented Rhythm on the Conga for a few songs, to the appreciation of the listeners and the band, whom insisted I play a few more songs before I could break away... though I could've stayed all day. 

  We hitch out of there almost right away, with a girl who takes us to the edge of town, where we eat a burrito before catching a ride from a distinguished older gentleman, a proud Point Arena local. He took us up a few miles to a nearby K.O.A. Site that offered the laundry facilities that we so desperately needed. 

  Standing out front of the K.O.A. Office, and thinking of just using the facilities on the "Down- Low", we were startled by an employee who asks if she may assist us.  She was able to indeed, allowing us free access to the laundry room, and being very friendly and informative to us.

  We book out of there a couple of hours later, and hiked along Highway One  for ten minutes or so, before we saw a break in the fence and some enticing trees way off in the gathering mist.  Along the way, we stumbled through five foot tall weeds, huge pokey Thistle bushes, and came within feet of a poised Skunk!

  Nighttime has nearly fully settled by the time we make the tree line through natures trippy gauntlet, and erect a tent by means of Stealth Camping once more, crashing for the night.  

  The next morning we hike a few miles to a good shoulder, and patiently wait a couple of hours until a lady with very high energy swoops up and hollers to us to get in, music playing loudly.  She sings out of key and has horrible timing, but her energy is so positive we cannot but feel uplifted along with her.  She only takes us a lil' ways, says she must get back to her house afore her hubby gets mad and a wonderin' about her whereabouts.

  An international traveler from Holland picked us up next, on his own adventure across America's Beautiful States.  He mentions "CouchSurfing", and backpacking/ hitchhiking in other countries, and we form an instant rapport on our way to Fort Bragg, while sharing of experiences and enjoying the scenery along HWY One.

  We resupplied in Fort Bragg, ate some more overpriced Mexican Food, then headed out of town.  It was a hot day, and Shawna was ahead of me with Mai Tai, me lagging behind, fortunately, for I hear some one call behind me and I see this kid walking up.  Our eyes meet, but he doesn't really give me the "Hey, wuz up bro" look, so I turn to keep walking when he says "Hey Bro"... I turn again and he holds his hand out saying "Take this, I'm a Street Kid too, I'm only wearing this," motioning to his button up shirt, "cuz I'm about to move some herbs down south".

  I accept his gift, bow, and bless his journey, turn and walk up to Shawna who has stopped by then, and tell her what just occurred.  The Cannabis Gods favor us mightily indeed!

  We walked to the edge of town, and stood near a storage facility, sadly watching car after car drive past, even though we smiled and waved to every one of them.  Once more, just as our luck was down, a truck that drove past the first time comes back, and says "You three are just too cute, hop on in here". 

  Richard (As his name came out to be discovered), had his young boy Richie with him, but still picked us up.  He asked about our trip, then eventually offers us a place to camp, right on the ocean, in his own back yard!  For those whom have not seen the footage uploaded to Facebook, it was a most incredible view, overlooking two coves and sat right along the edge of the bluffs.
 
  Richard lets us shower, restock on water, and even offers us a ride a few hours North if we want to wait until the next day, since he has to load a trailer up that way anyways.  We joyously agree, and camp that night.  The next morning, the departure time was pushed back, so Richard showed us one of Fort Bragg's Prime Attractions, Glass Beach.

  Before the 1940's, all trash was thrown out to sea.  Modern laws prohibit this now, but such large amounts of glass was tossed into the sea that it has been washing up along the shores, polished and of various hues, each with a differing rarity, the Blue Sea glass being the most prized and hard to find.  We found some cool pieces of sea glass to wire wrap, and enjoyed a day of playing, before Richard picked us up and we headed out towards the Valley of the Giants. 
Hitching along the One 
Top Ramen for dinner AGAIN!

Our beautiful Ocean view from Richards backyard

 

 
Outside of DavenportSan Francisco Dog Beach The city of San Francisco
                            The Golden Gate Bridge

Davenport onwards beyond The Golden Gate

 July 26, 2010

           We looked around this cool beach, with various large kites flying thru the air, then started hitching at a wide shoulder, where we had our next encounter with a cool 18 yr old Amanda, who was bored and decided to show us a popular beach in the vicinity, "Pebble Beach".
 
            Pebble Beach was fascinating, for their were a multitude of different tiny polished stones inches deep all upon the shore.  Though illegal to remove due to an influx of people looking for precious and semi precious stones, it was odd that a few choice stones managed to make their way into our pockets.

           Taking us further on, even a distance beyond her own destination, Amanda dropped us off at Half Moon Bay, where not even ten minutes later of cheerful waving and hitching, a real cool motorist picked us up, his name was Steve.  Steve was an intriguing person, mostly introverted, who also was picking up hitchhikers for the first time.  We immediately became engaged into philisophical discussion about spirituality, coming to terms with ones childhood, psychology, and before we know it, Steve offers us some Cannabutter Scones, that he grabs while stopping at his house on his way. 

          Steve then drives us around the downtown San Francisco streets, and helps us find a motel, where we exchange numbers and plan on hanging out together the next day. 

          Our Hotel was horrendous, it's sole redeeming attribute was that it did in fact allow dogs within it's establishment.  We were out in the industrial section of the city and still paid $70 for a room, more than all our previous overnight camping expenses combined. The area was slum ridden, with questionable charecters looming outside.  Mai- Tai acted really weird to some lady whom we suspected as a tweeker, whom insisted on petting him, even though he was giving clear growl's of dislike. Another man confides in us that he is a felon, on parole, and that he has weed in his room, a clear parole violation yet somehow he feels comfortable sharing this information with us. We splurge on delivery, and feast on Pizza and Breadsticks, shower, and then fall asleep on the first mattress we have had in almost 3 weeks!

          The next morning we check- out of our room, head over to Denny's Resteraunt, and take delicious advantage of the $2, $4, $6, $8 menu, then call Steve, who arrives just shortly after we grubbed.  Steve drops us off a few blocks from Haight and Ashbury, we make farewells, and now we are really in San Fran.  Just a dozen feet from where we are dropped off, we ask a guy posted up which way to the Golden Gate.  He tells us general directions, then hands us most of a joint.  I say "Wow, bless ya man, this is the first love we received since being in San Fransico".  He's like "Really?", then hands us near an 1/8th more. 

          We walk uphill to enjoy the jay safely, then walk along to Haight and Ashbury, the roach I give to a very dirty couple, both without shoes, looking so burnt out they did not have the energy even to beg.  We see other homeless, and begin to feel out of place, with our hundreds of dollars of clean camping equipment.  It was so obvious we "just arrived" that two groups of street kids even asked us "So when did you guys get into town?".
 
         We enjoy some coffee, and take some pictures, when a homeless- looking man approaches and points to the clock on Haight and Ashbury, remarking how it's "Always 4:20", and then gifts us with yet another Jay!

          The day is going fast, so we decide to head to the bus station, and go to the Golden Gate Bridge.  Along the way, a street kid way- lays us, mentioning he is Rainbow Family, from New Jeresy, Mafia, and King Shit of the area.  He tries to persuade us to "Pitch in" on gas in a rental car to get north.  Not only was his energy discordant, but the fact that he was warning us of the "dangers" just around the corner raised red flags, so we broke off uncommitted and made it to the Bus Station.  We see the first guy to gift us herbs on the bus and chat, and truly marvel at the fact that Mai Tai was allowed on the bus with us, and that our $2 tickets lasted all day, which was great since local transit was a bit confusing and caused us to get turned around a few times before we made it to the Golden Gate Bridge.

         Feeling adventerous, we choose to walk across the Golden Gate, and were able to enjoy a beautiful view and take some great pictures.  Sadly though, once we made it all the way across, we were stuck in a place with no public transit, and decide to use our G.P.S. to hike to the next nearest Highway.  So long story short, we end up hiking over 8 miles all that day, then into the night, all the way through Los Salitos, until we found a place next away from residents to crash for the night.  We had no tent that night to maintain minimal visibility, and slept lightly to wake early before dawn.

           In the morning we walked to Marin City, where a cool bus driver let us bring aboard Mai Tai, where we took a ride to Muir Woods.

Friends and fun in Davenport

July 18, 2010

          We're on our way to Eugene, OR now. We managed to get a ride from Grant's Pass on the 5 North. We're finally making some distance now that we've gotten North. Last night we were blessed with a ride from Arcata to Grants Pass Oregon. We're in a whole new chapter now, no more California Coastline. It was incredibly beautiful along the coastline, but I must admit that I am loving the warm sunshine again now that we are inland.
       
          A lot has gone on since the  last post, everyday is a new adventure. We did want to continue our story from Davenport though because it was one of our favorite stops and we want to share as much of our experiences as possible. Davenport is a little town North of Santa Cruz that was recommended to us by our new friend Nick as a chill spot for us to camp out because it's not patrolled. Ironically Davenport was mentioned again by Lila who drove us out of Big Sur. She told us that if we were traveling through there on a Thursday, the little restaurant in town has $1.50 tacos and cervezas.
       
         When we arrived in Santa Cruz, a surfer guy named Brett offered us a ride right into Davenport so we took it. Davenport did turn out to be an ideal camping spot so we decided to stay 2 nights and check out the beer and taco night. We met many locals, as the town congregates there on Thursdays for the delicious tacos and of course the cheap beer and good company. Two of the locals we met were exceptionally friendly and were really excited about our trip. There names were Marina and Josh. Marina chatted with us all evening and Josh bought us beers. Before we parted for the night we exchanged #'s and Marina insisted that we call her in the morning so they could come pick us up and show us a waterfall that we could hike to on the property where she lives.
       
         We called Marina in the morning and Josh came and scooped us up. The waterfall hike was amazing lush and beautiful and the water was crisp and refreshing. Afterwards Marina and a friend of hers who was visiting made us all lunch and Marina let us take showers. It was wonderful! We were so impressed and touched by their hospitality. They even drove us out of town to a good hitching spot and left us with a handful of green for the road. We will definitely have to stop and visit next time are headed through Davenport.  Well, the phone is almost dead and we're almost in Eugene, so I must leave off there. Until next time!

July 15, 2010
 
       Wow!  What an amazing couple of weeks!  The 4th of July in Pirates Cove was awesome, we went kayaking, saw fireworks across the whole mainland, and met many cool people, a gentleman named Bob gifted us with smokes and water and food, thanks again Bob.  Nick helped us out and drove us North along the Hwy 1 Monday morning and Billy came along for the ride. We stopped at San Simeon and hiked along the beach, walked through the Aspen and Cypress Groves and sat in a gnarly Spirit Tree, Mai Tai was even climbing it! San Simeon is a beautiful place, thanks Nick!. They dropped us off at Plaskett Creek campground along the South end of Big Sur where we said our farewells. We'll miss you Nick and Billy! Thanks for everything!
     The next morning we caught our 1st ride in Big Sur with a local named Abraham, we crammed in the back of the truck laying down, watching the clouds and trees meeting in the mist, while he flew along the sharp curves in his beater.  Pfeiffer state park was next, no dogs allowed on the trails, unfortunately, but we were able to do laundry, charge our phones and shower while there, and see the Big Sur river flowing into the sea.

    Upon leaving the next morning, a tourist from Holland brought us into town, where a very cool lady Lila and her son Aja took us a good distance with gr8 conversation on religion and spirituality.  She dropped us off in Watsonville, a small agro town, where we took a small ride into the middle of town, where we thought we might get stuck, when a Hispanic couple was captivated by Mai Tai and asked us "Donde?" and I say Santa Cruz and the say okay.

  just as we were getting out of their car, a surfer Brett saw us and solicited us for a ride, taking us right into Davenport, a small surf town w/ famous dollar fifty beer and taco's. We stealth camped the first nite, but it was the next nite that really rocked.  To be continued...

  P.S. Sorry for lag between updates, but we have virtually no service along the coast.  XOXO T.T.T.


The gorgeous San Simeon Coast


The spirit tree
Walking through the Aspen Groves
Farewell to Nick and Billy
July 2, 2010  

           We are writing from a quaint little coffee shop in Shell Beach, from a friends laptop. This morning we walked into town from our beach front property at Pirate's Cove. We've been there since Wednesday night and are probably going to stay for the fourth of July. Hopefully our friend Chris will be able to meet up with us for some good times on the holiday!
            Our trip has been very fortuitous so far. We left Gaviota state beach with Morris and Melissa and hung out for the day at San Onofre Nort. After they left we decided to camp out there and leave in the morning. The beach was beautiful! We found a perfect little outcropping on the side of the bluffs which was really nice, just enough room for are tent and we didn't have to worry about high tide taking us out in the night.We had the privelage of seeing many dolphins, seals and sea birds. Unfortunately they are doing off shore drilling and there was tar all over the beach, very sad. The place was infested with ticks too. It was awful! they were everywhere! We're still finding them here and there, but at least we know Mai Tai's frontline is working because we're finding them dead.
            In the morning we took off on foot along the railroad tracks with our packs. It was very romantic, like something out of a movie or a dream. We stopped at Gaviota State Beach campsite again to stock up on supplies, and take showers. A nice lady working the store there let us charge our phone and told us about the surrounding area. She gave us directions to the hot springs right up the road and we decided to set off there. There was a rest area only a half mile up so we walked up there and started hitching for a ride. Ty started making some balloon art and a half hour later we had a ride with a guy who happened to be going to Gaviota hotsprings, right where we were headed. He walked us right to the spot, stayed for and hour and left. We stayed the night next to the springs, very beautiful setting, but a little scary at night. There was something walking right around our tent at night, I'm sure it was just a deer or coyote, but still a little creepy!
           The next morning we soaked in the warm pools and met a young biker from Florida named Bryan who was traveling South along the coast. He had started traveling in Vancouver, and was ending in San Diego. He ended up being good company and we chatted for an hour or so. We packed up after he left and hit the road again. We picked up a ride after an hour or so going North on the 101.
           This next ride was a young guy named Aaron who was working, and had to go to Santa Maria to pick up a part at a shop. Luckily for us he believes in karma and couldn't pass by our friendly waves. He drove us the 50 miles to Santa Maria and dropped us off at a gas station. I was very happy to see fresh strawberries being sold on the side of the road near by and bought a square for us to indulge upon. In Santa Maria we stocked up on top ramen and granola bars and grubbed on some delicious mexican food. Then we were off to the truck stop nearby to hitch a ride. I was nervous about hitching because we were right in the middle of town and there was a cop in the restaurant next door. We had good luck though! A nice forest ranger offered us water and gave Mai Tai a smokey the bear bandana, our first souvenir. We just started making a sign when a truck driver walked up with a bag of treats for Mai Tai and inquired about our destination. He offered to give us a ride to Pismo, which is where we were headed. Ty and I both wanted to see the sand dunes because we never have had the opportunity to.
          The truckers name was Richard and he was a friendly old hippy guy. He told us there was a spot in Pismo that he knew of that would be perfect to drop us off at. As we got more comfortable chatting it up he mentioned we could drive to Fresno with him to drop off his load and we'd be back in the morning. He obviously wanted some company! We just kind of laughed it off, but next thing we knew we were passing by Pismo beach and he was pointing out the spot he was talking about earlier. Then all the sudden we were passing by Avila Beach dr. the exit for Pirate's Cove in San Luis Obispo! I asked him where he was planning on dropping us off at, and he said "Oh, I thought you two were going to Fresno with me! Why didn't you say something? I'll go ahead and turn around for ya." (Little wierd) He was nice though and turned around to Avila Beach exit, we stopped and smoked with him until he was silly and then we were off again.
          We started walking the couple miles along Avila Beach dr. trying to hitch a ride. We had no luck, but before we knew it we were almost there, so we just continued walking until we got to the bottom of cave landing road. We were dreading the hike up, but before we even had time to stop, a cool cat named Nick came around the corner and told us to get in. We were stoked to get a ride up that hill after walking all that distance! We set up camp for the night and slept like babies! In the morning Nick treated us to pancakes and coffee at his mom's house. It was delicious, but when mom came home she wasn't to happy to find some random hitchhikers at her house and we had to leave. We helped Nick out with some gas, and he helped us out again with a couple gallons of water.
         Nick left and we spent a day in paradise. Ty blowin blues on the harmonica under the blue sky and sand was beautiful. He also drew an art piece on my back of a tree and landscape, it was very beautiful. We'll post pictures later. The water was incredible in the cove and the sun was bright and shiny all day! We went to bed early again, exhausted from playing in the sun. And here we are this morning, in town with our local friend Billy. Soon we'll be back at the beach doing it all over again! This is the life!!!!! Happy 4th of July to everyone, we love you!!! You'll hear from us again next time we have adequate internet access.
Love,
TTT
 June 28, 2010

         The Solstice Fest was crazy awesome, with a jammin drum circle. A lot of friends also made it out, thanks guys, you sure know how to party! After the Parade, we hiked down to a local beach, a gnarly hike at twilight and high tide both. Some equipment became wet the waves were so close, we had to erect a sand wall to dam out the water. Ty slept in, then we all started doing body painting when he woke up, with lots of great art work being produced on skin canvass. Last night we hiked out to stay at El Capitan Beach, the weather was misty and chill, yet we were so cozy in our tents, and the hot fire was a nice touch. A special thank you to Mellissa and Maurice for the ride up here! Also, a special thank you to Chris, Happy B-day Bro, thanks 4 bein such a gr8 host! Tonight, Hot Springs! We will fill you in more soon, love T.T.T.

Day One- New Horizons

 June 26, 2010

  Cruisin' along the 210 N. Entranced by the electric rhythm and hypnotic motion,we venture onward to Santa Barbara Ca for the ushering in of the changing season, the Summer Solstice Festival and Parade. It is a marvelous Saturday morning, nerves jittery with caffeine and anticipation, though curiously not tired even though we only had 3 hrs of sleep last night. All of the little tasks of final preparation were time consuming; our packs are huge and easily weigh sixty plus pounds each. We put so much thought into supplies, we almost reconsider abandoning some weight. Yet every item has been methodically selected for compactness and is deemed essential, resulting in comically bloated packs!
  It's an exciting new chapter in our lives. Gone now are the illusions of security and the futility of conformity, an opposition to established authority and meaningless servility. We reach out to other as yet unknown souls, allowing positivity and the Laws of Attraction to give our journey unique shape and substance.
  Thanks to our Family and Friends for all the advice, supplies, and assistance, that without would have made this trip impossible.
  Love The Traveling Triad... Ty, Shawna, and Mai Tai


  "Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys"- Richard Niebuhr

Stepping Outside

May 21, 2010

As I dream about escaping this plaster prison, I sink ever so slightly into a nightmare
Shaking momentarily in my shoes at the thought of facing the Lions and Tigers and Bears
 Oh my!!!! What will I do in the big bad woods???? 
Will I fall victim to the dark...  become a prisoner of freedom? 
Silly fears, ha! I need to dive right into their dark waters, only there will I find the sparkling city under the sea. 
The lost Atlantis, hidden under the depths 

Fear of the unknown, I will admit I own, I cling to my safety jacket, pathetically attached to my security blanket 
Then I remind myself... I did not choose this security blanket, it was simply given to me to keep warm in my more vulnerable years
This attachment is only a manifestation of familiarity, an illusion of necessity that I have long out grown 
It is time to peel away these unnecessary layers, expose my naked self, embrace my vulnerabilities, face my fears! 
Once again...  my courage is reborn
-Shawna

Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking (1966)

Our Evolving Itinerary

April 30, 2010

         Ty and I are getting more excited by the day. There is so much planning to be done, it seems ironic, since we are trying to escape the confines of set schedules and structural living. However, we must have a plan for survival and that is what we are working on. It is amazing the knowledge we have at our fingertips today with internet technology. I have actually been studying the art of hitchhiking! With the ability to communicate over the web with people all around the world, there is a huge amount of information available to us. What I thought was a long lost tradition has actually evolved over the ages. Back in the "hippy era" people just jumped on the open road and discovered the troubles ahead the hard way or if they were lucky through word of mouth. Don't get me wrong, their is a certain mystique to tackling the unknown but to be able to learn from the words of millions of mouths that have already experienced the trouble you may face is a beautiful thing as well. Like the Latin proverb says, "A wise man learns from the mistakes of others, a fool from his own.". Anyways, I have been spending hours marveling at the resourcefulness of the internet, learning from the mistakes of others to plan our route.
       
          So far we have decided to begin our adventure in Santa Barbara, CA and head up the coast line hiking much of the California Coastal Trail and hitchhiking in between. We will continue along the coast until we enter Oregon where we will then head east through Eugene and Bend, then on through the southern section of Idaho, the northeastern corner of Utah, the middle of Colorado and then through New Mexico until we reach the residence of my father and brother in Carlsbad. Based on my research and our own curiosities, we plan to spend most of our time along the coast, in Oregon, Colorado and Northern New Mexico. There are so many places along the way that we want to see, I know we will have to come through many of these areas again to experience them all. We are trying to plan our route through prime hitchhiking and camping territories as we wish to avoid hotels and public transportation if possible, with Mai Tai by our sides we won't have much of a choice anyways. This is just a general game plan that is open to change at anytime as we know nothing ever goes as planned and for the purpose of this adventure we hope it doesn't.

          If anyone has anywhere they recommend us exploring along the way we are happily excepting suggestions, also if anyone has family/ friends anywhere along the way that would be willing to lend a couch, shower, and some good conversation, we would greatly appreciate if you could help arrange communication with them on our behalf. Thank you everyone for your interest in our expedition, we will be posting again soon.
-The Traveling Triad
Shawna, Tieas, and Mai Tai

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count... It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln

Progression or Regression?

 May 11, 2010

          Well, we are pretty much done buying supplies now. Thank goodness! I've been OCD on this computer for days now researching products and ordering everything we need, as my roommate put it, all our "extensions of the human hands". It is so funny how ill-equipped us humans are for the wild. Without big brains and imposable thumbs to create all these contraptions, how would we survive in the wild? Or is it the other way around, if we didn't create all these contraptions would it be easier for us to survive in the wild? This week, as we spent more and more money on all these simple comforts and tools, I started asking myself "do we really need all this?" It is ironic how much money we are spending to escape the comforts of society. We are leaving with nothing more than a pack full of stuff and it still seems like SOOO much, and to think we are used to living with far more comforts than this seems like such excess. Our strong minds have made our bodies weak and even our minds are becoming weak as we become more reliant on the use of tools made by machines rather than our own two hands. This is not the case for everyone, but the majority of us city dwellers. Don't get me wrong, it frees up a lot of time for us to focus on other things, but sadly what many choose to focus on is mind rotting rather than mind expanding. Is the price we pay for convenience worth it? Our senses are numbed, and our minds are dumbed. We have physically devolved as our tools have evolved. Sure we get along just fine in a "civilized" society, but what would we do if we were stripped of our comforts and conveniences? When left alone with mother nature most humans now stand little to no chance without tools. The earth provides us with everything we REALLY need to survive: air, water, food, even medicine to cure many ailments with. However, through our own manipulations of these resources for survival and comfort we have detached ourselves from our true lifeline; we have started destroying mother earth and our innate survival instincts. Would you call this progression or regression?



"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed."  
~Mohandas K. Gandhi

The Dragon's Gift, The Gryphon's Kiss

 May 8, 2010

Hello Fellow Friends, Family, and Followers,


A Special Thank you to everyone for staying updated upon our impending departure.


I would like to make an update on our Prior Blog Posting regarding the Supplies we require for our adventure. We now have most the Provisions we require for this lengthy trek.


-Mai Tai's Back Pack is on its way:)
-As well as his Sole Guard Boots
-And We both have new boots as well, found them on sale at Big 5, they are Hi-Tech,and matching.
We have also borrowed a Marine Camo tent that is plenty spacious and fairly light/ compact.
-I have a new Hi- Tek 80L hiking backpack, with many cool bells and whistles.
-Basic First Aid Kit and Survival Toolkit
-Custom Walking Staffs (I hand Carved one of them for Shawna Personally)
-Lightweight Propane Stove
-Sturdy Hiking Socks
-Two sturdy and Combinable Mummy Sleeping Bags


We still need a few things though...
-Dylan, Send me that Bankroll Bro, we need it soon please:)
-Sleeping Pads (thinking Inflatable, Military Issues) Any Recommendations Anyone?
-Shawna needs a Camping Pillow
-Lighter- Weight Mess Kit
-One Camel- Pak Water Reservoir For Myself
-Thermal Undergarments for us Each
-Empty Boxes so we can start packing.


That really covers our immediate needs, with so much more having been made possible with the help of our wonderful roommates, a Special Shout- Out to Destiny and Ben, for Taking car of not only our two lovely Cats, but for also allowing us to have a no- cost place for storing our personal affects while we venture off into the unknown. Thanks Guys:)


Also both of our Parents (Shawna's and My own that is), have greatly contributed to this epic endeavor, my parents through refinancing my truck back to them, Shawna's dad with a generous contribution of an iPhone, which will allow for mobile updates and G.P.S. Navigation while off of the beaten Path.


If Anyone has a contribution, information, or supplies, please let us know, we leave the last weekend of June, so so very soon!

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

Counting Our Blessings

May 5, 2010

          I must admit that when we first made the decision to leave the comfort of our home for the freedom of the wild world, I was nervous. However, since we have announced our departure I have been reassured that we have made the right choice. I was worried that we were going to get opposition from friends and family and that our resolve would falter as a result, exactly the opposite happened though. We have had extraordinarily positive reactions from both friends and family alike. In fact, nobody seemed very surprised by our choice. We have gained much inspiration from everyone's support and cannot give enough thanks for the kind words and blessings that have been sent our way.
     
          Another big worry was that we would have trouble with the necessary preparations, such as finding a place for my cats and snake to stay, obtaining the necessary supplies and funds for the trip, etc. We still have much to accomplish before we leave; but, we have had fantastic results in this area so far as well. These are all signs to us that this was the right decision to make.
     
          We are so blessed to have such wonderfully supportive and open minded people in our lives. The benevolence of our friends and family has allowed this idea to blossom into a reality. It is through your participation that our small story will become an epic adventure. You are all very much appreciated. Thank you so much for supporting us on this crazy adventure; we will be sure to keep you updated as our journey unfolds.
-Shawna, Tieas, and Mai Tai

"An intention is a quality of consciousness that you bring to an action."
~ Gary Zukav- from "Seat of the Soul"


Needed Supplies and Philosophizing

May 2, 2010

Hi everyone,
  Shawna and I have 58 days left (but who's counting, lol), from launching our daring adventure. The time is flying by so fast, and there is so much still left to do.  We have compiled together a "Wish List" of sorts, of the equipment we will be needing for such rugged living, and shall be posting it so friends and followers may offer pricing suggestions or provide donations on some of the smaller, more basic supplies.
~ 2 Pureland sleeping bags (23 Degree Protection, zip together, $75 for both)   http://cgi.ebay.com/Two-PURELAND-Hippo250-23-F-Mummy-Sleeping-Bags-20-F_W0QQitemZ400111689775QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5d2883e02f#ht_2280wt_908
~ 2 Lite Sleeping Pads ($80 for both)
~ Hiking Backpack for Mai Tai (Granite Gear, Size Medium, $60) http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Granite-Gear-Ruff-Rider-Dog-Pack_212211_10208_10000001_-1_
~ Hiking Booties For Mai Tai (All that walking, plus the weight, we want him to be comfy, Size small, $20)
http://dogbooties.com/products/toug90boot.html
~ Car Charger for Phone (For Palm Pixi from Sprint, $35)
~ Phone Case For Palm Pixi
~ Solar Phone Charger (For Palm Pixi, Solar... Need we say more? $60) *Image in upper right corner
~ Boots/ Dr. Scholl's (for the both of us, about $60)
  Along with all these supplies, we are saving money to keep our bills paid (Phone, Credit Cards, Etc.) as well as saving towards camping and eating expenses.  It's ironic that we have to spend a ton of money to live with next to none.
  On a side note, this is not my first cross country excursion, though every time before, I was hindered into hauling my hindrance's behind in the form of various vehicles which all invariably suffered some mechanical malfunction along the way.  Dylan, my younger Brother accompanied me from California on through 6 more states, with month long layover in unknown terrain, and no survival skills except those honed by us, from an early childhood rampaging upon the streets.
  Like a fine wine that ripens into its fullest potential with age, I can now re- embark on a fantastically more exotic road trip, accompanied with my lovely soul mate, Shawna, this time free from obsession of the material, in tune with the natural order around us.  Not only am I confident in the wonders we will yet behold, the friendships formed, the lives touched, but I am also secure in my self determination, aware of my strong self reliance, and the skills I have learned through experience that will manifest these unfathomable future observations.
  I intend to use this website as a scrapbook, with all our friends comments and all of our own experiences and pictures posted in a chronological order, starting from now.


“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine