Life Is A Road Trip

The Amazing Adventures of a Zoobroker and a Sentiographer


Black and white photos from RT3

iowa, nebraska, nevada, photography, south dakota, SpamZalot, utah, wyomingMatt HillComment

I just realized that I never posted the black and white panos from RT3! So, for your viewing enjoyment... High Desert, eastern NV

Canyon, southern Idaho

Salt Lake City, UT

24 more photos after the break - click on!

Idaho Highway

Idaho Railway

Badlands, SD

Badlands, SD

Badlands, SD

Badlands, SD

Great Salt Lake, UT

Great Salt Lake, UT

Great Salt Lake, UT

High Desert, eastern NV

Canyon, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Zoo on the Road

Desert road and dappled clouds, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Desert, southern Idaho

Reservoir, southern Idaho

Continental Divide Rd, WY

Western Wyoming

Western Wyoming

Salt Flats, UT

Badlands, SD

The Corn Palace, South Dakota

Spammer's Closing Thoughts, Part 2 (Metaphysics in ReAction)

musings, SpamZalotMatt HillComment

You know how I was talking about juxtaposition? How about following up such a tremendous journey with a full day of "work" on 4 hours' sleep? LOLz. There's a certain phrase bandied about, "The grass is always greener on the other side." I've heard it applied in so many ways, including in reference to relationships (and how it isn't... eventually), work  (and how it isn't... eventually) and playtime (and how it isn't... eventually - getting the point?) But a new insight is that I appreciate vacation more for having a regular job and vice versa. Like not knowing how wonderful light is only in its absence, you have to have opposites (or dissimilarities) to appreciate. Again, comparisons are the key. They are the reference, the measuring stick and the opportunity for insight. (more...)

On the other hand, it is conceivable that you can appreciate something simply because you can. If you have the clarity of self to see what you have/do and like it for what is is, is it not possible to simply enjoy that without juxtaposing? I believe so.

If you believe your grass is green, then it is. 'Nuff said.

So now I am at home, enjoying the comfort of my well-chosen green couch, cat by my side, after a full day of work where I am appreciated and I appreciate it. I like spam, and it likes me.

Let's visit a moment from the road trip. Night in Cheyenne, and our new friend Tyler asked me, "So what does the rest of the country think of us in Wyoming?" My blank stare left room for him to elaborate. He continued, "You know, with all of the bad things that have happened here?" He gave me some details and I simply remarked, " I don't watch television, listen to the radio or listen to newspapers. I don't know what these things are and my own opinion, because I can't speak for everyone else, is that I like Wyoming, and everyone I have met so far. In addition, it's getting better all the time. I am having fun and I'm going to tell everyone about it." So there you have it, lots of beliefs wrapped in a tiny little conversation:

  • What do other people think of me? (and how does that inform my own opinion of myself)
  • I believe I am a good person and live with good people.
  • What do you think of me/us?

I believe that every single person is distinct and different. Groupings and categorizations are unfair and unrealistic. Zoo figured this out, too. This is such a wonderful belief to reaffirm over and over while on the road. You meet the best people while holding this belief.

So, here is the real meat of this closing thought - you are what you believe. If you believe yourself to be open to new experiences, you will be. If you believe the gravel road under your wheels is the best possible path you can take at that moment, it will be. If you believe that the Amber Ale is crap and that the Stout is better (Zoo...), then so shall it be. And if you believe that you can do what you want to do and it will make you feel good... then you will feel like I do right now.

Day 10: Spammer's Closing Thoughts, Part 1

musings, nevada, on the road, south dakota, SpamZalotMatt HillComment

Social spamming was hella fun.

Taking - no - MAKING time to have a road trip with Zoo Broker was one of the best decisions I have made this year, and let me tell you folks, it's been a year for decisions. I so very enjoyed myself that it is hard to clearly explain. Perhaps all of the posts we made for you (well, for us really) will, in total, represent an experience that mirrors my path in life. Deliberately unplanned, but pursued with enthusiastic vigor.

Full entry after the jump.

If you take a peek at my opening musings, you'll find that I put forth some goals for the trip. Let's see how I did:

  • Uncertain destinations (YES)
  • Lots of photo-ops (YES)
  • Some ridiculously inebrious evenings (YES)
  • Perhaps double mileage versus previous trips (3,200 miles)
  • Meaningful, probing conversation (YES, IN PLENITUDES)
  • Glee (YES)
  • New people with interesting stories weaving into ours (YES, SEE BLOG)
  • Potentially embarrassing moments (YES, SOME NOT SHARED WITH THE PUBLIC)
  • Incredible discoveries only found via an open mind and no agenda (YES, SEE HERE & HERE)
  • Deep, satisfying exhaustion (YES, TOOK A NAP YESTERDAY)

Do you achieve all your goals? I am not mystified at all that I did. I chose my priorities and focused on them. Everything else fell into place alongside this journey because I have learned (and practice) that you have to focus on the things you can control, and let everything else take care of itself.

Here is the wonderful part... Now I get to set NEW goals. Yes, exciting! I do already have some big plans involving some art, and am ready to jump on that immediately, as well as getting back to a healthy diet (big wink).

As for Zoo Broker, he has been the finest friend I could ask for. Exciting, sharing, generous, thoughtful, encouraging, brazen, inspiring and made me laugh until I cried more than a few times.

Let me share some insights that found me while on this epic journey.

People are generally the same, no matter where you go. To be specific, there are so many indiviual people with different goals and dreams (or dreads), that an generality by region is impossible. Each person you meet is full of potential. Some are more exceptional, and I think this is because they also have a keen interest in life.

America is diverse and wonderful. From the seediest piss-smelling alleys to the majestic and barren desert mountain ranges, it is a composition of amazing things. I love it all. Juxtaposition is the key. I recently went to an Edward Tufte seminar and he states that presenting data without comparison is a meager meal. In this case, seeing the smallest of towns (population 16) to the big metropolises, the plains to the Rockies, the desert to the forest gave me a grand scale for comparison. It's within these differences that lie the opportunity for gratitude, and I am very grateful to have learned more about my country.

I knew this already, but it has been reinforced during this trip: If you do not make time to do the things you love, you may never do them. Just change your priorities.

Being selfish is not a bad thing. After all, who is more important in this world than yourself? I had an interesting conversation with a mostly drunk architect last night and brought up my favorite question (for architects), "Have you read THE FOUNDTAINHEAD?" LOLz, it realy gets some of them going. I see that book as having lots of people acting on the beliefs surrounding "being selfish". Exercising your personal right to choose happiness for yourself before choosing it for other people is what I choose. In general, America sees selfish as a very negative word. I do not. I will always choose my happiness first. This does, however, go hand in hand with the belief that I treat the world as I want to be treated. That is harmony.

Doing unplanned things is one of the best ways to learn something you do not know. It sounds so obvious, but you won't know what Imean until you do it. Why re-learn things you know? Life is toooooo short.

Take the time to tell other people that you like your life. It helps the world become a better place when people know that happiness is out there...

As Zoo Broker repeatedly says, "the opportunity never taken is something that will never happen. It's always better to do it, than not do it." You only get one chance (that we know of) here and now. Do something you like with it.