Here is a late afternoon shot. More night shots to come as I process film and RAW files
I was fortunate to have a small adventure as a side trip on my way down the the Great sAnd Dunes National Park. I met a wonderful, friendly fellow traveler in a coffee shop who invited me to lunch in Crestone, CO. After lunch, we headed out past all of the religious retreats along the base of the mountain and up to the Tashi Gomang Stupa - a Tibetian Retreat that overlooks the stunning view of the valley valley below.
I'm an atheist and found this to be a fortunate place to find inspiration and gratitude. Worth a side trip if you are passing through. Take an SUV, 4-wheel drive or expect a good hike up there :)
I am sitting in seatac airport with five'ish hours to go until I liftoff for home, and want to record some thoughts while they are fresh and juicy. First off, Zoo is a GREAT road mate. Words cannot express his huge contribution to the road trips being extraordinary, but I'll give it a shot..
He is unflinching about being alive and living life his way. I have great respect for him, even when I disagree. His travel is experience is deep, so having him along adds a layer of comfort, especially when he says, "Can we drive down on that iced over river?" (unnamed rental car company, please do not read this). His encouragement of me and other people to go outside their boundaries and live a little makes life interesting and fun. There's so much more, but my point is sincerely that I appreciate you, Zoo. Thanks for the miles and the smiles, dude.
Places #1 Portland #2 Banff #3 Vancouver
I could move to Portland tomorrow and be a very happy man. I will visit Banff many times in the future. And Vancouver is a damn cool city.
Highlights Kennedy School - just plain awesome The Doug Fir and Rontoms are great bars with fun people. Always wanted to drink at the Doug Fir and I learned that the Indie Music scene in Portland is great at Rontoms. My beautiful skull Banff, the beautiful Best Road Biggest Unanswered Question Whistler Village, BC
Favorite People Photo
Growth Every single road trip we make includes opportunities taken to plant seeds, leave room for gestation and let the new rear its head. On this trip, I was a lot more emotionally stable than prior trips, so instead my personal growth included being a bit more "one of the guys." My life prior to this didn't really have opportunity to ever be a wingman, play in bars, flirt outrageously, etc. It was a fairly "normal" path towards the American Dream of having the house, marriage and kids. Now I am living a new bachelor life and finding out that not only do I like being alone, but I also like learning more about what I may like in a relationship with each new gal with whom I spend a little time.
The result? I still believe in love and fidelity in a committed relationship. But it's not something I'll die over if I don't get it now... In the meantime I'm having fun.
As for Zoo, I know he had his own thoughts gestating during the trip. I won't presume to comment on them, but I do think they are going to stay underground for some more nutrients and water in the dark.
On another topic, I have some more thoughts about authenticity. It is a slight paradox that I choose to use a pseudonym on this site, but firmly believe in transparency and authenticity. This is brought into relief by one of Zoo's posts where during that evening I gave out personal information, but not info about this site. It turned out for the best, because the fun-poking from Zoo could be hurtful should the site be found. Nothing terrible, just not entirely nice. And here is the crux of the matter... What Zoo posts is not my responsibility, but I do share the site with him. Do I reveal what he posts by revealing the site, or do I let it pass? That question lies unanswered at present. So I also have something that needs more time to grow before I can make a decision.
It's also apparent that I am still learning the fine art (snicker) of being a wingman. It's foreign to me, and my beliefs. In parallel, I also believe that it's far easier to condemn something without every trying it. Greater understanding comes with experience. Easier said, I'll try anything once. In this case, if everyone is out to have a good time then it's a part of the "game." My gut feeling is that I am far too sincere to be a wingman. ;)
Biggest personal disappointment: Ummm... being a little naive about 'signals'
2nd biggest personal disappointment: Not actually engaging in deliberate Sentography, only holistic.
Biggest personal success: Frankly, enjoying myself with unfamiliar women on short notice. I've been removed from that world for a long time... I usually work into relationships over a long period of time. Bars and dating are almost a foreign language to me.
Wrapup Every road trip is a potent reminder that we have to choose to enjoy our days, not wait for enjoyment to find you. Make the things you want happen, but don't expect to be able to plan every road between here and what you want, leave that to chance - it's more fun that way.
And finally, get yourself a mohawk. It's the tits.
I just realized that I never posted the black and white panos from RT3! So, for your viewing enjoyment... High Desert, eastern NV
24 more photos after the break - click on!
After having morning coffee and blog time, I made my way over to The Wrangler. I was itchin' for some cowboy boots. Having never owner a pair, or even gonne into a western wear store, I was floored. Lookit all them boots!
More pics and stories after the break: I found just the right pair and a super-friendly Cheyenne-ite (whose sister live 7 miles from me in New York), rang me up and gave me some greta advice on driving to Denver.
See, it's Saturday and by Wyoming standards, there are lots of Saturday road-ragers on the highway, so she gave me a tip. We took a lesser-known highway.
It was like deja-vu. 65 mph, slow down to 50, then to 45, then 35, then a small town less than a mile long with a railroad and grain towers on the left, some seedy bar ond general store on the right, done and repeat.
There was this interesting creature, though. Methinks it's Zoo's id.
Today was a very short drive (by our standards), only 2 1/2 hours. So, we'rte back in Colorado and Denver again. Wow... Now to tear up this town for 2 or so days before flying to our homes. I'm certain we'll make some more indelible marks on this city, and perhaps visit Croc's again...