Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pause... then freak out!

I've back in the car, finally heading north--My vague goal this summer is this:



and of course:
hike, touch lakes, dance, play frisbee, put myself in places I've never seen.

I pledge to squeeze out every drop of sunshine. I will bathe in spontaneity. I will NOT, however, be mauled by a grizzly. That's pretty much my one rule. Thanks.

So far so good. I lingered in the Tahoe area long enough to do some camping, touch a few lakes (including Pyramid, a remarkable spot north of Reno), and feel satisfied. Lured by, of all things, a flier on facebook, I figured it was my destiny to get down to Paso Robles and surprise the pee out of Jenna and Adam. Mission accomplished (sans urination). Jenna enjoyed a mild seizure upon seeing me, and we proceeded to wine the night away. What else would you do in Paso Robles?


People, people. So many people! After Paso, the Bay area was calling to me. I wanted a taste of familiarity before delving into the unknown, and I had a marvelous time. But damn, the multitudes. I'm still baffled by how to meet people in a city. Coming from the sexy little microcosm of Stanford Sierra Camp, where I know everyone, and every face is familiar--the clusterfluff of people in the Bay is mind-boggling. Taking the mindset of camp into "the real world" is always a fascinating experience, and usually works out splendidly. However, my deep-seated desire to know everyone is potentially disastrous in the city, and threatens to leave me feeling detached and alone. One at a time... one at a time. That's the mantra necessary to stay sane in an environment where people can quickly become jaded and withdrawn.

I'd rather not do that.

Back on the road! Couchsurfing tonight in Ashland, Oregon, and then it's off to Portland.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

And Now, A Grand Departure...

...from the theme of travel. Well, sort of. I wanted to recount a dream, perhaps the most incredible I´ve ever had or could ever hope to have, before it evaporated forever from my memory. Of course, if you want to get right down to it, dreams could be considered the most ancient, raw means of travel. Before the age of dirt cheap air transport, ¨gringo trails¨ and vapid travel blogs, how else could an ambitious, lustful man find his adventures?

Dream, begin:

I´m on a street, any street, with my father. No context. There is a vague sense of anxiety, which makes sense, considering my conscious life at the time. Suddenly, serving as a catalyst towards general panic, a young woman is struck by a passing bus. Her legs are melted into the asphalt, bonded at the hips, she is writhing in pain, grotesque, wailing. I try to call 911, but each time I dial and press send, the number alters itself, adding an extraneous character. Terrible frustration. My father is equally panicked, and suggest that my phone must be broken! Nonchalantly, I say, ¨Ehh, no big deal, it´s just a dream.¨ ...What?

Full stop.

I look at my hand. A tingly wave of ecstasy rushes through me, permetating every anxious cell of my body. I am reborn, everything is new, everything is ok. The girl is not real, the suffering but a ghastly illusion--a self-inflicted betrayal, a manifestion of recent uncertainty and probably some deep-seated shit.

I make a like a tree and get the hell out of there.

Running free! There is no thought process. I don´t sit down to sip an espresso and contemplate my newfound freedom. I stop in front of the first person I see in the street, a woman jogging, and say something like, ¨Come with me?¨

and in one motion I take her into my arms and launch, soaring up, up, to nowhere in particular, with (slightly surprisingly, in retrospect), no lustful intentions, no alterior motives whatsoever, just the purest impulse to share my gift, without hesitation, without pretense.

And that´s it.

Ok, let´s all go google ¨lucid dreams¨and figure this business out. First one to reach lucidity gets a cheesy Ecuadorian postcard!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Getting started...

Considering I spent the good part of an hour staring at a computer screen just trying to think of a title for this blog (about a week ago), getting something actually written down is a bit daunting. I have no aspirations of making the first entry ¨good¨; rather, I want it to exist. I also plan to unabashedly use semicolons with such gusto that is appears as though I know how to use them. This blog, I suppose, will be mostly comprised of the soaring highlights and unfortunate lowlights of travel, with the occasional beard-related quip. And to get things off in the right direction:

Topic 1:

Bowel Movements.

Wow. As soon as I wrote the words, more rumblings began. Yes! I´ve been stricken with what´s known as ¨traveler´s diarrhea¨. Any traveler worth his salt knows that sampling exotic microbes is an integral part of any excursion into the third world. What starts a minor annoyance quickly morphs into a bizarre competition to see how many times one can actually go #2 in one day. I´d rather not specify my current record--let´s just say I won. Being in a constant state of dehydration is no way to go through life, and is especially disheartening while trying to relish the discomfort of solo traveling. Last year in Cusco, Peru, I had the wonderful luxury of a companion-cum-caretaker, which made all the difference while I was combatting the sphincter-loosening malady. This time around, the only vague semblance of sympathy comes from the pharmacist, who gives the ¨squint/nod¨ in understanding when I request drugs. Luckily, with a few days´dose of antibiotics, and abstinence from booze, things are cleared up fairly quickly. And here comes the quintessence of appreciating life´s simple triumphs: cheering aloud (complete with fist-pump) after the first normal bathroom venture in a week. Huzzah!

But where´s the excitement in normalcy? I´m off to the nearest hole-in-the-wall restaurant to sample some delicious new microbes...

Coming soon:
High elevation ultimate frisbee! Delightfully tacky religious emblems! Slightly messy attempts at salsa dancing! Absurd amounts of semicolons!